Paula Ettelbrick

Paula L. Ettelbrick is a human rights lawyer, writer, teacher, public speaker and consultant recognized for her work in advancing civil rights and public interest advocacy on the national and global stages. She has a deep foundation in the legal, political, public policy, and community organizing arenas, as well as extensive experience as a non-profit executive.

From 2003 until 2009, she was the Executive Director of the International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission (IGLHRC), a US-based non-profit headquartered in New York with regional offices in Buenos Aires, Argentina, and Cape Town, South Africa (

From her years as the legal director of Lambda Legal through her recent tenure at IGLHRC, Ettelbrick is not a mere observer of the monumental changes in attitude and law related to lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people. She has been an active leader and dedicated participant in reshaping the law and promoting social acceptance for over 25 years. Internationally known for both her visionary thinking and strategic skills, she is dedicated to the proposition that all people benefit when discrimination and bias are eliminated.

Ettelbrick has appeared on CNN, NBC, ABC, CBS, BBC television and international radio, and local TV and radio. Print media includes The New York Times, Detroit Free Press, Chicago Tribune, San Francisco Chronicle, Los Angeles Times, Wall Street Journal, USA Today, and countless LGBT publications.

The recipient of numerous awards for her advocacy efforts, Ettelbrick has written and published extensively on LGBT constitutional, family, and parenting rights. She is one of the early architects of the law related to domestic partnership, second parent adoptions, and the rights of lesbian and gay co-parents.

Ettelbrick is an adjunct professor at New York University Law School and a lecturer in the Women’s Studies Department at Barnard College where she teaches Sexuality and the Law. She has also taught at such prominent law schools as Columbia Law School and The University of Michigan Law School.

Photo credit: Andrés Duque

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