One Colorado Names Dave Montez as New Executive Director

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Today, One Colorado announced that Dave Montez has been named our new Executive Director. Montez, who grew up in Colorado, brings tremendous leadership and experience to the job – having served most recently as Acting President of GLAAD, a national organization that works with media and news outlets at all levels to ensure fairness and accuracy in addition to building support for equality.

Montez will join One Colorado in early 2014, succeeding Brad Clark, who left the organization in September 2013 to accept a position with the Human Rights Campaign. The selection of Montez follows an extensive search led by One Colorado’s board of directors.

“We’re thrilled to have found a leader who has such deep roots in Colorado, combined with extensive experience nationally in the LGBT movement,” said Bobby Clark, One Colorado’s board chair. “Dave is one of the great young leaders of our movement, and we’re so fortunate that he’s bringing his talents back to his home state.”

“This is personal for me. From coming of age as a gay Latino kid in a rural Southern Colorado town to lobbying my legislator for the passage of civil unions – and everything in between – I understand what LGBT equality means for Coloradans and our families,” said Montez. “We’ve come a long way, but there’s still much more work to do. I look forward to working with LGBT people and our allies across the state to make sure that we all have the opportunity to live and love openly.”

During his tenure at GLAAD – where Montez also served as Chief of Staff – he oversaw the final push of the successful campaign to lift the Boy Scouts’ ban on openly gay youth. Montez also helped develop a coordinated strategy within the LGBT movement in support of immigration reform.

Prior to that, he worked for five years as a program officer at the Denver-based Gill Foundation, one of the nation’s leading funders of LGBT equal rights work. While there, Montez focused on state-based advocacy campaigns to achieve policy change at the state level. He also spearheaded the foundation’s Latino Initiative, which has built support among Latinos for marriage equality, nondiscrimination, and safe schools and encouraged many LGBT organizations to advocate for immigration reform.

Montez, who graduated from the Metropolitan State University of Denver, has served as a mayoral and gubernatorial appointee to several Colorado boards and commissions.

The announcement of Montez as One Colorado’s new Executive Director has been lauded by national LGBT and allied organizations:

“Dave Montez is the ideal choice to lead One Colorado and help make the freedom to marry a reality in the Centennial State as soon as possible. Dave has been an invaluable partner and catalyst in building the relationships and helping identify research-based approaches within Latino communities that led to the creation of Familia es Familia and other important Freedom to Marry initiatives. And he is a sensible, tenacious leader who is skilled at bringing people together. All of us at Freedom to Marry look forward to continuing our great work with him and our friends at One Colorado.”

-Evan Wolfson, President of Freedom to Marry

“Dave Montez is one of this movement’s rising stars. His ability to navigate challenges, bring people together, and inspire others – as well as his connection to the state – make him a perfect fit to lead One Colorado. HRC understands Colorado’s importance in advancing LGBT equality on a national level and we look forward to working with Dave and our friends at One Colorado going forward.”

-Chad Griffin, President of Human Rights Campaign

“The LGBT people of Colorado, and the state itself, will benefit greatly from Dave’s leadership at One Colorado. Throughout his service in the LGBT movement, Dave has proven himself to be a strategic thinker, a caring leader and has earned the respect of his colleagues – including me – as a man of integrity, thoughtfulness and commitment to progress for the broad range of people that make up our community. I am excited by One Colorado’s choice in Dave Montez and look forward to partnering with him as he works to create change in my home state.”

-Rea Carey, Executive Director of the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force

“During his tenure with the Gill Foundation, Four Freedoms Fund, and GLAAD, Dave Montez helped forge a groundbreaking strategic vision around immigrant and LGBT alliance building which led to unprecedented victories and progress. On behalf of CIRC, we are absolutely thrilled that Dave will return to the Centennial State to help lead One Colorado, and we look forward to a continued partnership to advance equality and dignity for all.”

Julien Ross, Executive Director of the Colorado Immigrant Rights Coalition

“NCLR, the largest national Hispanic civil rights and advocacy organization in the country, congratulates our friend Dave Montez on his new position as Executive Director of One Colorado. One Colorado, one of the leading voices advocating on behalf of LGBT communities in Colorado, will benefit greatly from Dave’s leadership, vision, and experience building strong alliances that advance equal opportunity for everyone. We wish him the best and look forward to continued collaboration together.”

-Eric Rodriguez, Vice President of the National Council of La Raza