Entries from: LGBT Leaders

Victory Institute to send LGBT organization leaders to Duke

dukeThe Gay & Lesbian Victory Institute today announced the launch of the LGBT Movement Leaders Fellowship, a new program designed to provide executive directors of LGBT organizations with critical nonprofit management skills and a national network of their peers.

Funded with a $250,000, five-year grant from The LTR Lewis Cloverdale Foundation, the LGBT Movement Leaders Fellowship will sponsor up to four executive directors in year one to attend the prestigious Duke University Nonprofit Management Program. The program provides a structured and rigorous grounding in the establishment, operation, and continuation of a successful nonprofit. The first class of Fellows will begin this June in Durham, N.C.

Similar to Victory’s established David Bohnett LGBT Leaders Fellowship at the Harvard Kennedy School, the Duke program is intended to be an investment in the people who are leading the LGBT movement.  “The fight for equality is only as successful as the people and organizations that wage it.  Duke’s nonprofit management program will provide critical skills to our emerging nonprofit leaders to ensure their long-term success,” said Chuck Wolfe, President & CEO of the Victory Institute.

“All of us have benefited from strong LGBT organizations like Victory that work so hard for equality around the country,” said Terrance P. Baggott, chairman of The LTR Lewis Cloverdale Foundation. “This program will help ensure that the leaders at the helm of these organizations are prepared for new challenges in today’s competitive environment for resources and talent.”

Applications to the LGBT Movement Leaders Fellowship are due April 15. Find out more at www.victoryinstitute.org/movementleaders.

5 LGBT student leaders win Congressional internships

VCI Spring 2013

The Gay & Lesbian Victory Institute is proud to announce the fifth class of the Victory Congressional Internship, a competitive leadership program that brings outstanding LGBT students to Washington, D.C., for a semester working for members of Congress.

In addition to interning on Capitol Hill, the five undergraduate students will also receive intensive professional development training and participate in various community service projects throughout the semester.

The Victory Congressional Internship program reflects Victory’s mission to grooming the next generation of LGBT activists for a career in the movement. For more information and to submit your application, please visit our website.

The Spring 2013 Victory Congressional Interns are (from left to right):

Mykell Hatcher-Mclarin
Office of Representative Michael Honda

Myke is a junior at the University of Maryland where he is majoring in Sociology. He is a leader with True Colors of Maryland, an organization that encourages dialogue between young LGBT students of color. A self-identified Black Trans Boi, Myke is an aspiring social worker and hopes to foster greater ties between the LGBT community and communities of color.

Ben Panico
Office of Representative Dan Kildee

Ben is a junior at Johns Hopkins University where he studies English Literature. He is Director of Operations for the Diverse Sexuality and Gender Alliance, and recently lobbied university administrators for an LGBT resource center and Safe Zone training program. He was formerly an intern at Equality Maryland where he wrote memos to the Maryland Department of Corrections on best practices for transgender inmates.

Kenneth Stromdahl, Jr.
Office of Representative Mike Quigley

Ken is a junior at Loyola University Chicago where he is majoring in Communication Studies and Political Science. He was elected as a Senator to Loyola’s Unified Student Government Association, and also serves on the Advancement Committee of Loyola’s Board of Trustees. He was formerly an intern for the Chief of Staff in the Office of Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel.

Lauren Dow
Office of Representative Mark Pocan

Lauren is a junior at Missouri State University where she studies Socio-Political Communication and Sociology. She was co-president of Spectrum, MSU’s alliance for LGBT and allied students, and also served on the Oversight Committee of the Midwest Bisexual Lesbian Gay Transgender Ally College Conference. She was formerly the Volunteer Coordinator for Jim Evans’ campaign for Congress in Missouri’s 7th district.

Daniel Crotty
U.S. Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions

Daniel is a junior at the University of Texas at San Antonio where he majors in American Studies and English with an emphasis in queer theory. He is founding president of his student chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union. He is also an activist with Unite Here! San Antonio where he advocates for the rights of hospitality workers.

Steve Elmendorf elected chair of the Victory Fund

S_8 jpg (426x640)Washington, D.C., political strategist Steve Elmendorf was elected chair of the board of directors of the Gay & Lesbian Victory Fund at the group’s board meeting in Long Beach, Calif., last weekend.

Elmendorf, a longtime political insider and connected power-player, is president of the firm Elmendorf | Ryan.  Before launching his firm he served as chief of staff to House Majority Leader Dick Gephardt, and as a senior adviser to John Kerry’s 2004 presidential campaign and Hillary Clinton’s 2008 presidential campaign.

“I am honored to chair this organization as the community of leaders we serve reaches new heights of political power and opportunity.  Lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender Americans have much to offer their country as elected and appointed officials, and we will work hard to make sure many more of them are able to serve at all levels of government,” said Elmendorf.  ”It’s become exceedingly clear how important it is to be in the room when key decisions about LGBT issues are made, so getting more out leaders in those rooms is our priority and our focus.”

House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi applauded Elmendorf’s election.

“As a former top House Leadership staffer and a fixture in our nation’s capital, Steve Elmendorf brings critical experience and political know-how to the work of electing more LGBT leaders to Congress,” Pelosi said.  ”With a record number of LGBT Members set to serve in the next Congress, Steve’s leadership at the Victory Fund will be critical in advancing an agenda of civil rights and equality under the law.  I congratulate him on his election as chair of the Victory Fund board.”

Senator-elect Tammy Baldwin, D-Wis., also congratulated Elmendorf.

“The important work the Victory Fund has done and will continue to do moving our country forward will be well served by Steve’s experience and skills bringing people together and creating coalitions to achieve big things. I look forward to working with Steve and the entire Victory Fund team to continue the progress we have made in both the policy and electoral arenas to build a stronger America where everybody has a seat at the table and everyone has a voice,” Baldwin said.

Frank Selvaggi of New York City, a CPA and founding partner at Altman, Greenfield & Selvaggi, was elected vice-chair of the Victory Fund board.  Kim Hoover, a Washington, D.C, attorney and real estate developer, was elected treasurer.  Joe Falk of Miami was elected board secretary.  He is a consultant at the firm Akerman Senterfitt.

Four LGBT leaders named Victory Congressional Interns


The Victory Institute is proud to announce the fourth class of the Victory Congressional Internship, a selective program that provides outstanding undergraduate LGBT leaders with a unique experience on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C.

These 4 students will spend the fall semester interning on Capitol Hill, engaging in community service projects and attending leadership and professional development trainings. Click here to apply for the Spring 2013 class.

The Fall 2012 Victory Congressional Interns are (listed from left to right in picture):

Ladimir Geake

U.S. Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions

Ladimir is a senior at Hawaii Pacific University studying social work and the social sciences with a focus on LGBT and disability populations. He most recently worked with the Life Foundation of Honolulu to establish the Gay-Straight Alliance Hawaii program. Through this program, the Life Foundation has funded and aided in the creation of fifteen Gay-Straight Alliances in Hawaii’s universities and high schools.

Emily S. Ryan

Senator Jeff Merkley

Emily S. Ryan is senior at Marylhurst University where she focuses her Interdisciplinary Studies coursework on social and environmental policy. Emily’s previous experience includes work with Basic Rights Oregon on issues of racial justice, service as the Board Co-Chair for the Asian Pacific American Network of Oregon, and Treasurer for Asian Pacific Islander Pride.

Moya Mapps

Representative Michael Honda

Moya is a rising senior at Stanford University studying philosophy and political theory. She works as a staff member in Stanford’s unofficial LGBT housing cooperative and is also a core member of Stanford Students for Queer Liberation. Through Students for Queer Liberation, Moya has organized discussions on race, gender and sexuality and recently coordinated a campus-wide clothing drive for homeless queer youth.

Christopher Frost

Representative Keith Ellison

Christopher is a rising junior at Harvard University studying American History and Literature with a focus on issues of race, gender, and sexuality. Chris serves as a senior staffer in the Harvard Model Congress and volunteers with several Boston-area mentoring programs including the Boston Refugee Youth Enrichment project and the MIT Office of Engineering Outreach Program.

Gay man wins Senate confirmation to federal bench

fitzgerald_michaelThe U.S. Senate today, by a vote of 91-6, confirmed Michael Fitzgerald to a lifetime appointment as a federal judge on the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California, making him one of just a handful of openly LGBT Americans to serve on the federal bench.  Fitzgerald, who was appointed by President Barack Obama, was deemed “unanimously well qualified” by the American Bar Association.

“Congratulations to Judge Fitzgerald, whose broad legal experience makes him an excellent choice for the federal bench,” said Chuck Wolfe, president and CEO of the Victory Fund and Institute. “He joins a still very small but growing group of openly LGBT federal judges, and we commend the Obama administration for making sure these esteemed positions are open to all qualified Americans, regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity. The 20 national LGBT organizations that make up the Presidential Appointments Project will continue to advocate for people like Michael, so that our community is represented among public officials throughout the federal government.”

Read more about Fitzgerald’s path to Senate confirmation at Metro Weekly.

For more information about the record-setting number of openly LGBT presidential appointments made during the Obama administration, visit the Presidential Appointments Project.