Joshua LamontWe recently hired our first Development Director, Joshua Lamont, to lead our development strategy and build out our individual donor program as GSO continues to grow. Before joining us, Josh owned a consulting business, served as a Presidential Appointee in the Obama Administration, and was named a “leader in smart philanthropy” by The Wall Street Journal.

He also held fundraising and leadership roles at The Lehman Brothers Foundation, GLSEN and amfAR, the Foundation for AIDS Research. But it’s not just his career history that makes him a perfect fit for the role, he also understands what the families we serve can go through.

When Josh was ten, his 31-year-old mother was diagnosed with brain cancer. Neither she nor his father, a Vietnam veteran and first-generation college graduate, could pay for the emergency care she desperately needed, and the family could not afford to lose her income. With his mother still taking in the possibility that she would lose her life, his family worried that they wouldn’t be able to keep their home. Fortunately, she was able to get a brand new catastrophic insurance policy through Medi-cal that provided for her care and recovery, but that terrible moment of financial insecurity has stayed with Josh his entire life. He committed his career to fighting for families like his own who continue to face similarly impossible choices.

Josh is also a proud VITA volunteer. He began volunteering in 2010 to help his parents’ low-income friends who were afraid that they would mess up and owe money on their taxes. “In almost every case, the families were owed money from the IRS. One woman even started a small candle making business using her refund,” said Josh. His VITA clients’ gratitude left a lasting impression. “Because I wouldn’t accept payment, they offered gifts like baskets of homegrown fruit. One family even gave me half a pig.” More than ten years later, he continues to work with many of the same families each year.

We are very excited for Josh’s next chapter at GSO.