The Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation search for a new leader is over. The media advocacy organization announced today, 14 April, Herndon Graddick is its new president.
'Herndon Graddick is already a well-respected leader within the LGBT movement, and we believe will be a visionary and strategic leader for GLAAD's culture-changing work,' Sheri Fults, GLAAD's national co-chair of the board of directors, said on the group's website.
Graddick is well known to the watch-dog media group. Presently he is its vice president of programs and communications, a position he's held since 2010. He's led some of GLAAD's most recent work, including what's called the 'Commentator Accountability Project.' Launched in March, that initiative keeps tabs on anti-LGBT activists and their rhetoric on cable news. The new president was also highly visible in the 'Stand Up For Ellen' campaign. That started because the group One Million Moms – a project of the American Family Association – called on J.C. Penney to fire talk show host Ellen DeGeneres as its spokesperson because she is an out lesbian.
From all indications, GLAAD's leader seems ready and able for the job upgrade.
'Right now GLAAD and our partners in the LGBT movement are making a significant difference at a time when a difference needs to be made," Graddick said. 'I look forward to working with our dedicated staff to create a culture where there is a welcoming and respected space for LGBT Americans. GLAAD's work with the media to inspire Americans to speak out against anti-LGBT actions and support equality is needed today more than ever.'
GLAAD's new head takes control during a troubled time for the group. Earlier this year 11 staff members were laid off. Last year, there was a public relations black eye when ex-president Jarrett Barrios stepped down after it was revealed he penned a letter to the Federal Communications Commission supporting the proposed merger of AT&T and T-Mobile. Six board members also resigned.
Graddick will be formally introduced at the 23rd Annual GLAAD Media Awards in Los Angeles on 12 April.