Montana Democratic Party Announces Nancy Keenan as Executive Director
“I’ve dedicated my career to fighting for Montana families and building strong progressive coalitions. I have great respect for the people of Montana and am honored to have this opportunity to champion our Montana and Democratic values together with folks in our smallest rural towns and larger communities,” said Keenan.
Governor Steve Bullock and Senator Jon Tester applauded the selection of Keenan as the new executive director.
"As a teacher, a legislator, and Montana's Superintendent of Public Instruction, Nancy Keenan has always worked to make Montana a better place. I am pleased Nancy has agreed to continue her commitment to service — this time as executive director of the Montana Democratic Party. Her tough Anaconda spirit and her knowledge of the state’s politics will be invaluable as we head into 2016,” said Governor Bullock.
"Nancy is a fearless leader who has spent a career fighting for middle class families, seniors, women, veterans, students, labor, and Indian Country. She's got the tenacity, savvy, and fortitude to guide Montana Democrats to victory in 2016. With Nancy at the wheel, the Party and Montana are in good hands,”said Senator Tester.
Keenan comes to the Montana Democratic Party after an extensive national search. Keenan’s first day on the job will be April 20th.
A full bio follows below:
With nearly three decades of Montana and national political experience, Nancy Keenan takes the reins of the Montana Democratic Party with experience, leadership, and a deep appreciation for the spirit of the people of Montana.
Born and raised in Anaconda, Keenan worked in the Anaconda smelter to pay her way through college. She attended Montana State University earning a bachelor’s degree in elementary and special education. Keenan taught special education in Billings and Anaconda. She earned a Master’s degree in education administrations for the University of Montana.
While following her passion as a teacher, Keenan became active in politics serving four terms in the Montana House of Representatives. After her time in the legislature, Keenan served as the Montana Superintendent of Public Instruction for three terms. In 2000, Keenan ran a strong campaign for the U.S. House of Representatives.
Following her time as an elected official, Keenan worked as the education policy director for People For the American Way, an organization dedicated to making the promise of America real for every American from equality to freedom of speech to freedom or religion. In 2004, Keenan became the president of NARAL Pro-Choice America, a leading women’s rights organization. Keenan’s time at NARAL Pro-Choice America produced huge gains for pro-choice elected officials in Congress. As president of NARAL Pro-Choice America, Keenan was instrumental in the election of President Barack Obama.
After stepping down from NARAL in 2012, Keenan has returned to her Montana roots and been an active advisor in Montana Democratic politics.