DNC Announces New Officer Roles and Responsibilities
April 19, 2017
The Democratic National Committee today announced roles and responsibilities for the incoming DNC officers. In addition, the DNC announced that Jaime Harrison of South Carolina will join the leadership team as Counselor and Associate Chair. Harrison brings with him a wealth of grassroots and state party building experience and is currently the chair of the South Carolina Democratic Party, the first African American to hold that position.
“We are proud to usher in a new day at the DNC with a roster of extremely talented and diverse officers to lead our party’s turnaround,” said DNC Chair Tom Perez. “The DNC leadership team is moving full steam ahead, enacting a true 57-states and territories strategy that ensures we are fighting for votes and putting our values into action in every single zip code.”
Michael Blake, Vice Chair – New York State Assemblyman Michael Blake was born in the Bronx, New York to Jamaican Immigrants. He is in his second term, representing the 79th District. Blake began his political career in the 2006 “Yes We Can” training program. He then managed three winning state legislative races in Michigan, became President Obama's 2008 Iowa Caucus Constituency vote director, and served in eight additional states, including Michigan, where his team won all seven races as part of their Coordinated campaign. Blake later served as White House Associate Director of Public Engagement and Deputy Associate Director of the Office of Intergovernmental Affairs. In, 2012 Blake was National Deputy Operation Vote Director for President Obama.
Blake’s portfolio will include base and constituency mobilization, local and municipal elected official outreach, millennial outreach, African American outreach, progressive outreach, vendor diversity, building the bench through candidate recruitment, and fundraising. He will also serve as a liaison to the DNC’s Eastern Caucus, Black Caucus, and Youth Council.
Karen Carter Peterson, Vice Chair of Civic Engagement and Voter Participation – Karen Carter Peterson is serving her second term as chair of the Louisiana Democratic Party — the first woman to ever hold the post. She represents New Orleans and parts of Jefferson Parish in the Louisiana State Senate where she serves as the Chair of the Senate and Governmental Affairs Committee. During her time in the Louisiana House her peers elected her to serve as Speaker Pro Tempore.
Carter Peterson’s portfolio will include voter participation and protection, cybersecurity, State Attorneys General, Secretaries of State, African American outreach, and fundraising. She will also serve as a liaison to the DNC’s Southern Caucus, Black Caucus, and Women’s Caucus.
Bill Derrough, Treasurer – Bill Derrough helps fix financially-challenged companies, non-profits, and governmental entities. Currently co-head of restructuring at Moelis, over the past 30 years he has helped restructure hundreds of entities across the U.S. representing over $600 billion. Bill's nonprofit board service has included the Boy Scouts of Greater New York, Lambda Legal (leading national LGBT legal rights organization), a San Francisco AIDS hospice, several educational entities and several Catholic charities.
Derrough’s portfolio will include budget development, long-term strategic planning, branding, cybersecurity, business outreach, tech outreach, LGBT outreach, and fundraising. He will also serve as a liaison to the DNC’s Western Caucus and Small Business Council.
Maria Elena Durazo, Vice Chair – Maria Elena Durazo is Vice President for UNITE HERE International Union, which represents more than 270,000 hospitality workers in the U.S. and Canada. Under her leadership in 2016, UNITE HERE and its Las Vegas local, the Culinary Union, led an unprecedented citizenship drive, helping more than 2,000 residents apply for citizenship.
Durazo’s portfolio will include organized labor and Latino outreach, as well as fundraising. She will also serve as a liaison to the DNC’s Western Caucus, Hispanic Caucus, and Labor Council.
Keith Ellison, Deputy Chair – Since 2007, Keith Ellison has represented Minnesota’s 5thCongressional District in the U.S. House of Representatives. Minnesota's 5th Congressional District has one of the highest rates of voter turnout in the nation. In 2015, Ellison unveiled the Voters First Campaign, which aimed to increase voter turnout through grassroots organizing, campaign coordination, and low-dollar fundraising.
As DNC Deputy Chair, Ellison will be charged with grassroots mobilization and fundraising, outreach to progressive and labor communities, coordination with the national campaign committees, and online voter engagement including Democrats Live. Ellison will also serve as a liaison to the DNC’s Western Caucus, Ethnic Council, Midwestern Caucus, Native American Council, Black Caucus, and Labor Council.
Jaime Harrison, Counselor and Associate Chair – As South Carolina Democratic Party Chair since 2013, Jaime Harrison has overseen successful initiatives including the John Spratt Issues Conference, James E. Clyburn Political Fellowship, the First in the South Primary, and Democrats Care.
Harrison will be integral to building a 57-state and territory strategy and will lead DNC initiatives including the State Party Partnership, training programs, vendor diversity, and 2020 planning including the convention, debates, and nominating process. He will also serve as a liaison to the DNC’s Southern Caucus, Rural Council, Disability Council, and Native American Council.
Ken Martin, Vice Chair, ASDC President – Since 2011, Ken Martin has served as chair of the Democratic-Farmer-Labor Party in Minnesota and chairs the DNC’s Association of State Democratic Chairs (ASDC). ASDC’s mission is to help build strong state parties in order to elect Democrats from the State House to the White House.
Martin’s Vice Chair portfolio will include the 57-state and territory strategy, State Party Partnerships, DGA, rural outreach, fundraising, and building the bench through candidate recruitment. He will also serve as a liaison to the DNC’s Midwest Caucus, Rural Council, and Military/Veterans’ Council.
Grace Meng, Vice Chair – Congresswoman Grace Meng was born and raised in New York City, attended public schools, and graduated from the University of Michigan in 1997. After attending Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law, she served as a public interest lawyer before representing Queens in the New York State Assembly in 2009 and the U.S. House of Representatives beginning in 2013. As a DNC Vice Chair, Grace focused her efforts on representing diverse constituencies within the Democratic Party.
Meng’s portfolio will include rebuilding the DNC’s surrogate program, coordination with the national campaign committees, Congressional Liaison, women and AAPI outreach, as well as fundraising. She will also serve as a liaison to the DNC’s Eastern Caucus, AAPI Caucus, Women’s Caucus, and Senior Council.
Henry R. Muñoz III, National Finance Committee Chair – Henry R. Muñoz III is a nationally respected voice in the discourse about the imprint of Latino culture and identity upon American Society in the 21st Century. A Designer, Social Activist, Opinion Leader and Philanthropist, Muñoz works across multiple platforms that converge at the intersection of politics and the built environment. As Chairman of the Board and CEO of Muñoz & Company, Mr. Muñoz leads one of the largest and oldest minority-owned design practices in the country. Under his leadership, Muñoz & Company has pioneered an approach to architecture and design that acknowledges the rapidly shifting demographics of the United States.
Munoz will be the primary lead in the DNC’s fundraising efforts and will lead Latino and LGBT engagement. He will also serve as a liaison to the DNC’s Southern Caucus and Small Business Council.
Jason Rae, Secretary – Jason Rae has been a lifelong Democrat, attending county party meetings in rural Barron County, Wisconsin on a bicycle before he could even drive. He was first elected to the DNC in 2004, when he was just 17 years old and has been re-elected three times. Since his election more than a decade ago, Jason has worked hard to elect Democrats up and down the ballot, to increase participation among young people and LGBT Americans, and to help build greater transparency of the party.
Rae’s portfolio will include DNC member communications, millennial and youth engagement, LGBT outreach, as well as fundraising. He will also serve as a liaison to the DNC’s Midwest Caucus, LGBT Caucus, and Youth Council.