Executive Director's Message

Dr. Veney Photo

I am honored and privileged to assume the position of Executive Director of the Center for Women, Gender and Global Leadership.  As the Inaugural Executive Director of the Center, I am following in the footsteps of the Founding Director Dr. J. Jarpa Dawuni.  We owe so much to the vision, energy, dedication, and commitment that Dr. Dawuni demonstrated and carried out in her three years at the helm of the Center.  She and her staff carried out the mission of Howard University and the Center by sponsoring seminars, summits, lectures, chats, symposia, exhibitions, roundtables, and much more.  She, along with the Center’s staff, Advisory Board, Global Council of Leaders, Executive Council, Student Ambassadors, and internal and external supporters, worked to ensure that excellence was achieved in research, service, and teaching on the myriad of issues that affect Black women in the United States and throughout the African Diaspora.

Let us all give a generous thank you to Dr. Dawuni for the hard work that she put into establishing the Center, grounding it firmly in the tradition of Black feminist intellectual thought, activities, and service, along with providing interdisciplinarity. 

I am delighted to join Howard University at this momentous time.  I hope that my more than two decades of teaching at both public and private universities in small, medium-sized, and large universities in traditional and interdisciplinary departments will allow me to mentor and work with students.  In addition, I taught and served as department chair in Nairobi, Kenya for five and a half years.  My teaching, research, service, and administrative experience will enable me to work with and collaborate with colleges, departments, centers, and units across Howard University.  The work of the Center has not been just about Howard University.  The Center remains committed to the original mission of the University—to serve the community.

The Center for Women, Gender, and Global Leadership will remain committed to Black women in the United States and throughout the African Diaspora.  All who participate in the Center’s activities and who encounter information on the Center’s work will learn the importance of interdisciplinary research and teaching to ensure effective outreach on the local, national, and global levels.  In sum, the Center will continue to sponsor and work with others to foster the development of skills and expertise that will allow Black women to be local, state, national, and global leaders.  Our goal is to meet students, faculty, and staff where they are.  Some may already recognize that they are leaders; others may know that they have the potential to become leaders.  Others will have to be supported and encouraged to reach their leadership potential.  Everyone will have a different and unique pathway to leadership. 

I look forward to meeting and working with you to continue to build on the achievements and accomplishments of the Center.

Cassandra Veney, Ph.D.

Executive Director Center for Women, Gender and Global Leadership