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Todd Larson serves as the Senior Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) Coordinator at USAID – with a mandate to coordinate the Agency’s implementation of the President’s December 6, 2011 memorandum on “International Initiatives to Advance the Human Rights of LGBT Persons” and, in particular, lead ongoing efforts to ensure regular U.S. Government engagement with governments, citizens, civil society and the private sector to build respect for the human rights and development of LGBT persons.
Larson previously served for twenty years, in a variety of countries and regions, with the United Nations (UN), including the World Intellectual Property Organization, the UN High Commissioner for Refugees and the UN Department of Peacekeeping Operations.
Larson served as co-chair of the Board of Directors of the International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission (IGLHRC) during a period of unprecedented transition, growth, and stabilization of the organization. He played a pivotal role in shepherding IGLHRC’s successful application for consultative status at the UN.
Larson is recognized for advancing LGBT equality within the UN. His work with the Federation of International Civil Servants Associations and the UN Gay, Lesbian, and Bisexual Employees group led to what are considered the first LGBT affirmative, internal policy initiatives in the UN’s then 60 year history – particularly a successful decade long effort to convince the UN to provide domestic partners and same-gender spouses of employees the same benefits granted to employees' opposite gender spouses
In addition to IGLHRC, Larson has served on the boards of directors of a variety of organizations, including the statewide LGBT Fair Wisconsin Education Fund and various civic organizations near his farm in the Midwest.
Larson previously taught ‘International Organizations’ in the Political Science Department of Hunter College. He served as Peace Corps Volunteer in Togo from 1983-1985. He received his BA from Carleton College and his Master’s Degree in International Studies and Juris Doctor from the University of Washington, Seattle, where he also received the Henry M. Jackson Distinguished Public Service Award in 2007.
Last updated: March 21, 2014