During his 25-year career as a non-profit manager and volunteer leader, Roger C. Vann has held a variety of positions dedicated to civic participation, progressive issue advocacy and grassroots leadership development.
He is the former Executive Director of State Voices. The State Voices network supports creative ways to mobilize and empower people across the country so their voices are heard and their participation assured in the public sphere; particularly those people who make up the emerging majority. Prior to joining State Voices, as chief operating officer and chief of staff for the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), Vann oversaw day-to-day management of the 105-year-old civil rights organization, and led the development and implementation of the NAACP’s successful 2012 civic engagement strategy which was responsible for securing over 430,000 voter registrations nationwide. He also led the organization’s recent strategic planning process. Vann previously served as the NAACP’s national membership director, chief development officer and senior vice president of field operations and membership.
His 20-year long association with the NAACP began when, at age 28, he was elected the youngest president in the history of the Greater New Haven, Connecticut Branch in 1994. Under his leadership, the branch grew to one of the largest in the nation and helped win critical victories on a range of issues including living wage, public sector employment diversity and police misconduct. In 1999, as president of the Connecticut NAACP, Vann led a statewide grassroots effort to win passage of one of the nation’s first laws addressing racial profiling.
A lifelong champion of civil liberties and workers’ rights, Vann has served as executive director of the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of Connecticut as well as director of the African American Hiring Initiative for the International Union UNITE HERE.
Vann is an accomplished radio personality and programmer with more than 10 years experience as a news director and talk show host. He also worked as a community organizer on affordable housing issues and began his career developing and directing a pioneering manhood mentoring program for Planned Parenthood of Connecticut.
In addition to serving on the boards of several community and philanthropic organizations, Vann has demonstrated his commitment to social change through public service. In his native state of Connecticut he served as a member of the Governor’s Blue Ribbon Task Force on Affordable Housing, the State Treasurer’s Task Force on Individual Development Accounts and the Connecticut Commission on Human Rights and Opportunities.
A graduate of Brown University, Vann lives in Virginia with his wife and three children.