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 doubled the organization’s staff and budget — significantly growing the organization’s programs to strengthen the states, build leaders, and advance critical issues.

Rebecca is an attorney and national leading advocate for justice and equality. Her expertise in building the capacity of social change organizations has taken her to leadership positions at the Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority, The LA Gay & Lesbian Center, Inner City Law Center, and Planned Parenthood of Los Angeles.

Rebecca’s service to the LGBT community also includes 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.

Rebecca lives in Santa Monica, California with her spouse Vanessa Schwartz, a Professor of History at the University of Southern California. Their daughter, Rachel, is a first year college student.

Andy Garcia, Program Manager


andyAndy is Program Manager 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 the states working to pass local and state-level nondiscrimination laws by identifying and developing programs and resources, including legal and legislative support, communications resources, messaging, and constituency group expertise.

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 on his tenth floor balcony. He is also an amateur photographer, self-taught chef and professional caterer.

Fran Hutchins, Director of Organizational Development

fran-bio-smallFran Hutchins is the Director of Organizational Development & Training at Equality Federation, the national strategic partner to state-based organizations working to win equality in the communities we call home. In this role, Fran works on the ground with state leaders to plan, hire great people, develop leaders, and grow and strengthen our movement organizations.

Fran’s career has focused on developing strong, progressive organizations that change 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, Program Associate

Mel King photoMel King is the Program Associate 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 strengthens our major donor program, assists the communications team in the implementation of digital media programs, and provides support to the board as board liaison.

Mel received his Bachelor of Arts from NYU’s Gallatin School of Individualized Study with a concentration in gender, queer theory, and grassroots organizing. 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 is back in the movement after teaching English Composition and receiving his MFA in Creative Writing from Rutgers University-Newark.

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

Matthew McClellan, Director of Development


McClellan PhotoMatthew is excited to lead the expansion of the Federation’s fundraising efforts and has already hit the ground running. He will work to increase our support from individuals, corporations, foundations, and other sources to ensure the continued growth of our flagship programs that are winning equality in communities we call home. He is looking forward to working with our state-based LGBT member organizations to support their development work.

Matthew joins us with a wealth of fundraising, nonprofit, and political expertise. As the founder and first Executive Director of the National Council of La Raza Action Fund, he secured millions of dollars in funding to support full representation and political parity for the Latino Community.

Matthew’s experience also includes advising the Speaker of the City Council of New York, Christine Quinn, running the Party’s floor communications operation for the 2008 Democratic National Convention, and in 2008, working on the Obama for America campaign in Western Pennsylvania where he directed the scheduling of campaign surrogates and principals. He has a BA from Boston University.

Matthew grew up in Bloomington, Illinois, and currently lives in Washington, DC.

Amanda McLain-Snipes, Organizational Development & Training Manager


amandaAs Organizational Development & Training Manager, Amanda will provide direct support to our members in creating successful, targeted issue education campaigns. From helping members get set up on and using the fantastic Equality Federation Nondiscrimination Model—a powerful tool to identify and engage supporters of inclusive nondiscrimination protections—to training on the most effective ways to talk about nondiscrimination and problematic religious exemptions, Amanda will help take education campaigns to the next level.

Amanda is a seasoned field operative specializing in targeted public outreach programs. 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.

A jack of all trades but a master in field, Amanda helped to secure Democratic majorities in the Colorado General Assembly for the 2013 session, ensuring the votes to pass the Colorado Civil Unions Act. In 2010, Amanda managed Brittany Novotny’s Oklahoma state House campaign against Rep. Sally Kern – increasing her performance by more than 12 points in less than 90 days. In 2008, she worked on the Oklahoma 5th Congressional District Coordinated campaign, securing seats for 9 out of 11 Democrats.

Amanda is based in Oklahoma City, where she recently married her partner of 6 years.


Ian Palmquist, Director of Leadership Programs

Ian_headshot_newIan 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


markphoto-salsaMark is Director of Communications for Equality Federation, the movement builder and strategic partner to state-based organizations winning equality in the communities we call home. He works to elevate our brand awareness and communicate our vision and values. Mark also partners with our state-based membership to elevate their campaigns and ensure they 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 he also identifies as “Second Gen,” signifying that he has a gay parent. He is based in San Francisco, where he lives with his husband Wing and their Jack Russell Terrier, Willy.

Anne Stanback, Director of Strategic Partnerships

AnneAnne  is the Director of Strategic Partnerships for the Equality Federation, the movement builder and strategic partner to state-based organizations winning equality in the communities we call home. Anne’s primary focus is working with states to develop plans, strategies and resources to pass laws to protect LGBT people from discrimination in employment, housing and public accommodations.

Anne has spent nearly 30 years working for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender rights, including her work as the founding Executive Director of Love Makes A Family, the lead organization that successfully fought for the freedom to marry in Connecticut.

Anne is originally from North Carolina and though she will always be a Southerner at heart, she has lived in Connecticut for 33 years, 32 of those with her wife, Charlotte Kinlock, and pets through the years too numerous to list. She is a graduate of Davidson College and Yale Divinity School.

Roey Thorpe, Director of Advocacy Programs

roey-bio-smallRoey Thorpe is the Director of Advocacy Programs for the Equality Federation, the strategic partner to state-based organizations winning equality in the communities we call home. In this role, Roey works closely with activists to create plans and strategies to pass laws banning discrimination against LGBT people in employment, housing, and public life. She also conducts training on the most effective ways to talk about discrimination.

Roey has worked in the LGBT movement for over 25 years, at both the state and national level.  Of the many roles she has held, she is especially proud to have spent five years as the executive director of Basic Rights Oregon, building the organization into a proactive political powerhouse. She also served as Alderperson and Acting Mayor of Ithaca, New York, making her their first out elected official.  Roey has a master’s degree in US Social History and has published articles on LGBT history in Detroit.

Despite the fact that Roey has called Portland, Oregon her home since 2001, she has resisted urban chicken farming and other signs of overt hipster culture.  Instead, she prefers high heels and plays a mean game of poker.

Dan Yonker, Senior Financial Advisor

IMG_1745_0Dan Yonker is the Senior Financial Advisor for Equality Federation, the strategic partner to state-based organizations winning equality in the communities we call home. Dan supports the organization by proactively ensuring the fiscal health of Equality Federation. This includes: preparation of monthly statements, tracking and recording of all transactions, budget analysis and maintenance, and coordination of annual audit and tax preparation.

Dan spent 12 years as the Director of Finance and Operations at Basic Rights Oregon (BRO). He was one of the first employees at BRO – along with Equality Federation Director of Advocacy Programs, Roey Thorpe – and oversaw the growth of the budget and staff from $300,000 and 4 employees to $3 million dollars and 25 employees. He currently owns his own bookkeeping consulting firm and works with several non-profits and small businesses across the Portland, Oregon area.

Dan lives in Portland with his partner, Mike. He loves to work on his home and garden, lovingly referred to as “Greeley Gardens,” going to the gym and biking around town. He’s so happy to be reunited at Equality Federation with his friend and colleague from BRO, Roey.

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