Kevin Jennings is a longtime leader in the LGBT movement. In 1988 he created the first high school-based Gay-Straight Alliance (GSA) club, leading him to found and lead the Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network (GLSEN) for 18 years. GLSEN grew the number of GSA’s in the US from one in 1988 to over 6,500, with at least one in every state.
Jennings has a long-standing interest in promoting awareness of LGBT history. In 1994 he was part of the founding committee for LGBT History Month, and also that year published the first book on the subject for young people (Becoming Visible). In 1997 a documentary he wrote and produced on LGBT history for young people, Out of the Past, won the Sundance Film Festival Audience Award for Best Documentary and in 2017 he was the executive producer for The Lavender Scare, a documentary detailing the 1950’s witch hunts for LGBT federal employees.
From 2012-2017, he worked as executive director of the Arcus Foundation, a leading international funder of LGBT human rights work. Prior to that, he served as the assistant deputy secretary for Safe & Drug-Free Schools under President Obama. Kevin Jennings has published of seven books and holds degrees from Harvard, Columbia, and NYU.