The Leadership Conference, The Education Fund Welcome Key Staff

Uncategorized 01.13,21

Contact: Shin Inouye, [email protected], 202.869.0398

WASHINGTON — The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights and its sister organization, The Leadership Conference Education Fund, welcomed Kiersten Thornton as vice president of people and culture, Tamara Elaine Chrisler as senior advisor, organizational compliance and development, and Stephen Peters as director of media relations.

“We are excited that Kiersten and Stephen are joining our team, and that Tamara is taking on this new role,” said Monica Woods, executive vice president and COO of The Leadership Conference and The Education Fund. “They are all outstanding professionals who bring a wealth of knowledge and experience to their positions that will strengthen our organizations as we continue the fight for justice and civil rights in 2021 and beyond.”

Kiersten Thornton, vice president of people and culture, is an experienced professional in human resources. Having more than 15 years of professional experience, Thornton has previously held positions at the National Association of Home Builders and Wiley Rein, a law firm. She has worked on several strategic initiatives, including developing and executing performance management and compensation programs and spearheading diversity, equity, and inclusion initiatives.

Along with being a Certified Senior Professional in Human Resources (SPHR), Thornton holds a Master of Business Administration from George Mason University and a Bachelor of Arts from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Tamara Elaine Chrisler is the senior advisor, organizational compliance and development. She most recently served as managing director of government affairs at the organizations where she helped advance the advocacy agenda of the organizations. Prior to that, she was an Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) consultant with Resolution Services, Inc., where she provided professional counseling and investigative and adjudication services to the federal government on matters of employment discrimination. Before working in this consultant capacity, Chrisler spent eight years at the Congressional Office of Compliance, where she led the office’s efforts to advance workplace rights in the legislative branch, first as the office’s deputy executive director, and then as its executive director.

From 1997-2005, she was an attorney advisor with the Department of Justice, Federal Bureau of Prisons, where she supervised and trained attorneys in trial preparation for EEO and unfair labor practice hearings and advised and trained high-level agency officials in preventing discrimination and harassment claims. Chrisler began her professional legal career as a criminal prosecutor in the Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office in Chicago, IL, where she represented the people of the state of Illinois in circuit court and the Illinois Appellate Court. Chrisler received her B.A. in French Literature and J.D. from the University of Illinois, Champaign/Urbana.

Stephen Peters is the director of media relations. Peters was recently the senior national press secretary and spokesperson for the Human Rights Campaign, the nation’s largest LGBTQ civil rights organization. He has also served in various positions within the federal government, including at the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, the Economic Development Administration, and other departments.

A Marine Corps veteran, Peters founded the American Military Partner Association in 2012 to advocate for LGBTQ military families in the fight for marriage equality and equal access to military benefits. He has earned a Bachelor of Arts in Music, a Master of Business Administration, and a Master of Science in International Relations.

The Leadership Conference Education Fund builds public will for federal policies that promote and protect the civil and human rights of all persons in the United States. The Education Fund’s campaigns empower and mobilize advocates around the country to push for progressive change in the United States. It was founded in 1969 as the education and research arm of The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights. For more information on The Education Fund, visit