Re:Gender Program Advisory Committee

Mimi Abramovitz
Bertha Capen Reynolds Professor, CUNY Hunter College – Silberman School of Social Work
Chair, Social Welfare Policy 

Dr. Abramovitz is the Bertha Capen Reynolds Professor at the Hunter School of Social Work and an internationally recognized expert on issues of gender, race, and social welfare policy. She is the author of several influential books that are widely used in social work programs and are regularly adopted in women's studies, sociology, and history courses. She has written over 75 scholarly articles as well as policy reports and is a frequent public speaker, media expert, and consultant. She co-founded the Welfare Rights Initiative at Hunter College and works on research and advocacy with various grass roots and community-based organizations. She serves on the editorial boards of several journals relating to social work, social policy, and the welfare of women, and has also held positions on organizational boards, task forces and committees relating to her areas of expertise. She received her Master (MSW) and Doctorate (DSW) degrees from Columbia University School of Social Work.


Taj Brown
Youth Development Specialist 

Taj Brown has over 20 years of experience in child advocacy, nonprofit management, capacity building, community organizing and direct service. He led numerous initiatives at the Children's Defense Fund in his roles as Deputy Manager of National Field Operations, Senior Manager of Capacity and Development for the Freedom Schools Program, Director of the Katrina Project and Senior Organizer in the New York office. He also was Field Director for the Vestal Group, a sister company of marketing giant GlobalHue, where he helped to expand local ministry through consumer reciprocity partnerships by working with the nine largest African-American denominations and their more than 50,000 congregations nationwide. Among his local work, Taj established a program to reduce elder abuse in communities of color with the Chester County, Pennsylvania Department of Aging; helped start a conflict resolution and peer-mediation training program that operates in four public school systems; launched an 18 year-old food gleaning program for under-resourced providers and hunger relief agencies; advised Connecticut, Iowa and Pennsylvania's governors on education policy reform; set University policy on sexual harassment, equal opportunities and diversity programming; and coordinated support services for students through the Higher Education Opportunities Program. Every summer since 1997, he has helped manage an annual therapeutic retreat for hundreds of children infected and affected by HIV/AIDS entitled Camp Dreamcatcher.


Karlyn Crowley
Director of Cassandra Voss Center & Women’s & Gender Studies, St. Norbert College 

Karlyn Crowley is Professor of English and director of the Cassandra Voss Center and Women's and Gender Studies at St. Norbert College. Karlyn’s scholarship focuses on gender and popular culture/religion and the field of Women's and Gender Studies. Her book, Feminism's New Age: Gender, Appropriation, and the Afterlife of Essentialism (SUNY P), examines why so many women are interested in New Age culture rather than civic feminist expression. It was a 2011 finalist for the ForeWordBook of the Year Award in the Women’s Issues category. She writes for Girl w/ Pen: Bridging Feminist Research & Popular Reality. Karlyn has also been long involved in the National Women’s Studies Association.



Sarah Jane Glynn
Associate Director, Women’s Economic Policy – Center for American Progress 

Sarah Jane Glynn is Associate Director for Women’s Economic Policy at American Progress. Prior to coming to American Progress, she worked as an adjunct faculty member at Vanderbilt University and Belmont University in Nashville, Tennessee. She also served on the editorial staff for Work and Occupations, an interdisciplinary sociological journal. Sarah Jane’s research has focused on understudied aspects of the service economy, including working conditions, skilled service providers, and entrepreneurialism. Sarah Jane received her Ph.D. in sociology from Vanderbilt University, where she also earned her M.A. A native of California, she holds a B.A. in women’s studies from the University of California, Los Angeles.



Sunita Holzer
Founder, Human Capital Insight 

Ms. Holzer is an accomplished business executive who is currently consulting with organizations on Human Capital strategy, organization effectiveness and strategic planning. She was most recently with Computer Sciences Corporation (CSC) as Chief Human Resources Officer and was responsible for a strategic redesign of the global HR organization, its services and its functions to support key lines of business throughout the company. Her oversight also included all aspects of global talent, diversity, training, recruitment, employee and leadership development, community relations, philanthropy and employee engagement. Sunita holds a Board Director position with South Jersey Industries (a public gas and energy company based in New Jersey) and is a member of the HR Roundtable. Prior to joining CSC, she served as Chief HR Officer at Chubb Group for Insurance Companies, Vice President-Human Resources for GE Capital Corporate, and Chief Diversity Officer at American Express. Sunita has a Bachelor of Science degree from the State University of New York – Stony Brook, a Masters of Science degree in Human Resource Management from the School of Labor Relations at New York Institute of Technology and a Six Sigma certification.


Peggy Kahn
Professor, University of Michigan-Flint – Department of Political Science 

Peggy Kahn joined the UM-Flint faculty in 1984 and has focused her teaching in areas of women, gender, and employment and comparative welfare states and social policies. She has worked closely with the UM-Flint Women’s Educational Center and has worked with the UM Center for the Education of Women. Her recent research, writing, and advocacy have focused on low-income women’s work, work-family dilemmas, access to post-secondary education, and utilization of public benefits and services, mainly in the U.S. Her articles have appeared in the Journal of Poverty, Women, Politics and Public Policy, and Gender, Work and Organization, and she has co-written, contributed to, and co-edited several volumes on these themes. She holds a BA degree from Oberlin College and a PhD in Political Science from the University of California, Berkeley.


Sarah Degnan Kambou
President, International Center for Research on Women 

As the President of the International Center for Research on Women (ICRW), Dr. Sarah Degnan Kambou leads a global research institute that focuses on realizing women’s empowerment and gender equality to alleviate poverty worldwide. Her expertise centers on sexual and reproductive health, HIV and AIDS, and adolescent health and livelihoods. Sarah has served as a technical advisor to multilaterals, leading corporations and governments seeking to integrate gender into policies, programs and services that will advance the status of women and girls around the world. She has worked for nearly 30 years in Asia, Eastern Europe, and sub-Saharan Africa, including nearly 12 years at ICRW. In December of 2012, President Barack Obama appointed Sarah to the President’s Global Development Council and former president Bill Clinton tapped Sarah to serve as an Advisor to the Clinton Global Initiative. In 2010, Hillary Clinton appointed Sarah to represent ICRW on the U.S. Commission to UNESCO. Sarah was honored in 2010 with Boston University's School of Public Health's Distinguished Alumni Award for her contributions to the field of public health, and in 2011 as an Ashoka ChangemakeHER, the inaugural celebration of the world's most influential and inspiring women. Sarah is a recipient of the 2013 Perdita Huston Human Rights Award. Prior to her work in Africa, Sarah managed the Center for International Health, which she co-founded in 1987, at the Boston University School of Public Health.


Ranjana Khanna
Margaret Taylor Smith Director of Women's Studies
Professor, Duke University - English, Literature and Women's Studies 

Ranjana Khanna is Margaret Taylor Smith Director of Women's Studies and Professor of English, Women's Studies, and the Literature Program at Duke University. She works on Anglo- and Francophone Postcolonial theory and literature, and Film, Psychoanalysis, and Feminist theory. She has published widely on transnational feminism, psychoanalysis, and postcolonial and feminist theory, literature, and film. She is the author of Dark Continents: Psychoanalysis and Colonialism (Duke University Press, 2003) and Algeria Cuts: Women and Representation 1830 to the present (Stanford University Press, 2008.) She has published in journals like Differences, Signs, Third Text, Diacritics, Screen, Art History, positions, SAQ, Feminist Theory, and Public Culture. Her current book manuscripts in progress are called: Asylum: The Concept and the Practice and Technologies of Unbelonging.


Alice Kim
Adjunct Professor, University of Illinois – Chicago
Director, The Public Square 

Alice Kim is a cultural organizer, activist and writer. She is the director of The Public Square, a program of the Illinois Humanities Council. She works with Ella's Daughters, A Movement Re-Imagining Change (ARC) and the Illinois Coalition Against Torture. She is also on the advisory board of the Children and Family Justice Center at Northwestern Law School and the editorial board of In These Times magazine.




Grace Protos
Regional Administrator, Department of Labor – Women’s Bureau 

Grace Protos is the Regional Administrator for 25 states and territories of the U.S. Department of Labor, Women’s Bureau. In her role at the Women’s Bureau, Grace designs and oversees the implementation of policy, research and projects devoted exclusively to promoting the advancement of working women. She develops organizational channels for Women’s Bureau resources and partnership opportunities with companies, community-based organizations and state and local governments representing the interests of several million working women around the nation. She is responsible for all programs and activities, long and short-term planning of goals and the development of employees. Before joining the Women’s Bureau, Grace was a senior vice president at MacKenzie Partners, Inc., a corporate advisory services firm, where she worked for thirteen years on corporate mergers, acquisitions and stakeholder identification and communications for clients who were Fortune 500 companies. Grace has a master’s degree in social work from Columbia University.


Chandan Reddy
Associate Professor, University of Washington 

Chandan Reddy’s research focuses on the transformations and inventions of literary forms that issue from history of non-western migration to the “west.” In particular, Chandan has been interested in twentieth century Black and Asian migrations from the Caribbean basin and Asia to the United States. Presuming that migration is not solely a demographic phenomenon, but also a transformation of the political economic, social, and epistemological structures of “western” modernity, Chandan approaches the study of “racialized” migration as an account of the heterogeneity and unevenness of modernity and its core institutions, especially the nation-state. The project is aimed also at thinking about the intersections and discontinuities between Black and Asian immigrant racializations in various institutionalized critiques. In addition to the literary, cultural and legal study of race and migration, of political economy and the nation-state, Chandan continues to work in the field of non-western and immigrant “gay and lesbian” sexualities. Chandan’s most recent research has focused on the “individual” as an object of knowledge in contemporary globalization.


Trina R. Shanks
Associate Professor, University of Michigan School of Social Work
Faculty Associate, Survey Research Center, Institute for Social Research 

Dr. Trina Shanks initiated a family mentoring program and introduced Individual Development Accounts to public housing residents. In her current research, funded by the Ford Foundation, she is co-investigator for the SEED Impact Assessment study, which has set up a quasi-experimental research design to test the impact of offering Head Start families 529 college education plans for their enrolled children. She also oversees the evaluation of summer youth employment in Detroit. Dr. Shanks is a Rhodes Scholar and a former Peace Corps volunteer in Ecuador where she worked in micro-enterprise development.



Cynthia Totten
Senior Program Director, Just Detention International 

Cynthia provides training and technical assistance for corrections agencies around the country, supporting their implementation of the PREA standards. She also advocates bringing basic international human rights standards into U.S. prisons and jails, and has contributed to JDI’s federal policy and international programs. A lawyer with more than a decade of experience in human and civil rights advocacy, Cynthia previously represented plaintiffs in employment class action lawsuits.



Niki Dickerson vonLockette
Associate Professor of Labor and Employment and Sociology, Pennsylvania State University 

Niki Dickerson vonLockette (Ph.D. Sociology, University of Michigan) is Associate Professor of Labor Studies and Employment Relations at Penn State. Her work examines the impact of residential segregation on unemployment and wages for blacks and Latinos in metropolitan areas (Economic Geography, City and Community), and the effects of workplace occupational segregation on worker attitudes (Work and Occupations). The National Academy of Science awarded her a HUD post-doctoral fellowship to study the impact of residential segregation on the race gap in unemployment. She is also studying the effects of persistent incarceration on community economic and social well-being. She has served as consultant for the U.S. Departments of Labor and Commerce and the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago.


K. Shakira Washington
Director of Research and Community Outreach, Human Rights Project for Girls 

K. Shakira Washington currently works at the Human Rights Project for Girls (Rights4Girls), which seeks to raise up the issue of physical and sexual violence against young women and girls in the U.S. as a human rights issue, and advocates for appropriate alternatives for survivors who are at risk and/or are currently system involved. Over the past twenty years, Shakira’s work has combined community organizing, programming, and research to address social, economic, and political inequities faced by marginalized communities. Her work has included training residents to implement community-based needs assessments; facilitating discussions between community organizing entities and local officials; and assisting with the design and implementation of behavioral health research studies. She has co-authored several articles and has presented at conferences such as the CDC Annual HIV/AIDS Prevention Conference, the Annual AIDS Vaccine Conference, and the Annual American Public Health Association Conference. Shakira received her BA from San Francisco State University, Urban Studies Program, her MPA from New York University: Robert F. Wagner Graduate School of Public Services, and is currently working towards a doctoral degree at University of Maryland, College Park, School of Public Health.


Ruth Zambrana
Director, University of Maryland – Consortium on Race, Gender, and Ethnicity 

Ruth Enid Zambrana, Ph.D. is a professor in the Department of Women’s Studies, Director of the Consortium on Race, Gender and Ethnicity, Interim Director of the U.S. Latino Studies Initiative at the University of Maryland, College Park, and Adjunct Professor of Family Medicine at University of Maryland Baltimore, School of Medicine, Department of Family Medicine. Her work focuses on the intersections of gender, race/ethnicity, socioeconomic status and other contextual variables in disparities in the provision of public health, human services and education with an emphasis on Latino women, children, and youth. She has published extensively in her field and has served on several editorial boards including the American Journal of Public Health and Journal of Health Care for the Poor and Underserved. She has served on several national and state boards and committees and recently served as a member of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Agenda Committee, Office of Public Health Research, Health Information Services and Health Equity Champions Workgroups (2005) and the State of Maryland Governor’s Transition Task Force on Higher Education (2006). She was honored by Hispanic Business Magazine as 2007 Elite Woman of the Year for her commitment and dedication to improving the Hispanic community through her service and scholarship.

Gail Cooper
Vice President for Programs, Re:Gender

Gail develops program tools and collaborations to help translate, curate and amplify the efforts of researchers, policy thinkers and practitioners working on behalf of gender equity. She supports the growth of Re:Gender’s cross-disciplinary, cross-sectoral network to foster partnerships and increase members’ use of a gender lens across their work. Gail joined Re:Gender in spring 2013 after working for many years with the Ford Foundation, International Rescue Committee, Women’s Refugee Commission and Human Rights Watch.



Áine Duggan 
President, Re:Gender 

Áine Duggan is focused on leveraging independent research to accelerate advancements for women and girls. Áine is working to deepen strategic partnerships throughout Re:Gender's network of 200 members and partners to build resources for research, connect research professionals with business and community leaders and fuel collective models for achieving change. Áine’s expertise spans two decades and countries, and a diverse range of organization size, mission and function. Prior to joining Re:Gender, she served as the Vice President for Research, Policy and Education at the Food Bank For New York City, where she developed the organization’s research wing and propelled the conversation about food poverty onto national and international media and policy stages, including authoring a series of reports on hunger that highlighted disproportionate levels of poverty among women, children, seniors and veterans. Prior to this, Áine’s work at the Coalition for the Homeless included initiatives that shed light on the issue of homelessness among women and children, and working with corporate partners to strengthen a job-training program for women. Áine has also developed collaborations within the LGBTQ community to address poverty among LGBTQ individuals and families. In addition, Áine has regularly contributed to reports and served as a speaker at government hearings and academic, corporate and community events and forums, and has taught in the Graduate Social Research program at Hunter College. A native of Ireland, where she served on the Board of Cáirde, a national HIV/AIDS services organization, Áine began her journey in the nonprofit sector as a volunteer with the Irish Refugee Council in the early 1990s. She graduated with an MA from University College Dublin.