By Adam Sandel
Herndon Graddick, recently appointed GLAAD's next President, is the current Vice President of Programs and Communications, a position he assumed in 2010. In his role, he has lead GLAAD's media initiatives and oversees the organization's National & Local News; Entertainment; People of Color; Religion, Faith & Values; Advertising; and Spanish-Language Media programs.
"Herndon is already a well-respected leader within the LGBT movement," said Sheri Fults, National Co-Chair of the Board of Directors. "We believe [he] will be a visionary and strategic leader for GLAAD's culture-changing work."
Graddick said, "Right now GLAAD and our partners in the LGBT movement are making a significant difference at a time when a difference needs to be made. I look forward to working with our dedicated staff to create a culture where there is a welcoming and respected space for LGBT Americans. GLAAD's work with the media to inspire Americans to speak out against anti-LGBT actions and support equality is needed today more than ever."
Under Graddick's leadership, GLAAD has engaged in highly visible and impactful campaigns including 'Stand Up For Ellen,' which prompted the group One Million Moms, a project of the American Family Association, to end their call for J.C. Penney to fire Ellen DeGeneres as its new spokesperson because she is gay.
Graddick also oversaw GLAAD's work on the Commentator Accountability Project - an initiative launched in March to highlight the extreme rhetoric of anti-LGBT activists who currently appear in national news outlets.
He is leading efforts with the Massachusetts Transgender Political Coalition (MTPC) on the “I AM: Trans People Speak” video series as well as with film director Brett Ratner to develop a series of videos with GLAAD featuring high-profile celebrities and public figures speaking out for LGBT equality.
Graddick has also put resources behind GLAAD's work to share stories of LGBT people of color and allies with African American media, sports media, and Spanish-language news outlets, among others.
Prior to his work at GLAAD, Graddick served as the Executive Producer of the Global Observatory, a media and communications effort, which aimed to bring public awareness to the climate change crisis.
He also served as Supervising Producer at E! Networks and the day-of-air news division director at CURRENT TV, the youth-oriented news and entertainment network created by former Vice President Al Gore.
As a producer at CNN, Graddick also contributed to the creation of daily primetime programming such as "Paula Zahn Now," "Anderson Cooper 360," and "Live from the Headlines." He will be speaking onstage at the 23rd Annual GLAAD Media Awards in Los Angeles on April 21, 2012.
For more information go to www.glaad.org
Follow Herndon Graddick on Twitter at @hgraddick