Carnegie Mellon University

LGBTQIA+ Faculty and Staff Alliance

Mission Statement

The LGBTQIA+ Faculty and Staff Alliance is an employee resource group set to unite faculty and staff of the LGBTQIA+ community, as well as allies, and provide a structured framework and network for members to improve awareness and engagement, influence a non-bias culture, and encourage inclusive collaboration.


John C. Marano, Jr., Co-Lead

headshot of Jay MaranoJohn — known to his family, friends and CMU colleagues by his nickname “Jay” — is the director of trademark licensing. Jay created the Trademark Licensing Office when he began his career with CMU in September 1995 and is responsible for all other areas of CMU’s trademark licensing program, including serving as the university’s voting liaison to the Fair Labor Association and Worker Rights Consortium. 

Jay has been openly gay on campus since 2000 when he “outed himself’ while serving his first of two terms as chair of Staff Council, so he could advocate for domestic partner health benefits (which were approved by the CMU Board of Trustees in the early summer of 2000). 

Jay is humbled to serve with Lara as co-lead of the first LGBTQIA+ ERG while in the twilight of his professional career. He believes that his wealth of diverse experiences spanning nearly five decades “in and out of the closet” offers a unique lens when working with members of the ERG. He hopes to provide the group with the perspective and encouragement needed to create an enjoyable and sustainable ERG for this eclectic community where current and future staff and faculty will feel welcomed and nurtured.

contact Jay

Lara Sullivan, Co-Lead

headshot of Lara SullivanLara is an organizational change and communications manager in the Office of Human Resources, where she supports and drives the change management and communications of projects and initiatives for the department. She has been a staff member at CMU for a little over a year now, and she is a proud graduate of the Heinz College. As an ally of the LGBTQIA+ community, Lara is excited to uphold the principles of diversity, equity and inclusion by supporting a non-bias culture on campus. As an inaugural co-lead, her goal is to help set the group up for success by creating clear administrative process and procedures so that the group can better serve its members and focus on the core mission. 

contact Lara