Sean Cahill joins NGLTF Policy Institute

April 19, 1999

Roberta Sklar, Director of Communications

The Policy Institute of the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force (NGLTF) today announced the appointment of Boston-based activist and academic Sean Cahill as the director of its Research and Policy Analysis Program. Cahill joins the New York City-based Policy Institute with a strong background in gay, lesbian bisexual and transgender (GLBT) movement activism, policy development, organizing and teaching.

"Sean Cahill's expert background in activism and policy will deepen and strengthen this think-tank's vital research program. The blend of skills he brings — from excellent academic credentials, to first-rate writing and research ability, to an extensive knowledge of the issues and politics shaping the GLBT movement — are essential as the Policy Institute helps frame and shape the public policy debates that affect our communities," said Urvashi Vaid, the Director of the Policy Institute.

From 1997–1999, Cahill worked at the Massachusetts Human Services Coalition, an advocacy organization focused on poverty, welfare reform and disability policy; he served the organization first as a Policy Analyst and most recently as its Executive Director. From 1993–1996, Cahill worked as editor of Dorchester Community News, a biweekly community newspaper. Throughout this time, from 1992-1998, Cahill also served as an Adjunct Lecturer at Northeastern University, Suffolk University and Salem State College, teaching courses in political science, political theory, government and law.

Cahill received a B.A. from Middlebury College in 1985 and holds both an M.A. degree and a Ph.D. in Political Science from the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor. His doctoral dissertation examined anti-gay discourse in contemporary US politics. He has written articles for GLBT straight media on GLBT rights issues, human rights in Northern Ireland, and welfare and anti-poverty policy. He is the author of several policy reports on welfare and health care policy in Massachusetts. Cahill was actively involved in the Boston Lesbian and Gay Political Alliance (BLGPA) serving most recently as its Co-Chair. He has been involved in a wide range of grassroots organizations in Boston and in Ann Arbor, including ACT UP, Ann Arbor.

"I look forward to applying my experience to the pressing public policy challenges that GLBT people encounter," Cahill said. "I am particularly excited about challenging the right wing's dominance in the intellectual and policy debates in this country, and in helping to develop a proactive agenda to make this country safe and welcoming to all people, regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity. And I especially look forward to working at NGLTF which recognizes that all justice issues are related, and that the best way to achieve long-term social and political change is to link GLBT people up with other movements working for equality and transformation."

The Policy Institute of the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force, based in New York, is a four-year old think tank dedicated to research, policy analysis and strategic projects to advance gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender equality. At the heart of the Policy Institute's mission is uniting thought to action by linking the worlds of academia, community activists, and policy makers. The Policy Institute publishes critical research papers that provide a factual backdrop for the work of advocates, develops policy options and proposals on a wide range of public policy issues, and develops new strategies and projects to advance the movement for gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender (GLBT) equality.

The Research and Policy Director manages all aspects of the research, policy analysis and publication programs at the Policy Institute of the NGLTF. In 1998, the Policy Institute published several reports including "Income Inflation: The Myth of Affluence Among Gay, Lesbian, and Bisexual Americans"; "Calculated Compassion: How the Ex-Gay Movement Serves the Right's Attack on Democracy"; "Out & Voting: The Gay, Lesbian, and Bisexual Vote in Congressional House Elections 1990–1996"; and "From Wrongs to Rights: Public Opinion on Gay and Lesbian Americans Moves Toward Equality." Each of these publications may be downloaded from NGLTF's website at


The mission of the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force is to build the political power of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community from the ground up. We do this by training activists, organizing broad-based campaigns to defeat anti-LGBT referenda and advance pro-LGBT legislation, and by building the organizational capacity of our movement. Our Policy Institute, the movementís premier think tank, provides research and policy analysis to support the struggle for complete equality and to counter right-wing lies. As part of a broader social justice movement, we work to create a nation that respects the diversity of human expression and identity and creates opportunity for all. Headquartered in Washington, D.C., we also have offices in New York City, Los Angeles, Miami, Minneapolis and Cambridge.