Former Obama LGBT liaison named PFLAG executive director

By : Chris Johnson OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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A former White House liaison to the LGBT community in the Obama administration has been named the new chief of PFLAG National, the organization announced Jan. 17.

Brian Bond, who was the first White House LGBT liaison during the Obama administration, is set to become executive director of PFLAG effective Feb. 1.

Kathy Godwin, board president of PFLAG, said she’s “thrilled” to welcome the veteran of the Obama administration, who also grew up in Missouri and was once chief of the Gay & Lesbian Victory Fund.

“He has a proven record of success unifying people across communities, building strong alliances and partnerships and working in challenging environments and moments to effect change,” Godwin said. “His personal story — as a young gay man raised in rural America — will resonate with so many people, including our supporters and members. I know Brian is the leader PFLAG needs to continue our work, and greatly expand our reach.”

Valerie Jarrett, former senior adviser to former President Obama, praised both Bond and PFLAG upon the announcement of his new position.

“During my time at the White House I saw firsthand PFLAG’s legacy of loving, affirming families and actively engaged allies at work,” Jarrett said. “PFLAGers are changing hearts and minds in every corner of our country in support of equality for the LGBTQ+ community. I also witnessed Brian Bond’s commitment to moving equality forward with passion, empathy, and humility. Brian’s skill set, collaborative leadership style, creative thought process, and ability to build bridges across diverse communities and life experiences will serve PFLAG well. I am thrilled that Brian Bond has been selected as PFLAG National’s next Executive Director during this pivotal and critical moment in time.”

PFLAG names Bond as executive director after its previous head Jaime Grant left the organization in March 2018 only six months into the job in a move that puzzled some LGBT activists. PFLAG has gone nearly a year without an executive director.

Aditi Hardikar, another former White House LGBT liasion, said in a statement upon the announcement of a new leader Bond “embodies leadership.”

“He has earned the trust and respect of diverse communities and coalitions over his lifetime because he has worked tirelessly to uplift people of all ages and backgrounds every step of the way,” Hardikar said. “I count myself in that category, first as his summer intern and later as his successor as the White House LGBT Liaison and a committed partner in the fight for equality and justice. PFLAG, already an effective and important organization, has gained a talented, humble, inclusive, and strategic leader in Brian — and I look forward to the scores more families and young people supported by this work with Brian at the helm.”

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