Alums Leading the Way

Mount Holyoke alums have been opening doors, breaking barriers and launching into the world as leaders since the founding of the College. Our graduates are leading the way — in the boardroom and in the classroom, in the lab and in public service, in the field and on the runway. Every day alums are lifting up others, calling out injustices and advocating for change.

Launching Leadership

In celebration of the achievements of our alums and to highlight the many ways Mount Holyoke prepares its graduates to lead in the world, we present a conversation series between interim President Beverly Daniel Tatum and a diverse group of graduates. These alums exemplify an intellectually adventurous Mount Holyoke education in action. Their interviews will be posted to this page as soon as they are available.

See all Launching Leadership conversations

Addison Beaux ’99

Addison Beaux serves as an executive leadership, strategic communication and management consulting asset. Before becoming a Silicon Valley entrepreneur, he served as a staffer to Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords, speechwriter to the President and Board of Trustees at Stanford University, congressional liaison and speechwriter at the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and lead researcher at the Center for Economic Integrity. Addison is trained as a child and family therapist and is also a celebrated storyteller and public speaker.

Read Addison's story

Charisse Pickron ’08 and Kira Banks ’00

Charisse Pickron ’08 is an assistant professor at the Institute of Child Development, University of Minnesota Twin Cities. As the director of the Child Brain and Perception Lab, Charisse and her team examine the ways in which social experiences shape how infants and children perceive and represent people in their environment to better understand the way early experiences influence face perception and how young children begin to respond to and understand social constructs such as gender and race.

Kira Banks ’00 is co-founder of the Institute for Healing Justice and Equity at Saint Louis University, where she is a professor in the Department of Psychology. She also served as a racial equity consultant for the Ferguson Commission and continued as the Racial Equity Catalyst for Forward Through Ferguson. Her research, teaching and facilitation around equity, diversity and inclusion have helped frame racial equity in the St. Louis region and beyond.

Read about Charisse and Kira

Tahmima Anam ’97

Tahmima Anam’s first novel, "A Golden Age," won the Commonwealth Writers Prize and went on to be translated into 27 languages. It was followed by "The Good Muslim," "The Bones of Grace," and most recently, "The Startup Wife." She is the recipient of an O. Henry Award and has been named one of Granta’s best young British novelists. She was a contributing opinion writer for The New York Times and was recently elected as a fellow of the Royal Society of Literature. Born in Dhaka, Bangladesh, she now lives in London.

Read Tahmima’s story

Monica Landry ’90 and Farah Khan ’98

Monica Landry ’90 joined Farallon Capital Management in January 1994, where she began her career in the accounting department and office management. After two years, she transitioned to start the operations group and began trading. In 2001, she was promoted to Partner and led the Trading and Operations Department until she retired in December 2019. Prior to joining Farallon, she worked in a variety of finance and office management roles at Brigham & Women’s Hospital and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).

Farah Khan ’98 is a Partner at L Catterton, where she focuses on consumer growth investing in Latin America. Prior to joining L Catterton, she was a Vice President at Sandler Capital Management, where she specialized in growth equity, leveraged buyouts and financings of middle market companies. Prior to that, Farah worked at Apax Partners and in the Investment Banking Division of Goldman Sachs. She has held a number of volunteer positions at Mount Holyoke, and currently serves as a member of the Mount Holyoke College Board of Trustees. She also sits on the Global Advisory Board for Womensphere.

Read about Monica and Farah

Caitlin Lambert ’09

Caitlin Lambert ’09 is the executive director and co-founder of the Children’s Legal Defense Center, a nonprofit legal assistance organization in Hargeisa, Somaliland, that defends wrongfully imprisoned children. Lambert previously served as a legal officer and advisor for the Horizon Institute, developing and managing a criminal justice paralegal program that provided legal assistance to more than 3,000 detainees in Somaliland. Lambert earned a juris doctorate from Villanova University and a master’s degree in international human rights law from the University of Oxford.

Lambert is a recipient of the 2023 Mary Lyon Award from the Alumnae Association, along with Umama Zillur ’18, Mayesha Alam ’10 and Veronika Kivenson FP’13.

Read Caitlin’s story

Lessons in leadership

Mount Holyoke alums are leading in varied and nuanced ways and using their spheres of influence for good — through professional achievements, volunteer experiences, advocacy work, special passions/projects, and more. We want our community to hear these important stories.

Please use this form to share your story or to recommend a friend, classmate or colleague.

Alums in the News

Demonstrating leadership

Mount Holyoke College students were honored at the annual Leadership and Service Awards ceremony for their contributions to the community.

Mount Holyoke alum Caitlin Lambert ’09 is working to free children from prison while also advocating for juvenile justice reform in Somaliland.

Two Mount Holyoke alums and members of its Board of Trustees met with Interim President Beverly Daniel Tatum to discuss finance careers, changing plans and leaps of faith at the latest Launching Leadership conversation on April 11.

How will you make your mark?

Mount Holyoke alums have always blazed trails and challenged the status quo. Scientists. CEOs. Politicians. Entrepreneurs. Pulitzer-Prize winners. Oscar winners. And everything in between.

Alison Rogers Cofe ’12

Alison Rogers Cove

Class of 2012

Founder of USEFULL

Read Alison’s story

Aimée Eubanks Davis

Aimée Eubanks Davis

Class of 1995

Founder of Braven

Read Aimée‘s story

Debra Martin Chase

Debra Martin Chase

Class of 1977

Tony Award-winning producer

Read Debra's story

Umama Zillur

Umama Zillur

Class of 2018

Co-founder and leader of Kotha, an organization dedicated to ending the culture of gender-based violence in Bangladesh

Read Umama’s story

Kaneka Turner ”16

Kaneka Turner

Class of 2016

Founder of educational consulting company ReImage

Read Kaneka’s story

Veronika Kivenson

Veronika Kivenson

Class of 2013

Postdoctoral fellow at Oregon State University and recipient of the Tory Burch Fellowship from the Innovative Genomics Institute

Read Veronika's story

Gabi Gregg

Gabi Gregg

Class of 2008

Fashion blogger and designer and advocate for the representation of plus-size Black women in fashion spaces

Read Gabi's story

Chloé Zhao

Chloé Zhao

Class of 2005

The first woman of color to win an Academy Award for best director

Read Chloé’s story

Natasha Mohanty ’03

Natasha Mohanty

Class of 2003

Head of engineering for checkout experiences at Stripe, a financial infrastructure platform

Read Natasha’s story

Rumbi Bwerinofa-Petrozzello

Rumbi Bwerinofa-Petrozzello

Class of 1994

The first woman of color to serve as president of the New York State Society of Certified Public Accountants

Read Rumbi's story

Sheila Lirio Marcelo

Sheila Lirio Marcelo

Class of 1993

Entrepreneur and founder of

Read Sheila's story

Tara Roberts ’91

Tara Roberts

Class of 1991

2022 Rolex National Geographic Explorer of the Year

Read Tara's story

Mona Sutphen ’89

Mona Sutphen

Class of 1989

Partner and Head of Investment Strategies, The Vistria Group

Read Mona's story

Deborah Harkness photo by Scarlett Freund

Deborah Harkness, Ph.D.

Class of 1986

Best-selling fiction author, TV producer and professor of history

Read Deborah's story

Suzan-Lori Parks

Suzan-Lori Parks

Class of 1985

First Black woman to win the Pulitzer Prize for Drama

Read Suzan-Lori's story

Holly Metcalf ’81

Holly Metcalf

Class of 1981

Top crew coach and champion in expanding access to the sport of rowing

Read Holly's story

Susan Kare

Susan Kare

Class of 1975

Pioneer of pixel art and graphical computer interface

Read Susan's story

Wendy Wasserstein

Wendy Wasserstein

Class of 1971

Tony-winning playwright and Pulitzer Prize winner

Read Wendy's story

Barbara Smith, class of 1969

Barbara Smith

Class of 1969

Co-founder of the Combahee River Collective and co-author of the Combahee River Collective Statement

Read Barbara's story

Janet Litster Rideout

Janet Litster Rideout

Class of 1961

Organic chemist and patent holder of AZT

Read Janet's story

Nita Lowey ’59

Nita Lowey

Class of 1959

U.S. Representative and the first woman to chair the House Appropriations Committee

Read Nita's story

Jean Sammet, class of 1948

Jean Sammet

Class of 1948

Co-developer of the computer programming language COBOL

Read Jean's story

Ella Grasso

Ella Grasso

Class of 1940

First woman elected U.S. state governor in her own right

Read Ella's story

Virginia Apgar

Virginia Apgar

Class of 1929

Inventor of the Apgar Score for newborns

Read Virginia's story

Frances Perkins, class of 1902

Frances Perkins

Class of 1902

First woman Cabinet member, U.S. Secretary of Labor and creator of Social Security

Read Frances' story

Emily Dickinson

Class of 1849

One of the greatest and most original poets of all time

Read Emily's story