Victoria A. Budson is the founding Executive Director of the Women and Public Policy Program (WAPPP) at Harvard University’s John F. Kennedy School of Government (HKS). WAPPP analyzes cutting-edge issues as they impact women’s roles and lives, conducts research, develops curriculum, and publishes materials focused on gender and public policy. While at the Harvard Kennedy School, Budson was founding Executive Director of the Council of Women World Leaders, a group of current and former presidents and prime ministers. From 1999-2004, Budson served as an Ombudsperson at HKS.
Currently, Budson serves on the Board of Directors for the National Council for Research on Women (NCRW). The mission of NCRW is to harnesses the resources of its network to ensure fully informed debate, policies and practices to build a more inclusive and equitable world for women and girls. Budson has been a member of numerous other Boards of Directors including: iVillage Cares, National Women’s Political Caucus, Massachusetts National Abortion Rights Action League, Massachusetts Women’s Political Caucus, Women’s Legislative Network and Alliance, Massachusetts Coalition of Democratic Women, and Wellesley College Hillel Alumnae Board. Budson has served on the Steering Committee for the Massachusetts State Treasury’s Women and Money conference.
Budson speaks on various topics such as the future of feminism, gender and public policy, electoral politics and political action at institutions including Carnegie Mellon, Harvard University, Tufts University, Wellesley College, the Eleanor Roosevelt Center at Val- Kill, and the Center for Women’s Policy Studies. In 2009, Budson was featured in the coauthored book More than Title IX: How Equity in Education has Shaped the Nation (Hanson, Katherine, et al).
She reviewed and edited the childbirth chapter for the 2005 edition of Our Bodies, Ourselves. In 2002, she served as an advisor for the development of the United Nations’ University for Peace Masters degree program in International Peace Studies with specialization in Gender and Peace Building. She is a frequently interviewed by the media. Appearances include: Fox News Live, the Boston Globe, WGBH Boston, WSBK Boston, and Talk of the Nation and The Connection on National Public Radio.
Before coming to Harvard, Budson was the Political and Community Affairs Director for Steve Grossman, then President of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC). Budson has also worked extensively in Massachusetts politics, both as an activist and an elected official on the state and local levels. As the elected Chair of the Massachusetts Coalition for a Democratic Future, the official statewide organization of young political activists affiliated with the Democratic Party, Budson grew the organization to over 2,000 members. She has held a seat on the Massachusetts Democratic State Committee, which is the governing body for the state Democratic Party. She served as Chair of the Wellesley Democratic Town Committee and as a member of the Wellesley Town Meeting.
Budson is well recognized in her field and has received numerous awards including the “Rising Star” award for her outstanding work to advance the political education of women from the Network for Women in Politics and Government at UMASS Boston, the Carol Moseley Braun Award from Mass Choice, and the Dean’s Award for Excellence at the Kennedy School. Budson graduated Magna Cum Laude and with Departmental Honors from Wellesley College with a joint degree in Sociology and Women’s Studies. As a graduate of the John F. Kennedy School of Government, Mid-Career Masters in Public Administration Program, she received the Lucius N. Littauer Fellow award for her distinction in academics, her contribution to the Kennedy School and the greater Harvard community, and her potential for continuing leadership excellence.