MMAA is pleased to announce that the board of directors has selected Jennifer Dane as executive director. Jennifer is a U.S. Air Force veteran and has served as the organization’s interim executive director since February 2020.
“I’m honored and humbled to be entrusted with this role at a critical juncture in our movement’s history,” said MMAA Executive Director Jennifer Dane. “We’ve come so far and achieved so much thanks to the selfless advocates who never gave up in their fight to overturn discriminatory policies and ensure today’s modern military families have the support they deserve. With so much left to accomplish, I’m proud to lead this organization forward and double down in our incredibly important work to support and defend the LGBTQ military and veteran community.”
“Over the last several months, Jennifer has stepped up to lead and truly moved this organization forward in our fight to advance fairness and equality for the LGBTQ military and veteran community,” said Joshua Fontanez, chair of the MMAA Board of Directors. “Her collaborative leadership style and clear vision for modern military and veteran families are a perfect fit for the vitally important work we have ahead of us.”
Jennifer is a veteran of the United States Air Force who served as an intelligence analyst focusing on geopolitical, terrorism, and threat vulnerability issues. She has earned a diversity and inclusion certificate from Cornell University, an associate degree in intelligence studies from the Community College of the Air Force, a Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice from Bethel University, a Master of Arts in Criminal Justice from Arizona State University, and a Masters of Arts in Education Policy from The Ohio State University. Jennifer is also a past fellow of The Mission Continues – Service Leadership Corps and Veterans in Global Leadership.
Since February, under Jennifer’s leadership as interim executive director, MMAA has:
- ensured the voice of the LGBTQ military and veteran community is heard by serving as a partner organization on the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) Diversity and Inclusion Board
- assisted the Biden-Harris transition team to ensure that the transgender service ban was repealed in the first 100 days and that LGBTQ voices were heard by the Department of Defense and the Veterans Administration
- shared her knowledge and expertise of the LGBTQ military and veteran community with Dr. Jill Biden at the new launch of Joining Forces
- participants in the White Oak Collaborative which was created to be a united, national platform for sharing information, maintaining engagement, developing best practices and policy approaches to ensure our military receives the support it deserves
- worked to bring remote and freelance employment opportunities to military spouses by partnering with Instant Teams
- partnered with Secure Families Initiative for voting education outreach to our members
- provided crucially important input to the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) on LGBTQ veterans access and treatment at VA care facilities
- began working with the Maryland Governor’s Challenge Team on mental health services and suicide prevention for military and veterans
- filed a Supreme Court amicus in a case involving a government-funded foster care program’s objection to serving LGBTQ people
- worked with Members of Congress to pass legislation in the U.S. House of Representatives that would de-fund both the Trump-Pence transgender military ban and a new DoD policy effectively banning the LGBTQ pride flag on military installations
- helped ten military spouses pursue their higher educational goals by awarding them scholarships
- hosted Pride Month events with The Mission Continues, featuring special guests Col. Margarethe Cammemeyer, Col. Patsy Thompson, former Secretary of the Army Eric Fanning, and more
- continued to assist transgender servicemembers seeking waivers to join or to continue serving, as well as veterans seeking assistance with upgrading their military discharges due to discriminatory policies like the former “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell”
- continued moving forward our lawsuits challenging the Trump-Pence transgender military ban in court and outdated policies harming servicemembers living with HIV
- hosted virtual events for chapters, such as online meet and greets, happy hours, game nights and watch parties
- and so much more.