Aryah Lester, nationally awarded author, as well as a speaker and educator, is a transgender woman of color from New York residing in Miami-Dade since 2005. Ms. Lester was the last-standing 2-term Chair for the State of Florida Health Department's Transgender Work Group, and former Chair-Elect of the Miami-Dade HIV/AIDS Partnership. 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 a board member for the DC Chapter of STARR, the nation’s first transgender organization founded by Sylvia Rivera and Marsha P. Johnson.
Aryah Lester founded the organization Trans-Miami during her time as an 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 is currently Deputy Director of the Transgender Strategy Center.