© Sean Liu

2014 Speakers


Ash Beckham
Ash Beckham is a bold, dynamic presenter who speaks about empathy, respect, and the power of having real conversations. Online videos of her TEDx talk "Coming Out of Your Closet" and her Boulder Ignite speech "I am SO GAY" have gone viral with more than 5 million YouTube views. Significantly, her message has also become a topic of global discussion. Ash reaches millions every day as her inspiring speeches are experienced in classrooms, boardrooms, and auditoriums around the world.

Ken Mehlman
Ken Mehlman is a Member at Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co, LLP, helping KKR assess and improve the companies in which it invests by better understanding and managing geopolitical risk and engaging with their key stakeholders. Ken also oversees the firm's global external affairs activities, including corporate marketing, regulatory affairs and public policy & communications. Ken leads KKR's Environmental Social Governance (ESG) programs for the firm and its portfolio companies. Ken has been active in recent efforts for marriage equality and other gay rights issues, spearheading a friend of the court brief in the United States Supreme Court signed by more than 130 prominent and active Republican and conservative national and state leaders, actively working on legislative efforts in New York, New Hampshire and Maryland & Minnesota, supporting the ballot initiative efforts in Maine, Maryland, Minnesota and Washington and assisting with the passage of legislation repealing Don't Ask, Don't Tell. Ken founded Project Right Side, a not for profit focused studying the electorate and making the conservative and libertarian case for equality. Mr. Mehlman graduated with a B.A. from Franklin & Marshall College and holds a J.D. from Harvard Law School.

Gautam Raghavan
Gautam Raghavan currently serves as an Advisor in The White House Office of Public Engagement. In this role, he serves as President Obama's liaison to the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender (LGBT) and Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) communities. From 2009 to 2011, Raghavan served as Deputy White House Liaison at the U.S. Department of Defense, and as Outreach Lead for the "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" Working Group from February to December 2010. Prior to joining the Obama Administration, Raghavan worked with political operatives, donors, community leaders, activists, and campaign staff to strengthen the progressive movement and expand the Democratic Party. He has worked for Progressive Majority, the Democratic National Committee under Chairman Howard Dean, and the 2008 Obama campaign. Raghavan was born in India and raised in Seattle, and is a graduate of Stanford University.

Brian Rolfes
Brian Rolfes is the Partner who leads global recruiting for McKinsey. He has been with McKinsey for 19 years, having formerly been a client serving consultant for many years in the retail banking and marketing areas, as well as the Director of Professional Development for McKinsey Canada. Hired out of Cambridge University in the UK, Brian was a lawyer and wannabe human rights academic. He is called to the Canadian bars of Ontario and Saskatchewan. Brian holds an LL. M. from Cambridge, a BA Jurisprudence from Oxford (where he was a Rhodes Scholar), a J.D from the University of Saskatchewan, and a Bachelor of Public Administration from Carleton. Brian was a founder and is a current global leader of GLAM (GLBT at McKinsey). For his work with GLAM as well as his leadership on the issue of equal marriage in Canada in the early 2000s when he was Chair of the Metropolitan Community Church of Toronto, Brian was recently presented with a leadership award by the LGBT community in Toronto (Out on Bay Street). Brian currently is the Secretary for the Ontario Rhodes Scholarship Selection Committee. He lives in Toronto with his husband Brad Berg, who is head of litigation at one of Canada's largest national law firms.

Prism Community Speakers Series

Reverend Jason Lydon
Rev. Lydon is an ordained Unitarian Universalist minister and founding director of Black and Pink. Black and Pink is an open family of LGBTQ prisoners and free world allies who support each other. Rev. Lydon is and organizer and published author focusing his work on efforts towards the abolition of the prison industrial complex with specific attention to the needs of criminalized LGBTQ people.

Mia Macy
Mia Macy is a veteran, police detective, loving wife and radio and television personality who became an accidental activist with the ground breaking Macy V. Holder case. When Mia came out as transgender to her would-be employer, the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF), she was denied the job. As a result, the Transgender Law Center helped her file a discrimination complaint with ATF. On April 20, 2012, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) issued a landmark decision holding for the first time that discrimination against transgender employees is covered by the federal sex discrimination law, Title VII.

Genaro Lozano
Genaro Lozano is a professor of Political Science and International Relations at Universidad Iberoamericana and ITAM, in Mexico City. He teaches courses on gender politics, social movements, diplomacy and American politics. He is a PhD candidate in Political Science from the New School for Social Reseaerch. He is the Managing Editor of Foreign Affairs Latinoamérica. Lozano has coauthored seven academic books in Mexico and in the USA. He is a weekly columnist for Reforma, Mexico's leading newspaper and a political analyst in CNN Mexico, Televisa and Fox Mundo. He has written and advocated extensively for gay rights in Mexico. In 2013 Forbes Magazine named him one of Mexico's most influential opinion leaders. In 2012 he moderated the Presidential debate organized by the Yosoy132 movement. Board member of the Information Group in Chosen Reproduction (GIRE), the Council to Prevent Discrimination in Mexico City (Copred) and Espolea, youths that leave a footprint.

Rebecca Parks
As Associate Director of Global Engagement at the Human Rights Campaign, Rebecca Parks works to advance equality for LGBT people around the world. Rebecca oversees HRC's opposition research efforts to expose U.S. individuals and organizations exporting homophobia and transphobia abroad. Previously, Rebecca served as Rapid Response Manager at the Democratic National Committee, where she focused on monitoring outside groups that influence elections and on tracking opposition events. Prior to working at the DNC, Rebecca worked in the Office of the Secretary at the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and as a researcher on President Obama's 2008 campaign. A proud native Detroiter, she holds a bachelor's degree in social anthropology from the University of Michigan.

James Esseks
James Esseks is the director of the American Civil Liberties Union's LGBT & AIDS Project, where he has worked since 2001. Mr. Esseks has led advocacy efforts to promote equality for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender communities across the country, with a number of landmark victories under his belt. In a breakthrough employment discrimination case, he represented Colonel Diane Schroer, a decorated veteran whose job offer at the Library of Congress was withdrawn once her employer learned she was transgender. This past year, Mr. Esseks served as co-counsel in Windsor, the Supreme Court case that struck down Section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act. Before joining the ACLU, Mr. Esseks was a partner at Vladek, Waldman, Elias & Engelhard. He graduated from Yale College and Harvard Law School.

Ken Mayer
Dr. Ken Mayer is Professor at the Harvard Medical School and the Harvard School of Public Health and is the founder, Co-Chair, and Medical Research Director of the Fenway Institute, the largest ambulatory care facility for patients living with HIV in New England. His research has focused on the natural history and transmission of HIV in the United States and Asia, and he was one of the first to develop cohort studies and prevention programs for the AIDS epidemic. He has served as the Principal Investigator of the only NIH-funded HIV Prevention Research Clinical Trials Unit in New England focusing on biobehavioral prevention and chemoprophylaxis. He has co-authored 5 academic texts and over 450 pieces, one of which was the first text on AIDS for the general public.

Daniel Heller
Daniel Heller is the founder of The Welcoming Committee, a nationwide movement that provides the LGBTQ community with comfortable access to nightlife, sports, cultural, and travel opportunities in typically 'straight' places and spaces. Daniel has a background in product management (Amazon.com), strategy consulting (Infosys Consulting), and LGBTQ rights (Human Rights Campaign, Friendfactor). He sits on the board of Keshet, an LGBTQ-focused Jewish nonprofit, and hails originally from Washington, DC. He has an MBA from the Harvard Business School, a BA in Economics from Wesleyan University, and his three loves are travel, guacamole, and strong community.

Sa'ed Atshan
Sa'ed Atshan is a Postdoctoral Fellow in International Studies at Brown University's Watson Institute for International Studies. He holds a PhD (2013) and an MA (2010) in anthropology and Middle Eastern studies from Harvard University. He also received an MPP (2008) from the Harvard Kennedy School and a BA (2006) from Swarthmore College. Atshan has served as a Lecturer in Peace and Justice Studies for more than five years at Tufts University and he has earned four "distinction in teaching" and several advising and mentoring prizes from Harvard for his work as a head teaching fellow and resident tutor there. He has been awarded multiple graduate fellowships, including from the National Science Foundation, Social Science Research Council, Woodrow Wilson National Foundation, Andrew Mellon Foundation, and the Jack Kent Cooke Foundation. He is also the recipient of a Soros Fellowship for New Americans and a Kathryn Davis Fellowship for Peace. He has worked for the American Civil Liberties Union, the UN High Commission on Refugees, Human Rights Watch, Seeds of Peace, the Palestinian Negotiations Affairs Department, and the Government of Dubai. Atshan is also a member of Al-Qaws, an organization promoting LGBTQ Palestinian rights.

Reflection & Authentic Leadership Session + Queer Yoga

Jacoby Ballard
Jacoby Ballard is a white working-class queer transperson who has been teaching yoga for 13 years and practicing western herbalism for 9 years. He is the co-founder of Third Root Community Health Center, a worker-owned cooperative holistic health center in Brooklyn that opened in 2008. He is also the Program Coordinator of Third Root Education Exchange, the non-profit branch of Third Root. Jacoby is a regular columnist on healing justice in make/shift magazine, and his work has been featured on the Huffington Post, the Decolonizing Yoga website, in the Brown Boi Project's book 'Freeing Ourselves": a Guide to Health and Self Love for Brown Bois, and in Original Plumbing Magazine. Jacoby has been working with Off the Mat, Into the World and the Yoga Service Council around issues of diversity and skill-building for yoga teachers to be agents of social change. He has received training by Kashi Atlanta, Kripalu, the Northeast School of Botanical Medicine, the Dinacharya School of Ayurveda, the Lineage Project, Off the Mat, Into the World, Street Yoga, and the Challenging Male Supremacy Project. Currently, primary inquiries in Jacoby's healing justice work is around making this work both accessible to various communities and sustainable for practitioners, and in examining and experimenting with the role of healing trauma (individually and collectively) in social justice work.

Erika Carlsen
Erika is pursuing a Master of Divinity with a concentration in Buddhism at Harvard Divinity School. She was born and raised in Utah and graduated from the University of San Francisco with a B.A. in Politics. She has held several fellowships, including the Institute for International Public Policy and the Coro Fellows Program in Public Affairs. While in the Bay Area, she worked at Rockwood Leadership Institute, the nation's largest leadership training organization for social change leaders. She also served on the Board of Directors of the San Francisco LGBT Community Center. She recently co-founded Arriba Latinas, the first and only mentorship organization specifically for Latina youth in Utah. While at Harvard, Erika serves as the President of the university-wide Harvard Latino/a Student Alliance and on the leadership team of the Harvard Graduate Student Leadership Institute.

The LGBTQ Athlete

Patrick Burke
Patrick Burke is co-founder of the You Can Play Project (YCP), a non-profit organization started in 2012 dedicated to ensuring equality, respect, and safety for all athletes without regard to sexual orientation. Inspired by the tragic passing of his brother, Brendan Burke, in a car accident shortly after he had publicly come out, Mr. Burke founded YCP to continue his brother's work of promoting tolerance and acceptance in the athletic community. Mr. Burke recruited over 20 NHL players to create an initial run of PSAs filmed by HBO that were widely televised during games and was instrumental in creating a formal partnership with the NHL that has since expanded to include Major League Soccer.

Caitlin Cahow
Caitlin Cahow was born and raised in Connecticut. She was a member of the USA Hockey Women's National Team and member of the CWHL Boston Blades (where she captained the League Championship winning team in 2013). She won a bronze medal at the 2006 Winter Olympics and a silver medal at the 2010 Olympic Winter Games. She is a three-time world Champion for Team USA, also serving captain for the United States Under-22 Select Team in 2006. She graduated from Harvard University in 2008 with a bachelor's degree in social/biological anthropology and is a 3L at Boston College Law School. Cahow played four years for the Harvard Crimson Women's Ice Hockey in the ECAC Hockey League, leading all ECACH defensemen in points her senior season. At the college level, Cahow was named top-10 finalist for 2008 Patty Kazmaier Memorial Award, awarded to the top player in collegiate women's hockey; 2008 ECAC Tournament Most Valuable Player; First Team All-American and Academic All-American, First Team All-Ivy League, and recipient of 2008 USA Hockey Women's Player of the Year Award. Cahow currently sits on the board of directors for the CWHL, the only women's professional ice hockey league in North America.

Nevin Caple
Nevin Caple is Co-founder of Br{ache the Silence Campaign, BTS Tour of Champions and Co-producer of the "ALL IN" PSA. BTS Campaign was founded in 2011 to address homophobia in girls' and women's sports; and the Tour of Champions video with national champions, UCONN women's basketball was recognized by Real Sports Magazine as one of the "2013 Most Important Moments in Women's Sports." Nevin works with coaches, athletic administrators, professional athletes and student-athletes to address inclusion at the intersections of sexual orientation, race, class, gender and religion. Nevin sits on the Wade Trophy Committee for women's college basketball as the National Association for Girls and Women in Sport (NAGWS) representative. She was honored at The White House for LGBT Emerging Leaders and is a founding member of the Nike LGBT Sports Coalition. Nevin works closely with the NCAA Office of Diversity & Inclusion and National Center for Lesbian Rights. She is a lecturer on LGBT Issues in Sport at the Wharton Sports Business Academy and currently resides in New York City. You can find out more about her work at nevincaple.com.

Chris Mosier
Chris Mosier is an athlete, coach, educator and advocate for LGBT issues with a specific focus on transgender policy and inclusion. As a nationally sponsored and openly transgender athlete, he has been featured in publications including The New York Times, The Chicago Tribune, and The Advocate. He was recently named 2013's "Athlete of the Year" at the Compete Sports Diversity Awards. Chris is the founder of transathlete.com, a resource for students, athletes, coaches, and administrators to find information about trans* inclusion in athletics at various levels of play.

Jose Estevez
Jose was born and raised in Miami, Florida. He is a junior at Boston College where he studies Operations Management in the Carroll School of Management. He has been a member of the Boston College Cross Country and Track team and the University’s Undergraduate Government (UGBC), where he is a member of the GLBTQ Leadership Council. He has done extensive work with the You Can Play Project and GO! Athletes in efforts to eliminate homophobia in sports. He has worked with both professional and collegiate organizations to make safer spaces for athletes.

James Nutter
James grew up playing football, basketball, and baseball up through high school. He attended the University of Southern Maine where he was recruited to play on the baseball team. After years of struggling in the closet he left school. After coming out to friends who were all accepting, he has spoken with students about slurs and casual homophobia. He is part of GO! Athletes, and GLSEN changing the game initiative.

In the Service, Out of the Closet

Kristin Beck
Kristin Beck, born Christopher Beck is known to be the first female Navy SEAL. She was interviewed by Anderson Cooper in June of 2013 and quickly became known throughout the world. Soon after she became a civil rights activist giving speeches nation wide. Even invited to go before Congressmen and Senators with her personal story and dynamic personality making headway in the March to Equality for all humans. She distinguished herself in 20 years of exceptionally meritorious service with Special Operations Forces in the SEAL teams. She conducted special operations with small UAVs, HUMINT, and Direct Action missions in her thirteen deployments. Final tours were with Naval Special Warfare Development Group (DEVGRU) to head the Special Reconnaissance units and various Task Forces as a HUMINT source handler and technical operations director. Now a civil rights activist, she was a key voice in the Congressional Bill to end discrimination toward the LGBT community. She continues her "new mission" fighting for equality for all Americans.

Daniel Lennox
Daniel is a first year MBA student at Harvard Business School. Before coming to HBS, Daniel was an infantry officer in the U.S. Army for six years. He was stationed in Hawaii, and served on three deployments to Iraq and Afghanistan. On his final deployment, he worked on NATO's anti corruption task force in Kabul. Daniel graduated from the United States Military Academy at West Point in 2007, and studied at the International Relations Institute of Cameroon in 2008 on a Fulbright Scholarship. He is a marathon runner and triathlete, although he has lost some speed since he started business school.

Emily Miller
Emily is currently a first year MBA student at the Harvard Business School. She graduated from the United States Military Academy at West Point with a Bachelor's of Science in 2008. Upon graduation, she was commissioned as an engineer officer in the U.S. Army. During her five years of service, she deployed once to Iraq and twice to Afghanistan serving in various leadership positions along the way. Emily served on the board of Knights Out, a West Point alumni non-profit organization dedicated to the repeal of Don't Ask, Don't Tell (DADT). Following this, she worked for OutServe, where she helped establish global social networks of LGBT active duty service members in the movement against DADT. At HBS, Emily is an active member in the LGBT Student Association and Social Enterprise Club. Emily is a proud Hoosier, enjoys skiing, good coffee, and spending time with her dog, Rosie.

Jimmy Pearson
Jimmy is a Senior Business Analyst at McKinsey & Co. where he's been for one year. Prior to joining McKinsey, Jimmy served for 5 years as a Submarine officer onboard the USS Seawolf stationed in Bremerton, WA. His experiences onboard included a Western Pacific deployment, a major ship's systems overhaul, and a nuclear strategic deterrent patrol. Jimmy received his commissioning through the ROTC program at Rice University in 2007, where he graduated with a Bachelor of Arts with Honors in History. While at Rice, Jimmy also met his husband, Allan; they were married last year in Brooklyn, New York (immediately following Hurricane Sandy), where they currently reside with their dog, Rider.

Lunch Plenary: The Workplace & Employment

Christie Smith
Christie Smith, PhD is the west region Managing Principal for Consulting and the national Managing Principal for the Deloitte University Leadership Center for Inclusion. Christie has a track record of breaking boundaries - including her past career as a professional golfer, her leadership in fostering growth of the Health and Life Sciences sector, and her experience as one of Deloitte's most senior diversity partners. She has spent the last 24 years consulting, focusing on aligning business strategy with the requirements of organizational structure, talent, leadership development and global workforce planning. Christie is a frequent lecturer and author on topics of corporate values, leadership, culture and talent. Christie been recognized by the San Francisco Business Times as one of the Most Influential Women in Business for the last 2 consecutive years; was recognized by Diversity Journal as a "Woman to Watch" in 2013 and was featured in Fortune Magazine's Annual "Best Advice" Profiles. She also serves on the board of Seattle Children's Hospital.

Kenji Yoshino
Kenji Yoshino is the Chief Justice Earl Warren Professor of Constitutional Law at New York University School of Law. Professor Yoshino studied at Harvard College (B.A. in English literature), Oxford (M.Sc as a Rhodes Scholar) and Yale Law School (J.D.). He taught at Yale between 1998 and 2008, becoming the inaugural Guido Calabresi Professor in 2006. A leading scholar of constitutional and anti-discrimination law, Professor Yoshino has been active in shaping the debate on LGBT and other civil rights. In his award-winning book, Covering: The Hidden Assault on Our Civil Rights, Professor Yoshino explores what he describes as "the civil rights issue of our time": the pressures on minorities to "cover" their identities, downplaying traits that mark them as different in order to assimilate into the mainstream. Professor Yoshino will discuss recent research conducted with Christie Smith on demands LGBT minorities face to cover their identities or "act straight" in the workplace.

Faculty Speakers

Frances Frei
Frances Frei is the UPS Foundation Professor of Service Management at Harvard Business School and the Senior Associate Dean responsible for Faculty Planning and Recruiting. She describes her deepest calling as helping leaders to create impact and remove "the pebbles" that can grow into obstacles to performance. Frances's research is focused on designing, leading and scaling exceptional service companies. Her ideas have shaped the trajectories of some of the world's most competitive companies, and she is the best-selling author ofUncommon Service: How to Win by Putting Customers at the Core of Your Business (Harvard Business Review Press). She has received multiple teaching awards and is raising two young sons with her wife, Anne.

Timothy P. McCarthy
Timothy Patrick McCarthy is Lecturer on History and Literature and on Public Policy at Harvard University, where he also serves as Program Director at the Carr Center forHuman Rights Policy at the Harvard Kennedy School. He is an award-winning teacher and advisor whose courses "American Protest Literature from Tom Paine to Tupac", "Stories of Slavery and Freedom", and "Arts of Communication" are consistently among the most popular and highly rated at Harvard. In addition to his writing and teaching, McCarthy has devoted his life to public service and social justice, particularly around issues of racial, sexual, and socioeconomic justice, educational equity, peace, and human rights. A nationally respected leader in the LGBTQ community, McCarthy was a founding member of Barack Obama's National LGBT Leadership Council, has given expert testimony to the Pentagon Comprehensive Working Group on the repeal of "Don't Ask, Don't Tell," serves on the board of the Harvey Milk Foundation, and is currently Vice President of the Harvard Gender and Sexuality Caucus. A frequent media commentator, McCarthy (@DrTPM on Twitter) has appeared on NPR, BBC, Air America, Bloomberg Radio, Radio Free Europe, Al Jazeera, DemocracyNow!, HuffPost Live, and Big Think. He has written for The Daily Beast, Huffington Post, Boston Globe, History News Network, Gay and Lesbian Review, The Feminist Wire, and In These Times, and blogs regularly for The Nation.


Kiran Gandhi
Kiran Gandhi graduated from Georgetown University in 2011 with a Bachelor's Degree in Mathematics, Political Science & Women's Studies. She helped establish the first Analytics Department at Interscope Records shortly thereafter and worked full-time as the label's leading analyst for two years in LA. She plays drums for MIA and travels often to pursue endeavors of music, film, freedom, feminism, friendship, discovery, learning and love. In her free time she plays squash and brews beer. Now based out of Boston, she contributes regularly to Tom Tom Magazine and is currently a member of Harvard Business School's MBA class of 2015.