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:

Social justice organizations turn to Roey to help them:

Roey has a gift for listening to a wide range of opinions and helping people understand each other so they can 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. 


Roey offers individual support to leaders who are feeling isolated and need a sounding board.  Leadership can be lonely, and others may not understand just how hard it is.  Roey does understand, having served as an executive director for three organizations.  She offers video “Coffee Talk” sessions, where leaders can discuss issues and decisions that you are facing, and figure out what to do with a wise colleague who has been there and somehow still has a sense of humor about it.  If you would like to know more about this, she’s happy to explain more and see if it fits your needs.

Roey can help you hire leaders for your organization who will create the future you envision, and make the experience productive, collaborative, and an expression of your values of inclusivity and equity.  She offers an innovative approach for social justice organizations that attracts highly qualified and very diverse candidate pools by infusing equity and care into every step of the process. She makes the process rewarding and (believe it or not) fun, even over Zoom.

Roey excels at helping resolve touchy and longstanding issues inside and between organizations so that you can increase effectiveness and enjoy collaborations.  And she will create documents that support your work on a wide range of topics, researching and writing to meet the needs of your organization.

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 transformation has given her a unique perspective on how people can create and work together for a more just and fair world. She believes that real social change requires an inclusive, intersectional approach, and brings that to all the work she does.

Roey’s first big legislative win was passing a nondiscrimination law in rural Tompkins County, New York in 1991, and she has never forgotten what it feels like to organize and succeed. Roey 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 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 is co-founder of the Sara Snyder Defendant Support Fund, which removes financial barriers for people caught in Oregon’s criminal justice system.

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.  Although Roey is married to a criminal defense attorney, she still can’t resist a true crime documentary.

Want to hear Roey talk more about her approach to her work? Check out this episode of The Out Entrepreneur podcast.


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

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