Staff Bios

Ann Bookman, Leading Researcher and Social Policy Expert on Women's Issues, Work-family Balance, and Community EngagementAnn Bookman, Director

Education: PhD, Harvard University
BA, Barnard University

Areas of Expertise: Leading researcher and social policy expert on women's issues, work-family balance, and community engagement. 

Ann Bookman comes to UMass Boston with three decades of experience in academia and government. She has directed several university-based research centers, including the MIT Workplace Center at the Sloan School of Management, where she oversaw research on redesigning the workplace to ensure gender equity and family support, including child care and elder care. 

She was also appointed by President Bill Clinton as policy and research director of the Women's Bureau at the U.S. Department of Labor. In that post, Bookman was executive director of a bipartisan commission that studied the impact of the Family and Medical Leave Act on workers and employers. She was principal author of the commission's report to Congress, "A Workable Balance."

Bookman was a senior research scientist with the Heller School for Social Policy and Management at Brandeis University, and also worked as an associate at its Center for Youth and Communities. At Heller, she conducted research on healthy aging, innovative models for building aging-friendly communities, and food insecurity among African American and Latino elders in Boston, the majority of whom are women. She also leads evaluation research projects funded by the AARP Foundation and the Washington Area Women's Foundation. 

Christa Kelleher, Noted scholar on Women's Political Representation and Leadership as well as Women's Health and Reproductive Rights, MoreChrista Kelleher, Research and Policy Director

Education: PhD, Sociology, Brandeis University
MA, Sociology and Women’s Studies, Brandeis University

Areas of Expertise: Public policy development/analysis with specific focus on women and girls; women’s political representation and leadership; women’s health and reproductive rights, state government, Massachusetts politics.

Christa Kelleher has been on the faculty of the center’s Graduate Certificate Program for Women in Politics and Public Policy since 2002 and currently co-teaches the two-semester internship course. As the center's research director, she oversees research on women’s political representation and leadership as well as a range of public policy issues that affect women, with a particular focus on women’s health. She previously taught courses in sociology, community health, public affairs, and public policy at area colleges and universities. Her background includes work on political campaigns, in the Massachusetts Legislature, and in not-for-profit advocacy organizations. Kelleher served as interim director of the center and program from July 2012 to September 2013.

Muna Killingback, Advocate Scholar for Women's and Human Rights, Peace, and Social and Economic JusticeMuna Killingback, Assistant Program Director, Graduate Certificate 

Education: MPA, International Relations, University of Massachusetts Boston
BA, English and Journalism, Douglass College of Rutgers University

Muna Killingback joins the Center for Women in Politics and Public Policy with many years of experience advocating for and writing about women's and human rights, peace, and social and economic justice. Formerly at the Center for Rebuilding Sustainable Communities after Disasters at UMass Boston, she had previously served as Executive Director of the Cambridge-based nonprofit organization Theological Opportunities Program (now Women Explore). She is a former director of communications for the World YWCA, headquarters of the global women's movement in Geneva. As a freelance writer and editor, she specialized in the work and communications needs of nonprofit and non-governmental organizations (NGOs), including grant writing. She continues to serve as one of the World YWCA's UN representatives. 

Denise Schultz, Center for Women in Politics and Public PolicyDenise Schultz, Director, New England Women’s Policy Initiative (NEWPI) and Director, Outreach and Operations, Center for Women in Politics and Public Policy (CWPPP)

EducationGraduate Certificate in Gender, Leadership and Public Policy, University of Massachusetts Boston
BA, Women’s Studies, University of Massachusetts Dartmouth

Denise Schultz joined the Center for Women in Politics and Public Policy in November 2011, after over a decade in the financial services industry, wanting to refocus her career on women’s political leadership and public policy. With a strong background in women’s studies, her interests lie at the intersection of gender and public policy. She has served on and recently co-chaired the Planning Committee for the first and second biennial New England Women’s Policy Conference. In January 2018, Schultz was named director of the New England Women’s Policy Initiative (NEWPI), which is housed at CWPPP.  The initiative was launched after the first biennial New England Women’s Policy Conference held in November 2014, focused on women’s economic security. The initiative continues to focus on policy issues that impact women and their families’ economic security. In this role, Schultz is active in several policy related coalitions, including the Equal Pay Coalition and the Paid Family and Medical Leave Coalition. 

Schultz is in her second term on the Franklin School Committee and currently serves as vice-chair. She is an appointed commissioner with the MetroWest Commission on the Status of Women, and currently serves as their legislative director.  A 2013 graduate of Emerge Massachusetts, and a 2015 graduate of the Vote Run Lead program, she is an active political volunteer and enjoys GOTV the most. Schultz has also been involved with the National Women’s Studies Association, and presented at both the regional conference in 2010 and the national conference in 2012. An alumna of the Gender, Leadership, and Public Policy Graduate Certificate Program at the McCormack Graduate School of Policy and Global Studies, UMass Boston, she is currently pursuing her master’s in public administration.

Anne Forman Center for Women in Politics and Public PolicyAnne Forman, Alumnae Coordinator, Graduate Certificate

Education: Graduate Certificate, Program for Women in Politics and Public Policy
BA, English, Bradley University

Prior to becoming alumni coordinator, Anne Forman worked in travel and as a meeting/event planner for incentive travel. She is a 2006 alumna of the Program for Women in Politics and Public Policy and recipient of the Program’s Research Excellence Award for her case study titled Mixed Income Housing and the Definition of Effectiveness. She is also a graduate of the Women’s Campaign School at Yale University.


Jecynta Azong

Jecynta A Azong, Research Assistant 

Education: PhD, Economics, University of Stirling, UK

Jecynta A. Azong recently joined the Center for Women in Politics and Public Policy after earning her PhD in economics at the University of Stirling, UK.  The topic of her doctoral thesis was, “Economic Policy, Childcare and the Unpaid Economy: Exploring Gender Equality in Scotland.” Her research interests focus on gender and economic policy processes, feminist state engagement, gendered political processes, women’s political representation, childcare and women’s labor market participation, unpaid care work and gender budgets, economic development and gender equality. As a research assistant at WP, Zings' work focuses on pay equity issues and the early care and education workforce.

Dola KabirDola Kabir, Program Coordinator

Education: BA in Anthropology, University of Nevada, Reno and BA in English Literature, University of Massachusetts Boston

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Center for Women in Politics and Public Policy

Healey Library, 10th Floor, Room 12
University of Massachusetts Boston
100 Morrissey Blvd.
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