People For the American Way Foundation

PFAW Foundation Announces Svante Myrick as Director of Youth Leadership Programs

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: January 13, 2017

Contact: Laura Epstein or Drew Courtney at People For the American Way Foundation

Email: media@pfaw.org

Phone Number: 202-467-4999

PFAW Foundation today announced that Ithaca Mayor Svante Myrick, a member of the Young Elected Officials (YEO) Network for nine years, will be joining the organization as Director of Youth Leadership Programs. Myrick will follow current Director of Youth Leadership Programs, Tallahassee Mayor Andrew Gillum. Gillum, who is also the founder of the YEO Network, a group of over 1,000 progressive elected officials across the country, is planning to focus his attention on political challenges confronting his home state of Florida.

"I couldn’t be more excited to welcome Svante to a new leadership role with the PFAW Foundation team,” said PFAW Foundation President Michael Keegan. “He’s been an inspiring leader for the city of Ithaca and an extremely active member of the YEO Network, and we’re thrilled that he’ll be in a position to share his passion and his creativity with young leaders all across the country. I’m also deeply grateful for the extraordinary work that Andrew Gillum has done as Director of Youth Leadership Programs and founder of the YEO Network. Andrew is an inspirational leader and his impact on our organization and the progressive movement is hard to overstate. From school boards to the halls of Congress, Andrew has had an indelible impact on the next generation of progressive leaders. Under Andrew's leadership, the YEO program has expanded to include over 1,000 leaders across all 50 states and the District of Columbia. While we're sad to see Andrew go, we can’t wait to see what’s next for one of the strongest progressive leaders in our country right now. And, of course, we look forward to continuing to work with him as a member of the YEO Network.”

"PFAW Foundation's unique work with the next generation of progressive leadership has already had a tremendous impact on the face of power in this country, and I couldn’t be prouder of the change that we’ve helped to make,” said outgoing People For the American Way Foundation Director of Youth Leadership Programs and Tallahassee Mayor Andrew Gillum “From mobilizing young people to get out the vote with their peers to creating the YEO Network, I couldn't be more grateful for the opportunities I've had at PFAW Foundation. I look forward to pursuing new opportunities for progressive leadership in Florida, and I am so glad that Svante, who brings such a long history of involvement in the YEO Network, will be taking the reins of Youth Leadership Programs at PFAW Foundation."

"As a member of the YEO Network for nine years, I've had the privilege of working with some of the most creative, effective, progressive leaders in our country. I've learned so much from Andrew and my fellow YEOs, and I can't wait to lead and grow the program," said incoming People For the American Way Foundation Director of Youth Leadership Programs and Ithaca Mayor Svante Myrick. "As I continue to steadfastly serve as Ithaca Mayor, I look forward to sharing my experiences with and learning from the over 1,000 members of the YEO Network."

Svante Myrick, 29, is the youngest-ever mayor of Ithaca, New York. Raised by his mother, Myrick and his family faced homelessness throughout their lives and relied on school lunch programs and other critical public services. After attending Cornell University, Myrick served as Assistant Director of Student and Young Alumni programs at the college and tutored Ithaca youth. These experiences shape his leadership in Ithaca, where he's put progressive values into action to improve the lives of the people of Ithaca. As mayor, Myrick's innovative leadership has, for example, included putting forth a plan to address the heroin epidemic through supervised injection sites, prevention, treatment, and law enforcement. Svante  is the recipient of the John F. Kennedy Frontier Award, YEO’s Barbara Jordan Leadership Award and named this year by Rolling Stone “Hot Do-Gooder” public servant to watch and most recently again in  Forbes Magazine. “Meet the 2017 Class of  30 under 30.”

To schedule an interview with Svante Myrick, please email media@pfaw.org.

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