WASHINGTON -- The Board of Trustees of the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence and the Brady Center today announced that Dan Gross, the co-founder and Executive Director of the Center to Prevent Youth Violence (formerly PAX), has been elected the new President of the nation’s largest gun violence prevention organizations.
Gross brings to the Brady organizations a legacy of trailblazing, innovative work, and a passion for reducing gun deaths and injuries. Since 1998, the Center to Prevent Youth Violence has created high impact public health and safety campaigns designed to lower the incidence of gun deaths and injuries among youths by changing social norms and behaviors. Gross’ creative thinking and partnership-building have resulted in the nationwide adoption of his life-saving programs by schools, parents, youths, the medical community, police departments and hundreds of community-based organizations.
The native New Yorker co-founded CPYV in 1998, a year after his brother Matthew sustained a serious gunshot injury to his head while visiting the observation deck of the Empire State Building. Prior to establishing CPYV, Gross was a marketing and advertising executive at J. Walter Thompson.
“Jim and I have known Dan ever since he founded CPYV. Dan personally understands that there are too many victims of gun violence in America, and he has dedicated himself to doing something demonstrable about it," said Sarah Brady, Chair of the Brady organizations. "Jim and I look forward to working with him to continue our mission to keep guns out of the wrong hands."
“We at Brady could not be more fortunate to have the intelligent, thoughtful, and creative leadership of Dan Gross,” said William Harwood, Chair of the Brady Boards. “Our nation will soon find out what so many others who have been touched by his work already know: Dan’s leadership will save lives.”
Gross’ leadership at Brady will be centered around three key objectives: engage the nation in an honest and meaningful conversation about the public health and safety threats of guns; give voice to and mobilize large numbers of Americans to create a powerful and sustainable outcry for the solutions they support; and turn that outcry into the adoption of new social and cultural norms, along with the implementation of sensible laws and policies that will save lives.
“I often have been inspired and amazed by the dedication of my friends and allies in the gun violence prevention movement. Jim and Sarah are role models for what passion, perseverance, and sustained public engagement can accomplish,” said Gross. “I am honored to follow in their footsteps and build on everything that they and this iconic organization have accomplished. It is my fervent hope to create even greater and more measurable progress toward saving lives on my watch.”
Both the Brady organizations and Gross are excited by the potential that exists in combining Gross’ strong background of promoting public engagement and cultural change with Brady’s legacy of life-saving policy and legal advocacy. Knowing that the majority of Americans, including gun owners, support sensible policy solutions, the Brady Board and staff are confident Gross’ fresh and inspirational approach is what is necessary to turn that sentiment into lasting change.
“There is nothing more fundamental than protecting the health and safety of our children and families.” Gross explained. “As has been demonstrated quite powerfully with plenty of other issues, the people’s intolerance of unsafe and deadly behavior, if compellingly harnessed, can create almost unthinkable change. At CPYV, I have seen how it is possible to rally people around solutions and I could not imagine a better platform than Brady to save even more lives and achieve even greater impact.”
Dan Gross replaces Paul Helmke, a lawyer and former Mayor of Fort Wayne, Indiana, who stepped down July 10, 2011. Dennis Henigan, Vice President for Law and Policy at Brady, served as acting president in the interim.