DNC hires new CEO headed into midterms

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  • "Jess understands our current political landscape," Perez said
  • O'Connell will be the first openly LGBT chief executive of the DNC

(CNN)The Democratic National Committee has hired a new CEO as it gears up for the 2018 midterms, the organization announced Friday.

Jess O'Connell, executive director of EMILY's List, will head the group that is the governing body of the Democratic Party and will be the DNC's first openly LGBT chief executive.
"She has an impressive progressive track record and I am honored that she will lend her talents to rebuilding and strengthening our Party," DNC Chair Tom Perez told his staff in an email. "Jess understands our current political landscape and I am thrilled that she will be joining our team to support the incredible work all of you have been doing."
Perez said the DNC interviewed more than 20 candidates for CEO and chose O'Connell because of her background doing field work.
"Jess' experience as a grassroots organize and as a leader who has helped hundreds of Democratic candidates win up and down the ballot will be invaluable as we gear up for critical elections in 2017, 2018 and beyond," he said.
O'Connell is credited with helping elect the most diverse Congress in history, managing large campaigns and her work at the Center for American Progress, one of the country's most high-profile progressive organizations.