(New York) Lambda Legal is pleased to announce it has elected Heather Steans to serve on its Board of Directors. Ms. Steans is a former Illinois State Senator and chairs the Steans Family Foundation board.
"We are excited to welcome Ms. Steans onto Lambda Legal's board," said Lambda Legal CEO Kevin Jennings. "We greatly appreciate her willingness to volunteer her time and expertise in this national effort, particularly during these times when our rights and institutions are facing attack on multiple fronts."
Ms. Steans served in the Illinois State Senate for 12 years, representing the Seventh Senate District on Chicago's far north side. She was instrumental in the passage of the Religious Freedom and Marriage Fairness Act and Medicaid expansion enabled under the Affordable Care Act. She also worked on nursing home reform, environmental protection, and in efforts to repeal the death penalty. Resigning from office this past year, Ms. Steans works with family members in managing the Steans Family Foundation, which focuses on providing opportunities and services to Chicago's North Lawndale neighborhood and North Chicago.
"As an Illinois State Senator, I had multiple opportunities to interact with and work with the amazing lawyers and staff of Lambda Legal, especially during the push for the Religious Freedom and Marriage Fairness Act," Ms. Steans said. "Lambda Legal has played such a pivotal role throughout the decades in advancing the civil rights of the LGBTQ community and I'm extremely honored to be asked to contribute more closely to this organization."
A graduate of Princeton University and with an M.A. in Public Policy from Harvard's John F. Kennedy School of Government, Ms. Steans has received numerous awards, including the Legislator of the Year Award from AARP, the Richard Phelan Profile in Courage Award from Planned Parenthood, the Legislative Recovery Award from Trilogy, the Partner in Change award from the Chicago Alliance to End Homelessness and the Equality Illinois Freedom Award. She will be based out of Chicago.