LOS ANGELES – GLAAD’s board of directors late Saturday elected Herndon Graddick as the group’s new president, following a nationwide search.
Graddick, who will be introduced to the public during the 23rd annual GLAAD Media Awards in Los Angeles on Saturday, April 21, was elevated from his position as GLAAD’s vice president of programs and communication. He was named to that job in 2010.
“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,” Graddick said. “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.”
Sheri Fults, national co-chair of the board of directors, said Graddick stood out during the search process.
“Herndon Graddick is already a well-respected leader within the LGBT movement, and we believe will be a visionary and strategic leader for GLAAD’s culture-changing work,” Fults said.
In his former role, Graddick led 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. Under his leadership, GLAAD engaged in numerous highly visible and impactful campaigns including Stand Up For Ellen, which prompted the anti-gay 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.
He has 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.
Before joining GLAAD, Graddick served as the executive producer of the Global Observatory, a media and communications effort 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."