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
Andy 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, 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, Program Associate
Mel 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
Matthew 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
As 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, 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 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.
Dan Yonker, Director of Finance
Dan 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.