Meet SGP's co-leadership team

SGP is co-led by a dedicated team of volunteers elected by members.
To learn more about SGP’s co-leadership team, you can click on each of their pictures below.

Secretariat

Carmen - Co-Pres.
Carmen Poston-Farmer Travis Co-President
Aparna_Pic
Aparna Arora Co-President
Vani 2024
Vani Bhardwaj Co-President
Gergana_photo.jpg
Gergana Tzvetkova Secretariat-at-Large
Sinem
Sinem Hun Secretariat-at-Large
Elise Do
Elise Do Treasurer
Pics - Titilola
Titilola Olojede Secretary
Salomi
Salomi Christie Parliamentarian
Sonia 2
Sonia Ruiz Garcia Secretariat-at-Large
Capture
Hayley D'Souza Secretariat-at-Large

Interns

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Sky Farmer Communications Intern

Technology

Standing Committee Chairs

Ndirangu
Ndirangu Ngunjiri Solidarity Program and Partnerships
Sidita
Sidita Zaja Membership and Nominations
Marina Csikos
Marina Csikos Diversity and Inclusion
DR. STELLA PHOTO + JPEG
Stellah Bosire Solidarity Program and Partnerships
Ellen profile 2022
Ellen Bomasang Events and Professional Development
RuthHoward
Ruth Howard Membership and Nominations
Kate Rowe
Kate Rowe Diversity and Inclusion
Photo_Joan_new
Joan de Klerk Events and Professional Development
Kellycuesta profile pict
Kelly Cuesta Diversity and Inclusion

Advisory Council

A-M Goetz - AC
Anne-Marie Goetz
Laxman Belbase
Laxman Belbase
Madeleine Pape
Madeleine Pape
Christopher Isike
Christopher Isike
Yona Nestel
Yona Nestel
Ritu Gupta
Ritu Gupta
Bren Kutch
Bren Kutch
Carmen - Co-Pres.

Carmen Poston Farmer (She/Her)

Co-President

Carmen is the Director of Student Affairs and Initiatives at Montgomery College, where she founded, developed and implemented the Student Health and Wellness Center for Success. She has an Ed.D., doctorate of education, in Educational Leadership and Management with a concentration in Global and International Education, a dual Master’s degree in Public Policy and Administration, and Bachelor’s in Business Administration. She is also an advanced Mind-Body Medicine Trainer and recently started a new company, B.L.O.W. breath.live.overcome.win that focuses on enrichment and self-care. She has published and presented domestically and internationally, including a presentation on “The Status of Women: Care and Security Considering a Crisis” and beyond. She is member, and the former executive director, for the American Association for Women in Community Colleges. She has served as an SGP circle lead and as an SGP delegate for the 65th session of CSW.

Aparna Arora (She/Her)

Co-President

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.

Vani 2024

Vani Bhardwaj

Co-President

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.

Gergana Tzvetkova (She/Her)

Secretariat-at-Large

Gergana lives in Sofia, Bulgaria and is a Research Fellow at the Center for the Study of Democracy (CSD). Her research interests are in the field of human rights, women’s rights, gender equality and international relations. Gergana has extensive experience in the NGO sector, especially in research-to-policy translation and project management. She completed her PhD cum laude at the Sant’Anna School of Advanced Studies in Pisa, Italy. In her free time, Gergana enjoys spending time with family, reading and traveling.

Sinem Hun (She/Her)

Secretariat-at-Large

 Sinem is the Founder & CEO at Genderscope. She has been active in gender consultancy for more than 12 years. She obtained degrees from the College of Europe, London School of Economics and Political Sciences and University of Oslo on human rights, european union law and gender equality.  Her main areas of work are anti-discrimination law, protection of vulnerable groups and organisational gender mainstreaming. Some of her work includes projects with UNDP, EBRD, UNFPA, GIZ, ASEAN, OXFAM and ILGA-Europe in the EU countries, UK, Turkey and Indonesia. She is based in London (UK) and Ankara (Turkiye) and fluent in English, French and Turkish. 

Elise Do (she/her)

Treasurer

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.

 

Titilola Olojede

Secretary

Salomi

Salomi Christie

Parliamentarian

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.

Sonia 2

Sonia Ruiz García

Secretariat-at-Large

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.

Hayley D’Souza (she/her)

Secretariat-at-Large

Hayley is a Senior Research Consultant who has specialised in studies on gender equality and LGBTQIA+ communities for the European Commission and its institutions. Most recently, she was the project coordinator for a study estimating the number of girls at risk of female genital mutilation for EIGE, and a study to analyse the legislation of the EU Member States related to violence against women and domestic violence for the FEMM committee of the European Parliament. She has led a study on the experiences of people with variations of sex characteristics (also referred to as intersex) to understand discrimination faced in the legal system and many areas of life. She also contributed to a study on transgender people and access to legal gender recognition procedures. She is an experienced mixed-methods researcher with advanced skills in conducting in-depth interviews, literature reviews, policy and evidence reviews, stakeholder engagement and policy evaluations. Her work has led to multiple publications which have contributed to UK and EU policy making. She is currently studying for a Masters in Human Rights at the London School of Economics and Political Science.

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Jecinta Kagai

Communications Intern

Jecinta W. Kagai is a gender and development expert, a gender justice activist, and a youth advocate with a BA in Gender and Development Studies from Kenyatta University in Nairobi, Kenya, where she also served in the Student Council as a student leader during her studies. Jecinta has vast experience of working with grassroots communities in the prevention of gender-based violence (GBV) and meaningful youth engagement for gender equality. She has coordinated a network of youth leaders and youth-led organizations across four counties of Kenya to prevent and address GBV through GBV awareness activities in community forums and innovative initiatives such as projects applying art to digital advocacy. She is a passionate gender equality advocate and is interested in advancing the rights of marginalized groups, especially women, girls, children and intersex persons. She is also a co-founder of the Association of Intersex Parenthood (AIP) Kenya and a founding member of the charity, Weka Smile Foundation.

Sky Farmer (She/Her)

Communications Intern

Sky Valeassiea Farmer is a final-semester communications student at the Tennessee State University in the southern USA.Sky approached SGP to offer her time and initiative on our communications and membership engagement programming and activities through a 2-month internship, as a final requirement of her BA in Mass Communications. Sky’s aim is to build and grow her skills and networks towards a career in media and journalism.Among her communications projects for SGP, Sky will be supporting newsletter production, and communications and membership engagement on the #StandingTogether feminist co-mentorship program and the #HumansOfSGP campaign.She will also support the SGP Feminist Communications Circle in social media moderation, so she’ll be hard at work behind the scenes on SGP’s Facebook and Twitter feeds!We look forward to collaborating with Sky over the next two months! You can also follow Sky at her new Twitter account: @valeassiea.

Sana Basim

Sana Basim

Diversity and Inclusion

Sana is a Protection Specialist with expertise in the inclusion of marginalized groups. During her over 16 years of experience, she has worked with refugees, IDPs and marginalized ethnic and religious minorities with a focus on women and children in Pakistan and Iraq. In her current role, she works on policy and strategy to mainstream protection and inclusion.

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.

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.

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.

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Laura Milà Tugues (she/her)

Solidarity Program and Partnerships

Laura is a feminist young professional working as Project Manager for EU funded projects in a consultancy. She holds a Degree in Humanities and Cultural Studies, and a Master’s Degree in International Relations by the Institut Barcelona d’Estudis Internacionals. She has previously volunteered in different social impact events and conferences and collaborated with a feminist think tank. As she became involved in volunteer work she realized the importance of such work for both the organizations as well as for her self-development and discovery of skills and passions. She is interested in creating synergies between people and organizations that can benefit from each other’s resources to achieve a less patriarchal and more inclusive system.

Stellah Bosire (She/Her)

Solidarity Program and Partnerships

 Dr. Stellah Bosire is a feminist, researcher, and social mobilizer with over ten years of experience working in development with foreign government agencies, national governments, private donors, and grassroots organizations; implementing and conducting evaluations on various projects on the social impact that cut across gender, human rights, and health care for marginalized and vulnerable populations. She’s supported multiple local and international organizations to think strategically by conceptualizing and developing strategic plans, and advocacy strategies as well as strengthening operations toward social impact. She has expertise in undertaking gender audits, managing gender strategies, and undertaking gender-sensitive evaluations. Stellah is a holder of a bachelor in medicine and surgery, an MBA, and an MSc. Global Health Policy

Ellen Bomasang (She/Her)

Events and Professional Development

Ellen is an international development professional whose focus has been clean energy, climate, and inclusive growth across emerging economies in Asia, Africa, Eastern Europe, Latin America, and the Middle East for over 25 years. She started her career in the renewable energy space, concentrating on policy and finance aspects, and then shifted her focus on gender equality and social inclusion issues in that sector.  She has since led the design and delivery of interventions geared at closing gender gaps in employment and skills, entrepreneurship, access to finance, and livelihoods and enhancing women’s and other disadvantaged populations’ skills and increasing their participation in decision-making. She currently works for Abt Associates while pursuing her PhD, part-time, at the University of Birmingham (UK), where her research focuses on women of color working in the US international development sector and the obstacles, related to gender and racial inequality, that they’ve encountered with regard to professional advancement opportunities. 

Ruth Howard (She/Her)

Membership and Nominations

Ruth is a women’s rights and gender justice advocate, who has served extensively with women’s rights organisations in Jamaica, especially as part of the Board and leadership of WMW Jamaica. She has an MSc in Gender & Development Studies (Distinction) from the UWI Institute for Gender & Development Studies Regional Coordinating Unit, and is a 2022 Governor General’s Achievement Award for Excellence recipient, a 2022 World Pulse Top 50 Rising Voices awardee, and Jamaica’s 2021 Ubuntu United Nations delegate. Ruth is currently employed as programme manager for the WMW Jamaica’s “We-Talk for the Reduction of Gender-Based Violence” project, which takes an innovative approach to behaviour change as a means of supporting social norms change and reducing GBV through a combination of research, stakeholder engagement, behaviour change communication campaigns (BCCs), and capacity building.

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. 

Anushka Bansal

Events And Professional Development

Anushka is a development practitioner with 4 years of experience in public-sector consulting, policy advisory and advocacy, and social research. She is a proud feminist and is passionate about creating positive change, problem-solving, and building relationships. Among her experience, she led a USAID and PepsiCo-funded project on Gender and Supply Chain Assessment to promote women’s economic empowerment in Uttar Pradesh, India, and guided the Government of India’s communication strategy around the uptake of the COVID-19 vaccine. She cares about effective policies and execution, socio-economic development, and localized solutions to help create a more cohesive, and inclusive society. She loves to volunteer her free time by mentoring young girls around their career choices. Anushka is currently pursuing an MPA-DP with a specialization in Gender and Public Policy from Columbia University. She holds a B.A. in Economics from Hansraj College, University of Delhi, India and a Diploma in Entrepreneurship and Business Management from Entrepreneurship Development Institute of India, Gujarat, India.

Joan de Klerk

Events & Professional Development Committee Co-Lead

My extensive experience includes well over 32 years of professional experience and an exceptional record of continuing educational development, gender and development particularly in marginalised communities and women of colour. I have 15 years executive manager for a period of 13 years heading the programmes on gender and development. I have a master’s in management degree, and an Honours degree in Gender Studies. I have further achieved myriad qualifications including, Post Graduate Management Certificate, focusing on Monitoring & Evaluation, Bachelor of Arts Honours in Gender Studies and Bachelor of Arts in Education & English. I have hosted conducted and facilitates education programmes providing access to social justice for those affected by gender-based discrimination, violence and infringement of rights and women empowerment.  I have coordinated and developed content for gender training manuals, materials and CGE publications, including editing and proofreading.  During my tenure as a director (senior manager), I provided management to staff and leadership to the organisation which was aligned to the strategic plan and its overall vision. I established policies that promote the organisational culture and coordinated the daily operations of the organisation working closely with the different units. I effectively managed and the performance of the organisation utilising its M&E frameworks templates, interpreting data and metrics to ensure reliable and effective reporting on programmatic work.

Kelly Cuesta

Diversity and Inclusion

Kelly is a Diversity, Equity, Inclusion & Belonging advocate who is passionate about education, culture and systems change, technology and entrepreneurship. As a seasoned brand marketing and change communications specialist, she has contributed to the business development for different sizes of technology companies in the SaaS industry by accelerating awareness and demand for the EMEA region. With a background in international business and marketing, Kelly has led MarCom strategies and integrated programs to increase employee engagement and connect companies more meaningfully to their customers. Currently, as the Global Internal Communications Manager at Ingram Micro Cloud, Kelly drives initiatives to build the organization into a more diverse workplace with inclusive culture. On the side, Kelly advises purpose-led startups and entrepreneurs whom she believes in, with a special focus on emerging leaders and social impact initiatives.

Leisa - AC

Leisa Perch (She/Her)

Advisory Council

Leisa Perch has over 20 years of experience working as a development specialist and more than 10 years on gender and environment. She has worked in government, with regional projects and at hemispheric (OAS) and international organizations throughout her career. After a 13-year career in the United Nations, she became an international development consultant, working mostly in the Caribbean, but also in Africa (e.g. Mozambique, the Gambia, Cameroon and DRC). She developed the Gender Equality Mainstreaming Policy for the Organization of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS) Commission and was the lead consultant in designing the USD 15 million EnGenDER project, which seeks to make climate and disaster recovery more gender-responsive.

Leisa also has an extensive training history, developing modules, curricula and content for gender and environment application. She is currently a co-lead for gender training for the Barbados Water Authority with UWI’s Institute for Gender and Development Studies (IGDS) for a GCF-Funded Water Resilience project.

Leisa is the CEO of a women-led consultancy company based in Barbados with a growing team of other consultants and associates from across the globe. She has a BA in International Relations with a minor in Computer Studies and a MA in Environmental Management. She also has completed training in Project Management, Gender and Climate Change, Biodiversity Finance, and UNDP Human Development Reports, among other areas.

Saira K Zuberi (She/Her)

Advisory Council

Saira is a Gender, Equity, Diversity and Inclusion consultant based in T’karonto, the largest city in the north of Turtle Island (Canada). Saira played a central role in the launch and development of the Association for Women’s Rights in Development (AWID)’s advocacy and research programming Challenging Fundamentalisms and Women Human Rights Defenders programs. 

Saira has also worked with grassroots WHRDs in Africa, Asia and Europe with the International Civil Society Action Network, FeMena , UN Women-Europe & Central Asia Region and the UN Trust Fund to End VAW.  

Saira’s experience has spanned local civil society organisations, promoting access to justice and health rights, expanding settlement services, expanding representation, equity and inclusion in civic and private sectors, and coordinating an extensive network of partner agencies, civil service/government, and community service organisations that serve survivors of violence in Peel Region, greater T’karonto. (Peel is home to the country’s fastest growing and most diverse population, with staggering rates of under-housing and a booming newcomer/migrant populations.) 

Currently, Saira works on EDI issues in local government, and periodically consults in the areas of research and writing, gender/inclusion auditing, strategic communications, and training and facilitation. In her downtime, Saira is a failed cat-herder with an obsessive interest in linguistics and languages, and music from across the globe.

“Nobody in the world, nobody in history, has ever gotten their freedom by appealing to the moral sense of people who were oppressing them.” — Assata Shakur

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.

Anne Marie Goetz

Clinical Professor
Center for Global Affairs (CGA),
School of Professional Studies New York University (New York USA)

Dr. Goetz is both an academic and a policy-maker.  She holds a professorial appointment at the Center for Global Affairs at New York University, and has also taught at the Institute of Development Studies, University of Sussex.  Between 2005 and 2014 she served at the UN as a senior advisor on gender, governance, peace and security, where she supported Security Council resolutions on women’s participation in peacebuilding, and the prevention of conflict-related sexual.  She currently teaches International Relations, Comparative Politics and Feminist Theory.  She has conducted research in Bangladesh, India, Myanmar, the Philippines, South Africa and Uganda, and has published seven books on gender, politics, conflict resolution and accountability in developing countries, including No Shortcuts to Power (2003), Reinventing Accountability (2007), and Governing Women (2009),

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 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.

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).

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. 

Ritu

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.

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.

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.

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Ely

Elizabeth “Ely” Wright Ventimillia (She/Her)

Co-chair of Solidarity Initiative and Partnerships Committee

Ely is a young feminist activist and gender professional from Ecuador and is currently working as Community Coordinator of openDemocracy’s Tracking the Backlash project. She holds a BA from Hampshire College (USA) and a Master’s degree on Gender, Violence & Conflict from the University of Sussex (UK). She’s the creator of Picture Her Story and Me Voy de Casa. At SGP she designed and launched the first co-mentorship program.