New Democracy Maps

Press Release

Nathaniel Frank Joins the Movement Advancement Project as Senior Strategist

Nathaniel Frank, author of Unfriendly Fire: How the Gay Ban Undermines the Military and Weakens America, became the Senior Strategist at the LGBT Movement Advancement Project (MAP), effective Tuesday, June 1, 2010. In his new position at MAP, Frank, who was for ten years the Senior Research Fellow at the University of California’s Palm Center, will conduct high-level research on issues critical to the advancement of LGBT equality. He will help MAP analyze where value can be added in the movement, and work with partner organizations around the country to provide intellectual resources that expand the movement’s capacity and impact.

Ineke Mushovic, Executive Director and co-founder of MAP, said she was thrilled to have Frank on board in this executive-level position. “Nathaniel brings exceptional analytic and strategic skills to our team,” she said. “He has ten years of experience in the movement as a key contributor to the critique of ‘Don't Ask, Don't Tell,’ and he enjoys enormous respect throughout the movement and beyond.” Mushovic added that Frank is an “excellent researcher, writer, and communicator, and is sure to strengthen MAP as it partners with other groups working for LGBT equality.”

Frank said he was delighted about the opportunity to work with a broad array of organizations on movement research. “I have been so honored to work all these years with a coalition of dedicated thinkers and activists on the repeal of ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,’” he said. “While the policy is not yet gone, it’s clearly in retreat, and I am eager to build on the skills and relationships I’ve developed to keep pushing hard for LGBT equality.”

Aaron Belkin, Director of the Palm Center, which has studied ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ for over a decade, said he was sorry to see Frank leave Palm, but glad he would remain a strong part of the LGBT research movement. “Nathaniel has been invaluable in the effort to study and advance repeal of ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,’” Belkin said, “and he’ll be sorely missed. But the most important thing is that he’ll continue to do outstanding work for the movement at MAP."

Frank, who will remain in New York City as MAP’s Senior Strategist, is also on the adjunct faculty at NYU. He received his Ph.D. from Brown University and has been writing and researching on gay rights since 1998. At the Palm Center, he was credited with breaking the story of the Army firing of gay Arabic translators. He also authored groundbreaking and heavily publicized studies of gay troops fighting in Iraq and the experiences of foreign militaries with openly gay service. His book, Unfriendly Fire, was critically acclaimed as the definitive story of ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.’

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The term “sexual orientation” is loosely defined as a person’s pattern of romantic or sexual attraction to people of the opposite sex or gender, the same sex or gender, or more than one sex or gender. Laws that explicitly mention sexual orientation primarily protect or harm lesbian, gay, and bisexual people. That said, transgender people who are lesbian, gay or bisexual can be affected by laws that explicitly mention sexual orientation.

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