Executive Director, WAPPP Harvard Kennedy School
Victoria A. Budson is a founder and the Executive Director of the Women and Public Policy Program (WAPPP) at the Harvard Kennedy School of Government. WAPPP is the preeminent institution for advancing interdisciplinary research on approaches to closing gender gaps, educating students and leaders on gender policy, and implementing policy changes at local, state, and national levels.
WAPPP created and hosts one of the field’s most significant research seminars to foster faculty dialogue, promote the exchange of innovative ideas, and disseminate findings.
Budson’s policy advice is regularly drawn upon by leaders across the sectors including: the White House Council on Women and Girls, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, the U.S. Senate Democratic Steering and Outreach Committee, the U.S. Department of State, and the U.S. Army and Air Force, as well as multinational corporations leading on diversity and inclusion. She served as the Chairperson of the Massachusetts Commission on the Status of Women from 2010-2017 and has served as a board member or advisor to numerous other organizations including the Eisenhower Fellowships, the Boston Mayoral Women’s Workforce Council, the Global Thinkers Forum, Womensphere, Women2Women, the Women and Public Service Project, and the National Council for Research on Women.
She speaks regularly on topics related to closing gender gaps such as gender and public policy, electoral politics and political action. Budson also addresses how diversity and gender equality improve the profitability of corporations and the prosperity of families and society. She focuses on evidence-based methods that are proven to improve diversity and gender equality in the workplace.
Budson is a frequent commentator for news publications, television, and radio programs including CNN, Fox News, The New York Times, C-Span, CNBC, The Boston Globe, New York Times Magazine, US News & World Report, USA Today, and National Public Radio.
She has received numerous awards and honors. She was recognized by CNN as one of Ten Visionary Women from across the globe (2014) 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” (2014).
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 a recipient of the Lucius N. Littauer Fellow award for academic distinction and leadership.