Viktor Kerney

Your Thoughts? The HRC President Job Description

Filed By Viktor Kerney | November 22, 2011 6:00 PM | comments

Filed in: The Movement
Tags: gay rights, HRC, Human Rights Campaign, job description, Joe Solmonese, LGBT rights, President

The HRC has posted an ad, searching for a new President. All of the important pieces are included in the job description. But I would like to hear from you all on what should be added, specified or deleted from the description.

Job Description President HRC

I would love to hear your opinions on this.


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OK Viktor I read the whole document and I am not impressed. Whoever put it together has a lot of impressions about stereotypical Jeffersonian leadership ideals but offers no substance about the organization. Where are the facts on staff size, revenues for the last 3 years, current and anticipated budgets, revenue base and projected funding? It smells like "we are in decline and need a savior".

I recommend they start over and keep it much simpler. Don't try to impress with a scholastic approach to theoretical leadership qualities. Just say simply and apologetically that HRC needs a new leader and if you think you have the desire, ability and capability then please contact us. They need to understand that the best candidate will be able to assess the situation quickly and tell them where HRC should go rather than the other way around. Instead of looking for real leadership I get the impression they seek a "yes" s/he who is willing to be steered rather than steer.

Deena, they're not going to put those kinds of things into what is essentially a help wanted ad. Those kind of details come during or after an interview, once a candidate is considered a serious hiring possibility. The reality is that many people (like us, for example) are going to see this ad and would likely use that kind of information for their own ends. When you think about it, it's a smart move on their part. Imagine what some of us would likely do with that information and you can easily understand why they wouldn't put it out to the general public.

What I understand is that they are setting up failure for their next president. S/he will be a pawn.

>Imagine what some of us would likely do with that information and you can easily understand why they wouldn't put it out to the general public.

I'm just wondering, what information do you think HRC is not making available? The financial records are all out there for public viewing.

Projected fundraising, budgets, and new hires, just for starters. Also, planned political efforts that may not be ready for prime time and/or might be likely to generate discussion and debate within the community that HRC is not ready to deal with.

Remember, HRC's name is mud with a lot of the LGBT community these days. Fundraising and volunteer participation is down, Solmonese is held up as an example of what's wrong with LGBT advocacy, and it's become a popular cause among college students, once their bread and butter, to tell HRC where to shove it.

They're treading carefully here and it's understandable why that's the case. It'll be interesting to see how they evolve and change to meet those challenges.

I am concerned that the job description and the search process are not in the hands of HRC staff or LGBTQ people, but rather a corporate executive search firm, Russell Reynolds Associates. The executive search industry operates in the rarefied atmosphere of economic class exclusivity. In my experience, applicants who have personally suffered discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity or expression and have the broadest understanding of LGBTQ community issues are the least likely to receive fair consideration by such firms. The message I infer from the current job posting is that only the most privileged need apply. If the Human Rights Campaign is sincere in attracting candidates who are conversant in civil justice issues for the 99% as well as the 1% among LGBTQ communities, they should put the search process in the hands of people who represent those communities.

What makes you believe HRC has any interest in supporting the 99%? The one consistent thing about HRC is that it has always served the interests of cis gay white male 1%ers and ignored the rest of the LGBT community.

I haven't read the document, but I have read these comments.

The future of HRC is -- or should be -- the Number One concern of the Board of Directors. Thus, the search for new leadership ought to be under direct control of the BD. If the BD is not overseeing this process closely, then they are fucking up from the word "Go!"

It is the BD that should set vision, policy and broad direction for the entire organization. This should be guided by their Mission Statement (which I hope they have, I haven't checked) and a Vision Statement (which they should develop now if they don't already have). Then, and only then, are they ready to go out and find appropriate executive leadership to implement and execute the Mission and the Vision.

The members of the BD need to do their jobs first. From what I read in the good and valid comments previously here in this thread, I fear that they are doing this whole process bass-ackwards.

OK, I scanned through and read most of it.

It occurs to me that HRC ought to set up a program and/or advisory board to handle issues that are specific to trans folk. While I fully believe that "T" belongs in LGBT, even so there are a good number of specific issues that are particular to trans people. LGB's are characterized by sexual orientation, and T's are characterized by unique gender identity matters. HRC should acknowledge this and set up a specific hierarchy to address T issues properly.

That's my thought -- but the real input about T ought to come from the T community, of which I am an ally but not a member.

Amiko-Gabriel | November 23, 2011 12:24 PM

In the new job description, I would like to see: "Must create a campaign to publicly apologize to the trans community and sack everyone within HRC's higher-ups who voted yes or otherwise supported HRC's plans to exclude protection for gender identity and gender expression in order to push forward the ENDA bill." Back when all of this started, I was a young trans person. I was deeply affected by the fall-out, in which the queer communities I was involved in saw division among gay and trans identified members. I wrote asking for an apology. What I received was denial that HRC had done anything that harmed the Trans and wider gender-variant communities (including those gay and bisexual identified people who are harrassed and assualted because of perceived gender non-conformity). That is the core of what I want to see in the job description. As an attached PS "The new president of HRC shall not accept funds from organizations or corporations with a history of ongoing or repeated human rights violations." It only makes sense...