Tim Sweeney has been president and CEO of the Denver-based Gill Foundation since October 2007. For more than 30 years, he has worked to advance equality for all people regardless of sexual orientation or gender expression.
His first political organizing experience occurred in California, working alongside Harvey Milk and community allies from a variety of backgrounds to defeat a ballot proposition that would have banned gay people from teaching in public schools.
Beginning in 1981, he served five years as executive director of Lambda Legal Defense and Education Fund. With only few hundred thousand dollars and four staff, Lambda filed lawsuits to allow gay college students to meet on campuses of public universities and led the fight to sue landlords in the nation’s first successful HIV discrimination case.
From 1986 to 1993, Tim was deputy director and then executive director of Gay Men’s Health Crisis, where he helped to build the largest community-based HIV/AIDS service, prevention, and advocacy organization in the world. Under his leadership and working alongside allies, the organization helped secure passage of the Americans with Disabilities Act and the Ryan White CARE Act.
Tim also worked as the deputy executive director for programs of the Empire State Pride Agenda and Foundation from 1994-2000. His leadership in coalition building ensured passage of New York’s anti-hate crimes law, and helped to raise more than $5 million in state funding for LGBT health and human service organizations.
Most recently, Tim was program director of the Evelyn & Walter Haas, Jr. Fund. There he worked to build national efforts to support the rights of lesbian and gay couples in civil marriage and provided support for organizations implementing a California law that safeguards the rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender students.