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GSA Network Founder Carolyn Laub to leave after 16 years as Executive Director

The Board of Directors of Gay-Straight Alliance Network announced today that the organization’s Founder and Executive Director, Carolyn Laub, will transition out of the organization at the end of August.

The announcement comes as Laub concludes a 3-month sabbatical, which she used to reflect on her 16 years of leadership at GSA Network and her future.

“Carolyn Laub’s vision and strategic leadership has created a powerful national LGBT youth empowerment organization that changes lives, laws, and the very idea of what’s possible for queer youth in schools,” said GSA Network Board Chair Andrew Uehling. “GSA Network’s board, staff, and youth leaders alike are grateful for Carolyn’s devoted service to the organization and the LGBT movement. We are proud to carry forward GSA Network’s essential mission of developing LGBTQ and ally youth leaders ready to challenge all forms of oppression.”

“It has been an incredible honor to found and lead GSA Network and an extraordinary privilege to have been part of such transformative change in the lives of thousands of LGBTQ and straight ally young people,” said Laub. “After 16 years of serving in this leadership role, now is the right time for me to pursue new opportunities and tackle new challenges in bringing about social justice in our world today. For GSA Network, it’s an opportunity for new leadership, and I’m excited for the organization’s future.”

The board will begin a search to identify its next leader. Ben Wong, appointed at the start of Laub’s sabbatical in June, will continue to serve as Interim Executive Director while the board engages executive search firms and begins the search process.  Laub will work with Wong and the board through the end of August to ensure a smooth transition.

Since Laub founded the organization in 1998, GSA Network has trained over 15,000 youth leaders; grown the GSA Network of California from 40 schools to more than 900 schools across the state; helped pass more than a dozen statewide laws to improve the safety, health, and educational success of LGBTQ youth including the first school non-discrimination law protecting students based on gender identity as well as sexual orientation and the historic FAIR Education Act which updated education guidelines to ensure that the roles and contributions of LGBT people are included in social studies and history lessons; replicated its statewide model in several states; united 39 regional and statewide organizations supporting GSA clubs through its National Association; and built the capacity of the national GSA movement to focus on issues of educational, racial, and economic justice.

At its National Gathering in Minneapolis earlier this month, GSA Network convened youth and adults from across the country to share skills, hear from LGBTQ leaders including CeCe McDonald and Kenyon Farrow, and set the national GSA movement agenda for the 2014-2015 school year. The conference, #GSAsUnite!, focused on educational and economic access for LGBTQ young people.

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Gay-Straight Alliance Network (GSA Network) is a national youth leadership organization that empowers youth activists to fight homophobia and transphobia in schools by training student leaders and supporting student-led Gay-Straight Alliance clubs throughout the country. GSA Network operates the GSA Network of California and the National Association of GSA Networks, which unites 39 statewide networks of GSA clubs. www.gsanetwork.org

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