Metro Weekly

Former HRC president appointed CEO of 2020 Democratic National Convention Committee

Joe Solmonese to oversee day-to-day operations of national convention over four-day span in Milwaukee

Joe Solmonese – Photo: Facebook.

Joe Solmonese, a former president of the Human Rights Campaign, has been appointed CEO of the 2020 Democratic National Convention Committee.

Democratic National Committee Chair Tom Perez announced Solmonese’s appointment on Tuesday via a press release, praising his experience serving as the head of major organizations supporting causes typically allied with the Democratic Party, such as LGBTQ rights and abortion rights.

In his role as CEO, Solmonese will be tasked with running and overseeing operations at the Democratic National Convention, which is scheduled to take place on July 13-16, 2020, in Milwaukee. The city was chosen in part because of Wisconsin’s historic ties to the labor movement, and to try to appeal to Midwestern blue-collar voters who historically voted for Democratic candidates but backed President Trump over Hillary Clinton in the 2016 election.

“Joe Solmonese will be an asset in leading our convention team,” Perez said in a statement. “He brings a wealth of knowledge and expertise to this role and will be instrumental in ensuring we have a successful event.

“We chose Milwaukee because the city embodies who we are as a party, and under Joe’s leadership, I’m confident those values will be at the forefront as we celebrate our nominee and prepare for the general election,” Perez continued. “I am thrilled to have him as a part of the team and look forward to a unifying convention that will put our nominee in the best possible position for victory in November 2020.”

Solmonese, one of the founding partners of the consulting business Gavin/Solmonese, most recently served as the Transition Chair of Planned Parenthood Federation of America, following the departure of the organization’s longtime leader Cecile Richards. He previously served as the president of HRC, and as CEO of EMILY’s List, an organization that seeks to elect pro-choice women to various local and national offices.

Solmonese also previously worked on Democratic campaigns, including serving as National Finance Director for former U.S. Rep. Les AuCoin’s (D-Ore.) 1992 Senate campaign and finance director for former U.S. Rep. Barney Frank (D-Mass.).

“The opportunity to lead the 2020 convention is a tremendous honor and I’m prepared to hit the ground running,” Solmonese said in a statement. “There is no better time than now to be a Democrat and next summer we will showcase the ideals and diversity that make our party, the city of Milwaukee, and our nominee special to the American people.”

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John Riley is the local news reporter for Metro Weekly. He can be reached at jriley@metroweekly.com

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