Queerty has received an email revealing Cary Alan Johnson was removed as executive director of the International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission (IGLHRC) on Thursday.

It’s not apparent whether the decision was Johnson’s or the Commission’s, but given the speed of the announcement—and the fact that Johnson has only been in the role for three years—it doesn’t sound like it was an amicable split. Jessica Stern, formerly director of programs, has been named acting executive director, effective immediately.

IGLHRC has a strong and deep management team. Jessica Stern is a highly respected human rights advocate who has repeatedly demonstrated a unique capacity to work collaboratively with both colleagues and stakeholders while propelling the IGLHRC mission forward. IGLHRC will continue to build on a successful past of working with partners from around the world to better the lives of LGBT people and advance human rights for everyone everywhere.

Johnson became the director of  IGLHRC, an NGO dedicated to defending LGBT rights in global hotspots, in 2009. At the time, board co-chairs Ally Bolour and Dorothy Sander called him “a true visionary and proven leader” and said they had “great confidence in [his] ability to continue IGLHRC’s incredible momentum in challenging abuse and discrimination around the world.”

Prior to his appointment, Johnson was the organization’s senior Africa specialist, developing partnerships with regional LGBT and HIV organizations and challenging human-rights abuse in Nigeria, Uganda, Cameroon and Senegal.

We’ve contacted IGLHRC for more information on this changing of the guard and will report back when details become available.


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