Today it was announced that Zeke Stokes would be joining GLAAD as the organization's Vice President of Programs.
In this role Stokes will oversee GLAAD's advocacy work to advance the stories of LGBT people that lead to positive cultural change in the United States and abroad. He will lead a staff of media professionals in both Los Angeles and New York City in GLAAD's Entertainment Media, News Media, and Spanish-Language Departments. Stokes will also lead GLAAD's transgender, sports, international, and youth initiatives. He will launch GLAAD's Southern Stories program and will continue GLAAD's Commentator Accountability Project, which works with local and national media outlets to hold anti-LGBT activists accountable.
"While legal equality continues ahead at full speed, GLAAD's work to advance and change the culture here and abroad is needed more than ever," said GLAAD President and CEO Sarah Kate Ellis. "We are thrilled to have Zeke's passion and expertise as we expand GLAAD's impact in the areas of our country and the world where work still needs to be done to move hearts and minds to side with equality."
Zeke Stokes most recently served as director of outreach at Media Matters For America, where he was lead brand ambassador for the organization and worked to ensure that the research and rapid response tools produced by the organization were leveraged across the progressive movement to create change. Previously, he was communications director for Servicemembers Legal Defense Network - and then director of external relations at OutServe-SLDN - where he played a key role in advancing LGBT military equality, repealing Don't Ask, Don't Tell and defeating the so-called Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA). Prior, Stokes managed his own firm, consulting for a variety of political, nonprofit, corporate and governmental clients. He is a former publicist for the March of Dimes, where he managed celebrity involvement. He is a native of South Carolina, and began his career there as director of communications for the South Carolina Democratic Party. Stokes is currently a co-producer on the upcoming docu-reality series, TransMilitary. He is also a frequent media commentator on LGBT issues and has appeared in the pages, online, and on the air of countless local, state, and national news outlets including The Huffington Post, Sirius XM radio, Chicago Tribune, Sports Illustrated, and The Advocate.
"Zeke's media prowess was instrumental in some of our community's biggest successes and has exposed the harms that anti-LGBT activists and organizations inflict on LGBT families," said Rich Ferraro, GLAAD's current Vice President of Programs & Communications. "His skills are a natural fit for GLAAD and will no doubt result in campaigns and programs that move the needle, inspire, and cause lasting impact."
Stokes will be based in New York City and will start on August 15, 2014.