Friday, January 30, 2009

GLAAD president Giuliano resigns

LOS ANGELES (Observer Update) - Neil Giuliano is leaving the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation. Giuliano has served as president since September 1, 2005. In a statement, the former Tempe, Ariz. mayor and Arizona State University administrator said that he is resigning to give more time for a book he is writing about his political life.

“I have informed the national board of directors of my decision to step down as president later this year and look forward to a successful and smooth transition of leadership for GLAAD,” said Giuliano.

“It’s been an honor and privilege to work professionally in the movement for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) equality for the last three and a half years. The views of the American people on LGBT issues are clearly moving in the right direction, toward supporting full equality, and it has been a great experience to serve on the front lines, leading an amazing organization at such a historical time in the movement.”

Giuliano was mayor of Tempe for 10 years and spent 25 years as a university administrator and faculty associate at Arizona State University.

GLAAD said that under Giuliano’s leadership the organization’s budget has grown from $7.5 million to $11 million for its media advocacy and anti-defamation work on behalf of the LGBT community.

Giuliano also expanded GLAAD’s influence as a national voice and began media programs reaching out to young adults, communities of religion and faith, and sports media. GLAAD also acquired Queer Lounge at the Sundance Film Festival in 2007 and will launch an advertising media program later in 2009 with the assets of the former Commercial Closet Association.

“These programmatic areas are where GLAAD needs to be to further influence the culture and the change hearts and minds of people with regard to full equality for gay and transgender people” said Giuliano. “The growth and expansion of GLAAD’s influence is due to the many stakeholders who support our work, especially those serving on the National Board of Directors.”

Yvette Burton, the Co-Chair of the GLAAD National Board of Directors said, “Neil has been a strong leader for GLAAD and has advanced the organization significantly in the last three years. He will leave GLAAD a better and more effective organization than when he arrived and we appreciate his years of dedication and service.”

Giuliano will stay on until a successor is chosen.

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