I can’t believe that OutNEXT is in just two weeks! OutNEXT has become my absolute favorite part of the year not just because it is a combination of a lot of my own work, but also because it is an event whose energy is unmatched and where you can see the impact of creating space for young LGBTQ+ leaders to grow and build their community palpable in each moment.
OutNEXT is our global LGBTQ plus talent accelerator program. It was built 12 years ago with McKinsey & Co., focused on their “Centered Leadership” curriculum. A few years later the Out Leadership team and folks from our member firm PwC, including the amazing OutLEADER Andy Woodfield refreshed the curriculum, called “Genius, Power, Dreams”. Three and a half years ago when I joined the team, we did an internal refresh of the curriculum, taking the best of past focus areas and adding layers around self-care, intersectionality, and resilience. At every level of development, OutNEXT has focused on uplifting the strengths our community brings to the table. OutNEXT has reached thousands of leaders around the world. The energy, community, and impactful conversations are unmatched— and it’s just good fun!
This year is also special because of the launch of our first-of-its-kind look at LGBTQ+ emerging leaders, Out to Succeed 2.0! We surveyed over 3,000 LGBTQ+ top talent globally on their experience in the workplace and expectations for employees. You can register for the preview event here.
This year‘s lineup of speakers has me in absolute awe! Our featured day one speaker is World Champion, mom, activist, and soccer star Ali Krieger. As a huge women’s soccer fan, I know Ali will bring such an incredible perspective on leadership and identity for our OutNEXTers! (and I will try not to be too star-struck!). You can check out just some of our standout speakers below – we’ll announce the full lineup in the days to come.
Safe travels to this year’s cohort of 200 leaders from across the world! This year is bound to be the best one yet. I’d like to extend a major thank you to RBC Capital Markets for their sponsorship of OutNEXT, as well as as well as Citi for being our proud sponsor and host this year! Previously, OutNEXT was generously hosted by Barclays for five years. If your company is interested in supporting the next generation of talent, reach out to us about sponsoring OutNEXT as we grow and develop the program next year!
Managing Director, Programs & Research
Out Leadership’s OutNEXT Global Summit begins September 27th.
Meet some of our incredible speakers:
Pictured above: Dallas Ducar, CEO, Transhealth
Dallas Ducar, a visionary healthcare leader, serves as the Chief Executive Officer of Transhealth, a pioneering organization committed to transforming healthcare.
Dallas Ducar is a pioneer for trans rights, advocating for trans equality in healthcare. Writing for publications like The Boston Globe, Newsweek, and the Hill, Ducar has outlined the medical, ethical, and political roadmaps to defending gender-affirming care in the United States, arguing that trans equality is “as American as apple pie.”
Ducar has long argued that anti-trans legislation, such as the ones signed into Florida law by Governor Ron DeSantis, are attacks on Americans’ freedoms and liberties protected by the First Amendment.
“[DeSantis} is attempting to prevent American citizens from being able to use their own names, express their own inner selves and exercise their fundamental right to freedom of speech. While this guidance and the law are cloaked in the language of restricting ‘social transition’ or ‘speaking about gender identity,’ they are very much an attempt to bar children from expressing themselves,” she wrote.
Pictured above: Raffi Freedman-Gurspan, Deputy Director of Public Engagement, US Dept. of Transportation
Raffi Freedman-Gurspan is the Deputy Director of Public Engagement at the United States Department of Transportation, appointed by President Joe Biden, where she works on behalf of Secretary Pete Buttigieg.
The daughter of two social workers and great-granddaughter of a suffragette who fled anti-Semitic pogroms in the Russian Empire, Raffi was raised in a family legacy of community care and advocacy. When she moved back home to Massachusetts after graduating college, Raffi realized that Massachusetts lacked local-level protections for trans people, despite being a national leader in equality on the basis of sexual orientation. Determined to effect positive change in her community, she joined the Massachusetts Transgender Political Coalition.
Freedman-Gurspan served as a Senior Associate Director for Public Engagement and the White House’s primary liaison to the LGBTQ+ community. She was the first appointee in the Obama White House who is openly transgender and the first openly transgender staffer to work in the Massachusetts House of Representatives.
Pictured above: Griff Lipson for Bond Official. Photo by Daniel D’Ottavio.
Griff Lipson is a New York City-based portrait photographer, known for lensing some of the world’s most influential personalities, including Meryl Streep, Kendall Jenner, Grace Jones, Bill Clinton, and Malala Yousafzai.
After booking weekly freelance photography jobs throughout college, a chance encounter with a New York Times photo editor on a train to the Hamptons landed him a portrait photography job at the prestigious publication at the age of twenty-two.
You can find his most recent work on Instagram and we’ve included some of our favorites below:
Clockwise from top left: Portrait of Nicole Kidman, Manu Rios in Moschino, Megan Thee Stallion en route to the Met Gala. Photos by Griff Lipson.
Pictured above: Sarah McBride, Delaware State Senator, Congressional Candidate
Sarah McBride is a trailblazing American politician, author, and activist. She garnered national attention when, as student body president at American University, she publicly came out as a transgender woman in her college newspaper during her last week in office. She became the first openly transgender person to address a national party convention in the United States when she spoke at the 2016 Democratic National Convention. She formerly served as National Press Secretary for the Human Rights Campaign.
On the recent uptick in anti-LGBTQ (and specifically anti-trans laws) from right-wing politicians in the United States, she told the New York Times:
“[These policies] are wrong and unconstitutional, and they are an attempt by MAGA Republicans to distract from the fact that they have absolutely no agenda for families and for workers in our country. They are solutions in search of a problem. They are cruel, and we know that policies that target young people, that target parents, that target families, that target vulnerable people in our society, they never wear well in history. I truly believe that democracy only works when it includes all of us.”
Sarah McBride was the first openly transgender state senator in the United States, which made her the highest-ranking transgender elected official in United States history. She is currently running for the United States Congress in Delaware. If elected in 2024, she will become the first openly transgender Member of Congress.
Sarah is a longtime friend of Out Leadership Founder & CEO of Todd Sears and spoke at the launch of our State LGBTQ+ Business Climate Index 5 years ago.
Pictured above: Sarah McBride with Out Leadership Founder & CEO Todd Sears in Sydney, Australia during WorldPride.
Ali Krieger is a soccer player for the NY/NJ Gotham FC and a member of the United States women’s national soccer team.
On LGBTQ+ visibility, she told the Cut:
“Visibility is everything. If you can see it, you can be it. We didn’t have it when we were young. If we did, I probably would have figured out that I was queer when I was like 12 or 13. I want to be that for people, including my peers. I didn’t want any of our teammates to feel like they had to hide because they were afraid of losing their jobs, even at the club level, even if they weren’t on the national team with the big spotlight like [wife and former teammate Ashlyn Harris] and I were at that time. It’s okay to be who you are and love what you do and have that go hand in hand. That is how you do the best job you can and give everything to your sport.”
Ali was part of the defense that held opponents scoreless for a record 539 minutes and helped lead the United States to become 2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup Champions. She started in all seven matches for the United States in the 2015 tournament. In 2016, she represented the United States in the 2016 Olympics in Rio.
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