Jillian Weiss to Step Down as TLDEF's Executive Director; TLDEF Names Dolph Ward Goldenburg Interim Executive Director

          Jillian Weiss to Step Down as TLDEF’s Executive Director

     TLDEF Names Dolph Ward Goldenburg Interim Executive Director

Transgender Legal Defense & Education Fund announces the resignation of Executive Director Jillian Weiss and the appointment of Dolph Ward Goldenburg as Interim Executive Director.

Weiss joined TLDEF in 2016 and under her leadership TLDEF secured a number of victories, including two favorable rulings from the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) against Walmart for discriminating against trans women at Sam’s Club Stores in Florida and North Carolina. Those decisions led the Human Rights Campaign to suspend Walmart from its Corporate Equality Index and paved the way for a federal discrimination lawsuit against Walmart in one of the cases. Weiss also oversaw two TLDEF briefs supporting lawsuits against the Trump Administration’s trans military ban. Additionally, TLDEF filed a lawsuit against Amazon on behalf of a transgender woman and her husband who faced cruel discrimination, including death threats, while on the job at an Amazon shipping facility in Kentucky.

“We are very grateful to Jillian for guiding our advocacy during an important moment in our history,” said TLDEF Board Co-Chair Alaina Kupec. “During this urgent time in our fight for equality, when we face constant attacks from the highest levels of our government, Jillian has helped lead TLDEF in our efforts to protect the transgender community. We wish her the best in her future endeavors.”

“It’s been extremely gratifying to help TLDEF’s clients stand up and push back against discrimination,” said Weiss. “I’m in awe of their bravery and determination in the face of unrelenting bias. I often say, and our cases against Walmart and Amazon demonstrate, that good corporate policy must be matched by strong enforcement mechanisms that reach the shop floor. As I consider my future path, I am confident TLDEF will continue this legacy and build upon it in the next phase of its work. I am honored to have served in this capacity and I thank TLDEF for giving me the opportunity.”

In order to maintain TLDEF’s critical daily work for the community it is turning to Dolph Ward Goldenburg while the search for a new Executive Director is underway. Goldenburg has a track record of guiding organizations through transitions in leadership and providing stability while they undergo change.  In addition to being a trained and experienced interim executive,  Goldenburg has served many LGBTQ organizations as a consultant, was the executive director of Philadelphia’s LGBTQ community center, and served as the executive director of an HIV supportive housing agency in Georgia. His commitment to the movement is further demonstrated as a former board member of the ACLU of Pennsylvania and a former board co-chair of CenterLink.

“We are pleased to welcome Dolph Ward Goldenburg who will head up TLDEF at a critical juncture and ensure we move seamlessly to the next chapter of our advocacy,” said TLDEF Board Co-Chair Joseph Hall.

“I am proud to join TLDEF and continue the fight against anti-trans discrimination in employment, education, health care, and public accommodations,” said Interim Executive Director Goldenburg.  “I look forward to working with the board, staff, and supporters of TLDEF to ensure that the organization continues to thrive during this time of transition.”

Goldenburg will begin on February first.