Aparna Arora is an experienced development professional and MPA graduate in Gender and Public Policy with over eight years of experience in international development, social enterprise consulting and corporate finance at organizations such as UNICEF, Net Impact New York, McKinsey & Company, Upaya Social Ventures and local non-profits in India. Aparna hopes to create a world where people dare to offer equity and unconditional dignity to one another. She sees social entrepreneurship, financial innovation, and participatory policymaking as powerful tools for change agents. She strives to make her vision a reality through her current NYC-based volunteer positions with a social enterprise creating solutions for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities and a fair trade non-profit organization.
Maggie is from Cairo, Egypt. She has a master’s degree in Gender and Development. She currently works as a gender specialist at the FAO regional office of the Near East and North Africa. Her experiences and studies have helped her become a multi-talented gender specialist consistently acknowledged for her contributions to planning and operational improvements. Her professional and academic experiences have given her expertise in policy development, raising the confidence and morale needed to champion and promote gender mainstreaming in her work. She has proven herself willing to take on leadership roles and is committed to operational excellence and organizational development.
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.
Christina Gordon is the Director of Programs for the Women’s Learning Partnership for Rights, Development and Peace (WLP), where she manages training and advocacy initiatives for women’s rights and leadership. Christina previously worked as a Gender Equality Fellow at Save the Children US, where she supported the development and implementation of the organization’s Gender Equality Strategy. She also previously managed education abroad programs in the Middle East and North Africa, specializing in intercultural learning, cross-cultural communication, and issues of identity, diversity and harassment. She has experience researching the gendered effects of education policy in Jordan and Morocco and teaching English as a second language as a Fulbright English Teaching Assistant in Amman, Jordan. Christina holds a master’s degree in international affairs with a concentration in global gender policy from George Washington University and a bachelor’s degree in political science and modern languages from Kenyon College.
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.
Brenna 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.
Kelly is a research consultant focusing on gender in comparative and international education (CIE). She holds a PhD in CIE from Lehigh University and is the owner of Grace Research Consulting. Her primary research interest examines barriers related to gender in early childhood education and primary school programs, though she also works broadly in the area of gender in education programs in K-12 and university settings. Kelly also supports the development of monitoring and evaluation (M&E) systems for education programs, specializes in project data management and analysis, and develops and implements trainings in both gender and M&E in educational settings. Her contextual area of expertise is in the Cambodian education system, though she also works with large international organizations on cross-context projects.
Marilia is currently based in São Paulo, Brazil and is building a life between Brazil and Uganda. She is a graduate in international relations who is passionate about international development. After working in business development for technology companies for almost 10 years and surviving all kinds of harassment in male-dominated workplaces, she decided to pursue a more authentic path in the non-profit sector, focusing on gender equity, justice and development. She has since managed programs at non-profits advancing women’s economic empowerment and, most recently, worked on diversity and inclusion in social responsibility projects for the private sector. She is simultaneously building an organization to accelerate projects on education, environment and gender equity using community psychology and decolonial and feminist leadership values. She has also been producing and developing art projects with her partner, a thrilling and liberating experience.
Saira is a Gender and Diversity 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 has also worked in 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 consults in the areas of research and writing, gender/inclusion auditing, strategic communications, and training and facilitation. At the SGP Secretariat, Saira leads efforts to expand SGP’s international solidarity efforts and feminist communications in online spaces. In her downtime, Saira is a failed cat-herder with an obsessive interest in linguistics and languages, and music from across the globe.
Adenike is a highly motivated, experienced microbiologist, humanitarian worker, public health researcher, and feminist with a passion for issues affecting women and girls. She holds a master’s degree in public health with over eight years of experience in public health, child protection, addressing gender-based violence (GBV), and conducting monitoring and evaluation processes in development and humanitarian operations sectors. She has conducted trainings and workshops on gender equality and GBV for government officials, community leaders, women’s groups, and youth. Adenike has been an associate researcher for projects funded by the US National Institutes of Health and the US Agency for International Development in the field of HIV and AIDS prevention, household air pollution, and pregnancy outcomes. Adenike currently works with the UN Refugee Agency and loves baking.
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 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.
Rabia Naseer works in the public sector in the Performance and Analysis division. She is passionate about social innovation, human rights, women leadership and people-centered design. Through her work, she is constantly exploring ways to create spaces that allow marginalized perspectives and voices to be highlighted. Currently, she is developing an Indigenous board game prototype and looking to work on initiatives dismantling racism, building relations and centering marginalized voices. She enjoys spending time with her family, community building, reading, enjoying the outdoors and taking on new challenges and experiences in her spare time.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Emma Rainey is a gender equality consultant as well as an advisor on diversity, equity, and inclusion strategies. As co-founder of Gorgo Consulting, she provides educational “bootcamp” training on topics surrounding gender+ equality along with services in research and project design and management. Emma also co-founded Young Feminist Europe where she worked on campaigns, digital communications, and organizational development. Emma was recently the Project Coordinator at The Brussels Binder, leading on the work of the 2-year EU-funded BBBeyond Network to promote women’s visibility in public debates. She is also on the Board of Directors at 50:50NI to help improve gender representation in Northern Ireland politics. Emma holds degrees in Criminology and Sociology from the Queen’s University Belfast and pursued an MSc. in Criminology at KU Leuven. She is currently studying with the Europa Business School for an Executive Masters in EU Project Management and Design. Emma was listed on Diversein’s Most Inspiring Women Leaders 2021 and was selected as BXL 100 Women who made a positive impact during the Covid-19 pandemic.
Tina is a global health consultant and an academic with 20 years of international experience researching and writing about gender and health, developing and facilitating education programs, and supporting and leading health and development projects. She holds a PhD in History/Women’s Studies and has professional proficiency in Chinese (Mandarin).
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.
Dr. Goetz is a professor of practice at the Center for Global Affairs, New York University, and a Professorial Fellow Emeritus at the Institute of Development Studies, University of Sussex. She served at the United Nations from 2005-2014 in UNIFEM and then UN Women’s Policy Division, as Director of Governance, Peace and Security. While at the UN Dr. Goetz spearheaded initiatives to promote women’s empowerment in the UN’s peace building work, and to support women’s participation in conflict-resolution. She led initiatives to ensure that the Security Council addresses sexual violence in conflict as a tactic of warfare, and to build peacekeepers’ capacities to detect and prevent these abuses. Dr. Goetz’s academic work has focused on gender mainstreaming in development practice (e.g.: her 1997 book: Getting Institutions Right for Women; and her 2009 book: Governing Women: Women in Politics and Governance in Developing Countries), as well as the gendered politics of democratization, peacebuilding and anti-corruption campaigns (2008, the UNIFEM flagship report: Who Answers to Women? Gender and Accountability, and 2004: Reinventing Accountability: Making Democracy Work for Human Development).
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.
Dr. Lina AbiRafeh is the Executive Director of the Arab Institute for Women at the Lebanese American University. The Institute was established in 1973 as the first women’s institute in the Arab region – and one of the first globally.
Lina spent over 20 years in development and humanitarian contexts in countries such as Afghanistan, Haiti, Democratic Republic of Congo, Nepal, and others. Her specific expertise is in gender-based violence prevention and response, summarized by her TEDx talk, Women Deliver PowerTalk, keynote address for Swedish International Development Agency annual meeting, amongst others. Lina completed her doctoral work from the London School of Economics and published “Gender and International Aid in Afghanistan: The Politics and Effects of Intervention” based on her research. She speaks and publishes frequently on a range of gender issues, most recently on the need for a feminist response to the COVID-19 pandemic and its impact on Arab women and girls. She believes women’s leadership is the strongest vehicle for peace and sustainable development. Lina is among the Gender Equality Top 100 worldwide in 2018 and 2019.
Dr. Myra Marx Ferree, Alice H. Cook Professor of Sociology (emerita) at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. is the author of Varieties of Feminism: German Gender Politics In Global Perspective (Stanford University Press, March 2012) and co-author with Lisa Wade of Gender: Ideas, interactions, Institutions (W.W. Norton, 2014). Other recent books include: Gender, Violence and Human Security: Feminist Perspectives (co-edited with Aili Tripp and Christina Ewig, NYU Press 2013), Global Feminisms: Transnational Women’s Organizing, Activism, and Human Rights (co-edited with Aili Mari Tripp, NYU Press, 2006) and Shaping Abortion Discourse: Democracy and the Public Sphere in Germany and the US (with William A. Gamson, Jürgen Gerhards and Dieter Rucht, Cambridge University Press, 2002).
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.
Dr. Elisabeth Prügl, Professor of International Relations/Political Science and Director of the Gender Centre at the Graduate Institute Geneva. In the course of her academic career in the US and Switzerland her research and teaching have focused on gender politics in international governance. She has published extensively on issues including atypical forms of women’s labour and their international regulation, the neoliberalization of feminism, and on gender expertise in international governance. She currently directs two research consortia on gender and land grabs, and gender and peacebuilding, with partners from Nigeria, Ghana, Cambodia, and Indonesia, funded by the Swiss Programme for Research on Global Issues for Development (r4d).
Professor Prügl serves on the editorial boards of International Studies Quarterly, Review of International Political Economy, International Feminist Journal of Politics, and the European Journal of Politics and Gender. In 2019, she received the “Eminent Scholar” award of the Feminist Theory and Gender Studies Section of the International Studies Association (ISA).
Aruna Rao, Co-Founder and former Executive Director of Gender At Work. Aruna Rao is a gender and development expert with over 35 years’ experience in pioneering new approaches to gender and institutional change. Beginning with her work with BRAC in Bangladesh, she has gone on to lead the boards of directors of the Association for Women’s Rights in Development (AWID) and CIVICUS, as well as serving on the board of the UN Democracy Fund. She has consulted widely with UN organizations, academic institutions, and development NGOs on gender, development and organizational change issues. In 2002, she co-created the widely used Gender at Work Analytical Framework which illustrates the interlinkages between various domains of change and highlights discriminatory social norms and deep structures that are held in place by power dynamics in organizations and communities. She co-developed with Joanne Sandler a popular training program on feminist leadership under the auspices of UN Women and taught gender and institutional change short courses for Masters’ students at the University of Sussex, UK. She has also written extensively on gender and institutional change, including Gender at Work: Theory and Practice for 21st Century Organizations (2016), co-authored with Joanne Sandler, David Kelleher and Carol Miller and Gender at Work: Organizational Change for Equality co-authored with David Kelleher and Rieky Stuart (1999). Aruna is also the Co-host of the Gender at Work Podcast, which seeks to unite activist voices around the world to discuss emerging feminist thinking and practice and ignite collective re-imagining of feminist transformational strategies and connections.
Karine Lepillez is the Principal of Inclusive Societies, a social enterprise that provides research, training, and coaching to public and private institutions seeking to increase gender equality and inclusion in their programs and organizations. Karine works with clients such as the World Bank Group, USAID, Save the Children, and Catholic Relief Services to address social inequities in health, nutrition, agriculture, education, livelihoods, and climate change, as well as issues of gender based violence (GBV) such as child marriage, adolescent pregnancy, and intimate partner violence. Karine previously worked as USAID’s Gender Advisor in Pakistan, where she provided guidance to the U.S. Mission on the integration of gender equality and GBV prevention and response across its programming. Karine holds a B.A. in International Affairs from the George Washington University and an M.A. in International Human Rights from the University of Denver.