Keisha Waites 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 Georgia State Representative Keisha Waites as a graduate of the David Bohnett LGBTQ Leadership Fellowship.  Waites was one of three fellows for the June 2014 class where she 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 Keisha 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 Harvard Kennedy School leadership experience provided me with tangible solutions to take back to my home state of Georgia and my district to continue the work of resolving the day-to-day challenges in my community and home state,” said Keisha Waites, George State Representative.   “This has been an invaluable experience that not only has benefited me both personally and professionally, but also I am confident that it will benefit the citizens of Georgia that I proudly serve.”
Waites was first elected in 2012 to the Georgia House of Representatives where she represents portions of Atlanta, Hapeville, Clayton, and DeKalb counties. Waites is a member of the Transportation, Public Safety & Homeland Security and Children & Youth Committees. Outside of her work in the state house, Waites works as a contract intergovernmental affairs officer for the Federal Emergency Management Agency, working with members of Congress during domestic and international incidents including Hurricanes Sandy, Ike, and Katrina, as well as the BP oil spill and the 2010 Haiti earthquake.
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. Waites 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).