Joe Solmonese

Joe Solmonese

At a Glance:

Joe Solmonese has been a Project Contributor since May 2007, has written 7 entries and currently lives in Washington, DC.


As president of the Human Rights Campaign, Joe Solmonese has demonstrated that he has the political, strategic and communications skills to make the organization a powerhouse both in Washington and around the country. Under his leadership, the National Journal has rated the organization the second most successful interest group in all of Washington during the 2006 election.

His vision for equality is clear: to make sure that HRC is wherever there are gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender Americans, and to equip them with all the assistance and resources he can to help secure equality. Whether it’s listening to gay families tell their stories over coffee in Kansas or advocating for GLBT workers on factory floors in North Carolina, he’s working tirelessly to win the hearts and minds of the American people.

Before coming to HRC, Joe was chief executive officer of EMILY’s List, overseeing one of the nation’s most successful efforts to elect progressive women in every part of the United States. Joe brings that experience to HRC and is leveraging his experience to make the organization a national model of effective advocacy.

Heading up an organization with more than 700,000 members and supporters, as well as an annual budget of more than $30 million, Joe understands that the fight for equality is a people-powered movement that is only as strong as the troops “on the ground.” That is why he implemented an unprecedented field and political operation in the last two years.

With Joe at the helm, HRC was instrumental in moving the Congress, the Senate and state legislatures all over the country toward more fair-minded majorities. He leveraged HRC’s political action committee, the largest PAC in the nation for GLBT rights, in critical races nationwide. Out of the 225 candidates endorsed by HRC in the last election, an astounding 211 were elected. And HRC successfully flexed its electoral muscle in several high-stakes races, such as the defeat of the notoriously anti-gay senator, Rick Santorum of Pennsylvania.

Joe also understands that equality doesn’t come only from legislative solutions. Since joining HRC, he has worked with corporate leaders across the country and helped guide influential businesses, like Microsoft, to take strong public stances for fairness.

Whether adding expertise and resources to HRC’s Workplace, Family and Coming Out Projects, appearing on CNN or in The New York Times, or hosting his weekly XM radio show, “The Agenda with Joe Solmonese,” Joe is committed to educational work that changes public opinion and ultimately moves our country forward.

A native of Attleboro, Mass., Joe is 42 and lives in Washington, D.C. He graduated from Boston University in 1987 with a Bachelor of Science degree in communications.

Joe Solmonese: Recently Filed

Prop 8 Decision: We Won't Back Down

Filed by Joe Solmonese | May 27, 2009 | 2:30 PM | comments

The California Supreme Court ruling brings bitter news: Proposition 8 will stand. While we take some solace that the loving couples who did marry in California will stay married, an estimated one million more individuals have been denied that dignity...Read More

You can't take this away from me

Filed by Joe Solmonese | November 07, 2008 | 12:00 PM | comments

Proposition 8 broke our hearts, but it did not end our fight. Like many in our movement, I found myself in Southern California last weekend. There, I had the opportunity to speak with a man who said that Proposition 8...Read More

Recent ENDA developments

Filed by Joe Solmonese | September 28, 2007 | 5:30 PM | comments

We know that everyone has been waiting to hear from HRC about the status of ENDA. A lot has changed since Wednesday. Besides trying to ensure that the Senate beat the filibuster on Hate Crimes—an achievement which can not get...Read More

We can win this one, with enough effort

Filed by Joe Solmonese | September 14, 2007 | 11:35 AM | comments

For the first time since it was introduced 13 years ago, the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA) received a hearing before the key committee of jurisdiction in the U.S. House of Representatives last week. The Health, Employment, Labor and Pensions Subcommittee,...Read More

An important night in the fight for equality

Filed by Joe Solmonese | August 10, 2007 | 4:15 PM | comments

Yesterday was an important night in the fight for equality for GLBT Americans. We pulled the curtain back a bit and gave all Americans a deeper look inside the candidates’ core beliefs about the issues that affect our community. From...Read More