Guns Down America Founder and Executive Director Igor Volsky Departs

May 11, 2023

Board Has Appointed Development Director Shannon Grady to Serve as Interim Executive Director

WASHINGTON, D.C. – After 7 years leading the organization, Guns Down America founder and executive director Igor Volsky will step down as executive director to lead Groundwork Action, a nonprofit organization dedicated to economic justice.

The board has appointed development director Shannon Grady to serve as interim executive director during the transition. Volsky will remain an adviser to the organization. "As Guns Down continues to succeed in changing the narrative around gun violence responsibility, the Board of Directors is pleased to elevate Shannon to the Interim Executive Director role,” said Board Chair Michael Fleming. “Working with Igor during this transitional time, we are confident that she will bring the guidance and knowledge we need to keep pushing the mission of a future with fewer guns. We simply cannot thank Igor enough for his vision and dedication to the movement, and look forward to building on his successes."

Launched in the wake of the mass shooting at the Orlando Pulse nightclub, with veteran campaigner Mark Glaze, Volsky has grown the organization, brought in new sources of funds and added full-time staff.

Under Volsky’s leadership, the organization pushed major corporations, including Walmart and Subway to ban guns in their stores, helped drive the NRA toward bankruptcy by undermining the gun lobby’s lucrative “murder insurance” program, and pushed credit card companies to take action against gun violence by securing a new merchant category code for stand alone gun and ammunition stores – a key step for empowering credit card companies to identify purchasing patterns associated with mass shooters and gun traffickers. The New York Times has documented how credit cards have played a key role in some of the nation’s worst mass shootings.

“I am proud of the work the Guns Down America team has accomplished over the last seven years. We’ve moved the conversation to a place where our elected and corporate leaders understand that we have too many guns in our country, and they are too easy to get,” said Volsky. “Guns Down America plays a critical role in the gun violence prevention movement and I am excited to see what this dedicated team does next.”

JMM Strategy Group is assisting with the leadership transition.

“I am excited to help play a role as Guns Down America grows and transitions over the next few months,” said Grady. “With gun violence again surging to record highs, I can think of no more important work.”