Chris Seelbach joins distinguished list of government leaders as graduate of Harvard Kennedy School

WASHINGTON – Today, the Gay & Lesbian Victory Institute and the David Bohnett Foundation announced Cincinnati City Councilmember Chris Seelbach as a graduate of the David Bohnett LGBTQ Leadership Fellowship.  Seelbach was one of three fellows for the July 2014 class where he spent three weeks in intense state and local government programing at the Harvard Kennedy School in Cambridge, Mass.  The program helps senior executives hone their skills and furthers the leadership potential of already accomplished public servants.
“I congratulate Chris on this accomplishment – this intense program for senior executives at the Harvard Kennedy School is transformational,” said Torey Carter, managing director of the Gay & Lesbian Victory Institute.  “It provides a continuum of leadership development that bridges personal and professional growth with the skills necessary to address challenges that affect his community.”
“The current graduates from the Leadership Fellows program will join their alumni colleagues in leading exemplary lives of public service as open LGBTQ American citizens,” said David Bohnett, chairman of the David Bohnett Foundation. “The Fellow program empowers LGBTQ leaders who are making a difference in the world, honing skills and furthering their leadership potential.”
“The Bohnett Fellowship challenged the way I do things and my own ideals and values – giving me the opportunity to reassess how I might use more effective leadership qualities,” said Councilmember Chris Seelbach.  “The interactive programing from top professors provided a balance of new ideas with opportunities to take risks and learn from others.”
Seelbach was named by the White House a “Champion on Change” in 2013, for making history in 2011 by becoming the first openly gay person ever elected in Cincinnati. Since taking office, Seelbach led efforts to extend equal partner health insurance to all city employees, create a domestic partner register, LGBTQ police, fire and mayoral liaison, and require all contractors to adhere to an inclusive non-discrimination policy. These combined efforts should lead to a score of 100 on HRC Municipal Equality Index, making Cincinnati one of the most LGBTQ friendly cities in the country.
Since 2002, the David Bohnett Foundation in partnership with the Gay & Lesbian Victory Institute has sent a select group of LGBTQ fellows to participate in the summer program. The intensive, three-week session offers a balance of traditional and hands-on learning experiences to help public officials meet the changing needs of their communities. Seelbach joins a distinguished group of alumni, including some the country’s top lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender political leaders – Houston Mayor Annise Parker and New York State Sen. Tom Duane (Manhattan).