Lavita McMath Turner joins the College as its first Director of Government and External Relations. Lavita brings over 20 years experience in government relations and politics including nine years as the Director of Government Relations at Kingsborough Community College as its first Director of Government Relations. She worked to strengthen Kingsborough’s relationships with all levels of government and the community, resulting in funding for key capital projects including the renovation of the athletic field as well as infrastructure and nursing lab upgrades.
Lavita’s extensive background in the non-profit and public sectors and passion for public service led her to spearhead Kingborough’s effort to establish a civic engagement graduation requirement and the Center for Civic Engagement, becoming its first Director. In that role, Lavita helped organize college-wide civic engagement opportunities and managed the civic engagement graduation requirement along with the Office of Academic Affairs.
Prior to Kingsborough, Lavita served as the Government Relations Officer for seven years at Brooklyn Museum during which she received major government support for the renovation of the Museum’s front entrance. Lavita is a member of the Steering Committee for The Democracy Commitment, a national initiative aimed at engaging community college students in civic learning and democratic practice. She also recently joined the board of Border Crossers, a non-profit organization whose mission is to train and equip teachers, school administrators, and parents to be leaders of racial justice in their school and communities.
Lavita is a graduate of the University of California at Berkeley, and has a master’s degree from The New School. She is currently a doctoral candidate in urban education at CUNY’s Graduate Center.