Alphonso David, a civil rights lawyer who has been serving as chief counsel to New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, was named Tuesday as the new president of the largest LGBTQ-rights organization in the United States.
David, 48, is the first civil rights attorney and first African American to lead the Human Rights Campaign since its founding in 1980. He becomes its seventh president, succeeding Chad Griffin, who has held the post since 2012.
“As we approach the Human Rights Campaign’s 40th year and the most important election cycle of our lives in 2020, HRC has never been stronger or better positioned to lead,” said HRC Board Chair John Ruffier. “When it comes to maximizing the electoral power of millions of LGBTQ voters and our allies, or to defending the fundamental rights of our community, or to protecting the most vulnerable among us, I know that Alphonso will ensure that HRC continues to lead the way.”
The announcement comes as the LGBTQ community is celebrating the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall Riots, which started the movement.
David became the first openly gay chief counsel to Cuomo in 2015. Before that he served as New York's first Deputy Secretary and Counsel for Civil Rights. He played key roles in the legalization of same-sex marriage in New York in 2011, banning so-called conversion therapy for LGBTQ minors and establishing non-discrimination protections for transgender New Yorkers.