October 24, 2017 (New York, NY)—Today, the Tyler Clementi Foundation announced the appointment of its new Executive Director, Jason Cianciotto, MPA. Hired as the result of an extensive nationwide search, Cianciotto brings over 15 years of progressive leadership at nonprofit advocacy, research, and direct service organizations. His professional qualifications to lead the foundation are matched by his deeply personal connection to its mission.
“I know first-hand what it’s like to be bullied as a youth nearly every day at school because of my sexual orientation, only to come home to a family who forced me to attend so-called ‘ex-gay’ therapy, and who eventually kicked me out onto the streets because of their religious fundamentalism,” said Cianciotto. “That journey led me to dedicate my life to advocating for and healing LGBT populations and other stigmatized minorities, while ensuring the next generation is nurtured with dignity and acceptance. I am honored and grateful for the opportunity to fight alongside the Clementi family, Board, staff, and volunteers to end online and offline bullying in schools, workplaces, and faith communities.”
Cianciotto honed his leadership at nonprofits serving LGBT and allied communities at the local, state, and national level, including as Research Director of the National LGBTQ Task Force Policy Institute, Executive Director of Wingspan, Southern Arizona’s LGBT Community Center, Director of Public Affairs and Policy and Managing Director of Special Events and Major Gifts at Gay Men’s Health Crisis (GMHC), and Vice President of Policy, Advocacy, and Communications at Harlem United.
Cianciotto has authored or co-authored over 50 articles and publications, including the book, LGBT Youth in America’s Schools, which was honored as a Choice Outstanding Academic Title by the Association of College and Research Libraries. His expertise, thought leadership, and personal story have been featured in print, radio, and television, including on CBS News, The Hallmark Channel, MSNBC, and HuffPost. A more detailed biography and print-quality photo of Cianciotto is available here.
“We hired Jason because we wanted someone with the heart, head, and vision to help us ensure that no parent loses a child to bullying ever again,” said Jane Clementi, who co-founded the foundation with her husband Joe after Tyler died by suicide in 2010 when he was cyberbullied because of his sexual orientation.
“Now that bullying has been elevated to our nation’s highest political office, the Tyler Clementi Foundation is more important than ever,” said Alan Buie-King, Chair of the foundation’s Board. “We actively looked for a leader whose personal life story and work history will foster strategic growth that not only strengthens our existing programs, but also aggressively addresses head on the worst sources of life-threatening bullying and harassment during this unprecedented time in America’s history, from schools, to religious fundamentalism and the Oval Office.”