Judi O'Kelley is Director of Leadership for Lambda Legal, the nation's oldest and largest legal organization dedicated to the civil rights of lesbians, gay men, bisexuals, transgender people and those with HIV. She lives and works in Seattle, Washington.
Judi brings more than 18 years of political and legal experience working for equality within the LGBT community. In 2004, she served as President and Campaign Chair for the campaign for the Athens, Georgia area in opposition to Georgia's constitutional amendment banning same-sex unions. Judi also was the lead plaintiff from 2004-2006 in the case of O'Kelley v. Perdue, in which Lambda Legal, the Georgia ACLU, and the law firm of Alston & Bird sought to strike down Georgia’s anti-marriage amendment. She was the founding President of Just Equal, an Athens-area political group dedicated to ending discrimination against individuals and families based upon sexual orientation and gender identity, and was a member of the team which successfully lobbied for non-discrimination protections and domestic partnership benefit programs for Athens-Clarke County employees in 2006. She is a past member of Georgia Equality's Political Action Committee, and is a cofounder of Athens Pride, a coalition of 17 Athens-area LGBT-allied groups.
From July of 2006 through May of 2008, Judi served as the Director of Lambda Legal’s Southern Regional Office in Atlanta, Georgia. In June of 2008 she took the reins of Lambda Legal’s planned giving program, and in May of 2011 became Deputy Director of Development. She conducts a broad range of fundraising duties for Lambda Legal, and oversees the organization's life planning curriculum, conducting life and financial planning seminars for LGBT people and same-sex couples throughout the country. Judi also coordinates Lambda Legal’s outreach work with law professors and law students.
Judi received her B.A. from the Colorado College in 1990. She served as a legislative aide in the Alaska State Legislature during the 1990s, and headed the Alaska absentee voting program through several statewide and national election cycles. After receiving her J.D. from the University of Oregon School of Law in 1996, she served as a law clerk for Judge James L. Oakes of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit and practiced appellate and employment law with the firms of Jones Day; Kirkley & Payne; and Penn Payne, LLP. She is admitted to practice in the state bars of Georgia, Alaska and Washington, D.C.