Board Members At-Large

BRANDON COOPERSMITH
Board Member At-Large

Bio coming soon.

Brandon Coopersmith is a gay cognitive scientist, graphic designer, and political professional. He is active in the LGBTQ+ community and works tirelessly to promote social and environmental justice throughout San Diego. Growing up as the son of a Costa Rican immigrant, he became strongly familiarized with the economic and social disparities that affect minority communities–disparities that were most painfully illustrated when his uncle was denied medication by U.S. immigration officials and died in an ICE holding cell. This tragedy awoke his passion to fight for a better, more just nation, and so at 19 he enlisted in the United States Marine Corps as a Nuclear, Biological, and Chemical Defense specialist.

It was during his time in service that he discovered his sexual orientation. Throughout this period, the draconian “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” rule was still in effect, and as such he suffered extreme hardship, blackmail, and physical assault, resulting in the loss of his military career and subsequent homelessness. It was these challenges that led him to focus his efforts on community engagement, education, and activism, in order to ensure that others would not experience similar adversity. 

Galvanized by a passion to protect his fellow veterans and LGBTQ+ peers, he clawed his way out of poverty, taking odd jobs across the country before moving to San Diego and working as an Environmental Field Technician, which enabled him to obtain an A.A. in Political Science from Grossmont Community College. He subsequently transferred to the University of California, San Diego where his undergraduate research focused on Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and animal cognition. He graduated with a B.A. in 2016, the same year as the Pulse Nightclub shooting, which motivated him to move to Ventura and assist in the development of life-saving unarmed drone technology that prevents gun-related injuries and promotes racial equity.  After watching his Ventura neighborhood burn down in the Thomas Fire, he moved back to San Diego, where he interned with Congressman Scott Peters and Ammar Campa Najjar.

His philanthropic works include long term efforts to raise funds and awareness for suicide prevention amongst LGBTQ+ youth and veterans; organizing charity art auctions with his husband on behalf of the Red Cross, Wounded Warriors, and the Center for Biodiversity; and frequent volunteering at the San Diego Rapid Response Network.  Brandon recognizes that although we have made great gains in our struggle for civil rights, there is still much more that we must do to ensure the safety and freedom of LGBTQ+ people and other vulnerable populations. He is dedicated to putting his experience and passion to work on behalf of club members and the San Diego community at large, and will always be willing to listen and aid anyone in need.

ANDREA CUBITT
Board Member At-Large

Andrea Cubitt, Ph.D. is an established transgender professional who came to the United States from the United Kingdom as a young scientist, in 1987. She is active in the promotion of LGBT and women’s rights, and social justice reform. Since 2011, Andrea has served as a Vice President at aTyr Pharma, INC (“LIFE”) where she has a run a variety of departments, and currently leads the company’s intellectual property and academic research collaboration strategy. Andrea also currently serves on the board of Equality California.

Today, Andrea focuses on developing young LGBTQ leaders; creating a national coalition of transgender leaders to increase awareness political will to advance real social justice causes; advocating for more humane treatments for LGBTQ prison inmates, and actively promoting the development of tele-medicine approaches to better serve under-served LGBTQ communities in rural areas.

MICHELLE KRUG
Board Member At-Large

Bio coming soon.

ILKA WESTON
Board Member At-Large

Bio coming soon.