March 26, 2019 at 2:34 pm EDT | by Chris Johnson
Joe Solmonese named chief executive for 2020 Democratic National Convention
Joe Solmonese, HRC, gay news, Washington Blade
Former HRC president Joe Solmonese will serve as CEO for the 2020 Democratic National Convention. (Washington Blade file photo by Michael Key)

Joe Solmonese, a former head of the Human Rights Campaign, has been named chief executive for the 2020 Democratic National Convention Committee in Milwaukee.

The pick was made less than three weeks after the Democratic Party announced next year Milwaukee would host the Democratic National Convention, where the Democratic presidential candidate who will challenge President Trump in 2020 will be anointed as the party’s nominee.

As chief executive, Solmonese will be charged with overseeing the day-to-day operations for the committee as it prepares for the convention, which will take place July 13-16, 2020. The news of his appointment was first reported by the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.

Solmonese was head of the Human Rights Campaign from 2005 to 2012. His tenure took place during the end of the George W. Bush administration, when he oversaw efforts to beat back against a Federal Marriage Amendment that would have banned same-sex marriage nationwide, and the beginning of the Obama administration, when he oversaw efforts to repeal “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.”

Additionally, Solmonese served as chief executive of EMILY’s List, which supports female candidates who are pro-choice, and transition chair of Planned Parenthood Federation of America after Cecile Richards ended her 12-year tenure last year.

Democratic National Committee Chair Tom Perez said in a statement Solmonese “will be an asset in leading our convention team” and “brings a wealth of knowledge and expertise to this role and will be instrumental in ensuring we have a successful event.”

“We chose Milwaukee because the city embodies who we are as a party, and under Joe’s leadership, I’m confident those values will be at the forefront as we celebrate our nominee and prepare for the general election,” Perez said. “I am thrilled to have him as a part of the team and look forward to a unifying convention that will put our nominee in the best possible position for victory in November 2020.”

Solmonese said in a statement being selected as the chief executive for the convention is “a tremendous honor and I’m prepared to hit the ground running.”

“There is no better time than now to be a Democrat and next summer we will showcase the ideals and diversity that make our party, the city of Milwaukee, and our nominee special to the American people,” Solmonese said.


Chris Johnson is Chief Political & White House Reporter for the Washington Blade. Johnson attends the daily White House press briefings and is a member of the White House Correspondents' Association. Follow Chris

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