Who We Are
The founding leadership team recognizes our privileged position as primarily white, cisgendered, heterosexual women who are able-bodied with advanced degrees from the US, and with many opportunities to travel, research, study, and live in diverse contexts. As part of this shared experience, we also recognize the number of feminist academics, gender professionals, and activists who do not share these experiences and who are working to amplify the voices of underrepresented communities around the world. We are actively striving to create a less homogenous image and perspective, and urge you to contact us with any ideas. We all have resources to share, and much to learn from each other as we work toward our mutual goals. We are working to establish this organization to better recognize and harness the intersectional leadership, research, and transformative strategies for addressing gender inequality than the founding leadership team represents.
MPA CANDIDATE, SCHOOL OF INTERNATIONAL AND PUBLIC AFFAIRS, COLUMBIA UNIVERSITY
Angela Hartley is a Master of Public Administration candidate at Columbia University, concentrating in Economic and Political Development with a specialization in Gender and Public Policy, graduating in May 2018. Angela is from Seattle, Washington, USA and holds a Bachelor of Arts in International Studies and Spanish from Whitworth University. Prior to graduate school, Angela worked on malaria elimination policy and strategy initiatives with PATH, working primarily in Ethiopia, Kenya, El Salvador, and Guatemala. She also has worked as a Refugee Resettlement Case Manager in the U.S. and conducted research with the Fulbright program in Argentina. Currently while at Columbia, Angela is focusing on the gendered impacts of health service access and delivery. She spent last summer interning with the Asia Pacific Coalition on Male Sexual Health (APCOM) in Thailand, working to advance a regional strategy to increase access to HIV testing and treatment for transgender communities.
Senior Program Officer for Education Abroad, AMIDEAST
Christina Gordon is the Senior Program Officer for Education Abroad at AMIDEAST, where she manages government-sponsored programs for US high school students in the Middle East and North Africa. Christina previously managed college study abroad programs in Amman, Jordan and 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. She 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.
Gender and Social Equity Consultant, Inclusive Societies
Karine Lepillez is a Gender and Social Equity Consultant, working with organizations to improve their capacity for inclusive social change. She works alongside clients such as Save the Children, Catholic Relief Services, and World Learning to design programs that address gender 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 was recently 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. Previous to this, Karine led a portfolio of economic advocacy programs with Vital Voices Global Partnership, providing capacity building support to women’s business organisations in Kenya, Nigeria, South Africa, and Uganda. Karine has managed multi-million dollar development programs in microfinance, trade, SME development, and capacity building in Africa and the Middle East with the International Executive Service Corps. She also worked with the U.S. Institute of Peace and the Independent Diplomat on programs providing practical assistance and advice in diplomatic strategy and technique to the governments of Somaliland, South Sudan, and the Saharawi Arab Democratic Republic. Karine began her career as a Research Analyst with Compassion International, a child advocacy organization. She 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.
Founder of Post Ref Racism UK | MPA Candidate, School of International and Public Affairs, Columbia University
Karissa is founder of Post Ref Racism, an anti-racism organisation that campaigns to reduce hate crime and xenophobia in the UK. Before starting Post Ref Racism, Karissa lived and worked in Bolivia where she focused on LGBT rights and human trafficking. Karissa is currently studying a Masters in Public Administration at Columbia University in New York, and holds a bachelors degree in Natural Sciences from Cambridge University, UK. Karissa grew up in Wales and plans to return to the UK to work for the local government in London after finishing her masters.
Columbia University | Drexel University
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. Dr. Kelly 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. Dr. Kelly 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.
Senior Research Associate, WomenStats Project
From 2014-2017, Lauren served as the Program Manager for a $1.3 million Minerva Research Award sponsored by the Department of Defense. As the principal of her own consulting firm, Lauren’s research interests focus on women, terrorism, and countering violent extremism. Currently living in Washington, D.C., she liaises with several academic institutions, government agencies, and non-profit organizations on issues related to the United States National Action Plan on Women, Peace and UNSCR 1325, and she frequently consults on data gaps in women and gender. Lauren received her Master’s degree in International Affairs from Texas A&M University in 2013 and a Bachelor’s degree in International Affairs and Criminal Justice from the University of Georgia in 2010.
Social Behavior Change Communication Officer, Global Health Corps
Leah currently works in Kampala, Uganda as a Social Behavior Change Communication Officer for the Ministry of Health through Global Health Corps. She focuses on how individuals can adopt and sustain healthy knowledge, attitudes and practices, particularly in the areas of reproductive health and gender-based violence. She received her Masters of Public Administration in Gender and Human Rights Policy from Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs (SIPA), and her Bachelors in Psychology from the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor. She has worked internationally and nationally organizations such as Save the Children, Raising Voices, UNFPA, the International Center for Research on Women, Covenant House International, and PAI. She is passionate about feminism, education, and sexual and reproductive health and rights, as well as a proud alumna of AmeriCorps. You can usually find her arguing, reading or showing everyone pictures of her cat, Zelda.
Dalia Empower, Mexico City, Mexico
Nicole Figot has worked in public policy and social development nationally and internationally, in organizations including Fundación IDEA, The Hunger Project, and UNDP. She has a Master's in Public Administration from Columbia University focused on gender policy and a Bachelor in International Relations from Universidad Iberoamericana. She has created strategies and implemented workshops for organizations looking to promote diversity and inclusion in the workplace. She’s currently in her native Mexico City creating content and coordinating special projects for Dalia Empower, a new leadership and empowerment center.