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    Profiles of Passion and Courage: Roger Doughty

    By Stu Smith

    Roger Doughty is a gentleman of humility and conviction who serves our LGBT community as executive director of Horizons Foundation. His ability to organize, to bring people together, to empathize and to be a visionary match our needs here in San Francisco, given the city’s deep, complex and compelling charitable history, as well as our strong LGBT community.

    A native of Chicago, Doughty wrestled quietly and painfully with his homosexuality until he was in college and began the process of being his true self: a gay man and a dedicated humanitarian. After college at Williams, Doughty went to work for the campaign of democratic Senator Paul Simon and decided to pursue law.

    He journeyed to UC Berkeley, where he earned his JD and MPP. His early legal work began with refugee rights. He then focused on immigration issues concerning when Latinos become eligible for political asylum. This work led to his lifetime dedication to human rights and his ongoing work with the International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission, where he is serving a second six-year board term.

    Doughty is also active in many other organizations and causes. He helped to found what is now The (LGBT) Center on Halstead in Chicago. He has served as president of the historic Gay and Lesbian Activists Alliance in the nation’s capital, and he has been on a committee of the national Council on Foundations. Recently, he has served on the board of Northern California Grantmakers (the regional association of foundations). Partnered with Royce Lin and deeply committed to his career at Horizons Foundation, Doughty is a major force in creating an LGBT philanthropic consciousness that promises charitable parity on par with the efforts of our straight brothers and sisters.

    One of the recognitions Doughty treasures is his KQED (PBS) Local Hero Award. He’s been recognized many times by other great organizations, but this one really means a lot to him. He didn’t have a favorite quotation as such, but chose to share this line from a Grateful Dead song: “Sometimes you know you get shown the light, in the strangest of places if you look at it right.”

    He’s proudest of the refugee rights work done, of helping to lead the transformation of a modest-size community center in Chicago into one of the largest and most vibrant LGBT centers in the country, and of leading Horizons on its current path to developing major and permanent financial resources for generations to come.

    San Francisco and our LGBT community are fortunate to have a man like Roger Doughty helping create, formulate, and deliver a major philanthropic foundation to us. He shines the light for other communities and individuals to find a place where they can learn to give as well as to receive.