Freedom for All Americans Announces Hiring of Brandie Balken as New Executive Director

January 9, 2020 • 11:30 am

WASHINGTON, D.C. – This morning, Freedom For All Americans announced the hiring of Brandie Balken as the organization’s new Executive Director. Brandie’s hiring comes amidst a broader staffing up effort as FFAA ramps up its aggressive fight for passage of nondiscrimination protections in 2020.

Brandie Balken has over 15 years of experience leading successful efforts to bring people together, particularly from conservative political and religious backgrounds, in support of ending discrimination against LGBTQ Americans. Prior to coming on board with FFAA, Brandie served as the Executive Director of Equality Utah, the state’s largest LGBTQ advocacy and policy organization, where she helped successfully implement more than 35 individual pieces of LGBTQ-affirmative policies, in several instances in direct collaboration with the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, including laying the groundwork for statewide protections for LGBTQ Utahns in housing and employment.

“We know a majority of Americans across all ideologies, including political and religious conservatives, believe that LGBTQ Americans should be protected from discrimination and harassment in their daily lives,” said Freedom for All Americans’ CEO and National Campaign Director Kasey Suffredini. “And we need their support to finally, after 50 years of work, propel nationwide protections over the finish line. Brandie’s conservative faith background and her decades of experience bringing together diverse coalitions from all religious and political backgrounds make her uniquely qualified to help lead FFAA forward towards our ultimate goal: securing the bipartisan support our movement needs to pass nationwide nondiscrimination protections by 2025. We’re thrilled to welcome Brandie to the team!”

“I am honored to be joining the ranks of this remarkable team and eager to return to the issue that has been the foundation of my advocacy career,” said Brandie Balken, the new Executive Director of Freedom for All Americans. “A vast majority of Americans support protections for LGBTQ Americans, and with multiple cases before the U.S. Supreme Court, state legislative sessions beginning, and active federal legislation in Congress, the time to act is NOW. Let us capitalize on this moment in time, bring together our diverse coalition of supporters, and redouble our efforts to ensure that all LGBTQ Americans have the basic protections every human being should be accorded.”

Brandie has deep experience in the non-profit and philanthropic sectors; she served as senior program officer at the Gill Foundation, one of the nation’s leading funders of efforts to secure full equality for LGBTQ people (where she helped design FFAA’s strategic vision and managed the Gill Foundation’s inaugural investments into FFAA), and as Deputy Director of the Impact Project, a 10-state initiative advocating for passage of economic security and access to democracy policies. She has helped build a number of successful organizations from the ground up, and at FFAA, she will apply her organizational development expertise to overseeing FFAA’s internal operations, overseeing staff management, assisting with securing the investments we need to win, and serving as a key organizational spokesperson and strategist in our efforts to educate the public and build the support to win.

As FFAA heads into the 2020 legislative season, the organization is ramping up its fight to secure the bipartisan support needed for passage of nondiscrimination protections on the federal level and in states across the country. Brandie Balken’s valuable expertise will bring a critical perspective to the organization, and she will be instrumental in our efforts to bring together a diverse coalition of supporters who will support our efforts to get nationwide protections over the finish line by 2025.

Freedom for All Americans is the bipartisan campaign to secure full nondiscrimination protections for LGBTQ people nationwide. Our work brings together Republicans and Democrats, businesses large and small, people of faith, and allies from all walks of life to make the case for comprehensive nondiscrimination protections that ensure everyone is treated fairly and equally.

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