Deputy Director/Senior Staff Attorney
Janson Wu joined GLAD as a staff attorney in 2006 and took on the role of deputy director in early 2014. Following a comprehensive national search, Janson was selected by GLAD’s board to serve as the organization’s next executive director. He will step into that role on December 1, 2014.
During his time at GLAD, Janson has been deeply involved in the breadth of GLAD’s work, with a particular emphasis on marriage equality, DOMA, transgender rights, employment benefits, family law and parentage, and the rights of LGBT elders. He has served as part of the legal team on many of GLAD’s significant cases, including GLAD’s challenges to DOMA, Gill v. OPM and Pedersen v. OPM, and the recent successful asylum case of Ugandan activist John Abdallah Wambere. In 2012, he successfully argued before New Hampshire’s highest court that a non-biological lesbian mother should be recognized as a parent (In re Madelyn B.).
In addition to his litigation, Wu has been extensively involved in GLAD’s legislative and policy work throughout New England. In New Hampshire and Rhode Island, he led GLAD’s coalition work with local advocacy organizations, legislators and individuals to pass marriage equality in those states.
Janson’s efforts have earned national recognition; in 2012, Janson received the David Carliner Award from the American Constitutional Society, and in 2011 he was named one of the Best LGBT Lawyers under 40 by the National LGBT Bar Association. He was also a 21st Century Fellow with the Pipeline Project, which is dedicated to cultivating leadership among LGBT people of color.
Before coming to GLAD, Janson worked as an attorney with Tri-City Community Action Program, a multi-service, anti-poverty organization, where he provided legal services to low-income individuals. Prior to that, Janson was an associate at the litigation law firm of Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan in San Francisco. He has served on the ABA’s Commission on Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity and on the Legal Committee of the World Professional Association for Transgender Health.
Read a profile of Janson Wu, "Marriage Equality's Lawyer," in The Progressive