Astraea Names J. Bob Alotta Executive Director

Published on Feb 1, 2011

The Astraea Lesbian Foundation for Justice announced today that it has named J. Bob Alotta as its new Executive Director. Noteworthy for her ability to lead organizations and institutions to exponential growth and success, Alotta brings to Astraea expertise in activism, communications and media work with experience in a range of institutional settings. Alotta will join the Foundation in April of this year.

USA- New York
Bob will work closely with the Board and Interim Executive Director Aimée Thorne-Thomsen to ensure a smooth transition. We hope you will have the opportunity to meet Bob personally at one of a series of events in several cities in the coming months–—stay tuned! In the meantime, we invite you to meet Bob online through her video message.

“”Bob Alotta is a remarkable social justice leader with the experience and vision to lead Astraea to our next level of growth,”” said Astraea Board Chair Mary Li. “”Her ability to foster sustainable organizational expansion and her experience with media as a tool for change will be instrumental in widening Astraea’s reach in the digital age.””

The Astraea Lesbian Foundation for Justice is the world’’s only foundation solely dedicated to supporting LGBTI organizations worldwide. A feminist-social-justice hub, Astraea works side by side with grantee and donor partners for transformative and lasting social, racial, economic and gender justice. Last year, Astraea granted more than $1.7 million to 146 organizations and individuals in 40 countries around the world.

““I’’ve always known my work in the arts, in technology, and in the movement was inextricably linked,”” said Alotta. “”Now I have the privilege of cultivating that further while working in the service of Astraea’’s crucial mission. Together, Astraea and our grantee and donor partners have an opportunity to build on more than three decades of success and broaden Astraea’s capacity to secure justice and LGBTI human rights worldwide. I am thrilled to be joining the Foundation at this time.””

Alotta has successfully grown and managed non-profits, media companies, education and film projects over the course of her career.

In four years as the Board Chair of FIERCE, a longtime Astraea grantee partner and successful policy advocate that builds the power of LGBT youth of color, Alotta led the organization in doubling its budget and completing a 10-year strategic plan. On behalf of the FIERCE Board of Directors, Bob accepted the Stonewall Foundation’’s Alan Morrow Prize for Excellence in Board Leadership in 2009. In philanthropy, Alotta has served as a longtime grant reviewer for the Open Society Foundations, and has partnered with a number of their grantees to lead media trainings for their constituents.

Over the past three years, Alotta served as Director of Digital Media and Content at Zeitbyte Digital Media where she was the principal executive responsible for technical, financial and staffing infrastructures while serving as Creative Producer/Director for all productions. Previously, Alotta raised multi-million dollar gifts and expanded her staff from three to thirty as the Director of Digital Technology at Columbia University, where she developed successful philanthropic partnerships with Apple, Adobe and the Hollywood Foreign Press Association.

Under Alotta’’s direction, film has proven an effective medium to tell the stories of LGBTI communities and advance human rights and social justice. Her viral video project, Caster Runs for Me, garnered international media attention in support of the World Championship runner Caster Semenya during the 2009-10 controversy surrounding her gender. Alotta also directed Outspoken, an award-winning, peer-led project for Mount Sinai Adolescent Health Center that used social media to help prevent HIV transmission. She has trained media activists in many countries around the world: as a grassroots organizer, in academic institutions, and through social service and human rights agencies— affirming the use of media as a vital tool for instigating social change.

Alotta will work closely with the Board and Interim Executive Director Aimée Thorne-Thomsen to ensure a smooth transition.

About Astraea: Astraea Lesbian Foundation for Justice works for social, racial, economic and gender justice in the U.S. and internationally.  Our grantmaking and philanthropic advocacy programs help lesbians and allied communities challenge oppression and claim their human rights.