LOS ANGELES — The Free Speech Coalition announced today that it has hired Ian Timothy O’Brien to lead the newly created position of director of scientific and regulatory affairs.
Eric Paul Leue, executive director of the FSC, said 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, Leue said.
He also 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.”
“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,” Leue said. “Now, more than ever, facts matter, and I’m excited to have him on the team.”
Leue said that with a director of scientific and regulatory affairs the FSC becomes a much stronger organization. With O’Brien aboard, the adult entertainment trade group grows to a full-time staff of four — a first in its history.
“Our members make this growth possible, and we are in a position to build on the successes of the past year,” said Leue, noting that the organization’s membership is projected to grow by 33 percent in 2017 as more adult companies realize the power of a strong trade association.
O’Brien, who received his masters degree in public health from Columbia University, most recently worked at RCHN Community Health Foundation, where he conducted research and analyzed policy implications for at-risk populations in New York.
O’Brien, who starts immediately, said he was thrilled to be able to help the FSC.
“Regulators and legislators have traditionally marginalized and stigmatized the adult industry, conflating ideology with research,” O’Brien said. “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.”
Pictured: Free Speech Coalition's Siouxsie Q, left, Eric Paul Leue and Ian O'Brien