HISTORY MADE: Alphonso David appointed first African American to serve as president of the Human Rights Commission

AmNews Staff Reports | 6/25/2019, 5:42 p.m.
The Human Rights Campaign (HRC) names civil rights lawyer Alphonso David as president of the LGBTQ organization.
Alphonso David

The Human Rights Campaign (HRC) names lawyer Alphonso David as president of the LGBTQ civil rights organization. He will start his new position in August. David is the first civil rights lawyer and the first person of color to serve as president of the organization.

David most recently made history as the first openly gay Counsel to the Governor of the State of New York and, before that, served as the first Deputy Secretary and Counsel for Civil Rights in New York. In these roles, he played an integral role in securing marriage equality in New York in 2011, banning the abusive practice of so-called “conversion therapy” on minors, establishing non-discrimination protections for transgender New Yorkers, expanding Medicaid coverage to cover transition-related care, making it easier to amend gender markers on birth certificates, and enacting policies and regulations to support people living with HIV and drive new diagnoses to an all-time low statewide.

He has also helped lead efforts to expand access to reproductive healthcare, restore voting rights to New Yorkers, advance workplace protections for disadvantaged communities, and require access to free translation services in essential state services. Prior to his work for New York State, David served as a staff attorney at Lambda Legal Defense and Education Fund.

“If we want to win full equality, that's going to require us to come together, to dig deep, to be resilient, to embrace our differences, to tenaciously defend the most vulnerable among us, to fight with every ounce of determination we have," David said in a video released by HRC. "I promise you this, I will fight for each and every one of us. All I ask is that you join me, that you join the Human Rights Campaign in our fight for true equality. In unity, we will fight back and we will win.”

David will be the seventh president of the Human Rights Campaign, succeeding Chad Griffin, who has served since 2012.