Metro Weekly

Victory Fund head Chuck Wolfe to step down

Photo: Chuck Wolfe. Credit: Victory Fund/facebook.

Chuck Wolfe will step down as the head of the Gay & Lesbian Victory Fund at the end of this year, Metro Weekly has learned.

In an email sent to the the Victory Campaign Board Wednesday evening, Wolfe announced his resignation after more than a decade as the president and CEO of the nonpartisan organization that has helped elect LGBT candidates across the nation.

“Our work together to expand the number and impact of openly LGBT public leaders has been an absolute labor of love for me,” Wolfe wrote. “The Victory Fund and our supporters have endorsed and helped elect thousands of LGBT Americans who have been brave enough to put their names on a ballot, and their honesty has been key to changing politics wherever they serve. This work is as necessary as ever, especially in places where our community still feels powerless or lives in fear.”

Members of the board were quick to praise Wolfe in statements to Metro Weekly.

“The Victory Fund has grown tremendously under Chuck’s outstanding leadership, which has enabled the LGBT community to expand its voice in government to an extent once thought impossible,” said Steve Elmendorf, Victory Fund board chair. “He’s accomplished this with an uncommon focus on what really matters, and without the drama so often attached to politics. The board and I are grateful for everything he’s done for Victory, but we also understand Chuck’s desire to do other things and take on new challenges. We will soon begin a search for the next leader of this organization, and we’ll have much more to say about that in short order.”

Added Debra Shore, Victory Institute board chair, “Chuck helped create the Victory Institute, and he’s been the driving force behind building its effectiveness and impact.  Because of this, today more than 1,000 emerging LGBT leaders are trained by the Institute each year, and we’ve expanded beyond America’s borders to address a growing need for our programs internationally.  I join my board colleagues in thanking Chuck for his nearly 12 years of service to Victory, and for his vision and relentless focus on results.”

It is not yet clear who will fill Wolfe’s position after he steps down following November’s midterm election.

Read Wolfe’s full letter:

Dear friends: 

Today I informed the board of directors and the staff of the Victory Fund and Institute that I have decided to step down as the organization’s president and CEO at the end of this year.  After nearly 12 years leading Victory, and countless Election Days, I’m both ready and excited to do something different–though I can’t imagine doing something more rewarding, or working with people whom I respect and admire more.

Our work together to expand the number and impact of openly LGBT public leaders has been an absolute labor of love for me.  The Victory Fund and our supporters have endorsed and helped elect thousands of LGBT Americans who have been brave enough to put their names on a ballot, and their honesty has been key to changing politics wherever they serve.  This work is as necessary as ever, especially in places where our community still feels powerless or lives in fear. 

I’m also proud of the tremendous growth of the Victory Institute, whose political and leadership training programs are preparing new leaders not just across the U.S., but around the globe.  As the world wakes up to the reality of who we are, LGBT leaders in public life will play an important role in changing policies to secure vital protections for our community, and Victory will be a partner in their professional development.

I am incredibly grateful for your hard work and support both of me and the entire Victory staff.  It has been a privilege to dedicate these past dozen years to a mission that continues to change the political landscape for LGBT people and our families.  The good news is I will leave the organization in the capable hands of a staff and board members who are among the best at what they do, and whose commitment to Victory’s mission is absolute.  I know the amazing work they do will continue uninterrupted.

Over the next few months we have a lot to do, including helping dozens of candidates over the finish line on November 4 and hosting hundreds of attendees at LGBT Leaders 2014 here in Washington.  After that we’ll have time for celebrating and reminiscing, but for now please accept my heartfelt thanks for all that you have done and will continue to do for this organization and the remarkable LGBT leaders we serve. 

Warmly,

Chuck

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Justin Snow is Metro Weekly's former political editor and White House correspondent. Follow him on Twitter @JustinCSnow.