Staff & Contractors

Victor Tellez Cabrera, Operations Manager

After growing up in the Central Mexico, Victor graduate from Instituto Tecnologico y de Estudios Superiores de Monterrey.There he obtained a Bachelors of Science in International Business with a minor in Finance. While participating in an exchange program in Montpellier, France as part of his degree, he worked with the chamber of commerce in Montpellier as a liaison to companies in France and Latin America.

His previous experience includes over a decade of operations management, strategic planning and international trading in the private sector and government agencies. In his previous job he led daily administrative operations for nearly 100 clients including: sales support for retail and wholesale, accounting, disbursements, and compliance. Additionally, he played a key role in recruiting and hiring new employees. He was recognized with the Peter Bordeaux Award for outstanding performance: demonstrating creativity, initiative and significant contributions to the company.

Victor has a passion for understanding the cultures and traditions that make human beings unique. Victor lives in Brooklyn with his husband and young daughter and has recently led the family to adopt a completely plant-based diet. He believes deeply in the mission of the Tyler Foundation and feels proud to help others be their true selves.

Jason Cianciotto, Executive Director

ClementiThe image of black plastic garbage bags, overstuffed with his belongings piled on the front porch of his home, is forever etched in Jason’s mind. After years of experiencing bullying at school, “ex-gay therapy,” and rejection from his church, Jason’s mother and stepfather kicked him out onto the streets when he was a teenager. That journey led him to dedicate his life to advocating for and healing LGBT populations and other stigmatized minorities, while ensuring the next generation is nurtured with dignity and acceptance.

After earning his Masters in Public Administration from the University of Arizona, Jason joined the team at the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force Policy Institute. As Research Director, he authored the first-ever analyses of U.S. Census data on the impact of anti-LGBT laws and policies on Hispanic/Latino same-sex couple families and their children, created and co-authored Youth in the Crosshairs: The Third Wave of Ex-Gay Activism, and conceived and managed the production of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Youth: An Epidemic of Homelessness, which helped procure the first-ever federal funding for shelters serving LGBT youth. He also became an issue expert and agency spokesperson featured on MSNBC, The Hallmark Channel, and in the New York Times.

As Executive Director of Wingspan, Southern Arizona’s LGBT Community Center, Jason helped procure multi-year, federal funding for youth and anti-violence programs, and he co-led the coalition in the only county to defeat Arizona’s 2008 anti-marriage ballot measure. He stewarded the agency through the beginning of the Great Recession with a strategic restructuring plan that reduced expenses by over 60%, maintained core, grant-funded programs, and helped raise $25K in new grant funding to explore merging with sister LGBT and HIV/AIDS agencies.

As an author and consultant focused on applied research, government affairs, and policy advocacy, Jason co-authored with Sean Cahill LGBT Youth in America’s Schools, published by the University of Michigan Press. The book was named a Choice Outstanding Academic Title by the Association of College and Research Libraries, included in the Rainbow List of Recommended Books for Adults by the American Library Association, and was nominated for a Stonewall Book Award from the GLBT Roundtable of the American Library Association. He also conducted original, qualitative and quantitative research and analyses of U.S.-based nonprofits interested in new State Department funding to support LGBT populations abroad.

At Gay Men’s Health Crisis (GMHC), Jason served as Director of Public Affairs and Policy, as well as Managing Director of Special Events and Major Gifts. He helped raise over $600K in multi-year funding from the Ford and MAC AIDS foundations and helped procure over $1.91M in New York City Council discretionary and initiative funding. He led and worked in coalitions that advanced policy and budget priorities of New York State’s Plan to End AIDS by 2020 and created New York’s meningitis vaccination law. With his husband, Courter Simmons, Jason also created and produced The GMHC Annual Howard Ashman Award and Benefit Cabaret in 2013 and 2014. Awardees included Howard Ashman (posthumous) and Terrence McNally, celebrated by Broadway star performers including Tyne Daly, Marin Mazzie, Jerry Mitchell, and Chita Rivera. Jason also represented GMHC in media, including the Associated Press, CBS Morning News, Chelsea Now, and WNYC radio.

Prior to his tenure at the Tyler Clementi Foundation, Jason served as Vice President of Policy, Advocacy, and Communications at Harlem United. There, he helped procure over $300,000 in New York City Council discretionary and initiative funding, helped increase federal Housing Opportunities for People with AIDS (HOPWA) funding by $21M, and created a new, client-led grassroots advocacy program that reduced measures of internalized HIV stigma by nearly 30%. He grew the agency’s press list by 435%, Facebook page likes by 195%, and Twitter followers by 26%, with social media engagement rates nearly double the nonprofit industry average. He managed Swallow This, a corporate-funded, $300K PrEP education campaign that generated 75M print and 4.3M digital ad and video impressions, with over 33K webpage visits. He also represented the agency in media, including the Advocate,, NBC News, and Rolling Stone.

Jason lives in Queens, NY with his husband, son, and two of the most well-traveled cats that ever lived.
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James Clementi

James ClementiJames Clementi is the oldest brother of Tyler Clementi. The loss of his brother was a life-altering event for James, and sent him on a path of activism for bullying prevention, suicide prevention, and LGBT rights. Like his brother Tyler, James is gay. The core part of his message is the equality of LGBT people in our society and the devastating consequences of bullying on our young people. Bullying that happens face-to-face and online through social media has become an epidemic among our youth. James is focused on reaching out to LGBT and vulnerable youth, using Tyler’s story as a tool to reinforce the inherent value of each life. Respect, love and equality are the key components of his message. James envisions a youth culture where kindness is cool, and respect is the norm. James has written about his experience for Out Magazine, spoken at events such as the Gay Men’s Chorus of Los Angeles’ First Annual Voice Awards as well as television programs Anderson Cooper 360 and Rock Center with Brian Williams, and has blogged about bullying in The Huffington Post.

Michael Barret Jones

Michael Barret Jones has spent more than two decades working in non-profit Development and Marketing for arts, education and social welfare organizations and has most recently spent nearly eight years as the Director of Development and Social Media at Iris House: a Center for Women Living with HIV.  He has served on the Rahway (NJ) Business Improvement District, New Jersey Arts Marketers and was part of a team that helped to initiate and design the NY State Association of Independent School’s annual conference for development and alumni staff.  Michael has been a member of the faculty of the WOW! Institute and the CASE/NAIS Summer Institute for Independent School Advancement.  He has served on the boards of the Gay Activists Alliance of Morris County (NJ), Big Apple Performing Arts, the Imperial Court of New York, and is currently the Vice-President of Folsom Street East. Under the guise of his alter-ego, Witti Repartee, he has served as Queen of the NYC Gay Men’s Chorus, Empress XXVI of New York and produces several benefit cabarets each year under the aegis of Kaleidoscope Collaborations for the organizations he loves.  He holds degrees from Drew University in Theatre Arts and English, and lives in Brooklyn with his husband.  You can find out more about Michael (and Witti) at

Justin Lee

For the last two decades, Justin Lee has been an influential Christian advocate for LGBTQ affirmation, best known for working across areas of theological disagreement to promote grace and mutual understanding. He is the founder of the world’s largest LGBTQ Christian advocacy organization, the author of two books and an internationally known speaker on faith, sexuality and dialogue.

Justin’s first book, Torn: Rescuing the Gospel from the Gays-vs.-Christians Debate, has been widely cited for its role in changing conservative Christians’ attitudes and helping Christian parents accept their LGBTQ kids. His newest book, Talking Across the Divide, offers strategies for having more productive conversations on controversial issues in a polarized society.

In addition to his work with the Tyler Clementi Foundation, Justin serves as the executive director of Nuance Ministries. He makes humorous educational videos on the Bible and other topics on his YouTube channel and blogs at He lives in Orlando, Florida.

Petra Vega, Program Manager

As a Women’s, Gender and Sexuality Studies major at SUNY New Paltz,Petra learned that her lived experiences, much like the lived experiences of others, were a result of multi-layered systems of power, privilege, and oppression that often made people feel inadequate and dehumanized. Thereafter, Petra decided that her life work needed to be directed towards creating affirming spaces and supporting marginalized communities in recognizing their fullest potential and building authentic relationships grounded in love and rigor.

Petra is a Licensed Master Social Worker (LMSW) with a strong belief that community organizing is one of the most liberatory ways to create change. As a community organizer, Petra has developed the leadership of East Harlem families to conduct parent-led literacy events for their children and mobilized an organizing committee in the South Bronx to teach community members how to read and write in their native Spanish language. Most recently, she has built systems and structures for school-wide improvement, built the capacity of school staff to engage with families as partners, and developed the leadership and skills of parents to utilize their voice for positive change at a campus of middle schools in the South Bronx, New York.

Petra is eager to use her skills and experience to dismantle the systemic factors that contribute to online and offline bullying and to strive towards creating a more caring world that recognizes people’s differences as unique, valuable, and welcomed.”