Mara Keisling
Executive Director for the National Center for Transgender Equality


Mara Keisling is the founder and executive director of the National Center for Transgender Equality, the nation’s leading social justice advocacy organization winning life-saving change for transgender people. Mara’s strategy and vision have guided NCTE’s work since 2003. She has led organizational and coalition efforts that have won significant advances in transgender equality, including the inclusion of gender identity in the federal Employment Non-Discrimination Act from 2007 onward and countless other federal- and state-level wins. Mara also co-authored Injustice at Every Turn, the groundbreaking 2009 report of the National Transgender Discrimination Survey, and the report of the 2015 U.S. Transgender Survey. As one of the nation’s leading voices for transgender equality, Mara is regularly quoted in national and local print media and has appeared on major television networks, including being part of the first all-transgender panel on a national news show in 2012. Mara, a proud Pennsylvanian, received her bachelor’s degree from Pennsylvania State University and did graduate work in American Government at Harvard University. Prior to founding NCTE, Mara worked for 25 years in social marketing and opinion research.