LGBT Program Director for Harvard Medical School
Jessica Halem, MBA, is the LGBTQ Outreach and Engagement Director for the Harvard Medical School Sexual and Gender Minorities Health Equity Initiative and remains alone in her role among medical schools in the United States. Under her leadership, the first-year class has grown from 4% to 11% self-identified LGBTQ and the faculty and resident OutList has quadrupled in size. Most recently, she secured a major grant to overhaul the entire curriculum to integrate sexual and gender minority health equity. Prior to joining Harvard, Jessica ran the Lesbian Community Cancer Project in Chicago where she implemented the nation’s first cultural competency trainings for the CDC, served on then-candidate Obama’s first LGBT Advisory Committee, and fought for the inclusion of transgender health on the national agenda since 2001. Jessica has published essays on treating transgender patients (AMA Journal of Ethics, 2016), optimism and organizational change (Medical Care, 2018), and mentoring across difference (Mentoring Diverse Leaders, Routledge, 2017). She coaches students, faculty, and administrators on dealing with difficult moments and is a sought-out speaker nationally on issues of workplace diversity and inclusion. She currently serves on the Board of the Tegan and Sara Foundation and can be found on social media at @jessicahalem.