The Board of Directors of the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD) today announced their acceptance of President Jarrett Barrios’ resignation. The Board of Directors will now begin to assemble an Executive Search Committee to identify a new President. GLAAD’s Board of Directors confirmed a commitment to maintaining a strong focus on its mission-related activities during this transition and has appointed Mike Thompson, Chief Operating Officer, as Acting President of the organization.
Barrios announced his resignation in an email to the Board of Directors on Saturday, June 18:
“None of you have asked me to resign, and I have appreciated such confidence in me. I have been pained by the difficulties that have beset GLAAD over the last three weeks. As you know, they concern GLAAD’s endorsement of the AT&T / T-Mobile merger—and inaccurate but effective characterizations that suggest GLAAD has supported this merger because of our relationship with them as a corporate sponsor. As many of you have observed to me, this entire situation is wrought with miscommunication and assumptions. Be that as it may, I respect the function and responsibility of my position, and know this is the right course of action. Of utmost concern and foremost in all of our minds must be the well-being of GLAAD. The staff continues to work hard and does not deserve to work under a cloud, nor do they merit the distraction that it has become from our organization’s fine brand.”
Board Co-Chairs Roxanne Jones and Scott E. Miller confirmed that the decision to resign was made on Barrios’ personal accord and that he was not asked to resign by the Board.
“While media often focus on GLAAD’s high-profile efforts, it is GLAAD’s work on the ground and behind-the-scenes that is needed today more than ever,” said Mike Thompson, GLAAD’s Acting President. “GLAAD’s strong track record and ability to move our culture is a result of Jarrett’s and the staff’s commitment and leadership, and that staff commitment will continue as we move forward.”
The Board of Directors, earlier this week, accepted the resignation of several members: Gary Bitner, Jocelyn Bramble, Kelly Dermody, Humberto Mata, Michael Nutt, James Walker, and Randi Weingarten. Yesterday, the Board also accepted the resignation of member Troup Coronado. He resigned voluntarily, stating that he wanted “to do what was in the best interest of GLAAD.” Since 2008, Mr. Coronado has been a valued board member and an important voice in the LGBT community. The Board of Directors currently has 22 members.
“Under Jarrett’s tenure, he has put together a staff leadership team that is among the strongest in the movement,” said Roxanne Jones, Co-Chair of GLAAD’s National Board of Directors. “I’m confident that our current Board and staff are committed to executing our programmatic goals and reaching new heights.”
“Moving forward, we will be working extremely hard to instill continued confidence from our donors through our vital programmatic work,” said Scott E. Miller, National Board of Directors Co-Chair. “GLAAD is committed to our Transparency Statement and continuing to make policy decisions based on what’s best for our community,” said Thompson.
“This organization plays an important role in LGBT equality movement. We hold up the banner that words and images matter,” said Thompson. “I’m honored to work alongside the dedicated members of our staff, Board of Directors and Leadership Councils. We have a mind to make a difference and together, we’ll do just that.”
In other GLAAD-related news, veteran television news journalist and GLAAD Media Award nominee Jane Velez-Mitchell will join GLAAD staff and volunteers at the 2011 New York City Pride March.
“Media play a vital role in helping Americans understand that gay and lesbian people are just like them,” said Velez-Mitchell. “That’s why I’m proud to support GLAAD’s work to share stories from the LGBT community and stand with them at this year’s New York City Pride march.”
New York City’s annual Pride March began in 1970 as a commemoration of the one-year anniversary of the Stonewall Riots. The March has since grown to become the oldest and one of the world’s largest LGBT events. The 2011 Pride March will take place on Sunday, June 26.