Gregory Varnum has been working with non-profits and small businesses as a leader or consultant for over 15 years. Prior to returning to consulting work, he worked with the National Youth Advocacy Coalition (NYAC) in Washington, DC. He joined NYAC as acting executive director in March 2008 and was appointed executive director in December 2008. As NYAC continued to adapt to the changing economic climate, Gregory worked on strengthening the organization's infrastructure and political influence of queer youth. Gregory worked towards reintroducing the “NYAC” brand, rebuilding relationships with partner organizations, and revamping NYAC's programs.
Showing an entrepreneurial spirit at a young age, Gregory founded his company at the age of twelve. While his company went on to win local business awards, Gregory also pursued his interest in another industry - radio. He became an on-air personality and the youngest commercial radio promotions director in the country before graduating from high school. He went on to put his knowledge of marketing and communications to use as public relations coordinator of Michigan DECA, a fully staffed statewide organization of high school marketing students.
Prior to joining NYAC, Gregory served as director of youth initiatives and information technology at Triangle Foundation (now Equality Michigan), the leading LGBT civil rights, anti-violence and advocacy organization in Michigan. During his time as a LGBTQ youth activist in Michigan, Gregory received recognition for his innovative and cost-effective programs, many of which advanced HIV/AIDS awareness, gender, racial, religious and economic equality in addition to their primary focus of LGBT equality. He received national recognition for his work establishing one of the first youth advocacy programs based at a statewide LGBT advocacy organization, advancing policies benefiting LGBTQ students and creating the first national summer camp for LGBTQA youth engaged in community organizing.
Gregory holds a bachelor's degree in political science from Eastern Michigan University. He has volunteered countless hours for numerous LGBT causes including: NYAC's National Transgender Review Board; co-chair of the youth engagement subcommittee for the 20th Creating Change conference sponsored by the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force; serving on the and The Woodhull Freedom Foundation and Federation board of directors; and public policy advisor for the Episcopal Diocese of Michigan.
Currently he is serving on the Harvey Milk Foundation Advisory Board and Global Harvey Milk Day Steering Committee. Gregory travels to New York City and Washington, DC will living in the Ann Arbor, Michigan area with his partner, Bobby, and their two dogs, Lincoln and Tribble.