Historian & Former Civil Rights Activist

Rachel B. Tiven is the Chief Executive Officer of Lambda Legal, the country’s oldest and largest LGBT legal organization. She is a leading strategist and spokesperson in the movement to achieve full recognition of the civil rights of lesbians, gay men, bisexuals, transgender people and people living with HIV.

From 2005 to 2013, Tiven led Immigration Equality, a national nonprofit organization fighting for equal rights for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and HIV-positive immigrants and asylum seekers. Under her leadership, Immigration Equality built a $17 million pro bono program, quintupled client services to aid more than 5,000 people annually, and succeeded in changing the U.S. immigration system for LGBT and HIV-positive people.

More recently, Tiven built Immigrant Justice Corps, the nation’s first fellowship program dedicated to representing immigrants seeking citizenship and fighting deportation. Immigrant Justice Corps was created by the Robin Hood Foundation and Judge Robert A. Katzmann, Chief Judge of the Second Circuit Court of Appeals, to address the crisis in immigrant representation in America.

Tiven is a graduate of Harvard-Radcliffe College and Columbia Law School. Before becoming a lawyer, she worked at Bloomberg Business News, and then at Lambda Legal as a member of the media team in the late 1990’s. As a lawyer, she represented immigrant clients at the Legal Aid Society of New York and served as a law clerk to the Hon. Barbara S. Jones in the Southern District of New York. She is a recipient of Columbia’s Public Interest Law Foundation award, and was named one of the Advocate magazine’s 40 under 40.

Lambda Legal was founded in 1973 to protect and promote equality and to fight discrimination based on sexual orientation, gender identity or expression or HIV status through impact litigation, education and policy work.

Summits Attended: 2017 NY

Diverse representation is a priority for us. We're proud to say that our Summit speakers are 80% queer women, 50% women of color, 25% Black & Latinx, and 15% transgender and gender nonconforming.