Servicemembers Legal Defense Network (SLDN) and OutServe today announced the search process for an Executive Director, who will lead the new organization, OutServe-SLDN, upon completion of the combination of the two organizations. The executive search firm, McCormack & Associates of Palm Springs, CA, has been retained to manage the national recruitment process in collaboration with a designated search committee of the two existing boards. The search for an executive director for SLDN, launched earlier this year, was dramatically changed when the boards of OutServe and SLDN voted to combine at their July 2012 board meetings.
"The search for the first person to lead this newly combined organization comes at a critical moment in the fight for full LGBT equality in our armed forces. That fight marches forward - including for those legally married gay and lesbian service members who today do not receive the same recognition, support or benefits for their families as their straight, married peers. We will not rest until we overcome existing inequities and ensure full LGBT equality in the military," said SLDN Board Co-Chair April Heinze, who is on the search committee.
The position of Executive Director of OutServe-SLDN provides a unique professional opportunity to lead a newly formed, national LGBT military organization seeking and ensuring full equality for LGBT service members, veterans, and their families. He or she will manage ongoing legal and legislative efforts to dismantle federal laws - including the so-called Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) - which prevent the military from treating all service members, veterans, and their families equally. He or she will oversee pro bono legal services for LGBT service members, work with the Department of Defense and congressional leaders for effective implementation of open service, and work to address any harassment or discrimination related to sexual orientation or gender identity that may occur.
Additionally, the leader will oversee building a new infrastructure to grow the existing OutServe membership and chapter structure as the organization expands its role as a place for LGBT service members and veterans to connect through professional association. The new Executive Director will champion work for full equality on behalf of the nation's gay and lesbian service members in the media, in communities across the U.S., and with stakeholders at every level, including at the White House, on Capitol Hill, and at the Pentagon. He or she will also lead OutServe-SLDN's ongoing advocacy for transgender military service.
"In light of the combination of OutServe and SLDN, we wanted to launch the search anew in order to attract the best and brightest individuals to lead the way at an unprecedented time for LGBT service members. The first Executive Director of OutServe-SLDN has a great challenge in front of him or her - but also a great opportunity to finish the job we started with the repeal of 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell' and build an organization that will endure as a place for LGBT service members to go for support, information, connectivity, and growth," said Josh Seefried, co-director of OutServe, who is on the search committee.
Aubrey Sarvis, the current SLDN Executive Director, has agreed to remain until a new leader is announced. Click here for the job description and instructions for applying.