M. Dru Levasseur is Co-Founder/Vice President of the Jim Collins Foundation, and serves as an active member of the Board. Dru is the Transgender Rights Project Director for Lambda Legal, the oldest and largest national legal organization committed to achieving full recognition of the civil rights of lesbians, gay men, bisexuals, transgender people and people with HIV. He leads Lambda Legal’s transgender rights work through impact litigation, advocacy and community education to advance the civil rights of transgender people nationwide.
Dru’s work has focused significantly on addressing the health disparities that transgender people face. He has successfully litigated two high-profile transgender health care cases including Esquivel v. Oregon, a case resulting in settlement removing discriminatory restrictions on transition-related health care for all transgender employees of the State of Oregon and Fields v. Smith, a federal case successfully challenging a Wisconsin law barring its Department of Corrections from providing medically necessary care to transgender inmates. He was a lead author of the recent ground-breaking guide, “Creating Equal Access To Quality Health Care For Transgender Patients: Transgender-Affirming Hospital Policies,” as well as Lambda Legal’s “Transgender Toolkit: A Legal Guide for Trans People And Their Advocates.”
Prior to joining Lambda Legal, Dru was the first staff attorney for Transgender Legal Defense & Education Fund, where he advocated for transgender equal rights through test-case litigation, public policy efforts, community organizing and public education. He is a current member of the World Professional Association for Transgender Health (WPATH) and served as chair of the WPATH Legal Issues Committee from 2010 to 2013. He is a former member of the City Bar of New York’s LGBT Rights Committee, LeGaL’s Foundation Board, and co-chair of the National LGBT Bar’s Transgender Law Institute. Dru is a Fellow of Rockwood Leadership Institute’s 2012 LGBTQ Advocacy Program.
Dru’s work has been recognized with the City Bar of New York’s Art Leonard Pride Award (2013) and he was named as one of the Best LGBT Lawyers Under 40 by the National LGBT Bar Association (2011). He was also honored for his contributions to the transgender community as a member of the inaugural Trans 100 list (2013). He received his bachelor’s degree magna cum laude in Women, Sexuality and Gender Studies from the University of Massachusetts, and his law degree from Western New England University School of Law. He is a member of the New York Bar.