SILVER SPRING, Md. –
Equality Maryland announced on Tuesday the appointment of Kate Runyon as its new executive director. Runyon was chosen by the Board of Directors following an extensive national search. She comes to Maryland from Michigan-based organization the Triangle Foundation, where she served as interim executive director following previous Director Jeff Montgomery’s departure in 2007.
The Triangle Foundation has already chosen a new executive director, however the decision will not be made public until after Thanksgiving.
Equality Maryland is Maryland’s largest LGBT civil rights organization, focused on addressing issues for all LGBT citizens of Maryland. The organization works to secure and protect the rights of LGBT Marylanders by promoting legislative initiatives on the state, county and municipal levels and educating the public about the issues faced by our diverse community.
“We are thrilled to have found someone of Kate Runyon’s caliber and experience,” said Equality Maryland Board President Scott Davenport. “Kate brings commitment, respect, community awareness, bridge building, communication, political savvy and advocacy to her life’s work as an activist. Her six years of executive experience with LGBT organizations, ability to build quick rapport with community and knowledge of the political and social landscapes in which LGBT Americans work makes her an ideal leader for us. She will no doubt hit the ground running.”
Runyon served for two years as statewide program director for the LGBT Issues Program with the American Friends Service Committee in Michigan. She was also director of programming for Canterbury House, a ministry to University of Michigan students, faculty and staff. In addition, she was executive director of Oasis Ministry, an LGBT program of the Michigan Diocese of the Episcopal Church. Runyon also served as a board member with the Michigan Coalition for Human Rights, and worked for and consulted with the Greater Detroit Roundtable for Diversity and Inclusion through the National Conference for Community and Justice’s Different People Common Ground, Leadership In the New Century and American Arab and Jewish Friends programs.
Runyon also served in the Peace Corps working in the Agro-forestry sector in Gambia, West Africa. She received a degree in Art, Global Studies and German from Wittenberg University in Ohio.
“With vision, energy and a collaborative spirit, Kate Runyon will work tirelessly towards the advancement of equality, respect and acceptance of LGBT people in Maryland,” said Equality Maryland Foundation board president David Toth. “She has a brilliant staff and consultant team in Carrie Evans, Mary Zicari, Mike Klein and Lea Gilmore, committed boards of directors, savvy lobbyists, and a broad based membership and incredible movement that is Equality Maryland to support her in her leadership.”
Runyon’s appointment is effective on Dec. 8.
Check out the Nov. 20 issue of Between The Lines for a full feature on Kate Runyon, and after Thanksgiving for updates on the announcement of the new executive director of the Triangle Foundation