FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: September 15, 2012
Incoming Leader Brings Significant Experience in LGBT Community Leadership, Policymaking, Advocacy and Coalition Building
A Video Introduction to Nathan Schaefer Can be Found Here
(New York, NY, September 15, 2012) Louis Bradbury and Marla Hassner, Co-Chairs of the Board of the Empire State Pride Agenda, today announced that Nathan Schaefer has been named Executive Director of the organization by a unanimous vote of the board.
“I know the LGBT community across New York will join us in welcoming Nathan Schaefer as incoming Executive Director of the Pride Agenda,” said Pride Agenda Board Co-Chair Marla Hassner. “Nathan comes to us with significant policymaking, community advocacy and political action experience. He is the right person to lead the Pride Agenda at this time, and we are confident he will help the LGBT community earn the full equality and recognition that we deserve.”
“Nathan clearly demonstrated to the Board both passion and compassion for the issues that are of the greatest importance to the LGBT community,” said Pride Agenda Board Co-Chair Louis Bradbury. “This is an exciting and critical time for the Pride Agenda, and we believe Nathan will infuse our efforts with energetic leadership and fresh ideas.”
“I am incredibly thrilled and humbled by this opportunity and I thank the Board for their vote of confidence,” Nathan Schaefer said. “We have an exciting opportunity right now in New York to continue the momentum toward equality. As Executive Director, I look forward to working with LGBT New Yorkers and our allies from across the state to build consensus and aggressively advocate for change.”
Schaefer most recently served as Director of Public Policy at the Gay Men’s Health Crisis (GMHC), where he administered all advocacy, organizing and government relations aspects of the agency. In that role, Schaefer led the coalition that partnered with the Obama Administration to overturn the HIV travel and immigration ban, a significant win for the LGBT community and immigration fairness. He has also been leading an effort challenging Congress to overturn the outdated policy that prohibits men who have sex with men from contributing to the nation’s blood supply. Schaefer has also been published extensively on issues affecting the LGBT and HIV/AIDS communities.
In 2011, the Pride Agenda led the way when the state made history by granting all New Yorkers the freedom to marry. Schaefer will now lead the Pride Agenda as it pushes for passage of a comprehensive transgender rights bill and on issues affecting LGBT youth, students and seniors.
“As a member of the search committee, I was struck by and pleased with Nathan’s knowledge of the transgender community, and his understanding of the issues we face in New York,” said Rochester based transgender community leader Pam Barres. “I am confident of his dedication to work for all of the LGBT community and I look forward to a very bright future for the Pride Agenda under his leadership.”
“I have proudly watched Nathan grow and evolve during his nearly five year tenure as our Director of Public Policy,” said Dr. Marjorie Hill, CEO of Gay Men’s Health Crisis. He is a strong leader, passionate health advocate and innovative thinker. While sad to see him go, I am just thrilled that he will lead the Pride Agenda. GMHC’s loss will be New York State’s gain.”
Nathan’s first day at the Pride Agenda will be October 15.
Founded in 1990, the Empire State Pride Agenda is New York's statewide civil rights organization committed to achieving full equality and justice for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) New Yorkers and our families. The Pride Agenda fights for these objectives by: educating the public, elected officials and policymakers; building coalitions and mobilizing allies; and, organizing and empowering the LGBT community. www.prideagenda.org