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STATEMENT: CAP Founder John Podesta on the Passing of Ambassador James Hormel

Washington, D.C. — John Podesta, founder and chairman of the Center for American Progress, released the following statement on the passing of Ambassador James “Jim” Hormel, who was nominated by former President Bill Clinton to serve as U.S. ambassador to Luxembourg and became the first openly gay man to serve as an American ambassador:

Ambassador Hormel’s passing is a profound loss for so many, but particularly for the progressive movement and members of the LGBTQ community, whose lives and rights he fought to advance through decades of public service, philanthropy, and activism.

Jim was an early, enthusiastic, and generous supporter of CAP’s work and mission. Having co-founded his own organization, the Human Rights Campaign, Jim’s ideas, time, and energy helped CAP grow in prominence; retain some of the nation’s leading experts; and launch new programs, such as the organization’s LGBTQ policy team, which has played a critical role in promoting LGBTQ people’s rights and inclusion in health care, the workplace, schools, and beyond—both domestically and around the globe.

My thoughts, and those of the entire CAP community, are with my dear friend, the loving family and friends who survive him, and the people whose lives he changed through decades of tireless advocacy and barrier-breaking leadership. While he will be dearly missed, we remain steadfast in our dedication to the mission to which Jim dedicated so much of his life—ensuring that all people are treated with dignity and entitled to equal protection under the law.

Please direct media inquiries to Colin Seeberger at or 202-741-6292.