WASHINGTON, D.C. — A South Carolina native was named on Thursday the new communications director for Servicemembers Legal Defense Network (SLDN), a national legal services and policy organization that for nearly two decades advocated for the repeal of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” (DADT). SLDN also provides legal services to those impacted by or fired under the statute.

Zeke Stokes, who lives in Washington, D.C., with his partner of three years, will be responsible for planning, implementing, managing and evaluating all communications for the group as DADT repeal moves through the certification and implementation phases. He will report directly to the chief operating officer and work closely with the executive director on key communications strategies.

“SLDN is pleased to have Zeke join our team at this important point in the history of ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ repeal,” Aubrey Sarvis, Army veteran and SLDN executive director, said in a release. “We’re proud to welcome someone with Zeke’s diverse background in political, corporate, and nonprofit public relations and communications. I know his expertise will serve us well as we work to ensure a timely and effective repeal of ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’.”

Since 2005, Stokes has managed his own firm, consulting for a variety of political, nonprofit, corporate and governmental clients in the areas of public relations, development and communications, including the South Carolina Department of Education, the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee and a variety of campaigns at the local, state, and federal level. He is a former publicist for the March of Dimes national office in White Plains, NY, and is a native of South Carolina, where he began his career at age 19 as the youngest Director of Communications for a State Democratic Party in the country.

“I am thrilled to join the team at SLDN as we work alongside the nation’s military and civilian leaders to make sure the repeal of ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ takes shape in the most effective way,” Stokes said in the release. “There is a great deal of work to be done as we approach certification, implementation, and equality for all service members.”

— Compiled from release

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