On the line was my newest board recruit, making a counter-proposal: Did I want to hire her instead?
Fast forward a few months, and Jessica J. González had joined our team after years leading policy work at the National Hispanic Media Coalition.
Jessica quickly exceeded my already lofty expectations. She’s an inspiring leader and a passionate advocate for media justice. She’s also a great colleague and friend. And she’s pushed Free Press in exciting new directions; earned the admiration of allies, funders and policymakers; and helped lead the continuing transformation of this amazing organization.
So I’m beyond excited to share this news with all of you today: Jessica González is now the co-CEO of Free Press and Free Press Action!
I strongly believe this is the right move — and the right time to make it. I advocated for this co-CEO structure because I believe it gives Free Press the best chance to succeed and prosper in the years ahead, to recruit the best talent, to raise the most money, to influence and mobilize the most people.
I’ve been at Free Press for more than 15 years, the past eight of them as CEO. I’m deeply committed to this organization. It’s my life. So let me be clear: I have no plans to go anywhere.
Jessica and I share a vision for Free Press as it strives to change the media to transform democracy and realize a just society. Co-leading the organization will allow us to spend more time on the building blocks for this transformation, the relationships necessary to get there, and the ideas to achieve our mission.
It will allow us to play to our strengths and enhance our skills and expertise. We will be bicoastal, with Jessica in Los Angeles and me in Washington, D.C., showing up in more places and forging stronger networks of allies and supporters.
Over the past three years, Jessica and I have often worked as a team. We see clear benefits as co-CEOs in sharing responsibility for the organization’s health and success and in having a strategic thought partner on executive decisions. We will walk the talk on our race-equity values, starting at the top, modeling real power sharing and collaboration in line with our values.
We believe this co-CEO structure will help Free Press accomplish its goals, expand its reach, and bring in the resources and people we need to get more work done.
You can learn more about Jessica and her vision for Free Press in this post. I can’t wait to see everything all of us can accomplish together in 2020 and beyond!