Pelham’s Darra Gordon is powerful voice in LGBTQ community as top executive of GLAAD

Darra Gordon, deputy president and COO of GLAAD. (Courtesy

Village of Pelham resident Darra Gordon works to accelerate acceptance of the LGBTQ community as the deputy president and chief operating officer of GLAAD, the world’s largest media advocacy organization for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer people.

GLAAD, which was originally called the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation when it was founded, strives to make sure the LGBTQ community is accurately represented in the media. The nonprofit has a media institute where it trains people in how to interact with news organizations and be more effective spokespeople.

Gordon manages the day-to-day operations at GLAAD, dealing with any challenges that come up so the organization can work efficiently. She also works on the strategic plans, looking three to four years ahead to where the group wants to be.

Like at many other nonprofits and companies, the toughest challenge she’s faced is having to run GLAAD during the Covid-19 pandemic.

“I think it was really hard, and people were really scared,” Gordon said. “It was how to help your workers and make sure they have everything that they need and make sure the mission continues.”

Before GLAAD, Gordon worked for Hetrick-Martin Institute, the nation’s oldest and largest LGBTQ youth service organization. After fifteen years, she moved to GLAAD to help the LGBTQ community on a “national level.”

From a young age, Gordon knew she wanted to work in the nonprofit world and make a difference. She lost her sister at fourteen, and ever since then understood she needed to make an impact.

“I was able to marry my business acumen, all the things that I really like, to a cause,” Gordon said. “Hopefully to make the world a better place and support a community that I was a part of.”

Gordon’s acumen and passion have earned her important awards, including the BMW Woman of Xcellence award, Stonewall Honors for LGBTQ leadership and the outstanding alumni award from her alma mater Lycoming College.

Despite her busy work schedule, Gordon makes time for the things she loves. Her favorite thing to do is spend time with her wife Nicole, and their three children, Sienna, Nicholas and Lucy, as well as their pets. She also loves to stimulate her brain by doing puzzles.

Inside and outside of work, Darra Gordon figures where all the pieces fit.