GLAAD today announced that Andrea Calise, President, U.S. Strategy & Communications at Teneo, and Samantha Harnett, General Counsel for Logitech, have joined the organization’s National Board of Directors. Members of GLAAD’s Board of Directors oversee the organization’s work to accelerate acceptance for LGBTQ people.
Andrea Calise (she/her) is currently the President of U.S. Strategy & Communications at Teneo, the world’s leading CEO advisory firm. Andrea has more than twenty years of experience providing strategic communications and investor relations counsel to public and private companies across a range of industries. Andrea has extensive experience helping clients achieve their strategic goals and successfully manage complex reputational challenges and special situations. She has worked for some of the world’s largest brands regarding corporate and executive positioning, investor relations, M&A, shareholder activism, ESG, crisis communications and complex legal and regulatory matters. Before her tenure at Teneo, Andrea spent 17 years at Kekst, a strategic and financial communications firm. Prior to her career as a corporate communications and investor relations advisor, she spent more than five years working for nonprofits. She held communications and public affairs roles at two international nongovernmental organizations – InterAction and Population Action International – working on international family planning advocacy, poverty alleviation programs and disaster relief and refugee crises.
Samantha Harnett (she/her) serves as General Counsel for Logitech, a global, multi-brand company designing products that help people to pursue their passions through music, gaming, video and computing. As General Counsel, Samantha oversees the company’s legal function including privacy, regulatory compliance, intellectual property, litigation, securities and corporate governance. Before joining Logitech, Samantha spent five years at Eventbrite, the leading event technology platform that brings the world together through live gatherings, in operating and legal leadership roles, including Chief Legal and Operations Officer. In addition to helping lead the company’s successful IPO, Samantha led the operations, human resources, legal and public policy teams. She also created Eventbrite’s content policy and moderation team, which developed Eventrbrite’s Community Standards to ensure respectful and inclusive consumer content across the platform. Throughout her career, Samantha has been committed to social justice and pro bono work and received the John Wilson Award for outstanding pro bono service while in private practice at Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati. As the mom of a young transgender daughter, Samantha devotes her time to local and global work to drive acceptance for the LGBTQ community.
Pamela Stewart (she/her), President, West Operations for the North America Operating Unit, Coca-Cola North America, currently serves as the Chair of GLAAD’s Board of Directors.
“Andrea and Samantha join GLAAD’s Board of Directors at a pivotal time when the organization’s reach and impact continues to grow, and as we aim to move LGBTQ inclusion and acceptance forward at every possible aperture,” said GLAAD President and CEO Sarah Kate Ellis. “Their unique backgrounds in tech, policy, and advocacy will be imperative in helping to shape and execute GLAAD’s timely work across media, entertainment, business, and beyond.”
In 2021, GLAAD’s work continues to remain critical in accelerating LGBTQ acceptance and amplifying LGBTQ issues and stories:
- In honor of Women’s History Month and Transgender Day of Visibility (March 31), GLAAD released an open letter signed by over 600 feminist leaders standing in solidarity with transgender women and girls, including Gloria Steinem, Regina King, Halle Berry, Selena Gomez, Chelsea Clinton, Gabrielle Union, and more.
- On April 8, GLAAD hosted a virtual ceremony for the 32nd Annual GLAAD Media Awards. GLAAD worked with celebrities including Demi Lovato, Laverne Cox, JoJo Siwa, Sterling K. Brown, and many others to bring necessary attention to pressing LGBTQ issues including the epidemic of violence facing trans women of color, anti-trans legislation across the U.S., combating racial and ethnic violence and discrimination, the importance of passing the Equality Act, among others.
- In May, GLAAD launched its first ever Social Media Safety Index (SMSI). The SMSI marks the first-ever baseline evaluation of the LGBTQ user safety experience across the social media landscape. The Index provides recommendations for the industry at large and reports on LGBTQ user safety across Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, YouTube, and TikTok. The Index found that all social media platforms categorically fail to protect LGBTQ users from discrimination, harassement, and hate online. GLAAD also announced a full-time staff role and program dedicated to advocating for safer online spaces for LGBTQ people.
- In May, GLAAD, in partnership with P&G, launched The Visibility Project, a new campaign to drive and to sustain LGBTQ inclusion in ads and marketing and to leverage the power of these mediums to accelerate LGBTQ acceptance. With The Visibility Project, P&G and GLAAD will bring together the world’s top brands and ad agencies working to advance LGBTQ inclusion in ads, creating and providing tools, techniques and resources for industry executives, and harnessing the power of advertising to accelerate LGBTQ acceptance.
- At the beginning of Pride Month, GLAAD launched its Summer of Equality campaign, which is urging the passage of the Equality Act to secure comprehensive protections against discrimination for every LGBTQ American in critically important areas of life. GLAAD’s campaign allows every American to sign a petition in support of the passage of The Equality Act that will be sent to each signatory’s U.S. Senators. Sign-up page here. GLAAD will be educating Americans throughout the summer about the need for the Equality Act and how they can take action to ensure their Senators pass the bill. Taylor Swift announced the Summer of Equality campaign on Twitter on June 1.
- In June, GLAAD launched its second annual 20 Under 20 list, spotlighting twenty young LGBTQ people, ages 20 and under, who are accelerating acceptance of LGBTQ people while shaping the future of media and activism. GLAAD’s second annual 20 Under 20 list features a diverse collection of young changemakers, including popstar JoJo Siwa, social media influencer Ve’ondre Mitchell, artist and singer-songwriter mxmtoon, actress Yasmin Finney, professional streamer Ewok, activists Stella Keating, Gia Parr, Trevor Wilkinson, Andrea Alejandra Gonzales, Ashton Mota, among others.
- On July 15, GLAAD released its ninth annual Studio Responsibility Index tracking the quantity, quality, and diversity of LGBTQ characters in theatrical releases from eight major studio distributors. This year’s study found a growth in racial diversity and screen time for LGBTQ characters, and was the first year that queer women characters outnumbered men. However, tte report found no LGBTQ characters with disabilities, no LGBTQ characters living with HIV, and transgender and/or non-binary characters remain completely absent for a fourth year in a row. GLAAD suspended grades for major film studios for this year’s report due to COVID-19.
- On August 26, GLAAD released its second annual State of HIV Stigma Study. The study found fewer than half of Americans, 48%, feel knowledgeable about HIV, down three points from a year ago. Only 42% know the fact that people living with HIV cannot transmit it while on proper treatment, and 53% of non-LGBTQ people surveyed noted they would be uncomfortable interacting with a medical professional who has HIV.