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HRC Staff Biography & Press Photo:

Cheryl Jacques 

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Cheryl Jacques
President and Executive Director

Cheryl Jacques began as president and executive director of the Human Rights Campaign in January 2004. She has a passionate commitment to civil rights and equality based on sexual orientation, gender identity and gender expression.

Jacques took helm of HRC after serving nearly a dozen years in the Massachusetts State Senate. She was first elected to her seat at the relatively young age of 29 in a traditionally conservative district, proving her ability to speak to constituents across a spectrum of ideologies.

As a state senator, Jacques was a leader on civil rights and equality in the Massachusetts Legislature. In 1996, she successfully pushed for the inclusion of sexual orientation in the Commonwealth’s Hate Crimes Statute. She also passed legislation establishing standby guardianship provisions to protect the children of AIDS patients and other chronically ill individuals. She has been an outspoken advocate for the needs of gay and lesbian youth in Massachusetts. Three years ago she lead a bi-partisan coalition to protect funding for the Safe Schools Program, which helps finance Gay-Straight Alliances in Massachusetts’s high schools, as well as other gay and lesbian youth suicide prevention measures. In 2002, Jacques lead a bi-partisan coalition of legislators to defeat the so-called Defense of Marriage Act in Massachusetts.

Cheryl Jacques with her family
Jacques (left) with her partner Jennifer Wade Chrisler and their twin boys, Timmy and Tommy
Before her six terms in the state senate, Jacques served as an Assistant District Attorney in Middlesex County and went on to serve as an Assistant Attorney General in the Trial Bureau of the Attorney General’s Office. Due to her experience as a criminal prosecutor, Jacques was the first freshman legislator and first woman to chair the Judiciary Committee when she was elected to the Senate in 1992. Jacques is a graduate of the Boston College School of Business Administration and Suffolk University Law School.

In addition to her duties as an elected official, Jacques worked as Counsel to the law firm of Brody, Hardoon, Perkins and Kesten and was an Adjunct Professor of Law at Suffolk University Law School, and served on several state and local boards.

Jacques and her partner, Jenn, live in Silver Spring, Md., where they are raising their twin boys, Timmy and Tommy.

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