When Harvard Kennedy School was approached by the Victory Institute, a national organization supporting openly LGBTQ leaders, to create an executive training fellowship, no one imagined the lasting and profoundly positive result of such a collaboration. Twenty years later, more than 200 LGBTQ state & local leaders from all over the U.S. have come to Harvard Kennedy School through the program.
“When we started, there might not have been an openly LGBTQ person in the room,” said Michael Fleming, executive director of the David Bohnett Foundation.
Annise Parker, President of the Victory Institute, builds on that point. “LGBTQ people hold just 0.2 percent of elected positions in the United States and an even smaller proportion are in high-level elected positions. Our partnership with the David Bohnett Foundation and collaboration with HKS Executive Education aims to change that by providing LGBTQ leaders with the tools and knowledge necessary to climb the political ladder and advance equality in the halls of power. The people in this program are our future big city mayors, members of Congress and governors.”