The Agenda

Victory Institute announces 2015 Bohnett Leadership Fellows

The Victory Institute is proud to introduce the 2015 class of David Bohnett LGBTQ Leadership Fellows. Bohnett Leadership Fellows are senior-level executives working in politics, in government, and at non-profit organizations who receive scholarships to attend an elite executive development program at the Harvard Kennedy School. The intensive program hones Bohnett Fellows’ skills, furthering the leadership potential of these extraordinary individuals. Since 2002, the Victory Institute and the David Bohnett Foundation have sent more than 120 accomplished LGBTQ professionals to participate in the program.
“Graduates of this program include some of the country’s most visible and successful openly LGBTQ public leaders.  We’re proud to partner with Victory to help them grow their potential to make lasting change,” said Michael Fleming, executive director of the David Bohnett Foundation.
Our 2015 fellows will join the Bohnett alumni network, forging bonds beyond their time at Harvard. Many alumni work together, both in and out of government, to deliver progress for LGBTQ people and their families.
“The Bohnett Fellows are some of the brightest and most dedicated LGBTQ leaders in America,” said Aisha Moodie-Mills, president and CEO of the Victory Institute. “The time they spend at Harvard this summer will strengthen the skills they need to serve their communities effectively and help them reach the next step in their careers.”
Since 2000, the David Bohnett Foundation has invested nearly $2 million in LGBTQ leadership programs run by the Victory Institute, including $1.4 million in the fellowship at Harvard Kennedy School. 
Joann Ginal is serving her second term in the Colorado House of Representatives. Representative Ginal has called Fort Collins, Colorado, home for over 25 years, and she has served on City Commissions for nearly two decades. She earned her Doctorate from the College of Veterinary Medicine at Colorado State University, specializing in reproductive endocrinology. Her career in the healthcare/pharmaceutical industry spans 20 years, and she was also an assistant professor at the Florida Institute of Technology. Representative Ginal is one of seven openly LGBTQ legislators serving Colorado.
Sandra Kurt is the Vice President of the Summit County Council, which serves 541,000 residents of Summit County, Ohio. Councilwoman Kurt is an industrial engineer, and her work improving process efficiency and managing capital investments informs her leadership as Chair of the Public Works committee and Vice-Chair of the Finance Committee. In 2009, she made history as the first openly LGBTQ person to run for office in Summit County when she won her Ward 8 seat on the Akron City Council. Councilwoman Kurt won election to serve as a Summit County Council Member At-Large in 2011, and she was reelected in 2012 and 2014.
Lynn Schulman is a member of the executive leadership team at Woodhull Medical Center, a public hospital in New York City. On the executive leadership team, she directs marketing, communications, business growth, and government and community affairs. In 2009, Schulman ran for City Council as a Victory Fund-endorsed candidate and came within a few votes of winning the six-way race. A long-time community activist, Schulman has devoted her career to public service and has held a broad range of managerial positions in government, private industry, and the non-profit arena. She lives with her life partner Adelaide and their therapy dog Elvis in Forest Hills, NY.
Glen Dake is a landscape architect at DakeLuna Consultants and a leader in building community-designed landscapes, transportation, and school improvements in the Southern California neighborhoods where he has practiced since 1987. Dake helped found the LA Community Garden Council in 1998 and now serves as president of the council. Between 2001 and 2005, he worked on then-Los Angeles Council Member Eric Garcetti’s staff, where he campaigned successfully for Los Angeles City Proposition O, worked for the adoption of the Renewable Portfolio Standard for energy at LA DWP, and developed thirteen new parks. Dake holds a BS from Cornell University and serves on the Board of the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California.
David Richardson has represented House District 113 in the Florida House of Representatives since November 2012. During his first term, Representative Richardson filed a bill calling for stricter oversight at the Citizens Property Insurance Corporation, including the establishment of an Office of the Inspector General. In the 2014 Legislative Session, he passed legislation authorizing public health trusts to lease certain real property, requested funds for several local projects, and expanded opportunities for retail pharmacies. He has been a licensed Certified Public Accountant in Florida for 29 years.
Jay Hansen is the Chief Strategy Officer for the California Medical Association. Previously, Hansen served as Special Assistant to four Speakers of the California State Assembly and as State Legislative/Political Director of the Building Trades Council, AFL-CIO. A native Californian, Hansen is an elected Trustee of the Sacramento School District, which serves 43,000 students, and an appointee of Governor Brown to the California Health Facilities Financing Authority. Hansen is a delegate to the California Democratic Party and a member of their Executive Committee. He graduated from Occidental College, received his Master’s from the University of Southern California, and serves on both colleges’ boards.
Lisa Panas is a Captain with the Waukesha County Sheriff’s Department. In this capacity, Captain Panas is Director of Police Services for three communities. She has 17 years of experience as a Law Enforcement Officer and has served in significant leadership roles. Captain Panas is focused on community partnerships and relationship building to ensure the best services are provided, and she received the Deputy of the Year Award for her dedication to the department in 2013. Panas holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Criminal Justice from Marian University and is also a Certified Public Manager through the University of Wisconsin-Madison.