• Press Release

EMILYs List Names Laphonza Butler New President

September 13, 2021

For Immediate Release
September 13, 2021

EMILYs List Names Laphonza Butler New President
Historic New Leader for Groundbreaking Organization

EMILYs List, the nation’s largest resource for women in politics, announced today its Board of Directors has chosen Laphonza Butler as its next president. Stepping into this role, Butler will be the organization’s third president in its 36-year history and the first woman of color and mother to lead it. She succeeds Stephanie Schriock, who led the organization for 11 years, and Ellen Malcolm, the organization’s founder.

EMILYs List released a biographical video of Butler’s inspiring story and how her values, vision, and record of winning tough campaigns make her the perfect choice to lead the organization.

Butler grew up in Magnolia, MS, and attended one of the country’s premier HBCUs, Jackson State University. At just 30 years old, she was overwhelmingly elected to lead the biggest union in California, and the nation’s largest homecare workers union, SEIU Local 2015. As president, Butler was the leading voice, strategist, and architect of efforts to address pay inequity for women in California and a top advocate for raising the state’s minimum wage to $15 an hour – the first state in the nation to do so, benefiting millions of working women in low wage jobs. Prior to joining EMILYs List, Butler was also a partner at SCRB Strategies, a political consulting firm where she was a strategist for candidates running up and down the ballot and a senior leader on Vice President Kamala Harris’s presidential campaign.

Under Butler’s leadership, EMILYs List will continue its mission of electing more Democratic pro-choice women across the country up and down the ballot. She will bring leadership, a demonstrated record of winning, and commitment to empowering the demands of all women to meet this moment of historic activism and courage by women all across America. Butler will bring her insights from electoral politics, labor, and community activism to ensure EMILYs List candidates are driving the country’s agenda. Uniting this diverse group of women will continue to change the face of leadership as they create better policy everywhere, and represent the pipeline of women leaders who will run the country for decades to come.

“After an exhaustive and highly competitive search, I am delighted to welcome Laphonza Butler as EMILYs List’s next president. Her years of experience winning tough battles and her commitment to making impactful change are unmatched. We are fortunate to have her join our team as we continue the important work of electing more Democratic pro-choice women across the country,” said EMILYs List’s Board Chair Rebecca Haile.

“As someone who has spent her entire career empowering women, I am excited to continue that work as the leader of an organization that has changed the face of American politics at all levels. As the first woman of color and first mother in this role, I am proud to bring my lived experiences along with my organizing and political experiences to the job,” said Butler, EMILYs List’s incoming president. “Every day I am driven by my mother’s example and my daughter’s future. I look forward to working with the organization’s talented and dedicated staff and partners to write EMILYs List’s next chapter. That chapter will be about expanding our base even more, from our members and donors to our candidates and our voters. We want to ensure that more young women and women of color are bringing their political engagement to EMILYs List and helping us do what we do best: WIN.”

“EMILYs List was founded to create change and diversify our elected leadership. We're proud of the work that we've done and know that Laphonza Butler is the right person to expand that work. I’m thrilled to welcome Laphonza as our new president and know she will help us build a democracy whose leadership more accurately reflects America at every level of government,” said Ellen Malcolm, EMILYs List’s Founder and former president.

Laphonza Butler’s biography is available here.

EMILYs List, the nation’s largest resource for women in politics, has raised over $700 million to elect Democratic pro-choice women candidates. With a grassroots community of over five million members, EMILY's List helps Democratic women win competitive campaigns – across the country and up and down the ballot – by recruiting and training candidates, supporting and helping build strong campaigns, researching the issues that impact women and families, running nearly $50 million in independent expenditures in the last cycle alone, and turning out women voters and voters of color to the polls. Since our founding in 1985, we have helped elect the country's first woman as vice president, 158 women to the House, 26 to the Senate, 16 governors, and more than 1,300 women to state and local office. More than 40 percent of the candidates EMILYs List has helped elect to Congress have been women of color. After the 2016 election, more than 60,000 women reached out to EMILY's List about running for office laying the groundwork for the next decade of candidates for local, state, and national offices. In our effort to elect more women in offices across the country, we have created our Run to Win program, expanded our training program, including a Training Center online, and trained thousands of women.