The Board of Directors of the Young Democrats of America today announced the appointment of Emily Tisch Sussman (@EmilyYDA) to the position of Executive Director, overseeing the organization's more than 1,500 chapters and 150,000 members across the country. Sussman will formally begin her duties on February 7.
“The 70 million young people of the Millennial Generation are becoming an important political force across the United States, but it's up to us to make sure we have a strong and coordinated voice in this election. We will take steps in the coming months that position us to make sure the voices of young people are heard,” said Sussman. “We will mobilize a multi-million dollar campaign targeted directly at our members and supporters in schools and community centers in all 50 states.”
Sussman’s first priority will be to assess the organization's national 2012 campaign plan while also establishing bold fundraising goals to ensure the continued long term sustainability of the organization, which marks its 80th anniversary this year.
“YDA is thrilled to have Emily play such a major part in shaping the future of not only our organization, but the entire youth political movement. There is no doubt that young voters will once again be critical to Democratic victories in 2012, and Emily’s leadership skills and political acumen will be central to our success,” said Rod Snyder, President of the Young Democrats of America. “Few people understand the power of the Millennial Generation as well as Emily. Her experience with galvanizing young people for the repeal of ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ and her work to establish Think Blue are a testament to her ability to develop a national strategy to engage youth.”
For nearly three years, Sussman worked on the repeal of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,” serving as co-government affairs director for the Servicemembers Legal Defense Network. In August 2010, Sussman designed an online campaign urging young people to call their U.S. Senators and demand they vote for repeal. The online campaign, kicked off by Lady Gaga, drove nearly 600,000 new visitors to the repeal website and successfully urged countless college students to create their own videos telling their friends to call the U.S. Senate switchboard.
A New York City native and graduate of Skidmore College and Cardozo Law School, Sussman founded and served as president of Think Blue while still in school. The unique model allowed young New Yorkers the chance to have a voice in the political process by encouraging political candidates to meet and spend time with young people at affordable events. In the 2008 election cycle, the New Leaders Council recognized Sussman as a "40 under 40 Emerging Leader in Politics." She was also recently honored by Cardozo Law School with the Nathaniel Gates award, and the Truman National Security Project recognized her for "extraordinary contributions toward advancing the Truman Democratic world view." Sussman is admitted to the New York State Bar.