PFLAG National Members Elect the 2023 Board of Directors
October 27, 2022
Sarah EchoHawk, CEO of Advancing Indigenous People in STEM, is the first of the Pawnee Nation to join the leadership of PFLAG
WASHINGTON—Marking the beginning of its 50th anniversary year, the membership of PFLAG National has elected the first Indigenous person to serve on its board of directors. Sarah EchoHawk, a member of the Pawnee Nation of Oka., is CEO of AISES, an organization dedicated to advancing Indigenous People in STEM. She joins PFLAG National Regional Directors Kathy Halbrooks of Tenn. and Ann Miller of Ga. in serving their inaugural term on the 21-member PFLAG National Board of Directors.
“For 50 years, PFLAG has worked to ensure that all people who are LGBTQ+ can be affirmed and celebrated, no matter their race or gender, their religion or none, Native or newcomer. As we begin this seminal year of celebration, the individuals guiding PFLAG’s future truly represent the diversity of LGBTQ+ people and families in this country,” said Susan Thronson, President of the PFLAG National Board of Directors, the first parent of a transgender child to serve in this role.
In addition to EchoHawk, Halbrooks and Miller, board members Kelly Brooks-Hailey, Antón Castellanos-Usigli, Aruna Rao, Erin Roberts and Marilyn Willis have all been reelected by PFLAG’s membership, confirming PFLAG’s longstanding commitment to inclusion across the organization. With this election, 66-percent of the PFLAG National Board of Directors is Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) and LGBTQ+.
PFLAG National’s commitment to inclusion has extended beyond its board of directors, impacting strategic investment in inclusive programs, partnerships and financial management. These investments include programs like PFLAG Connects: Communities, safe, virtual meeting spaces for people of similar backgrounds to find support and learn without judgment; partnerships with BIPOC-led and centered organizations; and intentional investments in Minority Depository Institutions.
The election of the Board of Directors follows the announcement of the organization’s officers, President Susan Thronson, Vice-President Dr. Edith Guffey, MSW, Vice President and Chair of the Regional Directors Council Liz DeJesus, Treasurer Chad Libertus, and Secretary Antón Castellanos-Usigli, MPH.
Biographies of New Board Members:
In addition to the PFLAG National Board of Directors, Sarah has served on several boards and committees including the American Indian Policy Institute, Last Mile Education Fund, National Girls Collaborative, Native Americans in Philanthropy, Native Ways Federation, Red Feather Development Group, and Women of Color in Computing Research. She is also a member of the ad hoc committee at the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine for a project addressing the underrepresentation of women of color in tech and serves as PI/Co-PI on multiple National Science Foundation (NSF) grant funded projects. Previously, she served as an Ambassador for the U.S. Department of Energy’s Minorities in Energy Initiative. Sarah has a Master of Nonprofit Management from Regis University and a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science and Native American Studies form Metro State University of Denver.
The biographies of reelected board members Kelly Brooks-Hailey, Antón Castellanos-Usigli, Aruna Rao, Erin Roberts and Marilyn Willis, Ed.D., and all of PFLAG National’s board members can be found at PFLAG.org/About/Our-People.
PFLAG is an organization of LGBTQ+ people, parents, families, and allies who work together to create an equitable and inclusive world. We are hundreds of thousands of people and hundreds of chapters from coast to coast who are leading with love to support families, educate allies, and advocate for just, equitable, and inclusive legislation and policies. Since our founding in 1973, PFLAG works every day to ensure LGBTQ+ people everywhere are safe, celebrated, empowered and loved. Learn more, find support, donate, and take action at PFLAG.org.
Laura McGinnis (she/her),
Sr. Manager, Press and Public Relations
[email protected] | (202) 864-2247