Women's, Gender, and Sexuality Studies Alumni Speaker Series: "Envisioning Change"

Alumni Speaker Series Envisioning Change

The Women's, Gender, and Sexuality Studies (WGSS) program is hosting its annual Alumni Speaker Series "Envisioning Change" this month on Thursday, February 18th at 4:30PM EST. This year's Alumni Speaker Series will feature three WGSS alumni: Denise Forte, Chitra Panjabi, and Priya Purandare.

This year's Alumni Speaker Series will be hosted on Zoom. Register in advance using the registration link. Once you've registered, you will receive the Zoom connection details to the email provided.

The WGSS program hopes to see you on the 18th! Feel free to reach out to WGSS with any questions at [email protected].


Denise Forte (‘96)

Denise Forte is the Senior Vice President for Partnership and Engagement at The Education Trust. With more than two decades of experience in the federal legislative and executive branches advancing progressive education and family policy, Denise brings strategic leadership to the organization’s efforts to engage policymakers and diverse coalitions of advocates in demanding and securing equity-advancing policy change at the national and state levels. Prior to Ed Trust, Denise was a Senior Fellow and Director of Public Affairs for The Century Foundation. She also spent 20 years in senior congressional staff roles:  Staff Director for the House Committee on Education and the Workforce (Minority), Education Policy Director for Chairman George Miller. Denise served in the Obama Administration at the U.S. Department of Education as Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary and Acting Assistant Secretary in the Office of Planning, Evaluation and Policy Development. Forte also has worked in the nonprofit leadership development space as the Vice President for Policy Leadership at Leadership for Educational Equity.

Chitra Panjabi (‘10)

Chitra Panjabi is a certified executive and leadership coach; nonprofit management consultant with deep expertise in management strategy, board and stakeholder engagement, organizational equity solutions, and fundraising; and an award-winning feminist activist. Prior, Chitra most recently served as President and CEO of SIECUS: Sex Ed for Social Change, where she revitalized the 50+ year old organization to advance SIECUS’ efforts in reshaping social, cultural, and political narratives around sex, sexuality, and sexual and reproductive health. She has previously served as a national executive officer, Vice President Membership, for the National Organization for Women (NOW), where she was responsible for managing operations, communications, fundraising, and membership engagement. Chitra has also held roles at The Women’s Foundation in Hong Kong, South Asian Americans Leading Together (SAALT), and the National Woman’s Party at Sewall-Belmont House and Museum in Washington, DC (now known as the Belmont-Paul Women’s Equality National Monument).

Priya Purandare (‘09)

Priya Purandare is the Executive Director of the National Asian Pacific American Bar Association (NAPABA), the nation’s leading voice for Asian Pacific American attorneys, judges, law professors and law students. Entering her ninth year of service to NAPABA, Priya brings unparalleled institutional knowledge, having started her career at the NAPABA Law Foundation in 2009. Returning to NAPABA in 2014, Priya steadily rose through the ranks and most recently served as Deputy Director. Priya is a highly skilled association professional with over a decade of experience. She brings a passion for NAPABA’s mission, a proven track record of sustainable growth via strategic and innovative leadership and management, and strong relationships that bridges across leaders, members, and industry partners. Priya is responsible for advancing the mission and vision of NAPABA and oversees the administration, programs, and strategic plan of the organization.