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EMILY’s List Announces Emily Cain As New Executive Director

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today EMILY’s List, the nation’s largest resource for women in politics, announced that Emily Cain will join the organization as their new executive director. She will replace former Executive Director Jess O’Connell, who now serves as the Democratic National Committee’s Chief Executive Officer.

“We are thrilled to welcome Emily Cain,” said President Stephanie Schriock. “Emily is a leader for progressive change at a moment when the rights, security and well-being of women and American families are under unprecedented assault by the radical and dangerous policies of the Trump administration and GOP.  Emily knows how to fight back. She has been a candidate in tough races and an effective minority leader in the state legislature. She knows how to motivate and galvanize broad coalitions. She knows how to raise money for political races. As a candidate herself, she has a keen understanding of what it takes to run a campaign. Emily brings important outside-the-beltway insight to our work at a time when over 14,000 women from all 50 states are looking to EMILY’s List to run for office and raise their voices in our democracy. She is the perfect choice to help lead us in electing unprecedented numbers of pro-choice Democratic women up and down the ballot from coast to coast, from school board to Senate. Emily’s vision and dedication will help EMILY’s List soar to new heights, triumph over adversity, and continue to achieve bold new victories for women and families.”

“I’m excited to hit the ground running at EMILY’s List,” said new Executive Director Emily Cain. “With Stephanie’s leadership and powerhouse team, EMILY’s List is getting more women ready to run and ready to win elections at all levels. We are empowering women from all backgrounds, particularly women of color, to be a part of making positive change in town halls and Statehouses, to the U.S. Congress and the White House. EMILY’s List is the most effective organization working to create this kind of change, and I am excited to join Stephanie and bring my experience as a legislative leader and a candidate to strengthen our impact nationally.”

Emily Cain joins EMILY’s List with a decade of experience as a state legislator and public policy leader, two election cycles as one of the country’s top ranked Democratic congressional candidates, more than a decade of work in higher education and recent leadership as Chief Strategy Officer for HistoryIT, a private sector tech company. 

Emily, who was first elected to office at age 24, made her mark in Maine politics serving in both the House and Senate over five terms in the state legislature, leading the Appropriations Committee as Chair and serving as the youngest House Minority Leader in state history. In 2012, against all odds, Emily led House Democrats back into the majority by recruiting top candidates, electing more women, and winning tough seats in Maine’s challenging rural areas. As a leader in the legislature Emily was known as a tough negotiator, deal closer, and champion for women, equality, domestic violence prevention, and economic development. In 2014 and 2016 Emily ran for U.S. Congress in two of the most competitive house races in the country. 

As a candidate and leader of her party, Emily knocked on thousands of doors and travelled thousands of miles across rural Maine listening to the stories of working people who feel their elected officials are out of touch. Emily brings to EMILY’s List the perspective of someone who has been on the ground listening to voters, earning votes in tough places. 

The daughter of a shoe salesman and a sign language interpreter, Emily is the oldest of three sisters and learned at a very young age the value of hard work, family, and education. Emily is married to Danny Williams, Executive Director of the Collins Center for the Arts at the University of Maine, and has lived in Maine most of her life. She was born in Kentucky, spent her childhood years in Illinois and New Jersey, and is a graduate of the University of Maine and Harvard University.