Eliza Byard

Co-founder & Senior Advisor at The Campaign for Our Shared Future

Eliza Byard, PhD, is co-founder and Senior Advisor, The Campaign for Our Shared Future (COSF). COSF fights for the programs, practices and policies that sustain great schools; ensure opportunity for every child; and help secure a brighter future for us all.

Eliza is a leading global expert on LGBTQ+ issues in K-12 education and youth development. From 2008-2021, Eliza was the Executive Director of GLSEN, an organization recognized worldwide as a pioneering leader in the fight for educational equity and LGBTQ+ issues in K-12 schools. She was hired as Deputy Executive Director in 2001 by GLSEN’s founder to help lead a sustained period of growth and expansion. During Eliza’s tenure, GLSEN’s work spurred a significant decline in anti-LGBTQ+ harassment and violence in U.S. schools, and established a new professional norm of support for LGBTQ youth among educators, school administrators, and school staff. GLSEN’s international research initiative in partnership with UNESCO, launched in 2009, provides access to decision-making tables at the UN and the World Bank for LGBTQ+ education advocates worldwide.

As a strategist and ambassador for educational equity, youth development and LGBTQ+ equality, Eliza has brought people from disparate communities and politics together to forge common cause, and secured tens of millions of dollars for transformative programs and advocacy initiatives. She has served as a trusted advisor to a broad range of institutions and organizations, including CDC-DASH, the World Bank, the U.S. Department of Education, the National Parks Service, UNESCO, Target, and Sodexo. Eliza holds a Ph.D. in United States History from Columbia University.