March 26, 2018 at 4:08 pm EDT | by Lou Chibbaro Jr.
No reason given for early departure of PFLAG director
Jaime M. Grant, PFLAG, gay news, Washington Blade

Jaime M. Grant departed PFLAG after just six months on the job. (Photo courtesy PFLAG)

The national LGBT advocacy group Parents and Friends of Lesbians and Gays known as PFLAG announced in a March 21 press release that its executive director, Jaime M. Grant, “departed the helm of PFLAG National yesterday.”

In a development that has puzzled some LGBT activists, the release does not say why Grant left her position just six months after being hired for the executive director’s post.

Sources familiar with the organization have said that Grant and the PFLAG National director of financing, Brian Carney, were let go by the PFLAG Board of Directors. Grant and Carney have not responded to a request by the Washington Blade for comment.

“Jean Hodges, President of the PFLAG National Board of Directors, announced that Executive Director Jaime M. Grant, Ph.D., departed the helm of PFLAG National yesterday,” the organization’s press release says.

“All of us at PFLAG and Jaime Grant share a strong commitment to family acceptance and ally engagement, and to the PFLAG vision of achieving full equality for all LGBTQ people,” the press release quotes Hodges as saying. “We sincerely wish Jaime much future success.”

The release adds, “The Board will soon engage and announce an Interim Executive Director, as well as undertake a search for a full-time Executive Director.”

It further quotes Hodges as saying, “Regardless of this change, there is no better time than this – our 45th anniversary year – to reflect on, acknowledge, and be grateful for the thousands of volunteers across the country who throughout PFLAG’s history have helped lead the way toward realizing our vision.”

At the time it announced it had hired Grant as executive director in September 2017, Hodges called Grant “a bold choice for PFLAG National at the right time.”

A statement announcing her hiring noted she had a distinguished background as an LGBT community advocate and strategist that included her past tenure as director of the National LGBTQ Task Force’s Policy Institute and as founding executive director of the Arcus Center for Social Justice Leadership at Kalamazoo College in Michigan.

A finance statement posted on the PFLAG website shows that the organization’s expenses exceeded its income during its 2016 and 2017 fiscal years. The report shows its total revenue for 2017 came to $2,562,326 and its total expenses for that year were $3,005,433, leaving a deficit of $443,117.

For 2016, the group’s finance statement shows its income totaled $2,982,657 and its expenses came to $3,192,925, with a deficit of $214,268.

PFLAG spokesperson Liz Owen did not respond to a request by the Blade for an explanation for why Grant and Carney left the organization and whether the budget shortfalls had anything to do with it.

Earlier finance reports that PFLAG filed with the IRS under normal reporting requirements for a nonprofit tax-exempt organization show that the group had smaller budget deficits in 2014 and 2015 prior to the time that Grant joined the organization.

Lou Chibbaro Jr. has reported on the LGBT civil rights movement and the LGBT community for more than 30 years, beginning as a freelance writer and later as a staff reporter and currently as Senior News Reporter for the Washington Blade. He has chronicled LGBT-related developments as they have touched on a wide range of social, religious, and governmental institutions, including the White House, Congress, the U.S. Supreme Court, the military, local and national law enforcement agencies and the Catholic Church. Chibbaro has reported on LGBT issues and LGBT participation in local and national elections since 1976. He has covered the AIDS epidemic since it first surfaced in the early 1980s. Follow Lou

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