GLAAD announces programmatic and leadership expansion to combat rising threats to LGBTQ acceptance

Longtime advocate and Emmy-winning Viacom veteran Rich Ferraro; digital expert, international activist, and Twitter strategist Jim Halloran to join GLAAD in chief roles
February 22, 2017

Matt Goodman
Associate Director of Communications, GLAAD
(646) 871-8028

New York – GLAAD, the world’s LGBTQ media advocacy organization, today announced new programs along with additions to its executive staff as it addresses rising threats to the LGBTQ community. GLAAD’s new departments will be on the front lines of responding to and demanding action as local and national legislation comes into the center of national discourse. The organization will also strengthen its strategic and long-term vision with the addition of new leadership positions – Chief Communications Officer and Chief Digital Officer.

GLAAD’s News & Rapid Response department will work with journalists and news outlets in print, broadcast, and digital to ensure that the media is accurately and fairly representing LGBTQ people in its reporting as well as including diverse LGBTQ perspectives. The department will provide critical resources for mainstream media to hold elected officials accountable, including the recently launched Trump Accountability Project. The Trump Accountability Project, launched just 48 hours after the results of the Presidential election, documents anti-LGBTQ statements and actions of members of the Trump Administration and Congress. GLAAD’s News & Rapid Response department will also expand on GLAAD’s history of elevating culture-changing stories of LGBTQ people and families that humanize political issues with a focus on issues including so-called religious freedom, transgender equality, racial justice and immigration reform.

The Digital Campaigns & External Engagement department recognizes that the battles of today are being won or lost online long before they reach lawmakers. In response, the department will work with celebrities, influencers, athletes, musicians, among others, to create online campaigns that mobilize LGBTQ people and allies, build bridges with a diverse array of intersectional communities, and inspire real change.

“At a time when anti-LGBTQ hate crimes are on the rise and discriminatory legislation is being considered on both the state and federal levels, GLAAD is committed to expanding its long-term strategic capabilities as well as its capacity,” said Sarah Kate Ellis, GLAAD President & CEO. “In the current social climate, it is more important than ever for us to double down on our work to accelerate LGBTQ acceptance and help to shape a world in which everyone is free to live the life they love.”

The role of Chief Communications Officer will be filled by Rich Ferraro, a GLAAD veteran who most recently served as a Senior Director of Communications and Public Affairs at Viacom. During his time at Viacom he worked on MTV’s 2016 election campaign which drew attention to issues including immigration, LGBTQ equality, and racial justice. He launched Logo’s LGBTQ public affairs department and led press strategy for MTV and Logo documentaries, campaigns and shows. In 2015, he received a Daytime Emmy Award for the MTV and Logo documentary “Laverne Cox Presents:  The T Word.” Prior to Viacom, Ferraro spent over six years enhancing and growing GLAAD’s communications and programs departments. He launched GLAAD’s Spirit Day campaign and oversaw media strategy for winning work on issues including marriage equality, transgender inclusion in the Miss Universe pageant, and the campaign to end the Boy Scouts of America’s ban on gay scouts.

In this new role, Rich will grow GLAAD’s News & Rapid Response department, expand organizational visibility, as well as oversee the selection process for the GLAAD Media Award nominees, honorees, and award recipients.

Jim Halloran will be GLAAD’s Chief Digital Officer. Jim previously worked for Twitter as the Head of Global Content Management where he was responsible for building strategy to improve the way people think and communicate; he also served as the company’s corporate spokesperson and advisor on LGBTQ issues. Prior to joining Twitter, Halloran spent a decade working in human rights nonprofits building digital infrastructure. He assisted on the White House LGBT Tech & Innovation briefing under President Obama; provided contributions to the United Nations Office of the High Commissioner on Human Rights; and currently serves on advisory boards for UCSF’s Alliance Health Project and Lesbians Who Tech.

In his role at GLAAD, Jim will be responsible for driving organizational growth by leveraging the rapidly changing digital sector to transform GLAAD’s work through efficiency and scale. He will also play a key role in the new Digital Campaigns & External Engagement department.