After a dozen years leading the national organization GLSENwhich aims to create a better world for LGBTQ+ studentsExecutive Director Eliza Byard is stepping down March 1.
Deputy Executive Director Melanie Willingham-Jaggers will take over as interim executive director, while the board launches a national search for GLSEN's next leader.
In an open letter, Byard said, "As I plan to depart, I'm proud to say that the organization is extremely well positioned to continue to act as an agent of change.
"We are in our strongest financial position ever, with a newly invigorated leadership team that is the most diverse in the organization's history, allies in the incoming administration, and a vibrant period of strategic innovation just ahead. "Perhaps most importantly, GLSEN has been engaged for some time in an on-going process of learning, self-assessment, and transformation, to create the internal culture and external strategies necessary to contribute to the anti-racist work essential to achieving our mission. I am deeply appreciative of my colleagues at the board, staff and chapter levelwho have been partners in that work, and to the new leaders whose vision is shaping the future. It is inspiring to see it coming into view."
A group of teachers founded GLSEN in 1990. Today, GLSEN's national network is more than 1.5 million strong, with students, families, educators and education advocates working to create safe schools. Students and educators download more than 500,000 GLSEN resources each year.