Roey Thorpe is a passionate, experienced leader in movements for social justice. She is based in Portland, Oregon, and works with clients across the country.

Roey partners with philanthropic organizations that support the work of social justice movements, as well as advocacy organizations seeking progressive change. 

Foundations ask Roey to:

  • Assess programs and support grantees
  • Research and write qualitative assessments of programs and campaigns
  • Facilitate meetings and retreats that sharpen program focus and enable critical decisions
  • Organize trainings and other events on a wide range of topics for grantees
  • Create strategic funding programs that reflect foundation goals and values

Social justice organizations turn to Roey to help them:

  • Align their vision, mission, and theory of change throughout the organization
  • Solve sticky problems and shift organizational culture
  • Create 1-2 year plans in rapidly changing environments
  • Support senior staff in becoming more effective team leaders
  • Conduct honest internal assessment to help organizations make difficult decisions

Roey has a gift for listening to a wide range of opinions and helping people understand each other and agree on a path forward. She is both unflinchingly honest and deeply compassionate—because she’s been there and truly understands both the joy and the difficulty of advocacy work. Her serious dedication to progressive social change is balanced by an irrepressible optimism and quick wit. 


  • Program creation and evaluation
  • Research and writing
  • Organizational transitions
  • Strategic: hiring strategy and needs assessment
  • Hands-on: managing a search, serving as interim director, team building during transition
  • Crisis management and planning
  • Problem solving and decision making
  • Meeting organization and facilitation
  • Mission and vision alignment

Roey can help create short-term plans for people with no patience for a lengthy planning process during turbulent times. She excels at helping resolve touchy and longstanding issues inside and between organizations so that you can increase effectiveness and enjoy collaborations.

Not sure what you need or where to start? Get in touch, and if she’s not the right person for your project, she’s happy to help you connect with someone who is.

About Roey

Roey is proud to have worked in social justice movements her whole adult life, at both the state and national level. Her work for LGBTQ equality, reproductive rights, and criminal justice reform—with all the changes we have created and those we can now imagine—has given her a unique perspective on how people can create and work together for a more just and fair world. This perspective has never been more valuable than now, as our progress is under daily attack.

Roey’s first big legislative win was passing a nondiscrimination law in rural Tompkins County, New York in 1991, and the thrill has never waned. She has many years of leadership experience, including as executive director of Basic Rights Oregon and Planned Parenthood Advocates of Oregon, building both organizations into powerful political forces. She then broadened her geographic scope, first at Freedom to Marry and then for seven years at Equality Federation, supporting grassroots organizations and ultimately coordinating a collaborative funding initiative for national funders. She is known for her success at building (and rebuilding) organizations, as well as for her experience with legislative advocacy and ballot initiative campaigns.

Roey also served as Alderperson and Acting Mayor of Ithaca, New York, making her their first out elected official.

Roey is the author of numerous scholarly articles on the history of lesbians in Detroit, and opinion pieces on a broad range of social justice topics. Her accolades include the Fighting Spirit Award, the HRC Equality Award, and being selected as one of Portland’s Most Powerful Women. As a Bohnett Fellow, she attended the State and Local Leadership program at the Kennedy School at Harvard University. Roey earned a master’s degree (and is permanently on the verge of a PhD) in US History from Binghamton University, and a bachelor’s degree in Music from Bowling Green State University.  

Roey currently serves on the boards of Safety and Justice Oregon and City Club of Portland. She is co-founder of the Sara Snyder Defendant Support Fund, which removes financial barriers for people caught in the criminal justice system as they get their lives back on track.

Despite the fact that Roey has called Portland, Oregon, her home since 2001, she has resisted urban chicken farming and other signs of overt hipster culture. Instead, she prefers things that sparkle and plays a mean game of poker.


Please don’t hesitate to get in touch, and Roey will get back to you right away to learn more about what you need.