The center’s Board of Directors announced in March that Dessert, who describes herself as a queer Latina attorney and activist, would fill the role previously held by Delores Jacobs.
Since 2016, Dessert had served as the center’s chief development and community engagement officer. She was also previously the executive director of Immigration Equality, a New York nonprofit focused on LGBT immigrant rights.
“I look forward to leading the center as we continue to grow our services to the LGBT and HIV communities and our families, and to further strengthen our advocacy for our full community,” Dessert said. “I’m excited to build on the incredible work we’ve done, and continue to strive for a San Diego where all LGBT people and our families are connected, healthy and thriving.”
The Hillcrest center provides a variety of health services, legal advocacy services and community resources, among other things.
Dessert was a lead field organizer on the center’s campaign against the 2008 Proposition 8 initiative, which opposed same-sex marriage.
The center’s new CEO also held positions with the U.S. Central District Court, the California Fair Employment and Housing Commission, as well as the state Department of Justice in the Office of the Attorney General.
An El Centro native, Dessert completed her law studies at UCLA. She earned her bachelor’s degree from UC San Diego.
— City News Service