Freedom for All Americans Announces New Incoming CEO & National Campaign DirectorBy Freedom for All Americans • September 12, 2019 • 11:00 am
Today Freedom for All Americans / Freedom for All Americans Education Fund announced an upcoming change in executive leadership. After two years marked by both significant progress and challenges for LGBTQ people, Chief Executive Officer Masen Davis will be stepping down in November. The Board has named Kasey Suffredini, FFAA’s current President of Strategy, to take the helm as CEO and National Campaign Director following Davis’ departure.
Freedom for All Americans is the bipartisan campaign to secure full nondiscrimination protections for LGBTQ people nationwide. FFAA is ramping up its nondiscrimination work in 2019 and beyond in Congress, in the Courts, and in the states.
Statement from Tyler Deaton, Chair of the Freedom for All Americans Board:
“The Board is grateful for Masen’s tireless work and leadership over the past two years, during which FFAA made huge advancements across the country for LGBTQ people. Masen has also continued building a strong organization that is poised to lead the work for full nondiscrimination protections for LGBTQ people in the years ahead. We’ll miss Masen and wish him all the best in his next ventures. We’re also thrilled to name Kasey Suffredini as the experienced leader who will take this fight for LGBTQ freedom over the finish line. Our work continues until Congress passes a law that ensures that all LGBTQ Americans are protected from discrimination.”
Statement from Andy Marra, Chair of the Freedom for All Americans Education Fund Board:
“The stakes couldn’t be higher for LGBTQ people with cases impacting LGBTQ people in the Supreme Court and the Equality Act moving through Congress. The groundwork Masen has built during his tenure sets a strong foundation for Kasey when he takes the helm in November. Kasey has been with Freedom for All Americans since day one, and is the right leader to carry this work forward. Kasey has led groundbreaking victories for LGBTQ people, including the 2018 Yes on 3 campaign in Massachusetts. That campaign was the first time that voters have upheld protections for transgender people at the ballot, and with a two-thirds margin of victory. As Masen passes the baton to Kasey, we’re staying the course and our strategic focus remains the same.”
Statement from Kasey Suffredini:
“Despite the attacks on LGBTQ people at state and federal levels, the reality is that there is growing and unprecedented support for nondiscrimination protections, and that’s true across the political spectrum. Voters in Massachusetts and Anchorage, Alaska, have affirmatively said yes to protections for our community. Conservative leaders in states like New Hampshire, Texas, West Virginia, Florida, Kentucky, and Oklahoma are coming out in support of making sure that LGBTQ people can work hard, support our families, and live our lives without fearing harassment and discrimination. I’ve met the LGBTQ people who have lost jobs, been denied apartments, and been turned away from stores, restaurants, and other public places just because of who they are. I know that lives are on the line. And as a transgender man, I know first-hand that we need to win nondiscrimination protections for every LGBTQ person as quickly as we can. My job is to make that a reality nationwide by 2025, and working together with our LGBTQ partner organizations and allies we’re going to make it happen. I extend my gratitude to Masen as a leader and colleague and know that we are stronger from all he has built during his tenure here.”
Statement from Masen Davis:
“I’m honored and grateful to work with the best-in-class team at FFAA. I’m going to miss this team tremendously and am looking forward to some much-needed time off before diving into my next venture. We’ve won some massive and critical campaigns for LGBTQ people in the last few years. I couldn’t be happier with the FFAA Board’s selection of Kasey Suffredini, who has been the architect and lead strategist of our winning campaigns. He’s been with FFAA since the beginning and brings substantial leadership experience as the Yes on 3 Campaign Co-Chair and Acting CEO at Freedom for All Americans prior to my tenure, along with 20 years of leadership in LGBTQ advocacy. Our community has been working on nondiscrimination protections for 50 years and victory truly is within reach. No one should be at risk of being fired, denied housing or refused service at a business because of who they love and who they are. I know that Kasey’s leadership going forward can get us there.”
Additional information about the landscape for LGBTQ nondiscrimination:
This term the U.S. Supreme Court will consider three cases dealing with anti-LGBTQ employment discrimination. The cases argue that LGBTQ people should continue to be protected from employment discrimination under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act. In its decision, the Court will have the opportunity to say definitively that all LGBTQ people should be able to work hard, make a living, and support themselves and their loved ones without fear of discrimination at work. (Read more about the cases.)
The U.S. House of Representatives passed the Equality Act this year, which would update federal law to include express and enduring nondiscrimination protections for Americans based on sexual orientation and gender identity across virtually every area of daily life. This is critical because all LGBTQ Americans should be able to live free from harassment and discrimination, no matter what state they call home.
Public opinion has consistently indicated overwhelming support for nondiscrimination protections for LGBTQ people:
- 70% of Americans favor laws that protect LGBTQ people from discrimination.
- In 2018, voters in Anchorage, Alaska, and Massachusetts rejected attempts to strip transgender people of nondiscrimination protections by overwhelming margins of victory.
- As noted in the Harvard Business Review, businesses large and small have consistently made the case in recent years that treating everyone fairly leads to more competitive workforces and is good for the bottom line.
Additional information about Kasey Suffredini:
Kasey Suffredini is a nationally recognized campaign strategist with 20 years of experience in campaign and organizational management, policy development, strategic communications, and grassroots mobilization. Kasey has a track record of designing bipartisan campaigns that change narratives, pass legislation, win ballot measures, and drive momentum on seemingly intractable issues.
He currently serves as President of Strategy at Freedom for All Americans.
From 2016 to 2018, Kasey co-chaired the historic, award-winning Freedom for All Massachusetts / Yes on 3 ballot campaign, winning the nation’s first statewide popular vote on transgender rights, and preserving transgender nondiscrimination protections in the state by a landslide two-thirds margin (68-32%). His previous roles include Acting CEO of Freedom for all Americans, Executive Director of MassEquality, Public Policy Director at Family Equality Council, and State Legislative Director at the National LGBTQ Task Force.
Kasey’s campaign leadership has resulted in over 100 policy reforms in nearly every U.S. state and at the federal level, including a number of other national firsts. These include partnering with the White House and federal Departments of Labor, State, and Education to make Family and Medical Leave, U.S. Passport, and FAFSA programs inclusive of same-sex couples, winning legislation to create the nation’s first statewide commissions on youth homelessness and LGBTQ aging, and driving a campaign for comprehensive statewide transgender nondiscrimination protections to victory in a Republican-controlled state for the first time.
Kasey is a sought-after speaker and trainer on lessons from LGBTQ movement advocacy, and he is frequently quoted in TV, radio, podcast, and print outlets on political trends and LGBTQ issues. He has been honored for his advocacy by the New Leaders Council, the American Civil Liberties Union, Harvard Law School, and the National LGBT Bar Association.