GLAAD’s National Board of Directors announced today, November 25, that Sarah Kate Ellis has been elected the organization’s new president and CEO. Ellis, activist and esteemed media executive, is being called “uniquely qualified to lead” one of America’s biggest LGBT organizations.
National Co-Chair of GLAAD, Steve Warren, believes there is no better time than the present to see what a media genius like Ellis can do to create positive change.
He said in a press release, “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. 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 looking forward to the work she’ll be doing for GLAAD, noting in the press release that while an enormous amount of progress has been made already, there is still a “critical journey ahead.”
The press release quoted her as saying, “Together with our dedicated staff, I will push for a culture where everyone in the LGBT community not only has legal equality, but 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’ award-winning media and communications strategies have earned her a catalog of successes, including nurturing women’s interest magazine “Real Simple” into a well-liked and respected publication (both online and in print). Ellis has also worked on and transformed “Vogue,” “InStyle,” “New York,” and “House & Garden.”
As co-chair of OUT and Time Inc., Ellis highlighted LGBT diversity and community, educating straight allies on LGBT concerns. She is also a member of Advertising Women of New York, Cosmetic Executive Women, the Magazine Publishers of America, and a Vestry member of St. Luke’s Episcopal Church.
Ellis married her wife, Kristen Ellis-Henderson, in October 2011—the first same-sex couple to be married in the Episcopal Church of New York State. Two years prior to their wedding (delayed until the passing of New York’s same-sex marriage law), they had synchronized pregnancies, each giving birth to one child. Together, they authored a memoir titled, “Times Two: Two Women in Love and the Happy Family They Made.” Both Ellis and her wife, who is a founding member of female rock band Antigone Rising, are outspoken LGBT activists.
Jenny Boylan, Chair of the Search Committee and National Co-Chair of the Board, believes that Ellis’ personal and professional history make her a perfect fit for the job.
“Sarah Kate is a new kind of leader, one that will take the LGBT movement into the next decade and beyond,” said Boylan. “Her history as a brilliant, articulate, and proudly out media executive makes her an idea fit to lead GLAAD. When she and her wife appeared on the cover of ‘Time,’ she became a living symbol of the fight of 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.”
Ellis will be based in GLAAD’s New York City office; she will begin her newly appointed position in January 2014.