Victoria A. Budson
Victoria Budson is founder and Executive Director of the Women and Public Policy Program (WAPPP) at the Harvard Kennedy School of Government. She also founded and chairs WAPPP’s From Harvard Square to the Oval Office: A Political Campaign Practicum (Oval Office) preparing women to run for public office, which has trained over 600 Harvard graduate students from across the world. From Australia to Ecuador, Israel and France, multiple institutions are replicating or drawing insights from the training methodology of Oval Office as they seek to increase gender equity in political leadership in their respective nations.
Budson’s policy advice is regularly sought by leaders across sectors. Recently, she testified before the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Financial Services Subcommittee on Diversity and Inclusion on key diversity strategies for organizational performance in the financial industry. Budson expertise has also been sought by the Global Thinkers Forum, Womensphere, the Obama Administration’s White House Council on Women and Girls, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, the U.S. Senate Democratic Steering and Outreach Committee, the U.S. Department of State, the U.S. Army and Air Force, as well as multinational corporations leading on diversity and inclusion. Other organizations include the Eisenhower Fellowships, Boston Mayoral Women’s Workforce Council, Women2Women, the Women and Public Service Project, and the National Council for Research on Women. She served as the Chairperson of the Massachusetts Commission on the Status of Women from 2011-2016, which led the coalitions and efforts of the passage of the Equal Pay Act in Massachusetts.
Budson’s expertise is drawn upon for news publications, television, and radio programs including CNN, Fox News, The New York Times, CNBC, The Boston Globe, New York Times Magazine, US News & World Report, USA Today, and National Public Radio. She was recognized by CNN as one of Ten Visionary Women from across the globe and by Boston Magazine, as a member of the “The new Power Class; the visionaries, idealists and thinkers whose insights are transforming the way we live, work, learn and play.” Budson earned a B.A. from Wellesley College and a master’s degree in public administration from the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University where she was recognized as a Lucius N. Littauer Fellow for academic distinction and leadership.