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EMILY’s List Announces Executive Director Jessica O’Connell

EMILY’s List Announces Executive Director Jessica O’Connell

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today EMILY’s List, the nation’s largest resource for women in politics, announced that Jessica O’Connell has been named the organization’s new Executive Director. She will replace former Executive Director Amy Dacey, who now serves as the Democratic National Committee’s Chief Executive Officer.

“We are thrilled to welcome Jessica O’Connell to EMILY’s List,” said President Stephanie Schriock. “As a leader for progressive change, Jess will help EMILY’s List reach new heights and make bold advances for women and families in 2014. Jess brings with her great experience and even greater passion further strengthening the EMILY’s List team and community – now over three million members strong.  Together, we will fight back against the radical Republican agenda and make history electing pro-choice Democratic women to office up and down the ballot, coast to coast.”

“EMILY’s List has a mission I am passionate about – and a record of success to be really proud of. I’m excited to help Stephanie and her dedicated team build on their organizational strength and carry their momentum through an incredibly important 2014,” said Jessica O’Connell. “The candidates supported by the EMILY’s List community give American women and families powerful voices in government, and EMILY’s List has the vision to train, recruit, and engage the women who will fight for equal opportunity for generations to come.”

Jessica O’Connell joins EMILY’S List from the Center for American Progress, where she serves as Chief of Staff and a Senior Vice President. Prior to her tenure at the Center for American Progress, O’Connell helped organize influential statewide networks of more than 400 nongovernmental organizations, academic institutions, Fortune 500 companies, and think tanks on international affairs budget issues as the national field director at the U.S. Global Leadership Coalition. O’Connell served as the national director of operations for Hillary Clinton for President from 2007 to 2008, managing daily operations at national headquarters and helping the presidential campaign grow from 10 people in two states to more than 1,500 staff in more than 400 offices nationwide. In addition to helping elect federal and statewide political candidates throughout the United States, she has worked as a management consultant on projects in Italy, Spain, and Brazil in the past decade. O’Connell previously managed daily operations and the client services team that led strategic and campaign planning for national, progressive clients as the chief operating officer of the internet company EchoDitto.

O’Connell has helped raise millions of dollars for progressive issues, candidates, and causes throughout her career,  including work in development positions with EMILY’s List and the Children’s Defense Fund. She is also the founder of Youth Trek, an organization that works with youth in Washington, D.C., to promote the character development and self-discovery of underserved girls through travel experiences and access to women leaders. O’Connell holds a B.A. from the University of Colorado, Boulder, and an M.B.A. from the University of Denver.

EMILY’s List, the nation’s largest resource for women in politics, has raised over $350 million to support pro-choice Democratic women candidates – making it one of the most successful political action committees in the country. Throughout its 29 year history, the organization has recruited and trained over 9,000 women to run, worked to elect 102 pro-choice Democratic women to the House, 19 to the Senate, 10 governors, and over five hundred women to state and local office. Since its founding in 1985, EMILY’s List helped elect 97% of the Democratic women of color in Congress, including every single Latina, African American, and Asian American Democratic woman currently serving. And during the 2011-2012 cycle, EMILY’s List had the largest number of members and donors in its history and raised a record-breaking $52 million dollars. With the help of this growing community — now more than three million members strong — EMILY’s List helped elect an historic number of candidates in 2012 including 19 new women to the House, six Senate incumbents, three new Senators, and 186 state and local officials.