Keynote speakers

We are delighted to announce the keynote speakers for this conference: Dr Purna Sen and Dr Kathryn Clancy.

Dr. Kathryn Clancy is an Associate Professor of Anthropology at the University of Illinois. Clancy runs an intersectional feminist biology lab with the goal of understanding how modern environments influence women and gender minority reproductive physiology, health, and well-being. Clancy’s main field sites are the Mogielica Human Ecology Study Site in rural Poland, where she has worked since 2002, and the Girls Adventures in Math, Engineering, and Science (GAMES) summer camp in Urbana, Illinois, a longitudinal research project in its fifth year.

Clancy’s critical research on the culture of science has also received widespread attention. She and her colleagues have revealed the widespread prevalence of sexual harassment and assault in the field sciences, astronomy, and planetary science, as well as the ways in which sexual harassment drives women from their careers. She served on the National Academy of Sciences Committee to Address Sexual Harassment in the Sciences, which released their report in June. Clancy was named one of Nature’s “10 most influential scientists” in 2013, and received the Gender Equity Award from the American Anthropological Association in 2018. Much of her public intellectual work takes place online, with a popular Twitter feed at @KateClancy, a website and blog at www.kateclancy.com, and Period Podcast, a podcast about women and gender minority health. Clancy is under contract with Princeton University Press for a book on the evolutionary medicine of the menstrual cycle, forthcoming in 2020. She has two wonderful daughters and a roller derby addiction.

Dr. Purna Sen is UN Women’s Executive Coordinator and Spokesperson on Addressing Sexual Harassment and Other Forms of Discrimination since April 2018. In her current role, she focuses on placing women’s experiences at the heart of work on sexual harassment and bring survivor-focused approaches to the fore, in order to coordinate UN-Women’s efforts towards decisive action on this pressing issue, which at its core tackles the gendered nature of power and the need to ensure justice and dignity for women at work.

Prior to this appointment, Dr. Purna Sen was the Director of Policy at UN Women where she was responsible for direction, leadership and management of the Policy Division as well as the UN Women Training Centre. She has over 30 years’ experience in capacity building, service delivery and evaluation review, teaching, advocacy and research publishing.

Her work has included research, publications and activism on violence against women, culture and human rights, trafficking, sexuality and sexual control, human rights, developments, civil society organizing against violence, and social development issues and race equality in the UK. She has consulted with organizations including Article 19 and the British Council, and been on the management and advisory groups of NGOs including the Refugee Women’s Resource Project and Southall Black Sisters. Purna was previously a board member of the Kaleidoscope Trust (an LGBT rights charity), RISE (a domestic abuse charity) and the Commonwealth Human Rights Initiative. Prior to UN Women, Purna was Deputy Director of the Institute of Public Affairs at the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE) where she also taught gender and development. Previously she served as Head of Human Rights for the Commonwealth Secretariat and as Director for the Asia-Pacific Programme at Amnesty International. During the 2015 UK, general election, Purna was a parliamentary candidate for the Brighton Pavilion constituency. She also has a PhD from Bristol University on the subject of Violence Against Women.