Chelsea Manning named visiting fellow at Harvard University

Illustrated rainbow pride flag on a white background.

Transgender activist Chelsea Manning has been named as a visiting fellow at Harvard, where she will speak about “LGBTQ identity”.

Former soldier Chelsea Manning is best known as the source of leaked documents that exposed alleged US war crimes, serving seven years behind bars for whistleblowing.

In one of his final acts as President, Barack Obama commuted the sentence of Pvt Chelsea Manning, who had been imprisoned in Fort Leavenworth military prison.

Manning came out as a transgender woman in 2013, and had been denied the right to transition behind bars, leading her to make several suicide attempts.

Since leaving prison she has spoken out frequently on LGBT rights and civil liberties.

The activist was today announced as a visiting fellow at Harvard.

chelsea manning twitter
Chelsea Manning

Bill Delahunt, Acting Director at Harvard’s Institute of Politics, said: “Broadening the range and depth of opportunity for students to hear from and engage with experts, leaders and policy-shapers is a cornerstone of the Institute of Politics.

“We welcome the breadth of thought-provoking viewpoints on race, gender, politics and the media.”

Emily Hall and Jason Ge, co-chairs of the IOP Fellows and Study Groups Program said: “Visiting Fellows will be able to fulfill the Institute’s mission of engaging students in discourse on topical issues of today, including (…) issues of LGBTQ identity in the military with Chelsea Manning.

“This unique opportunity to closely engage with our Visiting Fellows will surely shape the semester, and we hope many students will participate in the upcoming events and discussions.”

The Visiting Fellows program brings distinguished experts to Harvard for a number of events, and is designed to facilitate engagement between high-profile figures and students.

Her bio on the Harvard website reads: “Chelsea E. Manning is a Washington D.C. based network security expert and former U.S. Army intelligence analyst. She speaks on the social, technological and economic ramifications of Artificial Intelligence through her op-ed columns for The Guardian and The New York Times.

“As a trans woman, she advocates for queer and transgender rights as @xychelsea on Twitter.

“Following her court martial conviction in 2013 for releasing confidential military and State Department documents, President Obama commuted her 35-year sentence, citing it as ‘disproportionate’ to the penalties faced by other whistleblowers. She served seven years in prison.”

Related: Chelsea Manning is taking on transphobic haters on Twitter and it’s beautiful