2019-2020 Executive Board
Youzhihang Deng, ’20 | Co-President
Born and raised in Chengdu, China, Youzhihang graduated from Columbia in 2017, where he studied Economics-Political Science. Growing up in a socially conservative household and culture, learning to embrace himself for who he is brought out both his political awakening in Red China and early interests in LGBTQ+ rights advocacy. At Harvard, Youzhihang is also involved in Harvard Defenders, VIS International Commercial Arbitration Moot Court Team, and the Asian Pacific American Law Association (APALSA). In his free time, Youzhihang enjoys learning languages, reading novels, playing board games, and karaoke.
Matt Shields, ’21 | Co-President
Originally from Los Angeles, Matt graduated from Columbia in 2010, where he majored in philosophy. Prior to Harvard, he founded Zeit Films, where he produced visual media that explores the intersections of race, class, gender, and sexuality. He left entertainment in 2018 to work as an SEO Law Fellow at WilmerHale. At Harvard, he is involved in the the Black Law Students Association (BLSA), the Harvard Journal of Sports and Entertainment Law, and the Prison Legal Assistance Project.
Asher Trangle, ’21 | Treasurer
Asher is originally from Hopkins, Minnesota, and graduated from WashU in 2014 with a degree in Political Science and Economics. Prior to enrolling at HLS, Asher worked as a paralegal for the Antitrust Division of the DOJ for three years in D.C. At HLS, Asher is involved in Lambda and PLAP. When free, Asher loves playing piano, hanging out with friends, and sending your receipts to DOS.
Andre Manuel, ’21 | Political Co-Chair
Andre is originally from New York City and studied Ethics, Politics, and Economics at Yale. Before law school, he spent two years in Washington, DC working at the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. At HLS, in addition to Lambda, he is involved with the Tenant Advocacy Project and the Harvard Law and Policy Review. In his limited spare time, you can find him running along the Charles or (more likely) binging trash TV on Netflix.
Leigh Thomas, ’21 | Political Co-Chair
Leigh grew up in Irvington, NY, and graduated from Brown in 2015 with a degree in Public Health and Gender and Sexuality Studies. Before law school she worked for three years in a civil legal services office in Brooklyn. At HLS, she is involved with the Prison Legal Assistance Project and the Journal of Law and Gender. Leigh enjoys cooking ambitious recipes, lifting small to medium-sized weights, and watching Drag Race.
Mia Gettenberg, ’21 | Campus Advocacy Co-Chair
Mia is from Fort Lauderdale, Florida, and graduated from the University of Florida with a degree in philosophy and criminology. She came to HLS interested in learning about educational policy, civil rights law, and LGBTQ+ advocacy. Last year in Lambda, she served as a 1L Representative, and she’s super excited to become more involved. In her free time, she loves playing guitar and trying new restaurants. Tell her your best local food and coffee recommendations or share your favorite Spotify playlist.
Sally Kagay, ’20 | Campus Advocacy Co-Chair
Sally grew up in a small town in Kansas. She studied Global and International Studies and Middle Eastern Studies at the University of Kansas. Prior to law school, Sally worked as a history teacher for several years. She also spent a year in AmeriCorps serving as a Nutritional Educational Specialist traveling all over KS teaching classes to kids and senior citizens. In law school, Sally is also involved with HLS First Class and the Journal of Law and Gender. She enjoys cooking and playing cards.
John August, ’21 | Community Service Co-Chair
Pronouns: he/him/his, they/them/theirs
John is a trans guy who was raised in Berkeley, CA and came out in Davis & Sacramento, CA. He appreciates his Central Valley queer fam very much. John has a BA from UC Davis in Anthropology and worked as a paralegal for three years before heading off to HLS. At HLS, John is involved with the Board of Student Advisers, the Journal on Legislation, the National Lawyers Guild, and the Harvard Immigration Project. John worked on the Hill at the House Judiciary Committee during his 1L summer. He is stoked to serve as the Co-Chair of Lambda’s community service efforts and believes that HLS Lambdans can be a powerful force of good for folks in the Cambridge community. John enjoys hiking, bird-watching, and active listening.
Sandy De La Tejera, ’20 | Community Service Co-Chair
Pronouns: she/her/hers, they/them/theirs
Sandy was born and raised in the Rio Grande Valley of Texas, along the Southern border with Mexico. They stayed in Texas through undergraduate, where they studied Philosophy at UT. They came straight through to HLS with the intent of practicing in public interest and litigation. At HLS, they are on the boards of Lambda and the Reparatory Justice Initiative, both mirroring a larger commitment to social justice. Full-time dog mom, part-time dog walker. Sandy is excited to foster a welcoming space– talk to them about any of your socializing needs (or if you just need to pet a puppy!)
Laura Older, ’20 | Professional Co-Chair
Laura leapt into law school with an eye for civil rights litigation after two years consulting digital marketing for non-profit arts organizations at Capacity Interactive. She worked at the ACLU of Florida her 1L summer and Planned Parenthood during January, and will be working at Cozen O’Connor in Philadelphia next summer. She proudly earned her degree in theatre and communications from The Florida State University (go Noles!) Born and raised in Orlando, Laura loves obsessively listening to musicals and petting her cats Kate McKitten and Rachel Meow-dow. At HLS, she is also the Executive Technical Editor and Webmaster for the Journal of Law and Gender.
Virginia Wright, ’21 | Professional Co-Chair
Virginia was born and raised in Birmingham, Alabama and graduated from the University of Alabama (RTR) with a degree in Classical Studies, Business, and Social Innovation & Leadership. Prior to coming to HLS, she worked as a paralegal at law firms in Birmingham and New York City. At HLS, Virginia is involved with the Journal of Law and Gender, the Women’s Law Association, and Lambda. In her spare time, Virginia enjoys doing NYT crosswords, taking naps, cheering on the Crimson Tide, and watching Drag Race.
Eve Howe, ’21 | Social Co-Chair
Eve is a first-generation college student from Montpelier, Virginia, who graduated from Virginia Commonwealth University in 2012, where she studied Mechanical Engineering and Physics. After graduation, she served in the United States Navy for five years, followed by a year as the Event Manager at Casa Ruby, a non-profit in Washington, DC focused on providing housing and other social services for LGBTQ youth. At HLS, Eve has been highly involved in Lambda as a 1L Representative, and has volunteered for the Y2Y Youth Shelter and the Recording Artists Project. Eve loves video games, running, and is passionate about improving LGBTQ representation in the media.
Jacob Denz, ’21 | Inter-School Liasion
Prior to law school, Jacob completed a doctorate in German studies at New York University, where he became involved with the union of graduate teaching and research assistants. He is interested in labor law and textual interpretation in the law and in literature. Jacob enjoys seasonal cooking and baking and classical music and opera. He is a proud Hoosier (the demonym of the great state of Indiana!) and a member of the Democratic Socialists of America. Jacob is excited to bring his interest in building community across schools and divisions of the university to his role on the Lambda board.
Yifeng Yuan, ’21 | Pan-Harvard Conference Chair
Born and raised in a small town in Northeast China, Yifeng takes a long journey to the U.S., and an even longer journey to embrace himself. Yifeng attended Peking University from 2014 to 2018, during which he spent 5 amazing months in Sciences Po, Paris. Perhaps this is the reason he always wears the shirt with “Sciences Po” sign. 1L in Emory Law makes him “South and North,” and he is an “old and new” student at Harvard. Besides Lambda, he is also involved in Harvard International Law Journal, Harvard Immigration Project, and China Law Association. Besides majoring in board games study at HLS, he aims to be a cultural representative of Empresses In the Palace all over the world.
Velo-Vincent van Houden, ’22 | Communications Chair
Born in the UK and raised in the Netherlands and Switzerland, Velo is a first generation college student with a degree in psychology from UC Berkeley. Prior to law school, he worked as a legal assistant for a criminal defense attorney, and then as a research associate at an executive search firm in Los Angeles. At HLS, Velo is a team leader for the Harvard Law and Entrepreneurship Program (HLEP), technical editor for the Journal of Law and Gender, elected 1L student body representative and president of his section activities committee. Short term, Velo plans to pursue his interests in the private sector. Long-term, he hopes to create a foundation that helps homeless LGBTQ youth obtain safe housing, build community, and pursue higher education. In the meantime, you can find Velo working out at the Hemenway Gymnasium, exploring Boston’s nightlife, drinking nitro-coldbrews at Starbucks and watching true crime documentaries in Wasserstein Hall.