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  WINDY CITY TIMES

LGBTQ military non-profit names veteran Jennifer Dane Interim ED
2020-01-22

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WASHINGTON — Today, the Modern Military Association of America ( MMAA ) — the nation's largest non-profit organization working to advance fairness and equality for the LGBTQ military and veteran community — announced that the board of directors has selected Jennifer Dane as interim executive director. Jennifer is a veteran of the United States Air Force who served as an intelligence analyst focusing on geopolitical, terrorism, and threat vulnerability issues. Jennifer most recently served as the MMAA Director of Education and Programs and also served in leadership roles in the legacy organizations that merged to form MMAA — OutServe-SLDN and the American Military Partner Association.

Andy Blevins, the organization's former executive director, will continue to remain closely involved as an executive consultant on legal and policy issues. Transitioning from executive director to consultant will allow Andy to devote more needed time as a caregiver to his father.

"I'm so proud to take the helm of the Modern Military Association of America as we embark on a new chapter in our mission for the LGBTQ military and veteran community," said Jennifer Dane. "As we face new challenges and attempts to roll back our hard-won progress, our work to support LGBTQ military and veteran families is vitally important. We are a united voice for the LGBTQ military and veteran community, and the MMAA team will continue to fight each and every day for our nation's modern military families."

"I've personally witnessed Jennifer's passion and unwavering commitment to the LGBTQ military and veteran community over the past several years," said Ashley Broadway-Mack, a member of the MMAA Board of Directors. "Her collaborative leadership style and clear vision for modern military and veteran families are a perfect fit for the vitally important work we have ahead of us."

Jennifer has earned a diversity and inclusion certificate from Cornell University, an associate degree in intelligence studies from the Community College of the Air Force, a Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice from Bethel University, and a Master of Arts in Criminal Justice from Arizona State University. She is currently completing her Ph.D. in Education Policy with an emphasis on history at The Ohio State University. Jennifer is a current fellow for The Mission Continues - Service Leadership Corps and a past fellow for Veterans in Global Leadership.

"It has been an absolute honor and privilege to lead MMAA over the last year," said Andy Blevins. "Our incredibly talented and hard-working team has achieved important victories together, and I'm excited to see that progress continue as Jennifer leads MMAA into a new era in the fight for equality. I'm looking forward to remaining closely involved with MMAA as we continue our incredibly important mission for the LGBTQ military and veteran community."

"The board of directors is incredibly grateful for Andys' dedication to the MMAA mission and for serving in the frontline on the battlefield for equality," said Dr. Joshua A. Fontanez, acting chair of the MMAA Board of Directors. His actions as both a staff member of Outserve-SLDN and as the executive director for MMAA were crucial in protecting and advancing the rights of LGBTQ service members, veterans, their families and those living with HIV. The organization grew stronger under his stewardship, and we look forward to working with him in his advisory role."

Under Andy's leadership, the nation's two leading LGBTQ military and veteran non-profit organizations merged to form MMAA in May 2019, giving the community a united voice on Capitol Hill, in the Pentagon, the Department of Veteran Affairs and with other stakeholders. Andy set the organization on a solid path forward, developing and launching critical programs and working with community partners and congressional allies to bring greater awareness to the unique challenges faced by the LGBTQ military and veteran community. In addition to the education, advocacy and support MMAA works to provide the modern military community, it currently has four high-profile lawsuits challenging discriminatory policies — including the Trump-Pence administration's unconscionable transgender military ban and outdated regulations harming servicemembers living with HIV.

The Modern Military Association of America ( MMAA ) is the nation's largest non-profit organization for LGBTQ servicemembers, military spouses, veterans and allies. Created through the merger of OutServe-SLDN and the American Military Partner Association, MMAA is a united voice for the LGBTQ military and veteran community. Find out more at www.ModernMilitary.org .

—From a press release


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