OutRight Action International is pleased to announce four new additions to its Board of Directors: Gigi Chao, Louise Chernin, Lanaya Irvin, and Kathy Teo, expanding the geographical diversity of our Board beyond the USA and Europe to Asia, where OutRight has numerous programs.
OutRight board members are a diverse group from across the private and non-profit sectors, philanthropy, and academia. Their extensive and varied backgrounds contribute to upholding OutRight’s mission to secure human rights for LGBTIQ people everywhere while representing the diverse population we serve.
Gigi Chao is the founder of Faith in Love Foundation, which encourages volunteerism and alleviation of poverty through scholarships and resource distribution for marginalized youth, and a co-founder of Hong Kong Marriage Equality, promoting LGBTIQ equality in Hong Kong. Gigi is also a specialist private sector adviser for the United Nations Development Programme “Being LGBTI” in Asia.
Gigi graduated from the University of Manchester, Manchester School of Architecture, England, in Architecture with Honours, and holds an LLB from the University of London.
Gigi has worked with prominent British Architect and Urban Designer Sir Terry Farrell in London and Hong Kong where she participated in projects such as Kowloon Station, Tsuen Wan West Station, and various design competition submissions for prominent iconic buildings in mainland China. Since 2011 she has been with Cheuk Nang, where she is currently the Vice-Chair. Gigi is also a keen helicopter pilot with past positions at the Hong Kong Aviation Club and Air Cadets Corp.
Louise Chernin is the President & CEO of GSBA, Washington State’s LGBTIQ and allied Chamber of Commerce, which is the largest LGBTIQ Chamber in North America. In addition to business development and advocacy on behalf of business and civil rights, GSBA sponsors a Scholarship Fund, which has awarded over $4 million to LGBTIQ students. Appointed by the Governor, Louise is a Seattle Colleges Trustee and named by the Puget Sound Business Journal as one of the top 20 most influential women in Puget Sound.
Louise is a Board member of the Seattle Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce and the Chair of the Seattle Colleges Board of Trustees. Louise was honored by the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force with its Leadership Award. In 2016, Louise was honored by the Puget Sound Business Journal with a Lifetime Achievement Award, and in 2019 Louise was named by Business Equality Magazine as one of the 50 over 50 Legacy Leaders in the United States.
Louise loves spending time with her partner, daughters, and grandchildren, eating out and going to movies. But, whatever Louise is engaged with, “fighting the good fight” is in her DNA and she can’t think of a more important “good fight” to take on than addressing the life threatening LGBTIQ human rights challenges faced across the globe by our community.
Lanaya Irvin is a strategic leader with over a decade of leadership experience on Wall Street, and a recognized diversity, equity, and inclusion thought-leader. They are currently co-chair of the Human Rights Campaign’s National Business Advisory Council and, since 2013, has sat on the Board of Directors for the New York City Anti-Violence Project, a nonprofit focused on supporting survivors of LGBTIQ hate violence. They are also a founding executive member of OPEN Finance, a consortium of LGBTIQ leaders advancing inclusion across Wall Street. In the past, they have served as enterprise co-chair of Bank of America’s Leadership, Education, Advocacy & Development program for women.
Lanaya was recognized by Viacom and OutLeadership during Logo’s 2016 Trailblazer Honors where they were featured as one of four business leaders who have made extraordinary impacts for LGBTIQ equality in the workplace.
Lanaya holds an MBA from the University of Texas, McCombs School of Business, and a B.A. from the University of California. They reside in New York with their spouse Janessa.
An entrepreneur and equality advocate, Kathy Teo is the founder of Xpointo Media, a digital marketing company headquartered in Singapore, which has sponsored Singapore’s annual Pink Dot event promoting LGBTIQ equality for the past three years. In 2019, Kathy was designated as one of five business leaders driving the Red Dot for Pink Dot campaign, advocating for other companies in Singapore to support Pink Dot.
In the 1990s, while living in the United States, Kathy was a community organizer for the regional and national Asian-Pacific lesbian movement on the East Coast and West Coast of the US, a key highlight of which was housing a contingent of Asian Pacific lesbian and bisexual women in the Fashion Institute of Technology dormitory in New York City during Gay Games 1994 and Stonewall 25. In 2002, in a first for Singapore, she led a queer women’s softball team based in Singapore to participate in the Sydney Gay Games.
Kathy has spoken on various panels on themes of equality and non-discrimination for the LGBTIQ community. She is part of The Alliance, a working group of senior C-Suite LGBTIQ leaders from around the world, brought together by McKinsey to address diversity and inclusion issues. Kathy is included in the OUTstanding Top 100 Role Model LGBT+ Executives 2019 list.
Jessica Stern, Executive Director of OutRight Action International, comments:
“I’m thrilled to welcome Gigi, Louise, Lanaya and Kathy to OutRight’s Board. They join the Board at an exciting time, as we mark our 30th anniversary, reflect on the immense achievements to date, and gear up for the challenges ahead. I have no doubt that the diverse experiences and expertise they bring will contribute greatly to OutRight’s efforts to promote and protect the human rights of LGBTIQ people everywhere.”
OutRight welcomes Gigi, Louise, Lanaya, and Kathy and we look forward to working together!
Published on February 5, 2020 | OutRight Action International an LGBT human rights organization