(San Francisco, CA, March 8, 2016)—Longtime LGBTQ leader and attorney Ruth McFarlane has joined the National Center for Lesbian Rights as its Director of Development & Community Engagement.

McFarlane, a graduate of University of California, Berkeley and Cornell University, brings two decades of nonprofit leadership and legal experience to NCLR, where she will oversee the cultivation and mobilization of support from individual donors, corporations, foundations, and other organizations that share NCLR’s vision.

“I am so excited to join the amazing team at NCLR and help cultivate broad, long-term support for the work ahead—making sure that every last one of us enjoys equality whatever our sexual orientation, gender identity or gender expression may be,” said McFarlane, who served on NCLR’s Board of Directors for two years before joining its staff. “NCLR’s pioneering and precedent-setting work has reshaped the legal and political landscape for the LGBTQ community since its start, and I’m proud to be part of the team that’s changing the arc of history.”

Prior to joining NCLR, McFarlane was the Director of Programs at the San Francisco LGBTQ Community Center, where she was responsible for a wide spectrum of direct service and community programming. She also served as Director of Community Engagement and Co-Principal Investigator for The PRIDE Study, a national, participant-powered, longitudinal study of the health experience of LGBTQ people conducted by researchers at the University of California, San Francisco.

McFarlane has spent several years providing direct services to LGBTQ and underserved youth, including managing a residential program for homeless youth living with HIV and providing clinical therapeutic services for youth with severe behavioral and mental health challenges. She served as an NCLR board member from 2014 to 2016. She has also served on the boards of HomeownershipSF and City of Refuge United Church of Christ in Oakland.

Before working full-time in the nonprofit sector, McFarlane practiced as an associate at Norton Rose Fulbright in Dallas and Linklaters in New York City. During her legal career, McFarlane worked on several civil and human rights cases in a pro bono capacity.

“Ruth is a tireless and fierce LGBTQ advocate and we are thrilled to have her join our team,” said NCLR Executive Director Kate Kendell. “Ruth distinguished herself while a board member and is passionate about NCLR, our work and our vision. Her commitment to justice for the most vulnerable and her unbounded charisma make her a perfect fit to partner with our donors to elevate NCLR’s reach and effectiveness.”

NCLR has been a leader in the movement furthering the civil and human rights of the LGBTQ community since its start in 1977. It was the first organization in the country to launch projects advancing parent, youth, immigrant, and transgender rights, and many others. It continues to shape the legal landscape for all LGBTQ people and families across the country through its precedent-setting litigation, legislation, policy, and public education. Learn more at www.NCLRights.org