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September 2021

C. Dixon Osburn is extremely proud and excited to share Mission Possible on the tenth anniversary of repeal of "Don't ask, don't tell." How did we do it? This was one story that really needed to be told.

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C. Dixon Osburn was co-founder and executive director of Servicemembers Legal Defense Network that led the successful effort to repeal “Don’t ask, don’t tell.” A noted expert on civil and human rights, national and international security, and democracy, Dixon has served as Director of Law & Security at Human Rights First, Executive Director at the Center for Justice and Accountability and as a Fellow at the Harvard Kennedy School Carr Center for Human Rights Policy. Dixon received his AB with distinction from Stanford University and JD/MBA from Georgetown. He lives in Washington, D.C.

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“Mission Possible tells the inspirational story of the repeal of the discriminatory “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy of the U.S. military. It was a great advance for the values of freedom and equality that define America’s mission and was accomplished with surprisingly bipartisan support because of the political effectiveness and savvy of the LGBT community.”

– Senator Joseph I. Lieberman

“When we repealed “Don't ask, don't tell” in Congress, we couldn’t have been successful without Servicemembers Legal Defense Network laying the groundwork over the preceding seventeen years. Mission Possible is essential reading to understand the organization and advocacy behind this monumental undertaking.” –Representative Patrick J. Murphy

“Dixon challenged me and other military leaders to reflect on the price “Don’t ask, don’t tell” cost our nation – to our values, our integrity, our military readiness. His respectful and steadfast leadership moved the nation to a better place.”

– Lieutenant General Claudia Kennedy, USA, Retired 

"Don't ask, don't tell” was a terrifying, painfully lonely era in which to serve. Mission Possible describes how Servicemembers Legal Defense Network provided a lifeline to those of us who desperately needed it. They saved my life. Read the book."

--Lauren Hough, SLDN client and author of Leaving Isn’t the Hardest Thing

“Servicemembers Legal Defense Network – and in particular, Dixon – gave me strength, resolve and a voice to stand up against the most formidable foe of all, the U.S. government under ‘Don’t ask, don’t tell.’ SLDN and Dixon belong with the pantheon of organizations and people who have significantly advanced civil rights for the LBGT+ community.” – Huong Nguyen, SLDN client

“Mission Possible is inspiring and motivating. It tells the story of what I and so many others were up against under “Don’t ask, don’t tell.” Dixon is a civil rights icon.” – Reichen Kuhl, SLDN client, Winner Amazing Race 4

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