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The Think Tank: A conversation with Neil Giuliano

Neil Giuliano (Neil Giuliano Photo)

Neil Giuliano is president and CEO of Greater Phoenix Leadership (GPL), the successor organization to the once-powerful Phoenix 40.

He was mayor of Tempe, serving four terms from 1994-2004. Giuliano was the first openly-gay mayor in America and, for much of his term in office, was the mayor of the largest city in America with an openly-gay mayor.

In our first two segments, we ask Giuliano:

  • GPL, or its predecessor organization, was once an influential player in Arizona politics. Does GPL intend to return to active involvement in local public affairs? Does this have anything to do with your hiring and return to Arizona?
  • What are your ambitions for GPL?
  • Do you expect to see GPL or its leadership more directly involved in our politics? In the funding political campaigns?

Especially since leaving Arizona in 2005, Giuliano has been actively involved in gay rights issues on a national level. Between then and now, there has been a sea of change in attitudes towards gay marriage and other related issues.

In our final segment, we discuss his observations on how this came about. Was it the “outing” (voluntarily or involuntarily) of large numbers of gays or other influences?