TLDEF Welcomes Equality Ohio Director Alana Jochum as Inaugural Policy Director

Alana Jochum photo

Transgender Legal Defense and Education Fund (TLDEF) announced today that longtime Midwestern LGBTQ+ state policy leader Alana Jochum will join the organization as its inaugural policy director. Alana will begin to transition into her role beginning in early November.

In partnership with local and statewide transgender-specific and LGBTQ+ partner organizations, Alana will lead the development of TLDEF’s public policy agenda and strategic priorities to defend and advance critical policy protections for and with transgender people. Alana will also be responsible for leading TLDEF’s legislative, administrative, and advocacy matters with a focus on states in the Midwest and South as well as strategic federal engagement.

“Alana brings a deep level of state policy expertise on LGBTQ+ issues, and we couldn’t be more thrilled to have someone so talented and respected join our team of attorneys and advocates,” said TLDEF Executive Director Andy Marra. “Transgender people and our families are under tremendous fire by extremist politicians like never before, and Alana’s formidable record as a bipartisan policy expert in purple states is the exact kind of experience the transgender movement needs at a moment like this.”

Before joining TLDEF, Alana was Executive Director at Equality Ohio, where she advocated for LGBTQ+ affirming public policy at all levels of government, including advancing local nondiscrimination ordinances in more than twenty Ohio cities and winning numerous administrative policy victories for transgender people, including reducing barriers to identity documents. Prior to working at Equality Ohio, Alana was an Associate at Squire Patton Boggs, LLP. Alana received her juris doctorate from Cleveland State University College of Law and two undergraduate degrees from Baldwin Wallace University. Alana also currently serves as Board Chair of the Equality Federation.

“I’ve dedicated most of my professional life to working closely with lawmakers and LGBTQ+ leaders to move an intersectional, transformative vision of transgender equality forward in the country. Joining TLDEF and its team of lawyers to lead its public policy work is a dream come true, and I can’t wait to get started,” said Jochum. “With a twenty-year history, TLDEF is well positioned to ramp up its efforts against state and federal policies that seek to erase trans people’s existence, and I look forward to joining the organization’s commitment to ensure a safer and more just world for transgender people.”

Leaders from across the transgender and LGBTQ+ movement share an outpouring of support for Jochum’s appointment below:

“Relationships with Alana are authentic, genuine, and at the core of her world view. Even as a state-specific leader, Alana has never siloed her team or strategies to stay within Ohio. Instead, she always approached her role with abundance, knowing that things learned in Ohio have national application; she has always sought ways to learn from organizations and individuals across the country. The LGBTQ movement – and in particular the fight for trans equality – is stronger because Alana is in this movement. I’m thrilled for her to be in a position at a national organization, where her approach and skill will naturally build abundance and benefit all of us,” said Steph Perkins, Gill Foundation Senior Program Officer and former Executive Director of PROMO, Missouri’s statewide LGBTQ+ equality organization.

“Alana is a nationally respected political strategist and advocacy campaign leader known for her deft ability to drive progress on the most challenging issues. In this moment of unprecedented anti-transgender opposition, she is exactly the veteran movement architect we need to turbo charge our policy advocacy and advance our community's interests nationwide. I applaud TLDEF for having the vision to unleash Alana's expertise and experience nationwide,” said Kasey Suffredini, LGBTQ+ rights attorney and Interim Senior Vice President of Prevention at the Trevor Project.

Updated on Oct 30, 2023