GLAAD Names Sarah Kate Ellis as President, CEO

Sarah Kate Ellis
Sarah Kate Ellis
 Courtesy of GLAAD

GLAAD has named Sarah Kate Ellis as president and CEO.

The watchdog group announced Monday that the communications strategist/LGBT advocate would take over for acting president Dave Montez and begin her position in January. She'll be based in New York.

"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," said Steve Warren, national co-chair of GLAAD's board of directors. "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."

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In 2011, Ellis and her wife, Kristen Ellis-Henderson, co-authored a memoir -- Times Two, Two Women in Love and the Happy Family They Made. The autobiography chronicled their simultaneous pregnancies and path to motherhood. The couple has been featured on Time Magazine's "Gay Marriage Already Won" cover and have been profiled in a New York Times Style section devoted to marriage equality on the day it became legal in New York State. They were the subjects of The Huffington Post's three-part web docuseries "Here Come the Brides." They also were the first marriage ceremony performed for a same-sex couple in the Episcopal Church of New  York State.

Ellis comes to GLAAD after most recently serving as senior vp global marketing at Martini Media, a digital firm specializing in online branding, PR and marketing. She is a former co-chair of OUT at Time Inc., where she led programming to spotlight the diversity of the LGBT community and educated the organization's straight allies on an array of LGBT issues.

"Sarah Kate is a new kind of leader, one that will take the LGBT movement into the next decade and beyond," said Jenny Boylan, national co-chair of the board of directors and chair of the search committee. "Her history as a brilliant, articulate, and proudly out media executive makes her an ideal fit to lead GLAAD. When she and her wife appeared on the cover of Time, she became a living symbol of the fight for 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."

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"While our community has made great strides in recent years, our movement has an important and critical journey ahead," Ellis said. "Together with our dedicated staff, I will push for a culture where everyone in the LGBT community 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."

Boylan and Warren were named co-chairs of GLAAD's national board of directors this month. Boylan is the first transgender woman to serve as co-chair of GLAAD's board of directors.

E-mail: Lesley.Goldberg@THR.com
Twitter: @Snoodit

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