Aryah Lester, nationally awarded author, as well as a speaker and educator, is a black woman of transgender experience from New York living in Washington DC. Ms. Lester was the last-standing 2-term Chair for the State of Florida Health Department’s Transgender Work Group, former Chair-Elect of the Miami-Dade HIV/AIDS Partnership, and is an Advisory Board member of Unity Coalition (UC|CU). Ms. Lester is a board member of Equality Florida’s TransAction Florida committee, and helped to create the TransArt series with the Betsy Hotel, the LGBT Visitors Center, and UC|CU. She also sat as a member on the National Alliance of State and Territorial AIDS Directors (NASTAD) Transgender Networking Group. Ms. Lester is also board member of STARR, the nation’s first transgender organization founded by Sylvia Rivera and Marsha P. Johnson, and Advisory Board Member for Gilead Sciences, The Well Project, and ViiV Healthcare.
Aryah Lester founded the organization Trans-Miami during her time as a expert consult member of the Miami Enhanced Comprehensive HIV Prevention Plan for the National HIV/AIDS Strategy and 12-Cities Project, as well as continued the work of her organization, the National Alliance of Transgender Advocates and Leaders (NATAL). She contracts with universities as a guest lecturer, and is a consultant with government agencies such as the Department of Justice and Homeland Security. Ms. Lester has been recognized with many awards, featured in numerous national articles, and recently was inducted into the national Trans100 list. She currently works as Deputy Director of the Transgender Strategy Center.