SGP Bylaws

SGP is an organization for members, by members. When SGP incorporated as a non-profit organization in January 2018, the Start-Up Team created bylaws with the intent to update them with member input. In 2020, the Start-Up Team completed a thorough revision of the bylaws and members voted to adopt the amendments. SGP will keep the bylaws posted to the website for the easy reference of members. 

We welcome any comments or feedback that members may have regarding the bylaws.  Please submit public comments or feedback using the comment box below or send us a private email at

Bylaws of the Society of Gender Professionals


The name of this organization is the Society of Gender Professionals (SGP), hereinafter referred to as “the Society.” 


The Society of Gender Professionals (SGP) is a non-profit organization of gender practitioners, academics, and activists dedicated to promoting feminist action and applied research, and raising the profile of gender expertise around the world. 

The Society’s specific purposes are to:

  • Promote the development of intersectional gender expertise for professional practice;
  • Strengthen connections between gender theory, policy, and practice; 
  • Support member collaboration, network-building, mentoring, and leadership;
  • Foster the production and dissemination of applied gender research; 
  • Provide a platform for the exchange of gender information and resources; and
  • Advance gender equality in member communities through coordinated feminist action.


Section A. Qualifications
Membership is open to all persons who share, accept, and support the Society’s Purposes, subject to such other rules for eligibility as approved by the Secretariat. 

Section B. Member Classifications

Membership is open to individuals only, who must be in good standing with the Society. 

Section C. Good Standing
Members in good standing are those who are subscribed as Members on the Society’s website and who share, accept and support the Purposes of the Society. 

Section D. Privileges of Membership

All individual Members in good standing have the following rights and privileges:

  1. Vote, as outlined in Section H;
  2. Serve as an elected officer, as a member and/or co-chair of Committees or other administrative groups such as task forces, and as a member and/or lead of an SGP Circle;
  3. Receive all regular publications of and be included in all electronic lists run by the Society;
  4. Access all journals and any other resources provided by the Society;
  5. Access the Society’s online membership database and any online forums;
  6. Attend all open Membership and Committee meetings and provide general advice and input to the Secretariat and Committee co-chairs; 
  7. Receive a member rate when participating in events for which the Society charges a fee; and
  8. Additional benefits and services provided by the Society as approved by the Secretariat.

Section E. Fees and Dues 

Dues are flexible and determined by individual Members. Other fees may be set by the Secretariat. Uniform procedures for notification of fees and dues to Members shall be set by the Secretariat.

Section F. Non-Payment

If a Member fails to renew their subscription after it has ended, their membership will automatically terminate. 

Section G. Suspension/Termination

Membership in the Society may be suspended or terminated by the Secretariat for “just cause” as determined by the reasonable discretion of the Secretariat. The decision for suspension or termination shall be by at least a two-thirds vote of the Secretariat.

Section H. Voting

Voting shall be conducted through virtual elections. Members without access to the Internet will be provided with alternative options, as determined by the Secretariat. It is the responsibility of the Secretariat to maintain voter confidentiality.

Members shall have the following voting rights:

  1. The election of members of the Secretariat including the Executive Council; 
  2. The election of the co-chairs of Committees as set forth in these Bylaws;
  3. The election of members of the Advisory Council as set forth in these Bylaws;
  4. The amendment and adoption of the Society’s Bylaws; and
  5. The Society’s merger with another entity or acquisition of substantially all of the assets of another entity.

Moreover, the Society shall not take any of the following actions without the affirmative vote of the Members and the Secretariat:

  1. The sale, lease, exchange or other disposition of substantially all of the Society’s assets to another entity.


Section A. Semi-Annual Membership Meetings

There are two meetings of the Membership each year. Meetings shall be held virtually, using an online teleconference platform, and when possible, in person.

The first meeting of each year shall take place during the first quarter of the fiscal year and the second meeting shall take place during the third quarter of the fiscal year. At each Membership Meeting, the Membership is authorized to receive Committee reports, to ask questions about budgets submitted by the Secretariat, to make organizational policy recommendations to the Secretariat, to discuss any changes to the Bylaws or dues structure, and to contribute to organizational priority-setting. 


Section A. Fiscal Year

The fiscal year of the Society shall begin January 1 and end on December 31, or any other one-year period as designated by the Secretariat.

Section B. Budget

A budget covering all anticipated expenditures and income of the Society for the upcoming fiscal year shall be submitted by the Treasurer to the Secretariat for approval at the beginning of the second quarter of the prior year. The Secretariat shall review the budget at the end of the second quarter, submit proposed changes to the Treasurer and finalize the budget by the end of the third quarter. This budget shall be binding on the Secretariat. At the end of each fiscal year, the accounts of the Society shall be reviewed by the Treasurer. The accounts of the Society shall be audited as required by state and federal law. 

All major projects, services, programs, events and activities conducted by the Society shall follow fiscally sound practices, procedures and guidelines. Any exceptions to this shall require a special resolution, approved by a two-thirds majority vote of the Secretariat.

Section C. Contracts

The Secretariat may authorize the Treasurer and Co-Presidents to enter into any contracts or execute and deliver any instrument in the name of and on behalf of the Society, and such authority may be general or confined to specific instances.

Section D. Checks, Drafts, etc.

All checks, drafts or orders for the payment of money, notes or other evidence of indebtedness issued in the name of the Society shall be signed by a Co-President or Treasurer or such agent or agents of the Society and in such manner as shall from time to time be determined by resolution of the Secretariat.

Section E. Deposits

All funds of the Society shall be deposited in a timely manner to the credit of the Society in such banks, trust companies or other depositories as the Secretariat may select.

Section F. Books and Records

The Society shall keep correct and complete books and records of accounts and shall also keep minutes of the proceedings of its Secretariat, Advisory Council and Committees. The Society shall file all tax reports as may be required by local, state or federal governments.


Section A. Leadership

The Leadership of the Society includes members of the Secretariat, Executive Council, and Advisory Council. 

  1. Secretariat

The Secretariat is the legislative and policy-making body of the Society, with the power to review and direct the general affairs of the Society. The Secretariat provides overall management of the Society in line with the Society’s Purposes, including strategic planning, directing communications, organizing membership meetings and other events as required, maintaining the Society website and member database, providing support to membership, fundraising and any other necessary tasks for the operation of the Society. 

The Secretariat shall meet at least quarterly and convene additional meetings as necessary.

The Secretariat may make decisions to cooperate or affiliate with other societies and associations. When appropriate, the Secretariat shall appoint representatives from the Society to such other societies or associations. It may also recognize other societies or associations as cooperating or affiliated organizations for purposes of planning programs or other activities.

All formal decisions taken by the Secretariat must be communicated to the Membership promptly in an appropriate publication of the Society, or by other means as deemed necessary by the Secretariat, such as during the Semi-Annual Membership Meeting.

The Secretariat is made up of up to 10 members, including four (4) Secretariat-at-Large Members, and six (6) members of the Executive Council. All positions of the Secretariat are elected and serve two-year terms, except the Co-Presidents who serve three-year terms. 

The initial Members of the Secretariat shall be instated for a 4-year term starting on the date of the Society’s incorporation. Subsequently, the initial Members of the Secretariat will be replaced through elections, as outlined in Article IIX of these Bylaws.  The Co-Presidents will be elected for 3-year terms in alternating years. The Secretary, Treasurer and Parliamentarian will be elected for two-year terms, in alternating years. The four (4) Secretariat-at-Large Members will be elected for two-year terms in alternating years. 

Duties of Secretariat Members:

  1. Co-Presidents. At least one Co-President shall participate in all meetings of the Secretariat and the Advisory Council. The Co-Presidents shall serve as secretary to the Advisory Council. The Co-Presidents shall be responsible for communicating between the Advisory Council and Secretariat, and responsible for reporting decisions of both to Society Members. 
  2. Secretary. The Secretary shall keep a correct record of the proceedings of all Secretariat meetings, shall transmit those records to their successor and lead knowledge management for the Society. 
  3. Treasurer. The Treasurer shall keep records of all financial reports, manage the collected fees and dues from members, manage bank accounts and credit cards, make approved payments on behalf of the Society and prepare semi-annual treasurer reports to Society Members and others as needed. The Treasurer shall transmit records and access to moneys to a successor. The Treasurer shall have knowledge of and/or be mentored in fiscally sound practices, procedures and guidelines. For the purposes of legal compliance, the Treasurer shall be a U.S. Citizen. 
  4. Parliamentarian. The Parliamentarian shall keep order and ensure that proper procedures are followed at each meeting, and that procedures and motions in meetings are carried out according to the Society’s policies, rules and procedures. The Parliamentarian will have knowledge and understanding of the articles and Bylaws of the Society, will coordinate revision of the Bylaws and standing rules as needed or requested by the Secretariat and will provide parliamentary advice to the Members of the Secretariat. The Parliamentarian oversees the annual nomination and elections process for the Society to ensure compliance with the Bylaws. 
  5. Secretariat-at-Large. The Secretariat-at-Large Members participate in all meetings of the Secretariat, liaise with Membership, support Committees, and serve in other capacities as needed.

2. Executive Council 

For the purposes of legal compliance, the Executive Council is the Society’s Board of Directors, with fiduciary duties and financial oversight of the organization. 

Fiduciary Duties

Executive Council members are required to abide by the following standards of conduct:

  1. Duty of Care: Executive Council members must perform their duties in good faith and in a manner that they reasonably believe to be in the best interests of the Society.
  2. Duty of Loyalty: Executive Council members must exercise their powers in good faith and in the best interests of the Society, rather than in their own interests or the interests of others.
  3. Duty of Obedience: Executive Council members must know Maryland state and U.S. federal laws and regulations, and comply with the Society’s governing documents.

Financial Oversight

The Executive Council is responsible for the finances of the organization, even as the Treasurer is tasked with responsibility for financial management. Financial oversight includes:

  1. Reviewing and approving the budget
  2. Establishing control mechanisms to prevent financial misuse and abuse
  3. Ensuring compliance with reporting
  4. Overseeing staff or paid professional work

The Executive Council shall include three (3) Co-Presidents, one (1) Secretary, one (1) Treasurer, and one (1) Parliamentarian. Their duties, in addition to those stated above, shall be those normally incumbent with the respective offices and as determined by the Secretariat. 

3. Advisory Council

The Society’s Advisory Council is made up of 10-16 members representing a global constituency of policy makers, academics, researchers, activists, funders, practitioners, and business people committed to gender equality They represent the diversity of people, issues, professional fields and geographic arenas in which gender expertise is needed. The Advisory Council will help ensure that the activities and long-term strategies of the Society are in line with the Purposes of the Society. 

Initial members to the Advisory Council are appointed by the Secretariat during the third year of operation of the Society. New members are elected by the Society’s Membership through an annual open nomination and election process. Each member serves one (1) 3-year term. The Advisory Council shall be led by two (2) Co-Chairs. 

Past Co-Presidents shall be invited to join the Advisory Council as ex-officio members for one year following the completion of a term as Co-President. 

Section B. Eligibility and Other Requirements

Eligibility. All members of the Secretariat and Advisory Council shall be Members in good standing. 

Other Requirements. In the aggregate, members of the Secretariat and Advisory Council shall represent the diversity of the Society membership and field. Upon election, members of the Secretariat and Advisory Council will sign an agreement that states that they understand the duties of their position, a confidentiality agreement, and a conflict-of-interest agreement.

Section C. Vacancies

A vacancy occurring in the Secretariat shall be filled through a regular vote by membership by  the end of the quarter following the vacancy.


The Society may have Standing Committees and Special Committees. 

Section A. Standing Committees

A Standing Committee is a formal group of people nominated to perform specific functions on behalf of the larger group.  Each Standing Committee shall have two Co-Chairs and be open to all interested members.  The Co-Chairs of the Standing Committees shall be elected by Society Members to serve two-year terms. The elections for the Standing Committees shall be staggered such that one Co-Chair for each Standing Committee is elected each year. 

The Standing Committees of the Society shall be:

  1. Diversity and Inclusion
  2. Solidarity Program and Partnerships
  3. Membership and Nominations
  4. Events and Professional Development 

Section B. Special Committees

Special Committees are ad-hoc committees created to fulfill particular responsibilities, as seen fit by the Secretariat. These Committees shall be tasked with a specific responsibility, and the Special Committee shall cease to exist following the achievement of the designated task, as determined by the Secretariat. The creation of Special Committees will be approved with a two-thirds vote by the Secretariat. 

Section C. Eligibility and Other Requirements

  1. Eligibility. Chairs and Committee members shall be individual Members of the Society in good standing. 
  2. Other Requirements. In the aggregate, Co-Chairsshall represent the diversity of the Society membership and field. Upon election, Co-Chairs will sign an agreement that states they understand the duties of their position, a confidentiality agreement, and a conflict-of-interest agreement.


Section A. Nominations

The Membership and Nominations Committee shall organize elections under the supervision of the Parliamentarian. The Nominations Committee shall include Society members who shall have been members for at least one year, and are not currently holding elected office or serving on the Advisory Council. The Committee shall consist of not less than three members including the Co-Chairs. It shall be the duty of this Committee to call for nominations for office from the Membership, as well as to seek at least one (1) candidate for each office for which no nominations were received, when that situation arises. 

Section B. Elections

All officers shall be elected by the close of the fiscal year. Co-Presidents serve three-year terms or until their successors are elected. All other members of the Secretariat and Standing Committee Chairs serve for two-year terms or until their successors are elected. All terms of office begin January 1, or as set by the Secretariat.

Section C. Term Limits

Co-Presidents are limited to one (1) term, and are not eligible to run for a new position within the Society until one year passes following the end of their term. Other members of the Executive Council are limited to one (1) term per position, but may run for other positions within the Society consecutively. 

Members elected to Secretariat-at-Large positions are limited to two (2) consecutive terms, but may run for other positions within the Society. 

Committee Co-Chairs are limited to one (1) term per position, but may run for other positions within the Society. 

Following the completion of three consecutive terms in any combination of positions, members of the Secretariat are not eligible to run for a new position within the Society until one year passes following the end of their third term. 


The rules contained in the current edition of Roberta's Rules of Order shall govern this Society in all cases to which they are applicable and in which they are not inconsistent with these Bylaws and any special rules of order the Society may adopt. 


Section A. Proposal

Amendments may be proposed by a majority vote of the Secretariat or by petition of at least five percent of voting members of the Society. 

Section B. Amendment

The Bylaws may be amended by a two-thirds affirmative vote of those voting in a referendum submitted to the voting Members of the Society.

Submit Comments Here

The Secretariat invites all members to submit any comments, questions or suggestions about the bylaws using the comment box below.

  • Myra Marx Ferree
    June 26, 2020 at 3:41 pm

    Raising the profile only or also increasing the impact of gender expertise?

  • Saira Zuberi
    June 27, 2020 at 6:36 pm

    Just a general note that I particuarly appreciate using a co-leadership model, versus one president/chair or one lead for a committee.

  • Alexis Chase
    June 27, 2020 at 8:18 pm

    I appreciate the fact that dues and fees are flexible. This allows for diverse membership without membership dues and fees being exorbitant.

  • cmgordon22
    July 5, 2020 at 11:07 am

    I wonder if the transition from the Start-Up Team to the Secretariat needs to be more clear? I don’t have a firm suggestion at the moment, but it’s something to think about.

  • Awuor Ponge
    August 17, 2020 at 10:41 am

    Looks good to me. I have approved!

  • Adriana Greenblatt
    August 28, 2020 at 3:11 pm

    Hi all, congrats on all this work! Looks good overall. One thing stood out to me. I am stuck a bit on the “just cause” clause that is a bit legal-easy! I wonder if going forward we can work to clarify and demonstrate the values of SGP and outline something that says that behvaviour contrary to values including any discrimination or harassment will be cause for ending membership. And eventually, we should probably think about having internal mechanisms to raise issues – report. Take care team!

    • cmgordon22
      September 12, 2020 at 2:34 pm

      Thanks for this comment, Adriana! This is a very good point. We are also working on a handbook of policies and guidelines to regulate the operations of SGP – this is another place where we can build out some of these definitions and processes (and update them based on experience, without needing an amendment to the bylaws). Once we have some of those procedures better established, we can incorporate anything that we believe should be enshrined in the bylaws through an amendment.

  • Rahel Beigel
    August 28, 2020 at 5:31 pm

    Under Article IV Meetings, should we add something about how often Committee and sub-Committees should meet? Based on my observation of the Circles, there was some inconsistency in meeting frequency and channels of communication. It may be helpful to have a more established structure.

    • cmgordon22
      September 12, 2020 at 2:37 pm

      Hi Rahel – thanks for this input and letting us know about your experience! This is definitely something to consider for a future amendment. In the meantime, we can still set policies for committees and circles based on our experiences and lessons learned. We will keep this suggestion in mind as we support the development of these groups!

  • Jennifer Chinoye Amadi
    August 31, 2020 at 5:27 am

    Impressive work.

  • Gisèle Eva Côté
    September 1, 2020 at 11:40 am

    agreed, good work team, take care!

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Society of Gender Professionals

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Elise Do (she/her)


Elise Do is a seasoned technology executive with a wealth of experience in the data domain, particularly within financial and banking institutions. Throughout her extensive career in Information Technology, she has gained a deep understanding of gender-related issues in the industry. She has actively worked towards breaking barriers and fostering an environment of inclusivity and diversity.

Elise’s commitment to empowering others is evident in her professional endeavors and extensive involvement in the non-profit sector.

Her training as a CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocate) volunteer underscores her passion for making a positive impact beyond the corporate world.

By dedicating her time and expertise to advocate for children in foster care, Elise exemplifies her unwavering commitment to serving her community and creating a brighter future for those in need. Her multifaceted contributions, both within her professional career and through her philanthropic efforts, speak volumes about her character and dedication to making a difference in the lives of others.


Salomi Christie


Salomi Christie is a multi-hyphenate professional with training and experience at the intersection of human rights, law, research, design and allied spheres. Out beyond ideas of disciplines and expertise, there is a field. You’ll often meet her there, trying to connect dots, making meaning alongside copious notes and learning something new.

She also co-leads the SGP Employment & Peer Support Circle and is currently engaged in trans-disciplinary pursuits and projects.

Dr. Kristy Kelly (She/Her)

Former Co-President

Kristy Kelly is a sociologist specializing in gender and development, policy and politics, transnational feminisms, gender mainstreaming, and social change in Southeast Asia. She is currently assistant clinical professor of global and international education at Drexel University and Associate Research Scholar at the Weatherhead East Asian Institute at Columbia University. Kristy teaches courses on gender mainstreaming, education diplomacy, gender and development in Southeast Asia and qualitative research methods. She has published on gender and education leadership, gender mainstreaming policy, gender and corruption, and post-socialist transition in Vietnam. She also consults and advises on gender and development issues for multilateral and humanitarian aid organizations such as UNESCO, The Asia Foundation, and Transparency International in Asia and Africa. Kristy serves as an Expert Advisor on Gender Mainstreaming to the United Nations, and is a Fulbright Core Specialist on Gender Equality. She received her BA from Pennsylvania State University, and MA and PhD from the University of Wisconsin – Madison.

Karine Lepillez

Karine Lepillez

SGP Founder and Advisory Council

Karine Lepillez is Deputy Chief of Party for USAID Gender LEAD. She was formerly Global Director for Gender Equality and Girls’ Education at Room to Read and Director for Gender Policy & Practice at Navanti Group, a conflict and peacebuilding research firm. She has led and supported the operationalization of gender equality policies around the world, including as Principal of Inclusive Societies, where she worked with the World Bank, the United Nations, the U.S. Government, and other donors and implementing partners to address structural barriers to gender equality. A former USAID Gender Advisor in Pakistan, Karine designed the Mission’s Gender Equality and Gender-Based Violence Prevention and Response Strategy and managed strategic partnerships to implement the U.S. Women, Peace and Security National Action Plan. Karine is the founder of the Society of Gender Professionals (SGP), a non-profit organization of gender practitioners, academics, and activists dedicated to promoting feminist action and applied research, and raising the profile of gender expertise around the world. She teaches courses at Georgetown on gender policy, mainstreaming and advocacy, as a part of the Institute for Women Peace and Security.

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A photo of Brenna, a white person with short hair and glasses, standing by a rocky coastline above the ocean

Bren Kutch (they/them)

Advisory Council, former Co-President

Bren has spent their career in human resources, organizational equity and inclusion, and administration. This experience includes time with Portland State University, Mercy Corps, USAID, and volunteering for various LGBTQI+, gender, and social justice organizations. They also hold a Masters of Public Administration in HR Management from Portland State University.


Ritu Gupta (She/Her)

Advisory Council, Former Co-President

Ritu is based in Kolkata, India and is currently working as a Programme Manager with Gender at Work, an international feminist knowledge network. She has researched and written extensively on gender-related issues including, gender identities, child marriage, and domestic workers’ rights, amongst others. Ritu holds a Masters in Gender and Development from IDS, Sussex. She is a certified Project Management Professional (PMP) and Six Sigma Green Belt (on process improvement) practitioner.

Titilola Olojede


Vani 2024

Vani Bhardwaj


Vani Bhardwaj is an intersectional feminist researcher-activist. She traverses the intersections of gender-based violence and feminist climate action in her movement-building, research, and writing. She volunteers her time across various transnational feminist networks and collectives in myriad capacities. She is addicted to volunteering and considers herself a lifelong learner.

Sonia 2

Sonia Ruiz García


Sonia Ruiz García, Ph.D, graduated in Political Science and Administration and completed her MA in Political Science Advanced Studies at the Autonomous University in Barcelona (Spain). She has worked as a policy officer in the European Women’s Lobby in Brussels and as a political adviser in Spanish Ministers’ Cabinets. As part of the civil servant corps of the government of the province of Barcelona, Sonia has served in a range of positions, including as director of the equality plan. Sonia has a wide background in teaching university and practitioner courses. Her PhD thesis (2013) analyses the concept of work in the women’s and feminist movement in Spain and was awarded the biannual Maria Angeles Duran second prize for Scientific Innovation in the field of Spanish Women’s and Gender Studies (2014). She is the author of a number of articles and publications. Her research focuses on feminism and equality, public policy, social movements and labour issues. Sonia was a Postdoctoral Research Fellow in the Centre for Diversity Policy Research and Practice at Oxford Brookes University where she also was a Research associate. Currently she is the director of Gender Services and Time Policies in Barcelona City Council where her team was awarded a prize on public policy innovation for starting the gender impact assessment of local tax policies. Sonia has been active in several feminist and community organisations and is always keen on participating in social change activism. She has a daughter, Vera.

Yona Nestel (she/they)

Advisory Council

Yona is a values driven feminist collaborator who brings together global leaders, national policy makers and grassroots activists to drive action for inclusive quality education and to tackle the root causes of gender inequality. She is strategic, collaborative and innovative with a proven track record of transforming global commitments on gender equality into tangible actions and impact. She is experienced working within, as well as leading, multi-stakeholder initiatives and ensuring that partnerships are nurtured through building solidarity and consensus, while navigating and addressing existing power structures that may hinder meaningful change. As a recognized global gender equality and education advocate and programming expert, with nearly 20 years of experience advising and managing education programs and advocacy initiatives, her main areas of interest and expertise include gender transformative education, education policy and planning and grassroots advocacy, campaigning & coalition building. 

Taitu Heron (She/Her)

Events & Professional Development Committee Co-Lead

Taitu Heron is a Senior Development Professional working in rights-based
development planning in Barbados and the Eastern Caribbean where she
leads training, designs GESI tools, develops policies, and conducts applied
research for governments, international development partners and CSOs
at the intersection of human rights, inclusion and development planning.
Her thematic areas of expertise include gender-based violence, gender
and labour participation, LGBTQ+ inclusion, youth empowerment, and
inclusive data capture and analysis.

She holds a BSc in International Relations and Spanish (UWI), a MPhil in
Development Studies (Cantab), and several professional certifications in
leadership, project management, Spanish and applied research.

Taitu is Technical Advisor and Resource Mobilisation Lead for
LeadHERship Institute (Barbados); Technical Director for WE-Change
Jamaica and also works as Lead Research Consultant for the Equality

Ndirangu Ngunjiri (he/him)

Solidary & Partnerships committee Co-Lead

FA Ndirangu Ngunjiri is a managing partner at Watermark Financial Consultants and a Doctoral
(Finance & Accounting) fellow at the University of Nairobi in Finance with specialization in
theoretical and empirical work on investments; public-private partnership, climate finance, and
price formation in capital markets with experience over 17 years. Also, he is the chairperson of
the ministerial audit committee Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Diaspora, a member of the
investments and financial securities committee at the Kenya Bureau of Standards (KEBS), and
an executive audit committee member at Nairobi City County.
FA Ndirangu is a full member of the Institute of Directors, Institute of Internal Auditors, Institute
of Certified Financial Analysts (ICIFA), and Kenya Institute of Management (KIM) amongst
others. He enjoyed rock climb, forest adventures, and mountain climbing last year climbed Mt
Kilimanjaro for the third time.

Dr. Kate Rowe, MSN, CNM, DNP (she/they)

Diversity & Inclusion Committee Co-Lead

Kate is a New Zealand expat who lives near Seattle, USA with her wife and sons. She is a Nurse Midwife working exclusively with people in marginalized bodies with a focus on maternal health and inclusive reproductive healthcare practices. 
Kate earned her Masters degree in 2018 with a specialty in Nurse Midwifery from Seattle University focusing on moral injury and burnout within the Midwifery profession. Completing her Doctorate of Nursing Practice in Healthcare Leadership in 2020, graduating again from Seattle University, she specializes in improving LGBTQ patient care through increasing provider education.
Her professional focuses remain on equity and inclusion within the healthcare industry, teaching and precepting students, widening feminist conceptual frameworks and disseminating original research. 

Marina Csikos (she/her)

Diversity & Inclusion Committee Co-Lead

Marina Csikós is a Roma feminist and dedicated gender equality professional. Born and raised in Hungary as a Roma woman, she embodies a passion for social justice that has led her to impactful professional roles. Marina gained her master’s education at the Central European University in Critical Gender Studies, where she focused her research on intersectional justice and feminist knowledge production. Throughout her career, she has worked with European intergovernmental institutions, foundations, civil society organizations and art institutions, where she focused on amplifying feminist values and intersectional perspectives. Marina’s mission is to challenge the multiple forms of discrimination and oppression that BIPOC women and girls face and to promote diversity and inclusion at all spheres of life.

Sidita Zaja (she/her)

Membership & Nominations Committee Co-Lead

Hailing originally from Albania and now making waves in Europe, Sidita Zaja is a dynamic force in the realms of law, human rights, and feminism. Armed with a foundational Law degree from the University of Tirana, she further sharpened her expertise with an LLM in Public International Law and Human Rights from the prestigious Riga Graduate School of Law. Notably, Sidita proudly stands as the founder of Albania’s pioneering LGBT organization, Aleanca kunder diskriminimit LGBT ne Shqiperi, and the trailblazing Shelter Streha LGBT.

With an illustrious 12-year journey championing human rights in Albania, Sidita’s relentless pursuit of knowledge led her to the European Law LLM program, specializing in Commercial Law at Europa Kolleg, University of Hamburg. This multidisciplinary trajectory equips her uniquely, enabling a holistic lens to dissect complex challenges by melding legal intricacies with overarching societal dynamics.

Passionate about weaving principles of integrity, compassion, and equity into every endeavor, Sidita envisions a world harmonized by justice and sustainability. As she pivots her focus toward environmental imperatives, her holistic perspective underscores the interwoven tapestry of human rights and ecological responsibility. Her fervor for a just society resonates deeply, driving her to bridge principles with profession, catalyzing a brighter, equitable future for all.

An ardent advocate for gender equity, Sidita aligns seamlessly with the Society of Gender Professionals (SGP), a global nexus championing feminist action, research, and expertise. The SGP’s emphasis on intersectional gender analysis echoes her comprehensive approach, emphasizing the intricate layers of gender, policy, and practice. Sidita’s dedication extends beyond advocacy; she recognizes the profound implications of the gender leadership gap, underscoring its pivotal role in global progress. For Sidita, addressing this chasm is not merely a quest for parity but a transformative stride toward unlocking the boundless potential of women worldwide.

Dr Madeleine Pape (she/her)

Advisory Council

Dr Madeleine Pape (she/her) is a sociologist at the University of Lausanne’s Institute of Social

Sciences. Following her career as an Olympic athlete for Australia (Beijing Olympic Games,

Athletics, 800m), she obtained her PhD at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Since March

2022, Madeleine has been employed by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) to support

the organization’s policy work around the inclusion of transgender athletes and athletes with

natural sex variations. Here, her work is informed by both her research and her experience of

competing alongside South African Olympic champion Caster Semenya at the 2009 World

Championships in Berlin. Madeleine’s primary area of research examines debates surrounding

how “sex” is defined in national legislation and policies for inclusion in sport and biomedical

research, including the role of feminist mobilization. Her research and policy expertise also

encompasses the promotion of gender equality in international sports governance. Her work has

been published in leading international journals and has received support from the US National

Science Foundation, Australian Research Council, Swiss National Science Foundation, and

Olympic Studies Centre.

Di Wang (she/her)

Advisory Council

Di Wang is the Deputy Director of the W.O.W. Project, an arts and anti-gentrification organization in New York City that centers women, queer, non-binary, and trans Asian youth as leaders working to grow and protect Chinatown’s creative culture. A feminist researcher and community organizer, Di has worked in program design, donor advocacy and participatory research to move resources to the frontlines of social change. Prior to W.O.W., Di was a senior program officer at FRIDA |The Young Feminist Fund where she co-led FRIDA’s participatory grantmaking processes and also implemented a funding plus model for young feminist organizers and collectives in global majority countries. She holds a PhD in Sociology at the University of Wisconsin−Madison. Her research focuses on how LGBTQ and feminist activists mobilize art, cultural lineage and family discourse to sustain social movement. Her work has been published in Journal of Contemporary China, Law & Social Inquiry, China Law and Society Review, Qualitative Inquiry, ChinaFile, lambda nordica, and elsewhere.

Laxman Belbase (no pronouns)

Advisory Council

I currently work as one of the Co-Directors of MenEngage Alliance, where I co-lead overall operations, strategic directions and political advocacy, and support the regional and country networks of the Alliance worldwide. Originally from Nepal, I have more than 20 years of experience in strategic planning and organisational management; programs development, technical support, implementation, monitoring, evaluation, learning and accountability, and advocacy for women’s rights, working with men and boys in gender justice, & child rights. In my professional life I have worked with and provided technical support to various Human Right I/NGOs, UN Agencies and Governments across various parts of the world, specifically South and Central Asia, Sub-Sahara Africa, Middle East, Europe, North America, and Caribbean regions.


Prior to MenEngage Alliance I worked at Save the Children Sweden for 7 years where I was a core group member that worked to put in place the Gender Equality Policy for Save the Children International and developed Gender Integration Toolkit for the agency as well as provided technical and capacity strengthening support to country and regional offices around the world. Prior to that I worked in a national NGO in Nepal, Forum for Protection of Public Interest (Pro Public), where I worked in the areas of Gender Equality, HIV/Aids stigma reduction, Good Governance and Anti-Corruption as well as Administrator of the organization. I also contributed to the development of the National Action Plan on HIV/AIDS, back in 2006 while working in partnership with UNAIDS in Nepal. I am passionate about decolonising evidence-based promising innovations and scaling up, along with strong advocacy and evaluation skills.


My primary areas of expertise are in the areas of transforming masculinities and working with men and boys in gender equality, child protection, violence prevention, fatherhood, & sexual & reproductive health & rights, with demonstrated abilities to provide strategic leadership to advocate and provide technical support. I have conducted awareness raising and capacity strengthening with and for the people in positions of power across various government and UN agencies, including the UN Department of Safety and Security (DSS). I was a member of the group that led the very first National Action Plan on ending GBV in Nepal in 2010, working closely with the Prime Minister’s Office and UK Aid Agency.


In my voluntary capacity, I am a member of the Leadership Council of the Global Women’s Institute as well as a member of the UN Spotlight Initiative’s Global Civil Society Global Reference Group (GRG). I am a part-time faculty at the Elliott School of International Affairs, The George Washington University, Washington DC-USA, teaching a course on “Masculinities in International Affairs”.

Dr. Christopher Isike (he/him)

Advisory Council

Christopher Isike, PhD, is a Professor of African Politics and International Relations and Head, Department of Political Sciences, University of Pretoria. He is also the Director of the African Centre for the Study of the United States, University of Pretoria (ACSUS-UP). He serves as the current President of the African Association of Political Science (AAPS), and member of the Board of Directors of Global Development Network (GDN).

Professor Isike conducts research from an Africanist lens, and teaches international relations theory, strategic and security studies, and security theory at the University of Pretoria. His research interests include African soft power politics, women, peace and conflict studies, women and political representation in Africa, rethinking state formation in Africa, politics in a digital era and African immigration to South Africa. A C2 rated researcher by the NRF, Professor Isike has over 80 publications in top national and international peer-reviewed journals including chapters in books published by reputable publishing houses globally. He is Editor-in-Chief of Africa’s foremost political science journal, Politikon: South African Journal of Political Studies (2020 to 2024), and has been Editor of Ubuntu: Journal of Conflict and Social Transformation since 2017. Professor Isike  also serves on the editorial board of several reputable international journals, such as International Political Science Review, Canadian Journal of African Studies, and the African Journal of Political Science. He is on the editorial team of Territory, Politics, Governance and Strategic Review for Southern Africa. Professor Isike consults for the UNFPA, UNICEF, UN Women and the KwaZulu-Natal provincial government on gender equality and women empowerment issues in South Africa. He is a Social Cohesion Advocate of South Africa appointed by the Minister of Sports, Arts and Culture (2020 – 2024).

Aparna Arora (She/Her)


Aparna Arora is development practitioner with a decade of experience across finance, investing, social enterprise development, and nonprofit management, in sectors such as livelihoods, water and sanitation, and gender justice, within local and international nonprofits, donor organizations, and a multilateral agency.

Most recently, Aparna has worked as a consultant or board member with three women and non-binary individuals-led organizations in the US, including NYC Fair Trade Coalition, a grassroots nonprofit promoting fair trade businesses and sustainable fashion; INCLUSIVE, an NYC-based social enterprise creating one-stop early intervention solutions for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities; and the Society of Gender Professionals (SGP), a global network of gender academics, activists, and practitioners. She regularly mentors girls and gender-expansive youth in high school and college on career readiness through the nonprofit, Girls Write Now. 

In 2021, Aparna completed a Master of Public Administration (MPA) with a specialization in Gender and Public Policy at the School of International and Public Affairs, Columbia University, USA, attending as a Maguire Fellow (a merit-based scholarship). At the school, she researched and wrote policy papers on issues impacting the rights of women informal workers, transgender people, urban slum dwellers, and displaced people, while doing a deep dive into relevant national and state-level policies of her home country, India. As a graduate intern at UNICEF’s Office of Emergency Programs, Aparna developed a sanitation return-on-Investment tool to advocate for gender-responsive and disability-inclusive financing for durable water, sanitation & hygiene solutions in humanitarian emergencies. This work was utilized in influential, high-level UN reports and donor communications.

Prior to her studies at Columbia University, Aparna spent four years co-leading a technical assistance and investment program for social enterprises creating livelihoods for those living in extreme poverty in India at a non-profit called Upaya Social Ventures. Before her stint in the development sector, she spent three years in finance roles at private sector organizations such as McKinsey & Company and Masan Group Vietnam. Aparna holds a Bachelor of Business Studies from the University of Delhi, India.