I am pleased to announce that Kristina Wertz has joined the staff as our new Director of Engagement. Trained as a lawyer, Kristina brings to Funders for LGBTQ Issues a deep knowledge of the LGBT movement as well as experience building relationships with funders. Most recently, she served as the Director of Policy and Programs at the Transgender Law Center (TLC), the largest transgender-focused nonprofit in the U.S. In addition to leading TLC’s programs, she also played a key role in fundraising, helping communicate how transgender rights connected with the missions of both LGBT and mainstream funders.
As you may recall from my previous announcements, the Director of Engagement is a new position, which will have responsibility for leading and developing our programs in close collaboration with our members and other partners. This will include leading programs such as our annual Funding Forward gathering of LGBTQ grantmakers, as well as advancing our work to engage more mainstream funders in philanthropy for LGBTQ communities. Kristina started just three weeks ago, and has already hit the ground running, beginning preparations for Funding Forward in March 2014 in Philadelphia and helping to develop a comprehensive strategy for coordinated outreach to mainstream funders.
After working with Kristina these past few weeks, I’ve only become more impressed with her capacity for smart strategic analysis, her warm openness in connecting with our many members and partners, and her exceptional skill for communicating effectively both verbally and in writing. She has already become an integral part of our small but mighty staff of four, an excellent complement to the other skills sets that we have in Marvin, Lyle, and me.
On a final note, I’d like to thank the many qualified candidates who applied for the position. We received more than 150 applications, and found ourselves with something of an embarrassment of riches—a diverse field of applicants with a rich range of experiences. I’m glad that we took the time and energy to be as thoughtful as possible in our selection process, which included the other members of the staff as well as the leadership of the board. While we could only select one candidate, many others were incredibly talented, and I hope we’ll have the opportunity to work with them in other ways in the future.