Zoe Dunning is a gay rights activist and a U.S. Naval Academy graduate. She received a Bachelor of Science Degree from the United States Naval Academy (USNA) after being nominated by her Congressman James Sensenbrenner. After active duty service she transferred to the United States Navy Reserve and attended Stanford Graduate School of Business. She was integral to challenging the U.S. military’s ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ policy in the 1990s, and was the only openly gay person to remain on active duty after coming out. In December 2010, Zoe stood next to President Obama as he signed the repeal of ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’.
In 2003, Zoe was one of 35 LGBTQ+ Naval Academy alumni who petitioned the USNA Alumni Association for special status as a non-demographic chapter of the Alumni Association.
Zoe has also served as the founding co-chair of the Governing Board of the Servicemembers Legal Defense Network (SLDN) until 1998, returning to the position from 2006 to 2011. In addition to this, Zoe served as a member of the Board of Directors of Stanford Pride, the Stanford LGBTQ+ alumni club, and has acted as its vice president since 2012.