LOS ANGELES — The Free Speech Coalition has hired Ian Timothy O’Brien to head the newly created position of Director of Scientific and Regulatory Affairs. He begins work immediately.
As Director, O’Brien will work directly with regulators of both the pleasure products and adult film industries, to compile, analyze and provide accurate, evidence-based research on issues ranging from zoning and lubricants to workplace safety and public health. O’Brien will work with the PASS board to analyze data, and further improve the protocols, as well as develop sexual health campaigns and PSAs.
Additionally, O’Brien will compile and evaluate research on the industry as a whole, working to combat pseudo-scientific concepts like porn addiction and the porn public health crisis, a crucial focus at a time when over two dozen states are using such studies to ban or censor adult content.
“With a Director of Scientific and Regulatory Affairs, FSC becomes a much stronger organization,” says Eric Paul Leue, Executive Director of FSC. “Ian’s experience in public health allows us to have a more authoritative voice in the policies and regulations that affect our performers, producers and consumers. Now, more than ever, facts matter, and I’m excited to have him on the team.
“In adding a Director of Scientific and Regulatory Affairs to the staff, the Free Speech Coalition grows to a full-time staff of four, a first in our organization’s history, and an important investment into its future. Our members make this growth possible, and we are in a position to build on the successes of the past year.”
Leue says the organization’s membership is projected to grow by 33% in 2017, as more companies realize the power of a strong trade association.
“I’m thrilled to be able to contribute to the important work being done by the FSC team,” says O’Brien. “Regulators and legislators have traditionally marginalized and stigmatized the adult industry, conflating ideology with research. But bad data leads to bad policy, and to even worse public health outcomes. The adult industry has a unique opportunity to be at the vanguard of sexual health and rights, and create positive, lasting change.”
O’Brien received his Masters in Public Health from Columbia University’s prestigious Mailman School of Public Health, most recently worked at RCHN Community Health Foundation, where he conducted research and analyzed policy implications for at-risk populations in New York.