• Press Release

EMILYs List Announces Jessica Mackler as Organization’s Fourth President

March 4, 2024


WASHINGTON, D.C. – EMILYs List, the nation’s largest resource for women in politics, announced today that its Board of Directors has chosen Jessica Mackler as the organization’s fourth president in its nearly 40-year history. Mackler follows former EMILYs List Presidents Laphonza Butler and Stephanie Schriock and founder Ellen Malcolm in the role. Her bio can be found here.

Mackler takes the helm of this historic organization when the mission of electing Democratic pro-choice women is more essential than ever. She has spent her entire career waging tough fights in Democratic politics, no matter how hostile the landscape. She has run campaigns at all levels, directed more than $100 million in spending by committees and organizations, and built and led large, diverse teams. She is a veteran political strategist steeped from the beginning in the mission of EMILYs List, starting her career first as an intern and then as a staffer, spending two cycles traveling all over the country helping elect women to office. That experience was foundational in her career and her core; she gained a deep understanding of the barriers women  — and particularly women of color  — face when they step up to run.

“It was EMILYs List that taught me about the power of standing in the gap between what was real and what was right,” said Mackler. “Through smart work and sheer grit you make it happen — there’s a dedication to doing whatever it takes to get the win and whatever it takes to level the playing field for women. I’m honored the board chose me to lead during this critical time — when the collective power of the EMILYs List community is more important than ever.”

Under Mackler’s leadership and during a critical cycle for democracy and our reproductive rights, EMILYs List will continue its mission of electing more Democratic pro-choice women across the country up and down the ballot. 

About the moment she is assuming leadership, Mackler said, “There is a fire of outrage in women all over the country since Roe v. Wade was overturned and Republicans enacted abortion bans all over the country. Women will not be controlled by politicians who know nothing about their bodies and care even less about their lives. This is the moment that EMILYs List is ready to meet–and so am I. After all, it was a generation of pissed off women that got together and founded EMILYs List almost 40 years ago.”

As the second mom to lead the organization. Mackler is raising two boys in Maryland with her partner, Geoff Mackler. About the role campaigns have played in her life, Mackler said, “I packed up my condo just days after returning from my wedding to move West to the Las Vegas desert to run a U.S. Senate race, and I went to the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee with a six-week old baby, ready to help lead efforts to take back the U.S. House. I’ve never shied away from a tough fight. Whenever faced with the opportunity to fight for a better future for our country and our kids, I’ve always answered ‘where do I sign up?’”

In 2018, Mackler helped flip the U.S. House as the first woman independent expenditure director at the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, where she put together the most diverse IE team in the history of the organization and led the paid media strategy that resulted in 40 Democratic House seat pickups. 

In 2021, Mackler returned to EMILYs List, where she played a key role in the organization’s electoral strategy for the 2022 cycle under former President Laphonza Butler — a cycle in which the organization helped defy the coming “red wave” and won two-thirds of the races in battleground districts. 

EMILYs List Board President Rebecca Haile said, “After a far-reaching search, the board was thrilled to name Jessica as our next president. Our board was unanimous: There is no one more ready — as a strategist, a tactician, and an organizational leader — to lead the EMILYs List community into and through its next phase, where our efforts will be determinative in the fight to restore our fundamental freedoms. Jessica is ready to build this community to new heights, to engage a younger, more diverse community in the EMILYs List mission, to bring creative, strategic solutions to the table, and to build a dynamic team ready to help women win.”

EMILYs List Founder and former President Ellen Malcolm said, “I’ve known Jessica since she started her political career and I am thrilled that she will be taking on this role. This organization started with a group of women angry at having been overlooked and underestimated. Today, with young women facing fewer rights than the generation before them, that anger is fueling even more political engagement. Jessica is more than ready to welcome them to EMILYs List and lead them to running, winning and changing the world.”

U.S. Senator and former EMILYs List President Laphonza Butler said,  “EMILYs List plays a critical role in ensuring that our government better represents the diverse population of this country and that our leaders are fighting for the rights that have been eroded over the last few years. Jessica is a skilled strategist and leader who will ensure that the organization continues to meet both its mission and the moment.” 

Former EMILYs List President Stephanie Schriock said, “EMILYs List makes history through building the strategy to change the country by electing extraordinary, groundbreaking Democratic pro-choice women. It is a great honor to lead EMILYs List and I am thrilled to welcome Jessica Mackler as the new President in this critical time.  During my tenure at EMILYs List, I got to really know Mackler as a strategist and a passionate leader. I know she’s ready to continue the legacy of EMILYs List that reaches from former Senator Barbara Mikulski all the way to Vice President Kamala Harris with hundreds of wins in between and more to come.”

Mackler was asked to serve as interim president by the EMILYs List board in October 2023 after Butler was nominated to the U.S. Senate. 

EMILYs List, the nation’s largest resource for women in politics, works to elect Democratic pro-choice women up and down the ballot and across the country with a goal of fighting for our rights and our communities. Our work is centered around a fundamental vision: Run. Win. Change the World. EMILYs List has raised $850 million in service to that vision and has helped Democratic women win competitive elections by recruiting and training candidates, supporting and helping build strong campaigns, researching the issues that impact women and families, running one of the largest independent expenditure operations for Democrats, and turning out women voters to the polls. Since our founding in 1985, we have helped elect the country’s first woman as vice president, 175 women to the House, 26 to the Senate, 20 governors, and over 1,500 women to state and local office. More than 40% of the candidates EMILYs List has helped elect to Congress have been women of color. Visit www.emilyslist.org for more information.