The Montana Democratic Party has named Monica Lindeen as its new executive director, replacing the outgoing Nancy Keenan, who is retiring.
Lindeen, 56, was most recently executive director of YWCA Helena, following eight years as the state Commissioner of Securities and Insurance. She was previously vice chair of the party and served eight years in the state House, representing the Billings area. She also won the Democratic primary for Montana’s U.S. House seat in 2006, losing the general election to Republican Denny Rehberg.
Keenan, 66, led the party since 2015. She is an Anaconda native who spent four terms in the state Legislature and then 12 years as the state Superintendent for Public Instruction. She also ran for Montana's U.S. House seat in 2000, winning the primary but losing the general election to Rehberg. She then worked for People for the American Way before becoming president of NARAL Pro-Choice America, a position she held for nine years.
In a statement sent from the Montana Democratic Party, party chairwoman Mary Sexton welcomed Lindeen.
“We are thrilled Monica has decided to continue her accomplished career in public service as the next executive director of the Montana Democratic Party,” Sexton said in the statement. “As the attention of our nation remains fixed on lowering health care costs, protecting folks with pre-existing conditions, and saving our rural hospitals, there is no better person to lead the Montana Democratic Party than Monica Lindeen”
Lindeen also released a statement saying she is excited to take over the party.
“Working Montanans want their elected officials to protect health care rights, defend our public lands, and create good paying jobs for families across our state. Montana Democrats are working hard to do all this and more, and I’m excited to get to work electing candidates up and down the ballot,” Lindeen said in the statement.
Lindeen has been with YWCA Helena since Jan. 8, 2018. She said the organization's grants manager Kiley Gage will serve as interim executive director, and the board of directors will begin searching for a permanent replacement later this week.