Dr. Eliza Byard is the Executive Director of GLSEN (pronounced “glisten”), a national education organization working to create safe and inclusive K-12 schools. Founded in 1990, GLSEN seeks to end discrimination, harassment, and bullying based on sexual orientation, gender identity and gender expression in K-12 schools. Dr. Byard has been principally responsible for leading all of GLSEN’s program areas since 2008, and was instrumental in the development of many of GLSEN’s signature programs and initiatives, including the organization’s research capacity, student organizing and GSA support programs, and educator training programs.
During her tenure at GLSEN, Dr. Byard has crafted and implemented advocacy and legislative strategies that have won bipartisan support and widespread acceptance of the urgency and importance of LGBTQ issues in education. The White House has honored GLSEN as a “Champion of Change” and the organization was named a Top 3 National Non-Profit for its impact on LGBTQ equality. As GLSEN’s primary spokesperson, Dr. Byard has appeared on The O’Reilly Factor, AC360, CNN, ABC World News, MSNBC, CBS This Morning, ABC 20/20, and National Public Radio’s Talk of the Nation, among other programs.