MassEquality’s New Executive Director Announced

Deborah Shields, JD, MPH is now MassEquality's ED
Photo: MassEquality
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Deborah Shields, JD, MPH is now MassEquality's ED  Photo: MassEquality

Deborah Shields, JD, MPH is now MassEquality’s ED
Photo: MassEquality

BOSTON, Mass.—After an extensive search, the Boards of Directors of MassEquality are pleased to announce that Deborah Shields, JD, MPH, an experienced LGBT advocate and attorney, has accepted the position of executive director.

“We are thrilled to have Deborah on board to help guide us as move towards MassEquality 3.0,” says Stan Zanarotti, Chair of MassEquality’s 501c4 Board. “While we are working diligently on the Transgender Accommodations Bill, we look to the future on what will be next so that all LGBT people can thrive throughout the Commonwealth at all stages of life.”

With coalition partners, MassEquality is working to pass legislation for transgender non-discrimination protections, culturally competent care for LGBT elders, the end of the abusive practice of conversion therapy on LGBTQ youth, insurance access for people with lipodystrophy, and supporting the teaching of comprehensive sex education in Massachusetts schools. [pullquote]With coalition partners, MassEquality is working to pass legislation for transgender non-discrimination protections, culturally competent care for LGBT elders, the end of the abusive practice of conversion therapy on LGBTQ youth, insurance access for people with lipodystrophy, and supporting the teaching of comprehensive sex education in Massachusetts schools. [/pullquote]

Deborah’s previous leadership positions were with the Massachusetts Breast Cancer Coalition, the Better Oral Health Massachusetts Coalition and in Maine with the AIDS Project and the AIDS Lodging House. She has also served as policy analyst, legislative campaign director, and legal advocate in various social justice and health organizations. In the 1980s, she was involved in the Massachusetts and Maine’s campaigns to pass LGB civil rights and protections for people with HIV/AIDS. She served as a founding board member of OutRight-Maine’s first organization for LGBT youth and as adjunct faculty at the University of Southern Maine and the University of New England’s School of Public Health.

She officially begins her term with MassEquality on October 26, 2015.

The national search and executive transition process for MassEquality was led by Third Sector New England. Third Sector New England is a nonprofit organization providing consulting and management resources to help nonprofits better meet their mission, and deepen their community impact.

About MassEquality

MassEquality is the leading statewide grassroots advocacy organization working to ensure that everyone across Massachusetts can thrive at all stages of life without discrimination and oppression based on sexual orientation, gender identity or gender expression. Since transitioning from a single-issue coalition focused on marriage equality to a multi-issue advocacy organization working to assure that LGBTQ people are safe and free to live open and authentic lives, MassEquality has achieved numerous victories. These victories were accomplished by partnering across issues, identities and communities to build a broad, inclusive and politically powerful movement that changes hearts and minds and achieves policy and electoral victories. As the only LGBTQ-focused political organization in the Commonwealth that combines legislative lobbying with highly effective support for electoral candidates, the MassEquality PAC stands with, develops and elects candidates who are outspoken champions for justice and equality for all LGBTQ people across Massachusetts. 

[From a News Release]