Sep 15, 2007
News: Aubrey Sarvis Is SLDN's New Executive Director
By Sven Rabatzky
(USA) - The Servicemembers Legal Defense Network (SLDN) determined Aubrey Sarvis to be the new Executive Director of the organization. Sarvis succeeds C. Dixon Osburn, who stepped down in April. Sarvis will officially take on his position on October 1, 2007. Founded in 1993, SLDN is a US organization dedicated to eradication discrimination against and harassment of military personnel targeted by "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" and similar forms of intolerance. Sarvis was choosen following an extensive US-wide search by SLDN’s Board of Directors. In accepting the appointment, Sarvis said, “I am humbled and honored to stand side by side with America’s Gay service members, and to help them achieve the full measure of dignity and equality they deserve.”
“We stand very tall today and are greatly strengthened by the appointment of Aubrey Sarvis,” said SLDN Board Co-Chair, Commander Zoe Dunning, USNR. “We feel united by the vision he shares with us to defend and protect America’s freedoms around the world while giving our LGBT military personnel the freedom to serve openly and unafraid. Aubrey wore that same uniform, and believes passionately that our cause is just and winnable.” Joe Tom "I have known Aubrey for a long time and one of his qualities I respect the most is his leadership,” said Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid of Nevada. “Aubrey’s vast knowledge of government combined with his commitment to public service will serve the organization well. I congratulate him on this new position."
Shelley Berkeley, a congress member, also praised Sarvis’ appointment, saying that, “SLDN could not be more fortunate today with Aubrey Sarvis at their helm. I am confident he is the very best person to persuade Capitol Hill to join the fight and to win repeal of Don't Ask, Don't Tell. Brave men and women who sacrifice everything, especially while America is at war, must not be kicked out of the military.”
Congressman Barney Frank joined in: “I am very pleased to welcome Aubrey Sarvis as the new Executive Director of Servicemembers Legal Defense Network, and I congratulate him on his appointment. SLDN is a very important organization that does great work, and I look forward to working with Aubrey and the staff of SLDN in the future.”
Congress member Tammy Baldwin said that, “Aubrey’s appointment represents a major breakthrough for SLDN and the LGBT community. He brings a sense of urgency and a deep commitment to repealing Don’t Ask Don’t Tell. He understands the realities of the legislative process as well as how to get votes on tough issues.”
Sarvis is a military veteran who enlisted at the age of 17, who served in the US military over three years active duty including thirteen months as an infantryman along the DMZ in South Korea. Following his early uniformed military service, for over three decades he has been a senior Congressional staff leader and was a high-ranking policy and government relations executive and attorney with a Fortune 50 company. A native of South Carolina, Sarvis has been involved in numerous political and legislative battles during his Congressional and corporate careers.
SLDN operates with a $3 million budget, with 17 full-time staff. For more information, including photographs of Sarvis and SLDN’s work to repeal “Don’t Ask, Don’t’ Tell,” visit www.sldn.org.