Family Equality Names New Chief Policy Officer, Chief of Staff, Director of Special Events

In a series of staffing changes for Family Equality, team members Shelbi Day, Kim Simes, and Jim Obergefell will be taking on new leadership roles 

New York, N.Y. – Several months into her new tenure at Family Equality, Chief Executive Officer Stacey Stevenson announces a number of staff changes aiming to support the organization’s strategy, policy, and fundraising initiatives. 

First, after a nationwide search, which produced several high quality candidates, our own Shelbi Day has been named the Chief Policy Officer replacing long-time leader in the movement, Denise Brogan-Kator, who retires at the end of May. Day joined Family Equality’s policy team in 2016 as Senior Policy Counsel, and has led Family Equality’s state policy work for the past four years. Day has built a decade-plus long career in civil rights focusing on LGBTQ+ issues. 

“From private practice to major partner organizations, Shelbi has worked for many years in this movement and is uniquely qualified to lead this team into a new era of LGBTQ+ family equality,” says current Chief Policy Officer, Denise Brogan-Kator. “As I retire this month, I feel confident in the decision to leave this important work in her capable hands.” 

“While Denise’s retirement is well deserved, she will be greatly missed,” says Day. “I am honored to step into the role of Chief Policy Officer, and lead the policy team in our fight for legal and lived equality for all LGBTQ+ families. As a lesbian with a wife and two kids, this work—and Family Equality’s mission—is deeply personal to me, and I can’t imagine a more exciting opportunity. ” 

Additionally, Kim Simes has been named as the Chief of Staff, a new position for the organization. An essential member of the Family Equality team for nearly 10 years, Simes started her work with the organization as the Midwest Regional Manager, then Director of Regional Programming, and more recently held the position of Director of Special Events. 

“In the few months that I have led Family Equality, I have already seen Kim plan a spectacular virtual gala and prepare for a Family Week unlike any other before,” says Family Equality CEO, Stacey Stevenson. “I can’t imagine anyone better suited to fill the roles of advisor, problem solver, project manager, integrator, strategist, confidante, and communicator. We are lucky to have her taking on this new leadership role in the organization.” 

“I am honored and thrilled for the opportunity to serve as Chief of Staff,” says Simes. “Family Equality has long been a part of my life—both personally and professionally. The core mission of our work along with the families we serve motivate me each and every day.” 

As Simes transitions into this new role, Jim Obergefell has been named the new Director of Special Events. 

Previously the Director of Individual Giving—and famously the lead plaintiff in Obergefell v. Hodges, the case that granted marriage equality nationwide—Jim’s dedication to our mission is nothing short of inspiring,” says Chief Development Officer, Matthew Ramsey. “We are thrilled to have him coordinating some of our community’s most beloved events, like LA Impact Awards and Night at the Pier!”

“I’m excited to coordinate Family Equality’s special events, which are essential to introducing our important work to people across the nation, building community, and sharing the stories of LGBTQ+ families,” says Obergefell.  “It’s an honor to work with such a dedicated and creative group of colleagues, and I look forward to advocating for love and family in this new role.” 

About Family Equality

Family Equality advances legal and lived equality for LGBTQ+ families, and for those who wish to form them, through building community, changing hearts and minds, and driving policy change. Family Equality believes every LGBTQ+ person should have the right and opportunity to form and sustain a loving family, regardless of who they are or where they live. Learn more at

# # #

Press Contact

Anna Libertin,
Chief Communications Officer (Interim)/
646-880-3005 ext. 157