Ian is a communications, digital, and political consultant with more than a decade of experience working in LGBTQ and progressive politics. He has worked as an advocate from Maine to California (and dozens of places in between). Ian’s work has included an array of LGBTQ equality, environmental, education equity, racial justice, and community organizing efforts. Ian will always be especially proud of his role on Maine’s groundbreaking freedom to marry campaign of 2012.
Ian grew up on a retired 30-acre farm in a small town in Maine, which instilled in him an enormous love of the outdoors and a deep respect for our environment. As a Los Angeles resident, Ian relishes opportunities to get out of the city and the into vast and diverse California wilderness. Ian is a graduate of Emerson College and is currently a J.D. candidate at the UCLA School of Law.
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.”