About the Governing Council

The National Women's Studies Association (NWSA) is governed by a Governing Council (GC) comprised of the Executive Committee (EC), Members-at Large, and the chairs/co-chairs of the Lesbian Caucus and the Women of Color Caucus respectively. The GC serves as the NWSA board of directors and are often referred to as "the Board". As such, the GC has all the authority and responsibilities usually assigned to such a body and as set forth in law, Articles of Incorporation, bylaws, and other policy documents. We encourage you to explore our Association Bylaws and other pertinent materials below.

Each member of our Governing Council (GC) serves two-year terms with our President serving an addition ex-officio year of service on the GC. NWSA recognizes the breadth and depth of how our members engage in women's, gender, and sexuality studies - therefore we welcome any interested members in serving on the GC and encourage you to nominate a colleague or run for a position during our annual Elections season. The Association is proud of over 40 Constituency Groups that coordinate space for community, collaboration, and scholarly work. Members interested in joining or leading a Constituency Group can explore more resources here.

For more information regarding governing structure please click the links below.


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Advisory Board

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Strategic Plan

Link here


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The National Office

The Governing Council, and the Association as a whole, is supported and anchored by the staff in the National Office. The team oversees daily operations, conference planning, membership support and engagement, and fosters collaborative relationships with stakeholders. 

About the National Office

Governing Council Members

Heidi R. Lewis

President, 2023-2025

Dr. Heidi R. Lewis (She/her) is David & Lucile Packard Professor of Feminist & Gender Studies at Colorado College. Her areas of specialization are Feminist Theory and Politics (emphasis on Black Feminism), Hip Hop Discourse (emphasis on Rap), and Critical Media Studies.

After earning a Ph.D. in American Studies and a certificate in Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies at Purdue University, Dr. Lewis became a dissertation fellow in Feminist & Gender Studies. After serving as Visiting Assistant Professor the following year, she entered the tenure-track during the 2012-13 AY and earned tenure during the 2017-18 AY. She also served as department chair from 2016-22 AY, including terms as interim and associate chair. She regularly teaches Introduction to Feminist & Gender Studies, Feminist Theory, Critical Media Studies, Black Feminist Theory, Hidden Spaces, Hidden Narratives: Intersectionality Studies in Berlin (study abroad), Hip Hop and Feminism, Critical Race Feminism, and Critical Whiteness Studies.

Currently, she is working on a single-authored manuscript, “Make Rappers Rap Again!: Interrogating the Mumble Rap ‘Crisis’” (under contract with Oxford University Press) and a documentary on her experiences coming of age in northeast Ohio during the crack cocaine epidemic. Previously, she co-authored In Audre's Footsteps: Transnational Kitchen Table Talk; published in The Cultural Impact of Kanye West, the Journal of Popular Culture, the Journal of Black Sexuality and Relationships, and Unteilbar: Bündnisse gegen Rassismus; and authored forthcoming essays on VH1’s Love & Hip Hop and “expertise” in Women’s and Gender Studies. She has also contributed to NewBlackMan, NPR, Ms.Bitch, and Act Out and given talks at Vanderbilt, the Motherhood Initiative for Research and Community Involvement, the University of Georgia, the Kampagne für Opfer Rassistischer Polizeigewalt, and other organizations in the U.S., Canada, and Berlin.

Dr. Lewis has been an active member of the National Women’s Studies Association for the past 15 years, starting with her participation in the Women of Color Leadership Project in 2008. In addition to being selected to attend the Curriculum Institute in 2014 and regularly attending the Chairs and Directors Meeting since 2018, she also served as Secretary position from 2021-2022. She is honored and excited to serve as President from 2023-2025. As she noted during the 2023 membership assembly meeting, “As your President, I will remain committed to centering the most vulnerable, ensuring they are engaged and supported, not merely seen rather than heard and felt. I do not, never have, and never will claim to have all the experiences and expertise required to do so, which is why I remain committed to collaboration, solidarity, accountability, and reciprocity. I know I am because we are. I also know my leadership will be guided by the ancestral wisdom of Audre Lorde, Grace Lee Boggs, Marsha P. Johnson, Fatema Mernissi, Ika Hügel-Marshall, Sylvia Rivera, bell hooks, Lorelei DeCora Means, and so many others. At the same time, my work will necessarily be done in the spirit of patience, as well as thoughtful and intentional urgency, for as the late great Toni Cade Bambara reminds us, ‘Not all speed is movement.’”

Stephanie Troutman Robbins

Vice President, 2023-2025

Dr. Stephanie Troutman Robbins (she/her) is a Black feminist scholar, mother and first-generation college student. She is the Department Head of Gender & Women’s Studies at the University of Arizona and she is Associate Professor of Emerging Literacies in Rhetoric, Composition & the Teaching of English. English. She is a formally affiliated faculty member in Africana Studies, Teaching, Learning & Sociocultural Studies, Africana Studies and the LGBT Institute. She received a dual PhD in Curriculum & Instruction and Women’s Studies from the Pennsylvania State University in 2011. A former high school and middle grades public school teacher, Stephanie is a scholar-activist who has been recognized across a variety of community and campus spaces for her mentorship, student advocacy, and social justice leadership. Her passion is working with marginalized students in the university setting at both the graduate and undergraduate levels. She is the recipient of the UA Likins Award (2017), the Student Affairs Faculty Impact Award (2017) and the Dr. Maria Teresa Velez Outstanding Mentor Award (2019). Stephanie is also an alum of the University of Arizona’s Academic Leadership Institute (2017-18 cohort) and she currently serves as the Chair of the University of Arizona Faculty Senate’s Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Committee. 

Dr. Troutman Robbins is the former director of two outreach projects between the University of Arizona and Tucson schools: Wildcat Writers (2015- 2020) and and the Southern Arizona Writing Project (2015-2020.) These partnership programs serve the local community by focusing on Title 1 schools and providing them with opportunities for professional development, academic resources, and programming rooted in diversity, equity and inclusion through writing. 

Her research interests include literacies focused on social justice, feminist pedagogy, critical race theory, film studies, Black feminist theory, schooling, identity/ies and education. She is co-author of the 2018 book, Narratives of Family Assets, Community Gifts, & Cultural Endowments: Re-Imagining the Invisible Knapsack (Lexington Press) and co-editor of the forthcoming book, Race & Ethnicity in US Television (ABC-CLIO/Greenwood Press) scheduled for publication in Spring 2021.  Her research has been published in the Journal of Girlhood Studies (GHS), the Journal of Race Ethnicity & Education (REE), Meridians: Feminism, Race and Transnationalism, Taboo: the Journal of Culture and Education, and in the Journal of Literacy & Social Responsibility.

Karma Chávez

Treasurer, 2022-2024

Karma R. Chávez (she/her) teaches, writes, and currently serves as chair in the Department of Mexican American and Latina/o Studies at the University of Texas at Austin where she also holds several affiliate faculty appointments. Working with colleagues across UT’s College of Liberal Arts, Chávez has been helping to create a new initiative called GRIDS (Gender, Race, Indigeneity, Disability, and Sexuality Studies), designed to foster relationships among those who study these and other systems of power. In the summer of 2019, Chávez helped to create the new Michigan State University Press journal, Rhetoric, Politics, and Culture. She has published four co-edited volumes; a book of interviews called Palestine on the Air (U of Illinois Press, 2019); and monographs entitled Queer Migration Politics: Activist Rhetoric and Coalitional Possibilities (U of Illinois Press, 2013) and The Borders of AIDS: Race, Quarantine, and Resistance (U of Washington Press, 2021).

Erica L. Williams

Secretary, 2022-2024

Erica L. Williams (she/her) is Professor of Anthropology at Spelman College. She has a Ph.D. and M.A. in Cultural Anthropology from Stanford University, and a B.A. in Anthropology and Africana Studies from New York University. She is the author of Sex Tourism in Bahia: Ambiguous Entanglements (2013). She is co-editor of The Second Generation of African American Pioneers in Anthropology (2018) along with Ira Harrison and Deborah Johnson-Simon, and Speechifying: The Words and Legacy of Johnnetta Betsch Cole, along with Celeste Watkins-Hayes and Johnnetta Betsch Cole (Duke University Press, August 2023). 

She has also published peer-reviewed journal articles in Feminist Anthropology, Transforming Anthropology, Feminist Studies, Gender, Place, and Culture; and several book chapters in edited volumes. She is currently writing an ethnography of Black feminist activism in Salvador, Bahia, and an autoethnographic travel memoir. She is the Book and Film Review Editor for Transforming Anthropology, the journal of the Association of Black Anthropologists (ABA), and Secretary of the National Women’s Studies Association (NWSA). Winner of the Vulcan Teaching Excellence Award, she teaches courses on gender and sexuality, race and identity in Latin America, globalization, and feminist ethnography. She is an Advisory Board Member for VidaAfroLatinaan emerging international women’s fund that mobilizes resources and connects them with Afro-descendant women-led organizations in Latin America that address sexual violence.  

Montiniquë McEachern

Lesbian Caucus Chair, 2024-2026

Dr. Montiniquë “Money” McEachern (her/she/hers)  is a sister, daughter, and Black lesbian feminist whose work centers on intergenerational healing through creating and facilitating spaces rooted in Black women’s ways of theorizing through storytelling. Originally from Queens, NY, Dr. Money has called many places home - from Alabama, to Philadelphia, and currently Syracuse, NY. By day she is a licensed couple and relational therapist with over a decade of clinical experience working relationally with queer folks of color. On other days, she is an award winning educator, podcast host and producer, independently podcasting on "QueerWOC the Podcast" - a podcast about the political healing of queer women of color - and partnering with EditAudio to create "Rebound Revolution" - a not so sports podcast about the WNBA. She is an alum of Auburn University and survived her PhD program at Syracuse University where her dissertation study titled "Revolutionships", created the first clinical model for working with queer women of color couples in therapy. When she is not hosting a podcast or working, she can be found scrolling #WNBATwitter, nerding out over music, or using crystals for meditation. Dr. Money is a proud ratchet Virgo with influential Capricorn placements and is continually made possible by the love of her friends. 

Lisa Covington

Women of Color Caucus Co-Chair, 2019-2024

Lisa Covington (she/her) is an alumna of Clarion University of Pennsylvania, where she studied Social Change, Communications, Women’s Studies, and Sociology. "All the Girls are White, All the Blacks are Male: Qualitative Experiences of Black Girls…" was research she published at San Diego State University. Lisa works throughout the country with youth development programs training teachers and staff best practices for working with young people of color and provides technical support to institutions on issues of diversity, gender equity, and cultural responsiveness.

See Dr. Covington' faculty page here.

Valerie Taylor

Women of Color Caucus Co-Chair, 2021-2024

Valerie Taylor, (she/her) Ed.D, APR,  is currently an Assistant Professor in Residence, Interdisciplinary, Gender and Ethnic Studies at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, where she teaches African American Studies, Gender and Sexuality Studies and Graduate Education courses. She earned her Ed.D from Northeastern University, M.P.A. from NOVA Southeastern University, B.A. from Howard University and is certified to teach yoga. In addition to teaching, she focuses her public affairs work on supporting Black cultural spaces, Black wellness, women leaders and culturally responsive and equitable education. She hasheld leadership positions in national and local non-profits, colleges and government agencies across the U.SShe currently serves as the NWSA Women of Color Caucus Co-Chair, Contingent Faculty Interest Group Chair and the Women of Color Leadership Project Co-Chair. Her recent work includes a chapter in A Second Helping of Gumbo For My Soul II, published in 2020.

Jessica Pabón-Colón

Member at Large (2023-2024)

Jessica Nydia Pabón-Colón (she/ella) is Associate Professor of Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies at SUNY New Paltz in New York. Her aim is to utilize her privileged position within academia to amplify, foster, and co-create practices of liberation from white settler cisheteropatriarchal ideologies and institutions. Her book, Graffiti Grrlz: Performing Feminism in the Hip Hop Diaspora (NYU Press, 2018) is the first academic study on women’s participation within Hip Hop graffiti art subculture. Her essays appear in Frontiers: A Journal of Women StudiesSigns: Journal of Women in Culture and SocietyWomen & Performance: a journal of feminist theoryPerformance ResearchTheatre History Studies, and TDR: the journal of performance studies. She is currently working on an edited anthology on Puerto Rican Feminisms.

Dominique C. Hill

Member at Large, 2023-2024

Dominique C. Hill, PhD, is a scholar-creative and vulnerability guide invested in intergenerational dialogues, practices toward indivisible freedom, as well as creative and culturally-located methodologies. Hill’s written and performed scholarship interrogates twenty-first century Black girlhood with a focus on embodiment. In Hill’s scholarship, the body functions as a central way of knowing and site of unlearning and retooling.

Raised by three generations of women who know the power of prayer and libations, Hill’s living, art, and research is grounded in collectivity and imagination. Hill continues this intergenerational and spiritual work as a homegirl of Saving Our Lives, Hear Our Truths (SOLHOT), a core collective member of Street Dance Activism, the divine guide of the 28 Day Global Dance Meditation, and as co-visionary of Hill L. Waters (HLW). An arts-based research collaborative that enacts Black queer world making as embodied pedagogy, HLW conducts workshops and uses performance ethnography to write and
narrate works dedicated to Black liberation. Hill is co-author of the recently published Performative Intergenerational Dialogues of a Black Quartet (Routledge, 2022) and Who look at me?!: Shifting the Gaze of Education Through Blackness, Queerness, and the Body (Brill|Sense, 2019). Through research, pedagogy, and praxis, Hill extends the field of Black Girlhood Studies as an assistant professor of Women’s Studies at Colgate University. @Drhillgroove (on Instagram)

Kristina Gupta

Member at Large, 2023-2025

Dr. Kristina Gupta (she/they) is an Associate Professor in the Department of Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies at Wake Forest University. Her research and teaching interests are in the areas of sexuality studies, feminist theory, feminist studies of science and medicine, and disability studies. She teaches courses such as “Sexual Politics in the U.S.,” “Gender and the Politics of Health,” and “Men, Masculinity, and Power.” She is currently working on a book project about asexuality, compulsory sexuality, and science. Her first book, Medical Entanglements: Rethinking Feminist Debates about Healthcare (Rutgers University Press, 2019), uses intersectional feminist, queer, and crip theory to move beyond “for or against” approaches to medical intervention. She is also a co-editor of Queer Feminist Science Studies: A Reader (The University of Washington Press, 2017), and her articles have been published in Signs: The Journal of Women in Culture and Society, the Journal of Medical Humanities, the American Journal of Bioethics: Neuroscience, the Journal of Lesbian Studies, and Feminism & Psychology, among others. She has a PhD from Emory University in Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies, an MA from Rutgers University in Women’s and Gender Studies, and a BA from Georgetown University in Women’s Studies and History.


At Wake Forest, she is co-director of the WFU DIsability Studies Initiative and killsjoy as the coordinator of an activist group of faculty, staff, and students called Wake Forward. She is a loving and well-intentioned parent of a nine-year-old. Dr. Gupta is a longtime committed member of NWSA, including serving as co-chair of the NWSA Asexuality Studies Interest Group and organizing Asexuality Studies Interest Group sponsored panels as well as other asexuality-studies related panels. She has served every year as an NWSA graduate student mentor since 2015.

Latoya Lee

Member at Large, 2023-2025

Dr. Latoya Lee (she/her) is a assistant professor in the Department of Women and Gender Studies at California State University, Fullerton. Dr. Lee received her B.A. and accelerated M.A. degree in Sociology from St. John’s University, and her Ph.D. in Sociology at SUNY Binghamton, where she was awarded a competitive diversity fellowship. As a scholar, her research focuses on the ways in which people of color use social media for political organizing, social transformation, the (re)making of value systems and resistant possibilities.

Tied to her research and experience, as a first-generation Afro-Caribbean woman, Dr. Lee is sensitive to issues of diversity and multiculturalism in the classroom and makes a concerted effort to encourage students to open their minds to new ways of seeing. To meet this end, her pedagogical approach promotes the idea that a new way of seeing is inseparable from reading a diverse body of texts as well as be(com)ing attentive to their own physical bodies, and how they differ from those of others.

Dr. Lee has been invited to speak at various venues, public radio and have shared her work at various academic conferences.

Past Leadership

The National Women's Studies Association (NWSA) became an official incorporated non-profit (a 501c3) on May 18,1978 and has since grown through the leadership and service of over 470 activists, artists, educators, and luminaries that represent(ed) the utility and reach of a women's, gender, and sexuality studies-grounded education. 

We find it vital to highlight past Association leaders on the Governing Council to illustrate the multivocality of the field and their contributions to the impact of NWSA.

View Past Governing Council Members