AIC has an exciting announcement! Anne Tamar-Mattis will begin working full time as AIC’s Legal Director, and Kimberly Zieselman will be stepping up to the position of Executive Director on September 1, 2014.Please read letters from both Anne and Kimberly below:
I’m going to tell you a secret: I never really wanted to be an Executive Director. I went to law school because I wanted to practice law, and by the end of law school I knew that defending the rights of children with intersex traits or differences of sex development would be an important part of my career. I founded AIC and became its Executive Director because there simply was no other organization that had the capacity to do that work. While I have been both humbled and honored to have the opportunity to work in service to this community, there is much in the job of E.D. that is not about practicing law. That is what I love to do, and I have often wished that I could devote more of my time to lawyering on behalf of the community.
Now, I have that opportunity. For the last year, I have been working closely with Kimberly Zieselman, AIC’s Director of Advancement. Kimberly is a strong and proud intersex woman, with a degree in law and a background in nonprofit administration. We share a similar vision for a future where the civil and human rights of children with intersex traits are respected, where intersex youth can speak up proudly, and where families receive compassionate support. With her help, AIC has grown dramatically — building our budget, developing our youth program, and increasing our outreach to the community. Really, we’ve been operating as a management team for most of the last year, and now Kimberly is ready to step forward and lead the organization. With the enthusiastic support of AIC’s board of directors, as of September 1, 2014, Kimberly will begin serving as AIC’s Executive Director and I will become the Legal Director.
I am very excited about this change, both because it will allow me to spend more time using my legal skills and providing legal assistance to the community, and because I believe in Kimberly’s vision and ability to lead this organization on to even greater things. I also believe that intersex people should be setting the agenda for the intersex movement, and while AIC has always had significant intersex leadership on our board and staff, it is important that the organization’s head will now be an intersex person, too.
I am deeply grateful for the support that I, and AIC, have received from the community over the years, and I am proud to be a part of this next phase of AIC’s development. Please join me in welcoming Kimberly into her new position! And thank you for everything that each of you does to make the world a better place for children with DSD.
With hope for the future,
Anne Tamar-Mattis, Executive Director
I am honored to take on the position of Executive Director, accepting a great responsibility to lead AIC forward while expanding upon the incredible foundation Anne successfully built since founding the organization almost eight years ago. As I transition into this new role, I am humbled to be joining the ranks of those in our community who have paved the way before me, and those currently fighting for intersex awareness and justice around the globe.
Anne has been an incredible leader. Respected and loved by many, she is both a visionary and an incredibly effective change maker. Her brilliant legal mind, resourcefulness, and community organizing experience have made AIC what it is today. When Anne tapped me to join her in the fight to protect children with intersex traits I had no hesitation. It was meant to be.
Like many of you I am intersex and have suffered unnecessary isolation and shame both as a youth and an adult. Up until just a decade ago, I buried that part of me while succeeding in a career of nonprofit advocacy in healthcare and children’s rights. Today I welcome the opportunity to combine my professional skills and experience with my personal passion to make the world a safer and more accepting place for children with intersex traits and their families.
There has been much positive change just in the last few years. An increasing number of families are getting the crucial information and support they need to best advocate for their children with intersex traits. Our youth are becoming more aware and empowered and are starting to speak out with voices loud and clear. More and more intersex adults who were once invisible are coming out and embracing their differences.
But we still have a long way to go. Many, particularly those in more marginalized communities, still live in isolation and lack the support and resources necessary to make informed decisions. We must work to reach those families.
Too many medically unnecessary genital surgeries are still being done to young children every day simply to “normalize” their appearance and ease the anxieties of others. The medical community is starting to listen to these babies, now adults, who tell them more harm than good was done by those well-intended procedures. But that is just the beginning. There is still so much advocacy, awareness-raising, and healing yet to be done both in the U.S. and across the globe.
The intersex movement is at a crucial tipping point. I believe our community must seize this opportunity and work strategically together in order to succeed. While we are indeed a diverse community, we also share significant common experiences. It is by focusing on those commonalities that we will become a stronger movement.
I feel privileged to lead AIC into the future at this critical moment and optimistic about the future for children with intersex traits and the families who love them.
Kimberly Zieselman, Director of Advancement
I welcome your thoughts and feedback anytime. Please feel free to email me directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.