Bil Browning

SLDN Executive Director Sarvis to Leave Job

Filed By Bil Browning | January 19, 2012 2:00 PM | comments

Filed in: The Movement
Tags: Aubrey Sarvis, Don't Ask Don't Tell, Servicemembers Legal Defense Network, SLDN

Servicemember Legal Defense Network Executive Director Aubrey Sarvis announced yesterday that he will leave the organization he's led for the past four years. Aubrey's exit will happen in late spring or early summer.

Aubrey-Sarvis.jpegA successor has not yet been named, though the legal defense group for gay service members founded in 1993 has hired an outside headhunting group to begin the executive search process.

"It's not easy to leave SLDN," Sarvis, a U.S. Army veteran who joined the organization in 2007, told The Advocate in an interview. "But there comes a time to move on, and this feels right. I think the next phase of the battle can be reinvigorated with new blood, new energy. For me, it was certainly a historic time to be here. I was honored to have been here during the fight."

Sarvis's departure comes as the organization pivots into a new era -- one post-DADT, though not yet "mission accomplished" on full equality. Gay service members may be able to serve openly, but they are denied crucial spousal benefits extended to their straight colleagues. Transgender individuals continue to be barred from open service, and many who were kicked out of the military because of their sexual orientation seek upgrades to their discharge paperwork, which can affect future employment or reenlistment.

Several sources have told me that Sarvis has been angling to replace Joe Solmonese as the head of the Human Rights Campaign, but hasn't gained much support in the quest. The Advocate reports that Sarvis said he's "interested in working to increase LGBT representation on corporate boards as well as supporting veterans of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars."

(Image courtesy of the Advocate)

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