Spotlight: Meet MAP’s Newest Board Members

Movement Advancement Project
3 min readMay 22, 2024

The Movement Advancement Project (MAP) was created in 2006 with the task of providing analysis and reporting to identify gaps and opportunities within the LGBTQ movement. Over the past 18 years, MAP has grown to have an LGBTQ program offering policy, communications, and capacity resources; a Democracy program; and our Open to All program.

Along the way, MAP’s board of directors has provided financial, operational, and strategic advice, while deepening our connections and relationships within the movements we work. Today our board is comprised of foundation staff and political, business, and nonprofit thought leaders from across the country. They bring a wealth of talents and experience to the board and to MAP. Learn more about our board here.

As we continue our efforts to ensure the Board of Directors is reflective of the communities we strive to support, we are excited to introduce our two newest members of the board — Neish McLean and Michael Dabbs.

“I am excited to join MAP’s board because of the consistency of the organization’s values with my own personal and professional interests. I believe deeply in the power of collaboration. MAP’s theory of transformation offers a clear articulation of its importance and uplifts the value of being in community when work is done in partnership. I am looking forward to supporting the ways in which MAP brings people together and especially how communities at the furthest margins are centered.”

As a queer transmasculine philanthropist, Neish brings almost ten years of organizing and movement building experience to the MAP board. With a passion for community care, movement resourcing and healing justice, Neish serves on a variety of international boards and committees. Neish’s experience, though global, is deeply rooted in the Caribbean which is where their activism thrived. As the Co-Founder of TransWave Jamaica, Neish helped to shift the landscape for trans activism within Jamaica while also providing technical support to organizations across the Caribbean region. Today, Neish is the Associate Director for the International Fund at Astraea Lesbian Foundation for Justice.

“Before joining the board, I had the privilege of partnering with MAP as the Gill Foundation’s program officer overseeing research and communications projects. What I’ve always appreciated about MAP’s work is its recognition that, in order to effectively bridge divides, we have to truly understand the people we’re trying to reach. We have to meet them where they are and speak to their values. I’m excited to bring what I’ve learned about impactful messaging — much of it directly from MAP — into my new role on the board.”

Michael is currently the Senior Director of Impact at the Gill Foundation, charged with directing programmatic initiatives to propel narrative change for LGBTQ equality. His years of experience in strategy and communications has made him a valued board and committee member for several nonprofit organizations, both nationally and in Colorado. Prior to joining the Foundation, Michael was the Communications and Creative Director at RBI Strategies and Research where he worked alongside nonprofits, issue advocacy campaigns, and political candidates to develop and implement nationally recognized, award-winning communication strategies that helped shape public discourse and win at the ballot box. In addition to his role at the Foundation, he is also an adjunct professor at the University of Denver.

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Movement Advancement Project

MAP is an independent, nonprofit think tank that provides rigorous research, insight and communications that help speed equality and opportunity for all.