Women's Leadership Council

Women's Leadership Council

Committee Reporting Relationship

The Council reports to the Vice President for Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Community Partnerships.


The Women's Leadership Council (WLC) advises the Vice President for Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Community Partnerships on institutional policies, objectives, procedures, and actions with regard to developing an equitable gender climate. The WLC's goals are (1) ensuring that women are included fully and equitably in all aspects of the life of the institution; and (2) promoting the development and well-being of all members of the University community in an atmosphere marked by collegiality, rigorous intellectual inquiry and self-examination, moral reflection, and fundamental human kindness. To do so, the WLC reports annually to the Vice President for Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Community Partnerships about the gender climate, opportunities for women, progress on efforts to achieve gender equality and how institutional initiatives, policies, and procedures affect women at the University.

In fulfilling its mission, the WLC shall undertake the following:

  • Recommend policies, procedures, programs, and priorities that will encourage the development of an institutional community that promotes and supports the full range of educational, employment, and research opportunities for women
  • Identify institutional practices and policies that may inhibit the ability of women students, faculty, and staff to contribute and participate as fully as they are capable in the educational and professional opportunities at the University, and recommend measures to eliminate inhibitory practices and policies
  • Review and comment on reports of the Office for Equal Opportunity and Civil Rights pertaining to the University's progress in meeting its equal opportunity and affirmative action obligations with respect to women
  • Recommend and advocate policies, procedures, and priorities to enhance the University's ability to undertake proactive, affirmative measures designed to encourage greater diversity in its student, faculty, staff, and leadership populations

UVA Chapter of the Virginia Network

The UVA Chapter of the Virginia Network of Women in Higher Education is a University-wide program that promotes leadership for women in Higher Education. The group is a sub-committee of the UVA Women's Leadership Council. This group supports the professional development of all women faculty, staff, and graduate students, from both the academic and Health System, with opportunities to network, learn from one another, and share common interests.

Learn More about the Virginia Network


Committee Structure

The Council, appointed by the Vice President for Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Community Partnerships, consists of:

13 faculty/staff members The following serve as ex-officio members without term:
  • Associate Vice President for Finance
  • Vice President and Chief Officer for Diversity and Equity
  • Vice President and Chief Human Resources Officer
  • Representatives of:
    • Office of the President
    • Office for Equal Opportunity and Civil Rights
    • Executive Vice President and Provost
    • Executive Vice President for Health Affairs
    • Vice President and Chief Student Affairs Officer 
    • Vice President for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (Executive Secretary)
Two at-large student members (one undergraduate student, one graduate student)
  • Abigail Palko, Chair, Director, Women’s Center
  • Hanadi Al-Samman, Associate Professor, Department of Middle Eastern & South Asian Language & Cultures
  • NyShae' Carter, Administrative Assistant for CFO & Programs, Center for Politics
  • Julie I. Caruccio, Associate Dean of Students, School of Engineering
  • Adeline Coe, Procurement Systems Manager, Procurement and Supplier Diversity Services
  • Anne Coughlin, Professor, UVA Law School
  • Pamela DeGuzman, Associate Professor of Nursing
  • Diane Farineau, Director of Graduate Medical Education
  • Camilla Fojas, Professor and Chair of Media Studies
  • Kirsten Gelsdorf, Professor of Practice of Public Policy and Director of Global Humanitarian Policy, Batten School of Leadership and Public Policy
  • Elyse Girard, Executive Director of Communications, UVA Library
  • Bonnie Gordon, Associate Professor, Music Department
  • Macy Lenox, Associate Dean of Undergraduate Admission, Office of Undergraduate Admissions
  • Emily Martin, Diversity and Inclusion Program Manager, Facilities Management
  • Karen Painter, Care Manager, Student Health, Counseling & Psychological Services (CAPS)
  • Janelle Perron Jennings, Director of Academic Operations, McIntire School of Commerce
  • Zakiah Pierre, Director of Student Engagement, Darden School of Business 
  • Brittney Whiteside, Executive Associate Athletics Director/SWA
Student Members
  • Ellen Yates, Undergraduate Student Representative
  • Maria Ali, Graduate Student Representative
  • Margaret P. Harden, Associate Vice Provost for Academic Administration 
  • Wendy Mbugua, Director of Clinical Operations, Cancer Center
  • Kevin G. McDonald, Vice President for Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Community Partnerships
  • Associate Vice President, Office for Equal Opportunity and Civil Rights
  • Melissa Frederick, Interim Associate Vice President of HR, UVA Health
  • Justina Duncan, Business Manager, Office of the President
  • Gail I. Prince-Davis, Executive Secretary (Administrative Assistant to the Vice President for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion)