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MoveOn announced today that after an intensive multi-month search process, its boards have selected Rahna Epting to serve as the next executive director of MoveOn Political Action and MoveOn Civic Action, beginning this fall.
Epting has been a leader in the progressive movement for 15 years, playing important roles in the organized labor, leadership development, youth organizing, and democracy reform spaces. She has held senior roles in organizations including Service Employees International Union, Every Voice, Wellstone Action, and the Alliance For Youth Organizing. For the last two years, Epting has worked at MoveOn, first leading strategic partnerships for the organization, then as its 2018 Resist & Win election program director, and then in her current role as chief of program. In these roles she has played a pivotal part in achieving significant advocacy and electoral wins.
“Rahna has a keen vision of the interconnected, leaderful, and politically savvy movement needed to transform our country, and she has worked tenaciously and creatively to advance that vision throughout her career,” said James Rucker, board member of MoveOn Civic Action. “She’s excellently positioned to lead the next generation of MoveOn-style campaigning and innovation work, harnessing people-power to build a country where everyone can thrive.”
Epting was chosen after an extensive process led by the search firm Koya Partners that approached hundreds of prospective candidates and surfaced a highly talented pool of 80 applicants.
Epting takes the helm of MoveOn at a time when white nationalism and authoritarianism are on the rise in the U.S. and throughout the world, massive misinformation efforts and social media manipulation are continuing to sow voter suppression and apathy, and the integrity of American democracy is in question. She will lead MoveOn in addressing these and other challenges and in advancing a positive vision of our country’s future in the 2020 elections and beyond.
“I intend to continue MoveOn’s trajectory of being an innovative, people-powered hub for impact in our politics,” Epting said. “In these troubled times, with white nationalism on the rise and an increasingly authoritarian regime in the White House, it is imperative that MoveOn’s millions of members collaborate effectively to oust Trump from office. And yet, defeating Trump is necessary, but it isn’t sufficient. We must also elect a progressive governing majority and then hold that majority accountable to creating an America where we all can thrive, where democracy works for all of us, and we are guided by hope and love, not fear and division. Current and future MoveOn members have a significant role to play in shaping the future of the progressive movement and our country.”
Epting was born and raised in northern California, and currently resides on the East Coast with her family. As a Black and Iranian woman, she will be the first person of color to fill MoveOn’s executive director role. Epting will be available for interviews about this role when she assumes it in the fall, after a transition period in which she is onboarded by outgoing MoveOn Civic Action executive director Anna Galland and outgoing MoveOn Political Action executive director Ilya Sheyman.
“Rahna is an exceptional leader: visionary, wise, driven, and empathetic,” Galland said. “She believes deeply in the wisdom and power of the grassroots. She has led teams through contexts of great challenge and complexity, including MoveOn’s successful 2018 election program. I am thrilled to see her propel this essential organization in its next chapter.”
“Rahna’s a true believer in the people power and culture of innovation that are at the center of MoveOn’s DNA,” Sheyman said. “Her exceptional track record of experience and impact in labor, electoral, and progressive movement organizing makes her the right person to lead the organization into the 2020 election and in reinventing MoveOn for its next chapter.”
Leaders of other organizations Epting has worked with also weighed in:
“I’m so excited to see Rahna, a strategic, committed, and effective leader, take the helm of one of the most dynamic organizations in the country. Working families and our country as a whole are better off because of MoveOn, with its commitment to grassroots leadership, its savvy campaigns, and its movement mindset,” said Mary Kay Henry, President of the Service Employees International Union.
“Rahna is a singular powerhouse who has and will continue to achieve great things for our democracy and our diverse communities,” said David Donnelly, former President and CEO of Every Voice. “I cannot wait to see all that MoveOn will accomplish with her as its executive director.”
Epting will assume leadership of MoveOn this fall after a period of significant organizational growth and innovation. Over the last 6 years, MoveOn’s combined budget more than quadrupled, its reach and visibility exploded, and MoveOn members emerged as central players in our nation’s politics. MoveOn’s base of recurring donors has quadrupled, MoveOn’s membership of millions now reaches into every one of the nation’s 3,000 counties, and the organization has grown massive SMS and video programs to engage and mobilize progressives around the country. In this period the staff has nearly tripled and MoveOn has undergone major changes including a rebrand last year, the in-housing of the MoveOn tech team, and innovation in the areas of video persuasion and production, digital advertising, mobile organizing, and online campaigns. The organization has prioritized equity as a practice internally and externally, and has contributed millions of dollars in grants contributed to other progressive and community organizations.
You can read more about Rahna Epting’s appointment as MoveOn’s next Executive Director at https://www.nytimes.com/aponline/2019/05/29/us/politics/ap-us-election-2020-moveon-leader.html.
Inquiries about MoveOn’s leadership transition can be directed to firstname.lastname@example.org.