On behalf of the Board of Directors, I am pleased to announce Kris Hayashi as the next executive director of Transgender Law Center. We, the board of directors at Transgender Law Center are confident he will serve the community and the organization well, bringing a rich depth of executive director experience.  In his role as deputy director, Kris has successfully worked alongside staff and board personnel as well as key policy makers, community stakeholders, and donors – which means he’s a proven fit and the right choice as the next executive director.

Kris brings more than twenty years of experience as a leader in movements for social justice and LGBT rights, and more than thirteen years as an executive director.  Prior to joining Transgender Law Center as Deputy Director in June 2013, Kris served for nine years as co-executive director at Audre Lorde Project (ALP), a New York City-based center for lesbian, gay, bisexual, two-spirit, trans and gender non-conforming people of color.  And before ALP, Kris also served as executive director of the California-based Youth United for Community Action (YUCA).

“Kris is a skillful, experienced, and values-driven leader who has demonstrated success in strategic planning, coalition building, financial management, and funder relations at Transgender Law Center and in prior roles,” said Masen Davis.  “There’s never been a better time for Transgender Law Center to undergo a successful change of leadership: we are stronger than ever, and we have brilliant staff ready to lead the organization into its next chapter,” said Masen.

“I am excited to build on Masen’s legacy, and the legacy of Transgender Law Center’s founding directors,” said Kris. “In recent years, we have won legal and policy victories that would have been unimaginable only five or ten years ago. Unfortunately, however, the vast majority of trans and gender non-conforming people, particularly trans women of color, still struggle to survive and face incredible violence.  As someone grounded in LGBT and racial justice movements, I believe the board’s decision to place me in this role is significant for our movement,” he added.

Jacob Richards, Transgender Law Center board member who chaired the hiring committee, said, “One of the great strengths Kris brings to this role is his deep commitment to intersectional social justice work. Over his years with the movements for LGBT rights, racial justice, economic justice, and similar issues, he has built an impressive expertise and network of relationships that will help Transgender Law Center take to the next level our work serving the most vulnerable members of our community.”

In his new role, Kris will be one of the only transgender people of color serving as executive director of a national LGBT advocacy organization.  Kris will officially begin as the executive director on February 1, 2015, and as the executive director, he will oversee and lead the implementation of Transgender Law Center’s new strategic plan, which was adopted by the Board of Directors at the end of 2014.

In solidarity,




Rebecca Benton, Chair
Transgender Law Center Board of Directors