Friday, July 12, 2024

GLAAD announces Lauren Sampson as Chief Development Officer

GLAAD, the world’s largest LGBTQ media advocacy organization, today announced Lauren Sampson as the organization’s new Chief Development Officer and Thai Pham as the new Deputy Chief Development Officer. 

Together, Sampson and Pham will oversee development and fundraising efforts for the GLAAD Media Institute.

Sampson joins GLAAD as Chief Development Officer and brings over sixteen years of individual, institutional, corporate, digital, and planned giving fundraising experience to the role. She previously served as Deputy Chief Development Officer at the Innocence Project, whose mission is to fight for fair, compassionate, and equitable systems of justice, free the innocent, and prevent wrongful convictions. In her position, Sampson co-led the Development Department in a period of unprecedented growth and recognition on the national stage.

Pham joins GLAAD as Deputy Chief Development Officer with more than 20 years of individual, institutional, and corporate fundraising experience, raising money for LGBTQIA+ rights, civil rights and civil liberties, arts education, and philanthropic causes. Before joining GLAAD, he served as the Associate Director of Gift Planning at the ACLU’s National Office in New York City. He worked with the National and Affiliate offices to secure 6-figure+ planned and major gifts. Beyond fundraising, he was a co-founder and co-lead of the ACLU’s People of Color in Philanthropy ERG and co-lead of the AAPI and LGBTQIA+ ERGs.

At GLAAD, Sampson and Pham will sit on the organization’s senior leadership team, which sets the organization’s advocacy work as well as the fundraising initiatives to support that work. They will lead GLAAD’s annual $12M+ fundraising budget through membership, major donor, foundation grants, and corporate partnership programs. Sampson and Pham will also oversee GLAAD’s special events team, which produces GLAAD events including the annual GLAAD Media Awards.

Prior to the Innocence Project, Sampson served as Vice-President of Development and External Relations for the City Bar Fund at the New York City Bar Association, where she created and implemented strategic and tactical plans for raising funds aimed at engaging and supporting the legal profession in advancing social justice. She also previously held fundraising positions at Cardozo School of Law, Stevens Institute of Technology, The Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art, and Baruch College.

Prior to joining the ACLU, Pham served as the deputy director of development at Lambda Legal, the deputy director at Stonewall Community Foundation, and the deputy director at Bolder Giving. Profiled in The Advocate Magazine as one of 2009’s “40 Under 40,” he is also the 2011 recipient of the Pioneer Spirit Award from Asian Americans for Equality.

“The work that GLAAD does to accelerate acceptance for the LGBTQ community is more urgent in this current political and cultural climate where our hard-flight rights are in jeopardy and anti-LGBTQ rhetoric and violence are growing,” said GLAAD President and CEO Sarah Kate Ellis. “Lauren and Thai’s proven experience and leadership will enable GLAAD to do more to protect and support LGBTQ people. Both Lauren and Thai are committed to the movement to improve the lives of everyone in our community.”

About the GLAAD Media Institute

Launched in 2018, the GLAAD Media Institute has trained over ten thousand LGBTQ advocates and allies around the world on best practices for local organizing, telling personal stories, and leveraging local, national, and social media to accelerate LGBTQ acceptance. The Institute is also home to GLAAD’s research, including its annual reports on LGBTQ inclusion on television and film, as well as GLAAD’s consulting work with Hollywood, the video game industry, publishing, journalism, and global brands to ensure fair, accurate, and culture-changing LGBTQ representation.  


GLAAD rewrites the script for LGBTQ acceptance. As a dynamic media force, GLAAD tackles tough issues to shape the narrative and provoke dialogue that leads to cultural change. GLAAD protects all that has been accomplished and creates a world where everyone can live the life they love. For more information, please visit or connect with GLAAD on Facebook and Twitter.

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