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Effective and proven nonprofit leader who excels at philanthropic and political investment advising, intersectional movement strategy, program design, organizing and managing coalitions, project management, and building diverse teams and programs.


07/10 – Present
CEO, The Vaid Group LLC
The Vaid Group advises social justice innovators to achieve racial, gender, sexual and economic justice through philanthropic, public affairs, political, and organizational and strategic projects.

7/11 – 5/15
Senior Fellow, Center for Gender and Sexuality Law, Columbia Law School.
Direct a policy, research and innovative practice project (Engaging Tradition Project) to enable the LGBT movement to engage more effectively with arguments arising from norms derived from tradition and shift the policy focus of the LGBT movement to issues of race, gender and economic inequality.

7/10 – 06/11
Visiting Senior Research Fellow, Department of Sociology, Graduate Center, City University of New York
. Researched book of essays on race, class and LGBT politics (published 2012).

9/05 – 6/10
Executive Director, Arcus Foundation and Arcus Operating Foundation
Kalamazoo, MI, New York, NY and Cambridge, UK
Led strategic growth of Arcus to enable it to become a leading global funder of social justice and conservation.

1/01 – 8/05
Deputy Director of the Governance and Civil Society Unit, The Ford Foundation (8/01-8/05) and Program Officer, US Civil Society Program (1/01-8/05).
New York, NY. Served on Foundation’s leadership team for the Peace and Social Justice Program and directed US Civil Society Program.

 4/97 – 12/00
Director of the Policy Institute of the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force (NGLTF), New York NY. Directed public policy think tank for national LGBT advocacy group, and expanded its funding base, staffing and programs; refocused program on Racial and Economic Justice research and strategic initiatives to foster movement-wide collaboration and partnership.

Author and Lecturer. Provincetown, MA and New York. Researched and wrote Virtual Equality: The Mainstreaming of Gay & Lesbian Liberation (Anchor Books, 1995 hardcover and 1996 paperback); conducted national book tour with support from publisher; extensive lectures at colleges and universities

9/86 – 12/92
Executive Director, National Gay and Lesbian Task Force (7/89-12/92) and Public Information Director, NGLTF (9/86-6/89), Washington DC.
Led NGLTF to achieve major policy wins on HIV, anti-violence and LGBT rights; re-focused organization on state level advocacy, organizing and training programs; co-founded national Creating Change Conference; initiated and expanded organization’s work on sodomy repeal, family policy, military reform, religion, racial justice and progressive alliance building; increased funding and visibility.

9/83 – 8/86
Staff Attorney, National Prison Project, American Civil Liberties Union, Washington DC. Conducted federal class action litigation to improve prison conditions; initiated work on HIV/AIDS policies in federal and state prisons.


1983      Northeastern University School of Law, J.D.

1979      Vassar College, B.A.


Irresistible Revolution: Confronting Race, Class and the Assumptions of LGBT Politics, (New York: Magnus Books, 2012).

Virtual Equality: The Mainstreaming of Gay and Lesbian Liberation, (New York: Anchor Books, 1996).

Creating Change: Sexuality, Public Policy, and Civil Rights, edited by John D’Emilio, William Turner, Urvashi Vaid, (New York: St. Martin’s Press, 2000).

Catherine Hanssens, Aisha Moodie-Mills, Andrea Ritchie, Dean Spade, Urvashi Vaid, A Roadmap for Change: Federal Policy Recommendations Addressing the Criminalization of LGBT People and People Living With HIV, (New York: Center for Gender & Sexuality Law, Columbia Law School, 2014).

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