Association: Director of Government and External Relations, Guttman Community College, City University of New York

Lavita McMath Turner has over 20 years of experience in government affairs and politics in New York City. She is currently the Director of Government and External Relations at Stella and Charles Guttman Community College, CUNY’s newest community college in 40 years.

Before joining Guttman, Lavita served nine years as the Director of Government Relations at Kingsborough Community College where worked to strengthen college’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 the college’s effort to establish a civic engagement graduation requirement and the Center for Civic Engagement, becoming its first Director. 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.

Lavita is a graduate of the University of California at Berkeley, and has a Master’s Degree from the New School. Lavita is currently a doctoral candidate in urban education at CUNY’s Graduate Center.