Longtime education leader Patti Hearn has been named as the new executive director of Seattle Pride – the LGBTQIA+ advocacy organization which produces two of the state’s largest Pride Month events (Seattle Pride Parade and Seattle Pride in the Park), as well as year-round programs aimed at advancing LGBTQIA+ equality.
In making the announcement at the kick-off of yesterday’s annual Seattle Pride Parade, Seattle Pride Board President Ramone Myers said, “Patti Hearn brings a remarkable blend of expertise, passion and dedication to our organization. Her commitment to advancing the rights and well-being of our community is truly commendable, and we’re fortunate to have such an exceptional leader at the helm.”
As a queer femme woman, Hearn brings to Seattle Pride and Seattle Pride’s Out & Proud Foundation her many years of experience dismantling assumptions and combating the erasure of marginalized communities with a focus on helping people see what’s possible. A frequent presenter at educational conferences, Hearn regularly speaks on a wide range of topics including feminist and anti-racist education, social-emotional learning and inclusive leadership.
“With a record number of anti-LGBTQ bills being introduced nationally, it’s a critical time for organizations like Seattle Pride to continue our march for the rights and dignity of all,” said Hearn. “I’m excited for my new role and for the opportunity to work side-by-side with Seattle Pride’s board, volunteers and staff – and to collaborate with other leaders in Seattle’s LGBTQIA+ community – in advancing our mission and creating a welcoming environment in which all voices are heard and valued.
Hearn was the founding head of Lake Washington Girls Middle School in Seattle where, for more than two decades, she offered girls and gender nonconforming kids the opportunity to become competent risk takers and courageous mistake makers. She then brought her knowledge and passion for innovative middle school programs to Seattle School for Boys, and most recently ran her own successful consulting practice – Verge – providing consulting to educators, school leaders and founders of new schools, as well as school placement support for parents.
In her new role as Seattle Pride’s executive director, which she will take on beginning July 17, Hearn will be responsible for managing the organization’s day-to-day operations; driving organizational priorities; overseeing year-round advocacy, programming, fundraising and grantmaking initiatives; and cultivating relationships within Seattle’s LGBTQIA+ community and its allies.
Seattle Pride’s Interim Executive Director Noah Wagoner, who served for the past seven months, will resume his role as program manager, alongside communications and partnerships manager Ross Gonzalez and program coordinator Nick Albritton.
Hearn, who received her bachelor’s degree from Rutgers University and holds a master’s degree in education from Antioch University, has served on several boards including The Bush School, Northwest Girls Coalition, Martial Arts in the Public Interest and Three Dollar Bill Cinema. She and her wife reside in Seattle with their four children.