Michael Mitchell, the current Executive Director of the National Stonewall Democrats, announced today that he will not be seeking renewal of his contract, which expires at the end of this month. The Board of Directors has named Bilerico's own Jerame Davis as the Interim Executive Director.
Jerame has been serving as the National Stonewall Democrats' Affiliate Services Coordinator.
The non-profit's problems have been public for some time, which may have led to Mitchell's decision. Chris Geidner notes a number of them in his Metroweekly piece on the changeover, specifically mentioning fundraising, board resignations, competition from other non-profits within the Democratic party, and failure to file 990s for the past two years. Jerame is clearly going to have his hands full from the get-go.
Here's Jerame's bio on the NSD website:
Jerame is a longtime LGBT activist with a background in grassroots organizing, campaign management and new media campaigns. Originally from Indiana, Jerame spent over 10 years helping to organize the LGBT community in a red state while also building bridges with the state Democratic party.
While Jerame lived in Indiana, he served in a leadership role in many Hoosier LGBT organizations including Pride At Work, Columbus GSA, Indiana Action Network, Indiana Equality, and Indiana Stonewall Democrats. Before joining NSD's staff, Jerame was vice president of the Indiana affiliate.
Jerame has worked closely with his local and state Democratic Party, serving as an Indianapolis precinct committeeman and a delegate to the state convention; he was also appointed to the 2008 Democratic National Convention Rules Committee.
Before joining NSD staff, Jerame co-founded an internet and new media consulting firm that focuses on strategies to leverage technology for better fundraising, organizing and messaging for non-profit organizations and political campaigns. One of the most successful ventures from the partnership is The Bilerico Project, an award-winning and widely read LGBT blog independently ranked as one of the top political blogs in the nation.
He has a degree from Purdue University in Computer Information Technology and is a member of Tau Alpha Pi honor society.
Here's the National Stonewall Democrats' press release:
National Stonewall Democrats announced today that Executive Director Michael Mitchell has decided not to renew his contract, which is completed at the end of this month.
"Michael has accomplished many great things while serving as our executive director, not least of which was our successful ElectEquality program he established," said Craig Roberts, NSD Board Chair. "During his tenure, he has represented the organization incredibly well and built and solidified relationships that are integral to the work of NSD. To know Michael is to know that he is incredibly committed to our organization and to electing pro-equality Democrats. I'll miss working with him, but I know that he will continue to do good work in the next phase of his life."
"It's been my privilege to work for NSD the past two years and a distinct honor to have been able to work with our affiliates around the country who are doing the on-the-ground, necessary work of getting pro-equality Democrats elected," Michael said. "It has been a particular point of privilege to work with such a dedicated and hard-working staff.
"The decision to leave NSD was a difficult one for me, especially with a critical election coming up next year that will define us as a nation, but it was made easier knowing that our affiliates, staff and board are fully engaged in fulfilling the mission of National Stonewall Democrats."
The board of directors has named Jerame Davis, currently the organization's Affiliate Services Director, as the interim executive director during the search for a new leader.
"Jerame has been an integral part of the NSD team, and is well-respected by our affiliates, our leadership and the LGBT community at large," said Roberts. "We're confident that the organization is in good hands."
While many of NSD's affiliated clubs have been in existence for decades, a national coordinating body for the clubs was spearheaded by Rep. Barney Frank (MA-4) and Democratic activists around the country in the late 90's. National Stonewall Democrats is now a network of more than 80 affiliated clubs nationwide. Mitchell is the longest-serving executive director of the organization.