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Victoria A. Budson is the founding Executive Director of the Women and Public Policy Program (WAPPP) at the Harvard Kennedy School of Government. WAPPP’s mission is to increase gender equality and improve the lives of women and men across the world by creating and sharing knowledge that helps close gender gaps in economic participation, political opportunity, health and education.
Currently Budson serves on the Department of State steering committee of the Women in Public Service Project initially begun under the leadership of former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and continued under Secretary Kerry. In addition she advises the Obama White House Administration on policies to close gender gaps at the national level. As a political appointee of Governor Deval Patrick, Budson chairs the Massachusetts Commission on the Status of Women.
Budson has also served on numerous Boards of Directors including the National Council for Research on Women (NCRW), iVillage Cares, the National Women’s Political Caucus, the Massachusetts National Abortion Rights Action League, the Massachusetts Women’s Political Caucus, Women’s Legislative Network and Alliance, Massachusetts Coalition of Democratic Women, and the Steering Committee for the Massachusetts State Treasury’s Women and Money conference. She also served as an advisor for the development of the United Nations’ University for Peace Masters degree program in International Peace Studies with specialization in Gender and Peace Building.
Budson speaks on current topics that relate to closing gender gaps such as gender and public policy, electoral politics and political action. She is also a frequent commentator for news publications, television, and radio programs including CNN International, Fox News Live, The New York Times, The Daily Beast, The Boston Globe, New York Times Magazine, New England Cable News, Talk of the Nation, Radio Boston and The Connection on National Public Radio in addition to having reviewed and edited the childbirth chapter for the 2005 edition of Our Bodies, Ourselves.
Before coming to Harvard, Budson was the Political and Community Affairs Director for Steve Grossman at AIPAC and has worked with EMILY’s List, an organization that supports pro-choice, democratic women candidates.
Awards Budson has received include: the Empower Peace Women2Women Leadership Award, the “Rising Star” award for her outstanding work to advance the political education of women from the Network for Women in Politics and Government at UMASS Boston, the Carol Moseley Braun Award from Mass Choice, and the Dean’s Award for Excellence at the Kennedy School. Budson graduated Magna Cum Laude and with Departmental Honors from Wellesley College with a joint degree in Sociology and Women’s Studies. As a graduate of the John F. Kennedy School of Government, Mid-Career Masters in Public Administration Program, she received the Lucius N. Littauer Fellow award for her distinction in academics at the Kennedy School, her contribution to the Kennedy School and the greater Harvard community, and her potential for continuing leadership excellence.