Ian is a communications, public affairs, and advocacy specialist with more than a decade of experience working across a broad range of issues in jurisdictions across the United States and around the world. He will always be especially proud of his role in Maine’s groundbreaking freedom to marry efforts, culminating in the 2012 ballot victory which was the nation’s first-ever win on a proactive, pro-LGBTQ+ ballot measure.
Ian has served as the Director of Public Affairs for a publicly-traded tech company and as a communications and public policy consultant. Ian has worked with clients including the Colorado Health Foundation, Equality California, Friends of Katahdin Woods & Waters, Friends of the Mariana Trench, the Maine League of Conservation Voters Action Fund, and Safe Voices.
Ian grew up in a small town in coastal Maine, which instilled in him an enormous love of the outdoors and a deep respect for our environment, particularly our oceans. Ian is a graduate of Emerson College and earned a J.D. from the UCLA School of Law — his legal background is an asset to his understanding of the intersection of communications, advocacy, and the law.
He lives with his husband in Los Angeles, and spends time on the other coast, in Maine, where he is restoring a coastal cottage with his brother.
Why are you a strategist for good?
“When I was a kid, I wanted to be an ad copywriter. It wasn’t until college, when I had a part time job as a canvasser on a political campaign, that I discovered that everything I loved about writing and comedy was present in the world of advocacy, too. Only, when you came up with a great new way of communicating something in a campaign, the difference lasted a lot longer.”
What’s your superpower?
“Making things real. I always strive to communicate in a genuine, human way and put a face and a feeling on every issue. I’ve worked on some pretty arcane stuff – think chemical policy and fish-ladders – but if you can bring the humanity to an issue and bring them to life for folks, it helps them to understand why it matters.”
Who is your intellectual crush?
“Mary Bonauto, civil rights project director at Gay & Lesbian Advocates & Defenders, and the woman who argued the freedom to marry before the United States Supreme Court. I am struck by three things about Mary: one, her ability to laser-focus on a goal; two, how quickly she shares and redistributes credit; and, three, how you simply can’t ignore her quieter-than-average voice, which is enthralling. When Mary speaks, people listen.”