“I can’t think of another organization that invests so much and gives such responsibility to young political activists, often fresh out of school. While grueling at times, my experience as a canvass director for the Fund taught me skills that I carry with me to this day. I wouldn’t trade my PIRG experience for anything because it was the foundation upon which I built the rest of my political career.” Seth Kilbourn
In March 2006, Seth Kilbourn became Political and Policy Director at Equality California (EQCA), a nonprofit, nonpartisan statewide advocacy organization whose mission is to achieve equality and civil rights for all lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) Californians. As Political Director, Seth oversees and coordinates the implementation of EQCA’s political, electoral and public policy priorities and activities. He manages EQCA’s legislative agenda and PAC, directs the legislative, communications, coalition building, and field staff functions, and manages strategies for building the capacity of the organization. As Policy Director for the Equality California Institute, Kilbourn manages a statewide public education campaign on marriage for same-sex couples and LGBT equality.
Prior to moving to San Francisco in March, Kilbourn worked for 9 years at the Human Rights Campaign, the country’s largest LGBT advocacy group, in Washington DC. As Vice President for the Marriage Project, he directed HRC’s strategy and advocacy on marriage for same-sex couples. Kilbourn was HRC’s National Field Director for 5 years, leading a team of six field organizers to build HRC’s grassroots strength and presence at the state and local level. Under Seth’s leadership, HRC rapidly expanded its grassroots capacity, launched the HRC Action Center, a web-based network of activists nationwide, and brought an unprecedented level of HRC resources to state-level political work. In the 2004 election, he managed HRC’s $1.6 million campaign to turn out the GLBT and allied vote and the $1.7 million that HRC invested in state GLBT organizations and ballot campaigns to fund polling, message development and on-the-ground organizing.
Kilbourn began his tenure with HRC in March 1997 as a lobbyist, leading HRC's health policy work. Later, as HRC's deputy director for health and family policy, he directed the organization's efforts to ensure a comprehensive, well-funded national response to the HIV/AIDS epidemic.