Meet Our Team

Rebecca Isaacs

Executive Director

Since 2011, Rebecca Isaacs has been the Executive Director of the Equality Federation, the strategic partner to state-based organizations winning equality in the communities we call home. In that time, she has more than doubled the size of the organization — significantly growing the organization’s staff and programs to strengthen the states, build leaders, and advance critical issues. Significantly, she developed Equality Federation into a fully distributed organization, with staff located in states around the country, which has become a model for effective work on the ground in local communities.

Rebecca is an attorney and leading national advocate for justice and equality. Based in Los Angeles, Rebecca travels extensively to communities around the country fighting for equality and equity for LGBTQ people and our many allied communities. She has headed several leading social justice and LGBTQ organizations that have benefited from her expertise at building more effective and strategic institutions.

Rebecca’s service to the LGBTQ community has included her work on numerous boards and commissions including the Executive Committee of the Leadership Conference on Civil Rights, the National Coalition for LGBT Health, and the Los Angeles County Commission on Human Relations.

Andy Garcia, Senior Manager of Leadership Programs

Andy is Senior Manager of Leadership Programs at Equality Federation, the strategic partner to state-based organizations working to win equality in the communities we call home. In this role, he strengthens state efforts to advance pro-equality laws and to defeat discriminatory legislation by identifying and developing programs and resources, including monthly webinars and the Equality Federation’s regional summits and annual Leadership Conference.

Andy studied Psychology and Womens Studies at Cornell University and brings over twenty years of LGBT movement experience to the Equality Federation—including three years with the innovative LGBT Pipeline Project and its 21st Century Fellows Program, and seven years as Program Director at the Boston Alliance of LGBT Youth. Andy brings a wealth of experience regarding the provision of training and resources to a wide range of local, statewide and national LGBT organizations.

Andy lives in Washington, DC, where you’ll find him biking the city streets and vegetable gardening. He is also an amateur photographer and self-taught chef.

Fran Hutchins, Deputy Director

Fran Hutchins is Deputy Director at Equality Federation, the national strategic partner to state-based organizations working to win equality in the communities we call home. She has been with the Federation since 2012 and has worked on the ground with our partners to build strong organizations, develop tailored strategies, and create data-driven solutions to meet the needs of our movement.

Fran’s career has focused on building a strong progressive movement that changes the way we approach some of our most pressing social problems: poverty, homelessness, education, economic inequality, and discrimination. She is especially proud to have served as Regional Field Director for Mainers United for Marriage, the successful 2012 campaign to win marriage for same-sex couples in Maine. Fran completed her MBA and Masters of Public Policy and Public Administration at the University of Massachusetts Amherst.

Fran grew up in Birmingham, Alabama and now lives in Easthampton, Massachusetts, with her wife, Laura Kalba, a professor at Smith College, and their orange cat, Oscar Wilde.

Mel King, Development and Operations Manager

Mel King photoMel King is the Development and Operations Manager for Equality Federation, the national strategic partner to state-based organizations working to win equality in the communities we call home. In this role, he manages the individual giving program and the donor database, as well as operations for the communications department and internal systems. He also serves as the board liaison.

He brings over a decade of movement experience to the Equality Federation, including four years at Empire State Pride Agenda, serving as Executive Assistant, Administrative & Development Associate, and finally Network Coordinator. In this last role, he coordinated New York State’s LGBT Health & Human Services Network, a coalition of over fifty organizations around the state providing direct services to LGBT people. Mel studied gender, queer theory, and grassroots organizing at NYU and received his MFA in Creative Writing from Rutgers University-Newark.

Mel is a New York native who grew up in Albany. He lives in Brooklyn with his wife, Audrie, and their Boston Terrier. He spends his free time writing, borrowing books from the library, and listening to records.

Amanda McLain-Snipes, Director of Advocacy Programs

amandaAmanda is the Director of Advocacy Programs at the Equality Federation. She works with our state affiliates on using data-driven field programs and legislative advocacy projects to secure fairness in all 50 states. Amanda works with other national LGBTQ organizations on data and analytics programs to inform movement strategy.

Amanda brings over a decade of field experience, specializing in targeted public outreach programs, to our team. Starting out in campaigns and elections, she is always seeking to change the landscape and secure equality in the communities we call home. As the campaign manager for Southerners for the Freedom to Marry, Amanda led the organization’s work to grow support for marriage across the South.

Amanda resides with her wife in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma.


Ian Palmquist, Senior Director of Programs

Ian Palmquist is Senior Director of Programs for Equality Federation, the national strategic partner to state-based organizations working to win equality in the communities we call home. He leads an all-star team of experienced movement professionals to advance comprehensive nondiscrimination protections, improve the lived experience of all LGBTQ people through intersectional partnership, and build strong, resilient and adaptive leaders in the states. His programmatic work includes the Equality Federation Leadership Conference, executive leadership development, and building the movement in the South.

Ian previously spent twelve years at Equality North Carolina, including five as Executive Director. He lead the successful campaign to pass the School Violence Prevention Act, the first LGBT-inclusive law in state history and the first statute to include protections for the transgender community in the South. A graduate of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, he received his Masters in Public Administration from Harvard University’s John F. Kennedy School of Government.

Ian and his husband, Brad Oaks, live in Raleigh, North Carolina.

Mark Daniel Snyder, Director of Communications

Mark works to elevate our brand awareness and communicate our vision and values. They partner with our state-based membership to elevate campaigns and ensure all are apprised of the latest messaging research to help them win equality.

Mark brings over a decade of experience to the Federation having worked in communications for the Boston Alliance of LGBT Youth, Our Family Coalition, COLAGE, and Transgender Law Center.

Mark identifies as gender, sexually, and politically queer, and they also identify as “Second Gen,” signifying that they have a gay parent. They are based in San Francisco with their Jack Russell Terrier, Willy.

Dan Yonker, Director of Finance

IMG_1745_0Dan Yonker is the Director of Finance for Equality Federation, the movement builder and strategic partner to state based organizations winning equality in the communities we call home.  He works to ensure that the organization is fiscally sound which includes tracking and recording transactions, budget analysis and maintenance​, preparation of monthly statements and coordination of annual audit and tax preparation.

Dan brings over 20 years of experience to the Federation, most recently having worked for 12 years as Director of Finance and Operations at Basic Rights Oregon.

Dan lives in Portland with his husband, Mike.  He loves to work on his home and garden, loving referred to as Greeley Gardens.

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