Dorothee Benz

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Dorothee Benz is the Chief Communications Officer for Lambda Legal, the nation’s largest legal organization dedicated to securing the full civil rights of the LGBT community and those with HIV. She oversees all of Lambda Legal’s media relations, digital channels, publications and marketing. 

Benz brings deep strategic and leadership skills to Lambda’s civil rights mission. Most recently, as the Center for Constitutional Rights’ first communications director, she built a comprehensive communications program, quintupling the organization’s op ed output annually, creating a new blog and weekly newsletter, increasing its media presence, leading an award-winning website redesign, and integrating communications strategy into all of CCR’s planning. Prior to CCR, Benz spent more than two decades working in the labor movement.

Beyond her professional work, Benz was the founding chair of Methodists in New Directions, where she nurtured a group of dozens, then hundreds, and eventually thousands of United Methodists in their determination to overcome the church’s codified discrimination against LGBTQI people. She was the primary architect of what is now the movement’s dominant strategy of ecclesial disobedience, and has worked together with a diverse range of church and movement leaders on numerous campaigns.  

Recognition of her work includes dozens of labor journalism awards, multiple awards for website redesigns she led, and the Gwen and C. Dale White Award from the New York Methodist Federation for Social Action for her leadership of MIND. Benz is an effective and sought-after speaker, preacher, teacher, and facilitator, and has published dozens of articles and blogs in popular and scholarly outlets.

She holds an AB from Harvard University and a PhD from the City University of New York.

Follow her on Twitter @DrBenz3.