by Shaun Knittel -
SGN Associate Editor
The National Board of Directors of GLAAD, the nation's premier LGBT media advocacy organization, announced the election of Sarah Kate Ellis this week as the organization's new CEO and president following a nationwide search.
'GLAAD's unparalleled history in shifting American beliefs on LGBT families paved the way for our recent legal victories and will be instrumental in inspiring more and more Americans to stand with LGBT people and our families,' said Steve Warren, national co-chair of GLAAD's Board of Directors. 'We are excited to welcome Sarah Kate at a time when our community needs more of GLAAD's work in the media to share the stories that create real change.'
Ellis is an award-winning media executive, outspoken advocate for LGBT equality, and salient communications strategist who has led national media brands to their biggest successes, most notably growing Real Simple into one of Time Inc.'s most respected and successful magazines. Her vision has transformed and energized leading media outlets including Vogue, InStyle, New York, and House & Garden. Most recently, she served as senior vice president of global marketing at Martini Media, a digital firm specializing in online branding, public relations, and marketing. She has earned seven MIN Awards for marketing innovation, two President's Awards, and MIN's Sales Executive Team of the Year Award in 2012.
As co-chair of OUT at Time Inc., she led programming to spotlight the diversity of the LGBT community and educated the organization's straight allies on a wide range of LGBT issues. She is a member of Advertising Women of New York, Cosmetic Executive Women, and the Magazine Publishers of America. Ellis is also a Vestry member of St. Luke's Episcopal Church. She earned her B.A. from Russell Sage College and also attended the Tuck Executive Education program at Dartmouth College.
In 2011, Ellis co-authored a memoir with her wife, Kristen Ellis-Henderson, titled Times Two: Two Women in Love and the Happy Family They Made (Simon & Schuster). The autobiography chronicled their simultaneous pregnancies and road to motherhood. The two are outspoken advocates for LGBT equality and were featured on the groundbreaking 'Gay Marriage Already Won' cover of Time Magazine (April 8, 2013). They were also profiled in a special New York Times Style section devoted to marriage equality on the day it became legal in New York and were the subjects of the Huffington Post's three-part documentary web series titled 'Here Come the Brides.' They were named one of GO Magazine's Most Captivating Couples of 2012 and are the proud mothers of two children. The couple held the first marriage ceremony performed for a same-sex couple in the Episcopal Church of New York.
'Sarah Kate is a new kind of leader, one who will take the LGBT movement into the next decade and beyond,' said Jennifer Boylan, national co-chair of GLAAD's Board of Directors and chair of the search committee. 'Her history as a brilliant, articulate, and proudly out media executive makes her an ideal fit to lead GLAAD. When she and her wife appeared on the cover of Time, she became a living symbol of the fight for marriage equality, and her selection as GLAAD's new leader is a clear sign of where the LGBT movement is going next - toward equality for all LGBT Americans in the workplace, in the family, and in local communities.'
'While our community has made great strides in recent years, our movement has an important and critical journey ahead,' said Ellis. 'Together with our dedicated staff, I will push for a culture where everyone in the LGBT community is fully welcomed and respected by our neighbors. I look forward to leading GLAAD and creating a world where LGBT people and our families have the freedom to joyously - and openly - live a life they love.'
Ellis will begin work in her new position in January 2014. She will be based in GLAAD's New York City office.
Boylan and Warren were announced as co-chairs of GLAAD's national Board of Directors earlier this month. A professor at Colby College, Boylan is the first Transgender woman to serve as a GLAAD board co-chair.
The nation's only organization working to move LGBT equality forward through the power of the media, GLAAD proactively shares stories of LGBT people and allies through news, entertainment, Spanish-language, digital and new media to increase understanding and build support for LGBT people. GLAAD also challenges anti-LGBT rhetoric that appears in mainstream media, ensuring fairness and accuracy. Earlier this year, the organization formally dropped the name 'Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation' to more accurately reflect its longstanding commitment to issues impacting all members of the LGBT community, including Bisexual and Transgender people.
GLAAD amplifies the voice of the LGBT community by empowering real people to share their stories, holding the media accountable for the words and images they present, and helping grassroots organizations communicate effectively. By ensuring that the stories of LGBT people are heard through the media, GLAAD promotes understanding, increases acceptance, and advances equality. For more information, visit www.glaad.org.
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