Campus Closing

The University of Massachusetts Boston campus is closed today, Monday, February 8. All classes and activities are canceled. For information, visit

Center for Women in Politics and Public Policy

at the University of Massachusetts Boston

Maps & Directions

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 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, Operations Manager

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

After many years in the financial services industry, Denise shifted her career to focus on women’s empowerment. With a strong background in women’s studies, her interests lie at the intersection of feminism, mothering, and public policy. Schultz is a co-chair of the Metrowest Commission on the Status of Women and chair of her local Democratic Town.  A 2013 graduate of Emerge Massachusetts, she is an active volunteer for several campaigns. Denise is also involved with the National Women’s Studies Association as a member of the Feminist Mothering Caucus presented at the regional conference in 2010 and national conference in 2012.

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.

Jessica Toglia, Research AssistantJessica Toglia, Research Assistant, Center for Women in Politics and Public Policy

Education: MS, Sport Studies, Miami University; BS, Sport Media, Ithaca College 

Jessica Toglia had intended to pursue a career as a sports anchor. When confronted with the challenges of being a woman in the sports industry, she changed her focus to social justice. While in graduate school, her research concentrated on Native American mascots. Jessica then served two years as an AmeriCorps VISTA for the Center for Civic Engagement at Miami University’s regional campus in Hamilton, Ohio. Moving to Florida, she worked as a program facilitator with Girls Inc. Jacksonville and volunteered with the development department at the Women’s Center of Jacksonville. She comes to UMass Boston with a strong desire to work for gender equity.


Rose A Nyaondo, Research Fellow

Our Services

Our educational activities, events, and research projects are typically conducted in collaboration with many types of organizations. We are available to provide program evaluations, commissioned research studies, policy briefs, and fact sheets. (PDF)
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Leading Women Speaker and Film Series

Watch video clips from the Center for Women in Politics and Public Policy's Leading Women event. Read More 

Support Our Work

Financial donations help to enhance the Center’s capacity to promote women’s leadership and empower women throughout the Commonwealth and beyond.
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