Elliot Imse named Executive Director of LGBTQ Victory Institute

Elliot Imse headshot for LGBTQ Victory Institute
Elliot Imse photo by LGBTQ Victory Institute

Current Director Ruben Gonzales is joining the White House Presidential Personnel Office

LGBTQ Victory Institute named Elliot Imse Executive Director on April 18. Imse, who joined the organization in 2016, previously was the Vice President of Communications for LGBTQ Victory Fund and Victory Institute. He will replace outgoing Executive Director Ruben Gonzales who is joining the White House Presidential Personnel Office as Special Assistant to the President for Domestic Agency Personnel.

“Elliot is a natural leader and for years has been a strong advocate for the LGBTQ community. In his new role, his vision and leadership will be instrumental as Victory Institute continues to expand its impact and programming within the United States and across the globe,” said Mayor Annise Parker, President, and CEO of LGBTQ Victory Institute. “As we see more and more LGBTQ people interested in running for office, Elliot’s experience, passion, and drive will be an asset to our organization as we continue investing in diverse candidate pathways.”

“We are proud of Elliot’s accomplishments during his time as Vice President of Communications, and we are excited for what is in store as he takes the helm of Victory Institute during a critical time for the LGBTQ community,” said Michael Fuller, Board Chair of LGBTQ Victory Institute. “Elliot knows the organization well, and the continuity ensures we continue to deliver the best LGBTQ public leadership programs in the movement. We are confident his experience will help take Victory Institute to new heights.”

“Victory Institute is the heart and soul of our movement to build LGBTQ power in governments, and to be trusted with its legacy is an incredible honor,” said Imse. “We have an enormous task in front of us — to build governments in the U.S. and around the world that are reflective of the people they serve. Victory Institute is the accelerator to achieving that bold goal, with its programs and training building a new pipeline of LGBTQ public leadership. I am grateful for the opportunity to continue working with the incredible Victory Institute team and the elected and appointed leaders who are making change.”

As Executive Director, Imse will oversee all of Victory Institute’s U.S. and global programs. U.S. programs include campaign and leadership training for LGBTQ candidates, internship and fellowship programs designed to mentor young LGBTQ leaders as well as the Presidential Appointments Initiative, which recommends and advocates for qualified LGBTQ leaders ready to serve in the administration. Global programs include voter education and get out the vote campaigns, candidate training, and an annual international conference that convenes LGBTQ leaders from across the world.

Imse was the Vice President of Communications at Victory Fund and Victory Institute, where he oversaw strategy and implementation of all digital and press initiatives as well as communications training for LGBTQ elected officials and candidates. Prior to joining the organizations, he was Director of Policy & Communications at the D.C. Office of Human Rights (OHR), a government agency dedicated to eradicating discrimination in the District of Columbia. In that capacity, he worked with a multitude of communities to prevent discrimination through well-informed policy and community awareness.

Before OHR, he focused on messaging and communications strategy for the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation. He has a Master’s in Public Policy from the Harvard Kennedy School of Government and a Bachelor’s degree in Journalism & Mass Communications from the University of Wisconsin — Madison.

LGBTQ Victory Institute works to achieve and sustain global equality through leadership development, training, and convening to increase the number, expand the diversity and ensure the success of openly LGBTQ elected and appointed officials at all levels of government.