Stephen Nonack
Archives & Collection Researcher

Larry Re
Archives Assistant

Rianna Ascoli
Research Intern

Ronald Herron

Chair

Dr. Ronald D. Herron, Ed.D. is retired Vice President Emeritus of Southern Connecticut State University where he previously was the VP for Student and University Affairs. Ron has held previous positions with SUNY Purchase, Columbia College, Keene State College and Temple University. Ron has a B.A. and M.A. in Psychology from Southern Methodist University. Ron is a Past President of the Chief Student Affairs Offices Association and is a founding member of the Connecticut Post Secondary Education Committee for Foster Youth and is Co-Author and was Project Director for Connecticut Campus Coalition to End Violence Against Women. Ron makes his home in Fort Lauderdale.

chair@stonewall-museum.org

Larry Karnoff

Vice Chair

Larry Karnoff, JD, has assisted non-profit organizations advance their missions as a senior development officer, director of planned giving, and legal and fund raising counsel for more than 30 years. Larry was Chief Development Officer for Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh, Allegheny General Hospital, and Goodwill Industries of Southwest Pennsylvania. He was Director of Planned Giving for Feeding America, American Friends of The Hebrew University (Southeast United States), and University of Pittsburgh. He has provided fund development consulting for WQED Multimedia, Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra, and Northern Israel Center for Arts and Technology among other organizations. He is a trustee of Carlow University and formerly a board member for ACLU of Pennsylvania. Larry is a lecturer and writer on Ethics in Fund Raising and the use of planned giving in endowment campaigns. He and his husband, James McDonald, are residents of Boca Raton, FL and maintain a home in Pittsburgh, PA.

Alan Beck

Treasurer

Alan H. Beck joined MMP in 2015.  He brings 25 years experience as a publisher and marketing professional. He has worked closely with Chambers of Commerce and Convention and Visitors Bureaus to create products to promote their jurisdictions.  With respect to the Internet, Alan has been an early innovator and adapter to social media. He sits on the Board of Directors of Travel Gay Canada and is a member of IGLTA, NGLCC, NGLCCNY, GSBA, GGBA, MDGLCC, Toronto Tourism, Miami Convention and Visitors Bureau,  San Francisco Travel, Greater Boston Convention and Visitors Bureau, and Provincetown Business Guild.

Joseph Wert

Secretary

Joseph Wert is a semi-retired Management and HR Consultant who worked for several large professional services firms in Boston, San Francisco, and New York City before relocating to Fort Lauderdale. Joe has also been a senior executive in the mental health field, including the CEO of a large residential facility and the Head of Human Resources for Reuters America and the Wildlife Conservation Society. He completed his B.A. at DePauw University, his M.Ed. at Northeastern University, and his Ph.D. studies at Boston College. He continues his consulting work as an executive coach and HR thought leader and serves as an advisor to several nonprofit Boards. Joe and his husband Michael are also active with the Master Chorale of South Florida.

Jacki Bennett

Executive Committee

Jacquelyn “Jacki” Bennett currently serves as the Chief Administrative Officer at the Wyss Foundation, located in Washington, DC, where she has been responsible for providing the vision, strategy and operational direction to the finance, information technology, grants management, human resources, facilities, and planning and evaluation activities of the Foundation.

Before joining the Foundation, she served as the Chief Operating Officer for Freedom House, an international NGO, dedicated to the expansion of freedom and democracy around the world. Jacki has served in senior staff positions at the National Council of State Housing Agencies, the Human Rights Campaign, and as Operations Director of the Gore 2000 presidential campaign. Jacki served in the Clinton Administration as the Finance Manager for the White House Office, and on the staff of Senator Tom Harkin (D-IA).

A native of Iowa, Jacki is a graduate of Iowa State University. She and her wife, Liz, currently live in Alexandria, VA, with their vizsla, Bettie.

Maria Lescano

Executive Committee

Maria has had her own law practice in Fort Lauderdale Florida for over 20 years where she specializes in family law and immigration law. Maria has served the Broward County community by her past appointments to the Broward County commission on the status of women, and the Broward County school board diversity committee. Currently Maria is Mayor Jack Seiler’s appointment as the the co-chair of the City of Fort Lauderdale charter review board. Maria’s past volunteer board experience includes six years that she served on the national board of GLAAD. Maria is a first generation Cuban-American, native Floridian, who lives in Fort Lauderdale with her partner, Jean.

Darcy Beeman

Darcy Beeman began her career as an Edward Jones financial advisor in 2000, opening a branch office and building a successful business in Fort Lauderdale. Since joining the firm, she has been actively involved in helping fellow financial advisors by volunteering in a number of ways, including serving as a performance leader, new financial advisor support specialist, field trainer, mentor, academy leader and regional leader. In 2008, Darcy was asked to serve as regional leader for Southeast Florida and supported and guided more than 70 branch teams. She was named a principal with the firm in 2012. A native of West Des Moines, Iowa, Darcy earned a bachelor’s degree in business administration from Central College in Pella, Iowa, graduating magna cum laude. She earned a masters degree with distinction in international management from the American Graduate School of International Management in Glendale, AZ and holds a CFP®, Accredited Domestic Partner Advisor® and AAMS® professional designation. Prior to working with Edward Jones, she worked in sales and management with Hormel Foods for 10 years serving as a manager of international management for Mexico and Central America. As an active member of the community, she serves on the Board of Directors for Our Fund Foundation and is active in the Greater Fort Lauderdale Chamber of Commerce, Pride Center at Equality Park, and Sunshine Community Foundation. Darcy lives with her daughter in Fort Lauderdale.

Fred Brugal

Born in Puerto Rico and trained as a Nuclear Physician at Cornell, Dr Fred Brugal is a Board Member at SNMA following a career in Medicine and Health Care Management. Moving into leadership positions at Merck & Co., he then became President of Pharmacy Managment at United Health Care Corp. and later moved to Glaxo SmithKline in London, launching a Global Health Care Management Division.

Fred is married to his Cuban partner of twelve years, William Breto and they share residences in New York City and Hollywood with their mini dachshunds, Samba & Rumba.

Idan Doerfler-Eckstein

Idan earned his degree in Journalism and Mass Communication from UNC at Chapel Hill. He is currently the Director of IT Training at the University of Miami. A resident of Fort Lauderdale since 2011, Idan serves on the Parks, Recreation, and Beaches Advisory Board for the City of Fort Lauderdale, and is an active supporter of Slow Burn Theatre.  He has been a volunteer at Stonewall and a supporter of various SNMA activities.

Damian Pardo

Damian is a native of Coral Gables and is a graduate of Georgetown University and the University of Miami. With a 24 year career in financial services, he now heads the Pardo Group at Morgan Stanley. As a young, energetic Hispanic, he was featured in the documentary “The Day It Snowed in Miami”. Active in gay civic causes, especially SAVE Dade, Damian also sits on the National Board of SAGE.

Andy Perrott

Andy Perrott is an Emmy Award winning television producer and commercial director. Andy started his company, Lightship Media in 1999 and has produced television series, specials, commercials, and branding videos for companies such as Disney, ABC and Discovery Networks. A graduate of Williams College, Andy received his degree in History and Studio Art. He started his career at WCVB-TV in Boston before moving to Lifetime Television in New York and then to the Walt Disney Company in Orlando. Andy is a member of the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences and enjoys his home in Oakland Park.

Yvonne Rohrbacher

Coming soon.

Diego Sanchez

Director of Policy for PFLAG National – PFLAG National is the nation’s largest organization uniting families and allies in support of their LGBTQ loved ones, and “envisions a world where dignity is celebrated and all people are respected, valued, and affirmed inclusive of their sexual orientation, gender identity, and gender expression.” Prior to joining PFLAG’s senior staff, Mr. Sanchez was Senior Policy Advisor to Congressman Barney Frank, making history as the first openly transgender person to work as a senior legislative staff member of Capitol Hill. Mr. Sanchez also has served on the DNC Platform Committee, the first openly transgender person ever to be appointed to that committee. He also has served as Director of Public Relations and External Affairs at the AIDS Action Committee of Massachusetts, and AIDS Action Council in DC.

John Tanzella

John Tanzella is the President/CEO of the International Gay and Lesbian Travel Association, the leading member-based global organization dedicated to expand LGBTQ tourism for the benefit of travelers and members. Prior to joining IGLTA, Tanzella served as the Director of Corporate Relations for the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) in Washington, D.C. Other experience includes corporate and LGBTQ sales manager at the Washington, D.C. Tourism Bureau, as well as 15 years with Delta Air Lines in various capacities including global business development and marketing. Under his leadership, IGLTA took a giant stride forward and established the IGLTA Foundation as a means to both give back and raise the profile of the LGBTQ tourism community worldwide. The Foundation specifically focuses on research, education and leadership. In 2012, IGLTA was accepted into the United Nations World Tourism Organization, as its first and only LGBTQ affiliate member.

Kenneth Tewel

Former Deputy Executive Director, High School Division, New York City Public Schools; former principal Stuyvesant High School, Franklin K. Lane High School and Westinghouse High School in New York City. Associate Professor, Programs in Supervision and Administration, City University of New York. National consultant to philanthropic organizations working on school and system level reform. Former Program Professor in Leadership and School Reform, Doctoral Program in Child and Youth Studies, Nova Southeastern University.

Alan Uphold

Communication consultant and public speaking coach/trainer, serving executives from NBC/Universal, Viacom, Warner Brothers, Frito-Lay, Cunard/Princess Cruise Lines, Deutsche Bank, and many other notable corporations and nonprofit organizations. Uphold is currently a college professor of public speaking and communication at Los Angeles Community College and was formerly the Development Director-West of the Point Foundation – the nation’s largest scholarship-granting organization focused on empowering, underwriting, and mentoring LGBT youth. Uphold is a former member of the Board of Directors of Human Rights Campaign (HRC), Equality California, and former Chair of Directors of Trans Chorus of Los Angeles.

Anthony Varona

Tony teaches law and is the associate dean for faculty at American University in Washington, DC. Before that, he served as general counsel and legal director for HRC, where he built HRC’s legal department. He serves on the board of GLAAD, and is a member of the Society of American Law Teachers and the Hispanic Bar Association of Washington. He has served on the boards of the Human Rights Campaign and the Alliance for Justice, was on the New York Advisory Board for the American Constitution Society and was founding chairperson of the AIDS Action Council’s Legal Advisory Board. He has lectured widely and has appeared as a legal commentator on CNN, Fox News Network, Court TV, MSNBC, and in a variety of major daily newspapers and legal periodicals. He was honored with the 2009 Hugh A. Johnson, Jr., Memorial Award by the Washington Hispanic Bar Association, was named the 2007-08 Washington College of Law Professor of the Year, and was profiled by the National Law Journal in May 2000.

Chuck Wolfe

With a career that has taken him from the Florida governor’s office, to the Board of the Boy Scouts of America, and to being COO of the American Legacy Foundation, Chuck served for 12 years as President and CEO of the Gay & Lesbian Victory Fund, and CEO of the Leadership Institute. He has helped numerous LBGT political candidates win elections nationwide, and nurtured the skills of those who aspire to be in office. He led the President Appointments Project, which has helped more than 300 LGBT people land appointments within the Obama Administration. Today, he is co-founder of Wolfe/Kinkennon, a strategy/planning/communication firm.

Gary E. Bitner

(Emeritus)

Gary Bitner heads one of Florida’s leading public relations firms, The Bitner Group, with national and international clients in the gaming, retail, tourism, transportation, education and other sectors. He is a graduate of the University of Florida College of Journalism and Communications and a former staff writer at the Fort Lauderdale News (Sun-Sentinel). He also worked in the public relations department at Marriott Corporation in Washington, D.C., and is a founding partner of the Worldcom Public Relations Group, the world’s largest network of independent public relations firms. He lives in Pompano Beach, Florida.

Rob Delehanty

(Emeritus)

Robert (Rob) Delehanty is an Industrial Design Patent Examiner at the US Patent and Trademark Office. Previously, Rob worked in the conservation department at the Nelson-Atkins Museum in Kansas City, MO; the library at the National Gallery of Art and special events at the Corcoran Gallery of Art in Washington DC. Rob holds a graduate degree in Art History and Museum Studies from The American University in Washington DC. Rob Chairs the Collections Committee which acquires, exhibits, and preserves historic artifacts and documents for Stonewall Museum & Archives.

Rob moved to the Fort Lauderdale area in 2010 and volunteers at local LGBTQ organizations.

Klayton Fennell

(Emeritus)

Klayton Fennell is the Vice President of Government Affairs for Comcast providing government affairs support and guidance to Comcast’s market-based government affairs teams, and to the Headquarter based business and operations teams.

In his role, Fennell develops, coordinates, and executes Comcast’s local political and regulatory strategy in over 6,400 communities in 40 states and the District of Columbia. In addition to his Government Affairs duties, Fennell serves as Comcast’s key contact with LGBT advocacy organizations, serves on Comcast’s Internal Diversity Council and is an Executive Champion to Comcast’s LGBT employee resource group, OUT.

A Florida native, Fennell earned his B.A. in Political Science from Jacksonville University and a doctor of laws from The Florida State University College of Law. Fennell and his husband, Valentine Vigil-Fennell, split their time between the Philadelphia area and South Florida.

Mark Neil Silber

Ex Officio

Deb Dagit (co-chair)

Washington, D.C.

As a diversity and inclusion leader and vocal/visible ally in Silicon Valley, Ms. Dagit has advocated for full LGBT inclusion in 3 firms, and played a key role in the passage of the Americans with Disabilities Act. Ms. Dagit was the Chief Diversity Officer at Merck for eleven years. Under her tenure, Merck was recognized for its exemplary work by business publications, government agencies, and professional organizations. In 2013, Deb started her own consulting business, offering practical tools and support for diversity practitioners, and has facilitated many substantive national collaborations between the LGBT and disability communities including NGLCC, and HRC Corporate Equality Index.

Alan Uphold (co-chair)

Los Angeles, CA

Communication consultant and public speaking coach/trainer, serving executives from NBC/Universal, Viacom, Warner Brothers, Frito-Lay, Cunard/Princess Cruise Lines, Deutsche Bank, and many other notable corporations and nonprofit organizations. Uphold is currently a college professor of public speaking and communication at Los Angeles Community College and was formerly the Development Director-West of the Point Foundation – the nation’s largest scholarship-granting organization focused on empowering, underwriting, and mentoring LGBT youth. Uphold is a former member of the Board of Directors of Human Rights Campaign (HRC), Equality California, and former Chair of Directors of Trans Chorus of Los Angeles.

Vic Basile

Washington, D.C.

Served as the first Executive Director of the Human Rights Campaign (1983-89), and then remained on the Board of HRC, involved in recruiting efforts for later executive directors.  Formerly Executive Director of Moveable Feast, and Director of International Volunteerism for the Peace Corps, Vic has always been a human rights activist. He is co-founder of the Victory Fund, which works toward election of LGBT political candidates. Now retired, Vic worked as a Counselor to the Director of the US Office of Personnel Management.

Mike Balaban

New York, NY

Mike Balaban retired from a 30 year career in international finance and consulting with focuses on Japan and China, in 2013.  He has simultaneously dedicated energies to non-profit board service for the last 22 years, with an emphasis on LGTB causes.  He served on the founding boards of GLSEN (Vice Chair) and Athlete Ally (Chair) along with service to Echoing Green, Galen University (San Ignacio, Belize), NewFest, and now Stonewall National Museum & Archives’ Advisory Council.  With a co-founder, he is launching Capturing Rainbows, an LGBT history platform, that collects, preserves, and shares first person moments from our collective LGBT lives, while fostering social interaction among its members.

Dr. Warren J. Blumenfeld

Amherst, MA

A writer, LGBT Historian, educator, he is the author of Warren’s Words: Smart Commentary on Social Justice, editor of Homophobia: How We All Pay the Price, and co-editor of Readings for Diversity and Social Justice. Warren serves as an editorial blogger for the Huffington Post, The Good Men Project, and Tikkun Daily.

John Coppola

Washington, D.C.

A presidential appointee to the National Museum and Library Services Board, he provides planning, exhibition development and professional training services to U.S., Latin American and Middle Eastern museums and is an adjunct professor of museum studies at Stanford in Washington and the Corcoran School of the Arts and Design/George Washington University. He has curated LGBT history exhibitions for the Stonewall National Museum & Archives, Fort Lauderdale, FL, One in Ten, Washington DC, and GLAAD, Washington, DC, and is a member of the American Alliance of Museum’s LGBTQ Alliance. Previously, he served as Director of the Office of Exhibits Central, Smithsonian Institution.

W. Peter Daniels

San Jose, CA

Chief Public Affairs Officer for the Santa Clara County Office of Education Peter brings more than 22 years of experience in school communications, marketing, public relations, and community engagement serving school systems in California, Hawaii, and Washington. In his current position, he oversees legislative advocacy efforts and the department of Media and Communications. In addition to his work in education, Daniels has provided consulting services on crisis communications, school operations, and school bonds and levies.

Justin Estoque

Los Angeles, CA

Justin Estoque oversaw the planning, design, construction, and inaugural programs of the Smithsonian’s National Museum of the American Indian with a fundraising goal of $199 million. Later Estoque directed NMAI’s Executive Planning Office, and acted as the museum’s Associate Director in charge of international engagement programs.  In 2013 Estoque was appointed Executive Vice President of the Autry Museum of the American West. Previous positions held were Chief Operating Officer, Institute of Museum and Library Services, and adjunct faculty, Bank Street College’s museum education graduate program.

Estoque’s board leadership experience includes the National LGBT Museum New York project, VOX Femina LA, and the Mesa Verde Foundation. He is a member of the LGBT Alliance Steering Committee of the American Alliance of Museums, Stonewall 50 Consortium, and a singing member of the Gay Men’s Chorus of Los Angeles where he volunteers as a fundraiser.

Rev. Mark Fowler

New York, NY

As the Deputy Chief Executive Officer for the Tanenbaum Organization for Interreligious Understanding, Rev. Fowler oversees the design and implementation of programmatic trainings at a national and international level. Mark has been involved for over 20 years with New York City’s education community as a facilitator/trainer to teachers, students, counselors and administrators in the areas of prejudice reduction in race, gender, sexual orientation and religion.

Ashley Green

Washington, D.C.

An Intellectual Property and Technology Attorney at DLA Piper and former Paralegal for Smithsonian Institution (2010-2014) coordinating principal distributions for object bequests to 19 museums. Ms. Green served as Museum Project Coordinator for the Velvet Foundation’s National LGBT Museum Project where she drafted policies, loan agreements and planned giving initiatives, and executed and oversaw fundraising and marketing projects.

Remington Gregg

Washington, D.C.

As Counsel for Civil Justice and Consumer Rights, leading the fight to ensure access to justice for all people and protecting American consumers from corporate rip-offs and abuses, working on a portfolio that includes forced arbitration, class actions, and consumer safety. Extensive experience in civil rights and civil justice. Previously served as Legislative Counsel at the Human Rights Campaign (HRC), principally counseling the organization on issues related to hate crimes, criminal and racial justice, profiling, education, domestic violence, military and veterans, immigration, and foreign affairs. There, he was the principal author of a groundbreaking report exposing religious schools that sought exemptions from civil rights law to discriminate against LGBT students. Prior to joining HRC, was Associate Counsel and Advisor for Open Government in the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy, advising on a range of legal and policy issues related to science, technology, and national security, and reducing legal and regulatory burdens to create a more open and accountable government. Co-wrote the nation’s first U.S. Open Government National Action Plan.

Brian McNaught

Fort Lauderdale, FL

An author and a leading corporate diversity consultant dealing with LGBT issues in the workplace, he has spent forty-two years helping audiences understand what it’s like to grow up gay and how to deal with daily challenges faced at work, home, and in their neighborhoods and churches. His five books in print are used as college texts, and his seven educational DVDs are used in school, church, and corporate training. Named by the New York Time as “the godfather of gay sensitivity training”, Brian wrote a syndicated column in the gay press for 12 years, and has contributed to numerous national publications.

Patrick Moore

Pittsburgh, PA

As Director of The Warhol Museum in Pittsburgh, PA, Patrick Moore is a museum leader focused on inclusion, digital sophistication and relevancy for the field. Patrick joined The Warhol in 2011 as Director of Development before becoming Deputy Director and Managing Director. Earlier in his career, Patrick worked as a digital producer for Yahoo! and was the Founding Director of The Estate Project for Artists with AIDS (a project of The Alliance for the Arts, New York). Patrick has produced editions and special projects with a range of important contemporary artists including Ed Ruscha, Catherine Opie, Cindy Sherman, David Hockney, and others. He is a graduate of Carnegie Mellon University with degrees in theater direction and English literature. As a writer, Patrick has published books with Beacon Press and Kensington. His work has appeared in the Los Angeles Times, Chicago Tribune, Philadelphia Inquirer, the New York Times, Newsday, and The Advocate. 

Dr. Katherine Ott

Washington, D.C.

Dr. Katherine Ott is a curator and historian at the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of American History, division of medicine and science, where she focuses on the history of medicine and the human body, disability and bodily difference, and LGBTQ history. The author of Fevered Lives: Tuberculosis in American Culture since 1870 (1996), Dr. Ott also co-edited Artificial Parts, Practical Lives: Modern Histories of Prosthetics (2002) and The Scrapbook of American Life (2006). She serves as Associate Professorial Lecturer of American Studies at The George Washington University, and is an Organization of American Historians Distinguished Lecturer.

Todd Sears

New York, NY

Founder and Principal of Out Leadership, a strategic advisory firm dedicated to extending equality and access to opportunity for LGBT people worldwide. In 2011, with support from six top financial institutions, he launched “Out on the Street,” an LBGT leadership and networking group aimed at senior executives on Wall Street. Today, it counts sixty-six of the world’s most influential businesses as members, and leads four global initiatives: Out in Law, Out NEXT, Quorum and Out WOMEN. Todd began his career as an investment banker, and later moved into diversity leadership at Merrill Lynch and Credit-Suisse.

Amanda Simpson

Washington, D.C.

Formerly the Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Operational Energy, U.S. Department of Defense. The first openly transgender woman Presidential appointee in U.S. history, and the highest ranking transgender appointee in the Obama Administration. Ms. Simpson has served as executive director of the U.S. Army Office of Energy Initiatives, and as Senior Technical Adviser to the Bureau of Industry and Security at the U.S. Department of Commerce, and as Deputy Director and Senior Program Manager in the Advanced Missiles and Unmanned Systems product line for Raytheon. Ms. Simpson has served on the boards of directors of the National Center for Transgender Equality, Out and Equal Workplace Advocates, the Arizona Human Rights Fund, and the Southern Arizona Chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union. She is an Associate Fellow of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics.

Henry L. Thaggert, III

Washington, D.C.

Senior antitrust counsel to Northrop Grumman Corporation in Falls Church, VA. Former Attorney-Advisor to the Federal Communications Commission and Trial Attorney at the U.S. Department of Justice Antitrust Division. Mr. Thaggert served as a Trustee to the Corcoran Gallery of Art and the Corcoran College of Art and Design, and has served on the advisory boards to the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African Art, and the George Mason University School of Art.

Michael Jose Torra

Los Angeles, CA

As a principal at the Raben Group working in the L.A. office, Mr. Torra draws on his 10 years of experience on Capitol Hill to help clients navigate political and policy-making process, articulate their public policy priorities and anticipate the outlook for the issues clients care about. He previously had significant involvement with the Congressional Hispanic Caucus and served as Chief of Staff to Congresswoman Linda T. Sanchez.

Anthony Varona

Washington, D.C. and Fort Lauderdale, FL

Professor of Law and Academic Dean at the American University Washington College of Law. SMNA board of directors member, and former board member for the Human Rights Campaign, GLAAD, and the Alliance for Justice. Dean Varona served as HRC’s first general counsel and legal director (1997-2002) after having practiced communications law at Skadden Arps, Mintz Levin, and the Federal Communications Commission. He previously has taught at Georgetown University Law Center and at Pace University School of Law, and served as a Wasserstein Fellow at Harvard Law School.

Moe Vela

Washington, D.C.

Moe Vela’s diverse career and experience uniquely positions him at the epicenter of where law, politics, business and finance intersect. He is the Pres- ident and CEO of The Vela Group, LLC, a global business development consulting firm with clients in the U.S. and Latin America. In addition to running his firm, he is Official Counsel at the law firm of Stein Mitchell Cipollone Beato and Missner, and previously a partner at the international law firm, Holland & Knight. Vela’s areas of experience include business development, public policy, government relations and Latino advocacy and outreach. He is also an adjunct professor at American University Washington College of Law. Vela served in President Obama’s administration as the Director of Administration and Senior Advisor in the Office of Vice President Joe Biden. Vela holds the distinction of being the first Hispanic American and gay American to serve twice in a senior executive role in the White House.