Gay British banking chief appointed to board of GLAAD

Illustrated rainbow pride flag on a white background.

Barclays chief Anthony Watson has been elected to the board of GLAAD, becoming the first gay British citizen to join the US LGBT media advocacy group.

Mr Watson, a managing director and chief information officer (CIO) at Barclays Bank PLC in London, is currently the only openly gay CIO of a Fortune 100 company in the world.

He is an ambassador for Stonewall and an ambassador for Diversity Role Models, the LGBT education and anti-homophobic bullying charity.

“I am deeply humbled to be the first ever British citizen and, more importantly, the first ever non-American citizen to be appointed to the board of directors of GLAAD. I am very excited to work with this truly exceptional team,” Mr Watson said on Friday.

He added: “GLAAD’s critical work transcends national boundaries. It is of vital importance that the global LGBT community becomes stakeholders in GLAAD’s critical work. The United States media is by far the most widely consumed and syndicated media internationally and is affecting cultural change not only in the US, but also around the world. I feel very privileged to be given this opportunity to contribute my life experience and energy to furthering GLAAD’s crucial mission globally”.

GLAAD’s Acting President Dave Montez said: “With his esteemed and significant history in advocating for the rights of LGBT people, not only in the United Kingdom but around the world, we are very fortunate to have Anthony’s valuable contribution to our board and to begin working with him as GLAAD’s international work continues to evolve.”

Mr Watson has also been appointed as a voting member of GLAAD’s Finance Committee.

Earlier this summer, GLAAD spoke to PinkNews about its work in campaigning for stronger LGBT inclusion throughout the US media industry.

In October 2013, Mr Watson was placed 9th in the Financial Times list of the most influential LGBT business leaders in Europe. In the same month, in the Independent on Sunday’s Pink List, he was ranked as the 66th most influential LGBT person in the UK.