On Tuesday, Gay & Lesbian Advocates & Defenders announced that Janson Wu, who’s gay and a staff attorney for the organization, will begin his role as head of the Boston-based group starting Dec. 1.
“Janson’s set of skills and talents are uniquely suited to this moment,” said Board President Dianne Phillips. “Beyond his deep knowledge of GLAD, the movement, and the issues facing our community both in New England and nationally, Janson brings to the table vision, impressive leadership abilities, and the strategic thinking of a successful litigator.”
GLAD taps a new executive director from within house following a nationwide search that ensued after Lee Swislow, former head of the organization, announced last year she would retire after the heading the group for eight years.
In recent years, GLAD has worked to legalize marriage equality in every state in New England in addition to advancing other LGBT rights in that area and beyond. Early this year, the organization signed on as co-counsel in the lawsuit seeking marriage equality in Michigan.
Following a ruling in the case against gay nuptials from the U.S. Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals, that lawsuit may be the vehicle by which the U.S. Supreme Court will make a nationwide rule in favor of marriage equality if justices decide to take up the litigation.
“With all of the gains that GLAD has brought to New England, we now have a unique and exciting opportunity going forward,” Wu said. “We are positioned to show the rest of the country what the next stage of our movement could look like if we dream big and keep our eyes on the prize – equal justice under law. I am both happy and humbled to have this chance to play a leadership role for our community.”
A native of upstate New York, Wu graduated from Harvard College and Harvard Law School. After receiving his law degree, Wu became an associate in the San Francisco-based law firm Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan, then was a coordinating attorney with the anti-poverty organization Tri-City Community Action Program. He now lives in Boston with his spouse.