Protecting, Supporting and Including LGBTQI+ Persons Around the World and in the USG’s Foreign Affairs Institutions
3:30 PM - 7:00 PM Eastern
Event Registration
Event Type(s)
Speaker Program
Event Description
Please note this is a hybrid event - you have the option to attend in person or virtually. Registrations are required for all attendees.

Join DACOR this LGBTQI+ Pride Month for a program with Special Envoy Jessica Stern from the Department of State and Ms. Urooj Arshad from USAID. The program, starting at 3:30 pm, will be followed by a Happy Hour featuring a cash bar (cash and credit card accepted). If you cannot make it to the program, you are still welcome to join us for the Happy Hour at 5 pm (registration is not required for the Happy Hour).

Appointed by President Biden, Jessica Stern serves as the Special Envoy to Advance the Human Rights of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer and Intersex (LGBTQI+) Persons. Special Envoy Stern leads U.S. efforts to protect LGBTQI+ persons globally from violence and discrimination. Prior to joining the Department of State, Stern led Outright International, a global LGBTQI+ human rights organization, as its Executive Director for ten years. At Outright, Stern helped the organization secure observer status at the United Nations, release human rights reports annually, built the world’s largest COVID LGBTQI+ grant-making program, and quintupled the budget.  Before Outright, Stern was a researcher and advocate at Human Rights Watch, Amnesty International, and the Center for Constitutional Rights. Stern has a long history of multilateral engagement.  She was a founding member of the UN LGBTI Core Group and of its secretariat.  Stern successfully campaigned for the first UN General Assembly resolution to include gender identity and for successive Human Rights Council resolutions on sexual orientation and gender identity, leading to the establishment of the Independent Expert on Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity. Stern provided the first LGBTQI+ rights expert testimony in a UN Security Council Arria.  Stern has frequently served as an advisor to UN mechanisms, including as a founding member of the UNWomen LGBTI Reference Group. Stern is a published author, is frequently cited in the media, and is the recipient of numerous honors, including from Crain’s New York Business, Gay City News, and the Metropolitan Community Church.  As an adjunct associate professor, Special Envoy Stern taught the first LGBTQI+ rights course at Columbia University’s School of International & Public Affairs.  Special Envoy Stern has lived in Mexico, the United Kingdom, and Uruguay.

Urooj Arshad (she/her) is the Senior LGBTQI+ Advisor in the USAID Inclusive Development Hub. Urooj has 25 years of experience advocating for LGBTQI+ rights and has designed and implemented programs on local, national, and global levels. Previously, she was the Senior Program Manager, Dignity for All, LGBTQI+ Assistance Program at Freedom House. 

Urooj has presented her work globally, including at the European Science Foundation’s conference on Religion, Gender, and Human Rights; the Obama White House’s LGBT Pride and Heritage Event; Capitol Hill, the State Department, and at convenings of Muslim leaders, including at (re)Presenting American Muslims: Broadening the Conversation organized by Harvard University’s Alwaleed Islamic Studies Program.

Urooj was a member of the Center for American Progress’ Women’s Health Leadership Network and its Faith and Reproductive Justice Institute and a fellow with the American Muslim Civic Leadership Institute. She served on the Astraea Lesbian Foundation for Justice’s board and is a recipient of the National Association of Asian American Professional’s Pride Award, Latino GLBT History Project’s Award, National Queer API Alliance’s Community Catalyst Award, and the Young Women of Color HIV/AIDS Coalition’s Award. She was inducted into the Lavender Leadership Honor Society-University of Maryland. 

Urooj served on the U.S. delegation to the 59th Session of the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women in 2015. Her work has been featured in Teen Vogue, The Oprah Magazine, NBC News, and USA Today. Urooj is proficient in Urdu and speaks conversational Hindi.
Setting: Hybrid
DACOR Bacon House OR Online
1801 F Street, NW
Washington, DC 20006

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Contact Person
DACOR Programs
(phone: 202-682-0500 x20)
  • $15 in-person attendance
  • $10 virtual attendance
  • Registration is required for the program, 3:30 - 5 pm, but not for the Happy Hour, 5 -7 pm
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Event Documents/Images

Jessica Stern
U.S. Special Envoy to Advance the Human Rights of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer and Intersex (LGBTQI+) Persons, Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor, U.S. Department of State

Urooj Arshad
Senior LGBTQI+ Advisor in the USAID Inclusive Development Hub

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