Human Rights Campaign Names JoDee Winterhof Vice President for Policy and Political Affairs

by Charles Joughin

WASHINGTON - Today the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) announced veteran political strategist JoDee Winterhof as the organization’s new Vice President for Policy and Political Affairs. Winterhof comes to HRC after serving as Chief of Staff to Congresswoman Kyrsten Sinema, and previously as Vice President for Policy and Advocacy at CARE. In addition, she has held leadership roles on multiple campaigns at the presidential, senatorial and congressional levels including Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign.

“JoDee’s high-level political and policy experience will be truly invaluable to this organization and this movement,” said HRC President Chad Griffin. “As we ramp up our fight for full LGBT equality at every level of government, especially our upcoming campaign to pass a much-needed federal non-discrimination bill through Congress, JoDee will help lead HRC’s work to create an America where LGBT people enjoy full equality under the law.”

Winterhof will lead HRC's federal, state and local legislative, field and legal teams. She will also oversee the management of HRC’s political action committees, and federal lobbying on LGBT issues abroad.  Building on the tremendous successes the organization has achieved thus far, Winterhof will work closely with other departments within HRC to ensure HRC’s policy and political priorities are incorporated throughout the organization.

“In spite of the unprecedented progress that the LGBT community has made in recent years, we see all too often stark reminders of the work that remains,” said Winterhof.  “LGBT people all across the country still face discrimination in virtually every aspect of life.  Great deficits remain in workplace equality, military service for transgender Americans, judicial and executive branch appointments, LGBT-inclusive immigration reform, and so much more. The truth is, equality isn’t a Democratic or Republican value; it’s an inherently American value. And building bipartisan coalitions to tackle the vital work ahead of us will be a top priority.  The LGBT movement is uniquely positioned to make great strides to eradicate the discrimination so many of us continue to endure, and I am so honored to join the team at HRC to help make full equality a reality for all LGBT people.” 

“JoDee will be a terrific addition to HRC’s team just as she has been to ours.  We will miss her leadership, creative ideas and insightful advice which have enabled our office to best serve the hard-working families of Arizona.   I look forward to our continued partnership as we work to advance LGBT equality,” said Congresswoman Kyrsten Sinema (AZ-09).

Winterhof brings to HRC over 20 years of experience in navigating the complex intersection between politics, campaigns, messaging and public policy.  She spent over a decade on Capitol Hill, including four years as Chief of Staff to Senator Tom Harkin of Iowa.

“JoDee’s talents, wisdom and experience make her uniquely equipped to help HRC take on the important challenges that lie ahead for the LGBT community,” said U.S. Sen. Tom Harkin.  “Chad and HRC have hit the jackpot with JoDee, and I will continue standing side by side with them in their work advancing equality for all LGBT Americans.” 

"I have seen first-hand the strong creative and strategic energy that JoDee brings to every issue she encounters, and I'm incredibly excited to see everything she will accomplish with HRC," said Congresswoman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (FL-27), "While we're sad to see her leave Capitol Hill, I know that the LGBT equality movement will benefit from her steadfast determination and commitment to bringing about positive change for the world - especially the LGBT community.  HRC has chosen the perfect person to lead its political and policy work."

"JoDee is an exceptionally talented leader, and she is an ideal addition to the Human Rights Campaign's already phenomenal team," said Congressman Sean Patrick Maloney, co-chair of the LGBT Equality Caucus.  "I'm confident that she will put her skills, judgment and abilities to good use at HRC, and with her leadership our movement can make great progress in achieving the goal of full, federal equality under the law for all."

Winterhof will assume her role with HRC on December 17th

Last week, HRC released a report explaining the need for non-discrimination laws protecting LGBT people at the federal level.  The report, “Beyond Marriage Equality: A Blueprint for Federal Non-Discrimination Protections,” focuses on needed legislation in seven categories: credit, education, employment, federal funding, housing, jury service and public accommodations.  With the release of this report, HRC is committed to working toward a broad federal non-discrimination bill and will outline its plans to build support for such a bill in the coming weeks.  

The Human Rights Campaign is America’s largest civil rights organization working to achieve lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender equality. HRC envisions a world where LGBT people are embraced as full members of society at home, at work and in every community.


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