Gary Gates is the Williams Institute’s inaugural Blachford-Cooper Distinguished Scholar and Research Director. This critical position at the Williams Institute was made possible by leadership gifts totaling almost $3 million by Norman Blachford and Peter Cooper; Roberta Conroy; and Chuck Williams.

The Williams Institute, at the UCLA School of Law, is dedicated to conducting rigorous, independent research on sexual orientation and gender identity law and public policy. The institute produces high-quality research with real-world relevance and disseminates it to judges, legislators, policymakers, media and the public.

Gates is the nation’s leading expert on the geography and demography of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) population, and his expertise is routinely sought by federal and state governmental agencies like the U.S. Census Bureau and the Bureau of Labor Statistics, and by national polling organizations such as Gallup and Pew Resesarch. Co-author of “The Gay and Lesbian Atlas” (Urban Institute Press, 2004), he publishes extensively on the demographic and economic characteristics of the LGBT population, and many national and international media outlets regularly feature his work.

Gates joined the Williams Institute in 2005 as a senior research fellow, the institute’s very first senior researcher and full-time employee. He holds a Ph.D. in public policy from the Heinz College of Public Policy and Management at Carnegie Mellon University, a Master of Divinity degree from St. Vincent College and a B.S. in computer science from the University of Pittsburgh at Johnstown.