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Eliza Byard

Executive Director, GLSEN

Eliza Byard is the executive director of GLSEN, an organization recognized worldwide as an innovative leader in the fight for equity for LGBT students in K-12 schools. Since joining GLSEN in 2001, she has led the growth of GLSEN’s public education and advocacy efforts; youth leadership development programs; professional development for educators; research and program evaluation; and in-school programming. She became executive director in 2008, succeeding GLSEN’s founder. Since then, GLSEN has helped spur a significant decline in anti-LGBT harassment and violence in schools; established a professional norm of support for LGBTQ youth among educators, school administrators, and school staff in the United States; and sparked and sustained an international movement for LGBTQ-inclusive primary and secondary education. Before joining GLSEN, Byard worked in documentary and current affairs television production for more than a decade, including projects for Bill Moyers’ Public Affairs Television.

She has served on numerous boards and commissions, including the Sodexo Diversity & Inclusion Advisory Board. She is currently a trustee of the America’s Promise Alliance and a member of the Gill Foundation Board. Byard holds a PhD in United States history from Columbia University and a bachelor’s degree in history from Yale University.