Officers and Directors
Charles Francis, President
Charles Francis has worked in the public affairs industry for thirty years and lives in Washington, D.C. and Homer, Alaska. He began his career in public affairs as a speechwriter and public relations officer for David Rockefeller at the Chase Manhattan Bank in New York. Over the course of his career, Francis served as a consultant to numerous Fortune 500 companies including Citicorp and the ExxonMobil Corporation and individuals including Clark Clifford. In 2006, Francis co-founded The Kameny Papers Project which donated the papers and historic artifacts of Dr. Franklin E. Kameny to the Library of Congress and the Smithsonian National Museum of American History. As President of the Mattachine Society, Francis served as Agent for lesbian civil rights pioneer Lilli Vincenz, in 2013 for the donation of her papers to the Library of Congress. Lilli Vincenz was the first lesbian member of the original Mattachine Society of Washington, D.C. and picketed the White House in 1965. A native Texan, Francis has donated his papers covering his life and times to the LGBT collection of the University of North Texas, in Denton.
Pate Felts, Chief Financial Officer
Pate Felts is chief financial officer of the Mattachine Society of Washington, D.C. He is a certified public accountant and has served as CFO for a major consulting firm in Washington. Felts has also served as Assistant U.S. Trade Representative, and was Chief of Staff to U.S. Senator David Pryor (ret.-Ark). Raised in a small farming community in Virginia, Felts brings a unique appreciation for Southern culture and politics to Mattachine’s research, most recently on so-called “conversion therapy” and the “cure” for homosexuality.
Richard Rosendall, Secretary
A free-lance author based in Washington,D.C., Rick Rosendall is a former President of the Gay & Lesbian Activists Alliance in Washington. He served as an officer of the original Mattachine Society of Washington, D.C. and played a key role in The Kameny Papers Project preservation of the papers of Dr. Franklin E. Kameny, donated to the Library of Congress. Rosendall contributes a weekly column for The Washington Blade.
Glenn Simpson, Director
Glenn Simpson is Chief Executive Officer of FusionGPS and former page-one investigative reporter for The Wall Street Journal. Most recently, Glenn has been the subject of extensive coverage regarding his work on the Trump “Dossier”. Simpson covered Capitol Hill investigations for Roll Call. Simpson was instrumental, on a pro bono basis, in helping the Mattachine Society with key research projects including former FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover’s infamous “Sex Deviate” program of investigations of homosexuals; and the investigation and firing in 1953 of President Eisenhower’s close friend and inner circle aid Arthur Vandenberg, Jr.
Pro Bono Legal Counsel
The international law firm McDermott Will & Emery, LLC has provided the Mattachine Society of Washington, D.C. with pro bono legal services, in a unique partnership, for more than five years, ranging from assistance with ongoing Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests to serving as Counsel on the lawsuit Mattachine Society of Washington, D.C. v U.S. Department of Justice in U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia. McDermott partners Lisa Linsky and Paul Thompson lead a team of nineteen Associates and Partners who focus on developing the “evidentiary history” of federal and state animus toward LGBT Americans.
Vic Basile, LGBT rights activist and political consultant, the first Executive Director of HRC (1983-1989), co-founder of the Gay & Lesbian Victory Fund; and Counsel to the Director, U.S. Office of Personnel Management.
Eric Cervini, Gates Scholar and PhD Candidate at Cambridge University, U.K., graduated summa cum laude from Harvard University in 2014 with an A.B. in History. Eric’s dissertation will be a comprehensive history of the Mattachine Society of Washington, D.C.
Garrard Conley is author of the memoir “Boy Erased” (2016, Penguin), soon to be a major motion picture and translated into many languages. He has written about conversion therapy for CNN, Buzzfeed, Virginia Quarterly Review and many others. He is now at work on a forthcoming queer historical fiction novel. Raised in rural Arkansas, living now in Brooklyn and teaching in New York City, Conley brings a Southerner’s sense of history and its weight to the Mattachine Society.
V.L. Cox is a professional artist of 25 years whose work is rooted in projects that involve human rights issues and equality. Most recently, her art installation “Break Glass–A conversation to end hate”, was exhibited at the Longwood Center for Visual Arts. She has created large backdrops for organizations including the Dallas Opera, the Dallas Ballet, Los Colinas Film Studios, and the National Civil Rights Museum Humanities Awards in Memphis, Tennessee. Her work reflects her own personal experiences growing up in Arkansas.
David K. Johnson, Associate Professor, University of South Florida; author of The Lavender Scare: The Cold War Persecution of Gays and Lesbians in the Federal Government. We are looking forward to David’s new book, “Consumer Culture and Political Resistance: How gay entrepreneurs sparked a movement”.
Bill Murat serves as Chief of Staff to U.S. Senator Tammy Baldwin from Wisconsin. He has served as Senator Baldwin’s Chief of Staff in both the U.S. Senate and the House of Representatives since 2000. Prior to his work in Congress, Bill served two terms in the Wisconsin State Assembly and served for eight years as a Wisconsin prosecutor, including two terms as an elected District Attorney.
Jim Obergefell, the named plaintiff in the landmark Supreme Court marriage equality case Obergefell v. Holdges, shares with us his passionate interest in American history and LGBT “archive activism”.
Edward “Ned” Price is a former CIA analyst and National Security Council spokesperson. Ned gained national attention after writing a “Washington Post” op-ed about his resignation from the CIA at the beginning of the Trump presidency.
Aubrey Sarvis, attorney, former Staff Director and Chief Counsel of the Senate Commerce Committee; Executive Vice President, Public Policy, Verizon Communications; and Executive Director of the Servicemembers Legal Defense Network (SLDN).
Joe Stewart was Secretary of the Senate from 1987 to 1994, serving as the Chief Administrative and Financial Officer of the Senate. A close friend and colleague of Senator Byrd, Stewart worked closely with the Senator on his award-winning four volume history of the Senate: The Senate: 1789-1989: Addresses on the History of the Senate.
Jeff Trammell is the former Rector (Chair) of the Board of Visitors of the College of William & Mary and a leader in LGBT policy, politics and public service in Washington, D.C. Trammell has played a key role in the Presidential campaigns of Vice President Al Gore, John Kerry and Hillary Clinton, as well as serving as Chairman of the Gay & Lesbian Victory Fund. Jeff has served as a public affairs advisor to numerous Fortune 500 Companies. An attorney and member of the Florida Bar, Trammell served as counsel to the House Energy & Commerce Committee. With a passion for the importance of LGBT history, Jeff served on the Board of the U.S. Holocaust Museum’s Gay & Lesbian Victims Remembrance Project.
John Weinfurter is currently a partner in the government affairs firm Capstone National Partners and serves as President of the House Chiefs of Staff Alumni Association after a twenty-year career on Capitol Hill as Chief of Staff to the late U.S. Representative Joe Moakley (D-MA). He served as President and CEO of the Congressional Economic Leadership Institute (CELI) and Vice President, Government Relations for Witt O’Brien Consulting.