M. Dru Levasseur

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M. Dru Levasseur is Senior Attorney and Transgender Rights Project Director for Lambda Legal, the oldest and largest national legal organization committed to achieving full recognition of the civil rights of lesbians, gay men, bisexuals, transgender people and people living with HIV. Since 2009, Levasseur has led Lambda Legal’s transgender rights work through strategy development, impact litigation, policy advocacy, and public education. Transgender rights is now the largest portion of Lambda Legal’s litigation docket, integrated across all areas of work, including health care, employment, education, housing, and criminal justice.

For nearly a decade, Levasseur has been counsel in cutting-edge transgender rights impact litigation in federal and state courts, and counsel on amicus briefs filed nationwide in federal courts, including the U.S. Supreme Court. He has extensive experience advocating with federal, state, and local governments on behalf of transgender people, including multiple meetings with White House officials. He has led and participated in collaborations with government agencies, advocacy organizations, professional associations, academics, and stakeholders in initiatives at national, state, and local levels.

Levasseur was instrumental in the creation and development of Lambda Legal’s Transgender Rights Project in 2013, and helped generate Lambda Legal’s most popular legal educational publication, the Trans Toolkit. He led coalition work to publish the first trans-affirming model hospital policy with the New York City Bar and Human Rights Campaign that has dramatically impacted policy change in hospitals and has been used by government officials. A thought leader on cutting-edge transgender rights issues, Levasseur authored “Gender Identity Defines Sex: Updating the Law to Reflect Modern Medical Science Is Key to Transgender Rights,” published by Vermont Law Review and excerpted in Love Unites Us, envisioning the future of LGBT rights.

A national and international media spokesperson, Levasseur has appeared in the New York Times, Washington Post, Wall Street Journal, Associated Press, People Magazine, Self, Reuters, ABC, CBS, NBC, CNN, ABA Journal, Atlantic, Vice, Daily News, New York Post, USA Today, Chicago Tribune, Fox News, NPR, Huffington Post, and was profiled in the Advocate. He has provided corporate trainings to Fortune 500 companies, hospitals, and medical schools, as well as continuing legal education to law firms and law schools such as Harvard, Yale, and Columbia, and conferences around the country and in Puerto Rico. He has represented Lambda Legal in international forums, including the World Health Organization in Geneva, Switzerland, and a transgender rights litigation convening in Cape Town, South Africa.

Levasseur is passionate about transgender community empowerment. In 2007, Levasseur co-founded the Jim Collins Foundation, a trans-led national nonprofit that funds surgeries for transgender people in need. The organization has awarded 20 grants in 10 years. In an effort to bring greater attention to funding gaps for transgender communities, Levasseur serves as a working group member for Grantmakers United for Trans Communities.

His leadership has been recognized through many honors and awards from institutions such as National LGBT Bar Association, Inaugural “Trans 100,” City Bar of New York, Brooklyn Law School OUTLaws, and Connecticut TransAdvocacy Coalition. He prioritizes serving as a professional mentor for emerging leaders in the legal field and beyond.

Prior to joining Lambda Legal, Levasseur served as the first staff attorney for Transgender Legal Defense & Education Fund and served for two years as law clerk to 12 Justices of the Massachusetts Superior Court. He received his bachelor's degree magna cum laude in Women, Sexuality and Gender Studies from the University of Massachusetts, and his law degree from Western New England University School of Law. He is a member of the Georgia, Massachusetts, D.C., and New York Bars.