Birnbaum Women's Leadership Center

BWLC Leadership


Melissa Murray
Faculty Director

Melissa Murray

Melissa Murray is the Frederick I. and Grace Stokes Professor of Law at NYU and faculty director of the Birnbaum Women’s Leadership Center. Murray is a graduate of the University of Virginia, where she was a Jefferson Scholar and an Echols Scholar, and Yale Law School, where she was notes development editor of the Yale Law Journal and earned special recognition as an NAACP-LDF/Shearman & Sterling Scholar. Following law school, Murray clerked for Sonia Sotomayor, then of the US Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit, and Stefan Underhill of the US District Court for the District of Connecticut. Murray teaches constitutional law, family law, criminal law, and reproductive rights and justice, and her research focuses on the legal regulation of sex and sexuality and encompasses such topics as marriage and its alternatives, the marriage equality debate, the legal recognition of caregiving, and reproductive rights and justice. Her publications have appeared (or are forthcoming) in the California Law Review, Columbia Law Review, Harvard Law Review, and Yale Law Journal, among others. She is an author of Cases on Reproductive Rights and Justice, the first casebook to cover the field of reproductive rights and justice. She has also written for the New York Times, Vanity Fair, and the Huffington Post, and has offered commentary for NPR, MSNBC, and PBS, among other media outlets. In 2010, Murray was awarded the Association of American Law School’s Derrick A. Bell Award, which is given to a junior faculty member who has made an extraordinary contribution to legal education, the legal system, or social justice. Murray was previously on the faculty of the University of California, Berkeley, School of Law, where she was the recipient of the Rutter Award for Teaching Distinction. From March 2016 to June 2017, she served as interim dean of Berkeley Law. Twitter: @ProfMMurray

Jennifer Weiss-Wolf
Executive Director

BWLN Executive Director Jennifer Weiss-Wolf

Attorney and author Jennifer Weiss-Wolf joined the Birnbaum Women’s Leadership Center in 2022 as executive director. Prior she was vice president and the inaugural women and democracy fellow at the Brennan Center for Justice at NYU Law. She also leads partnerships and strategy at Ms. – the feminist movement-making magazine. A passionate writer on and advocate for issues of gender and politics, Weiss-Wolf was dubbed the “architect of the U.S. campaign to squash the tampon tax” by Newsweek. She has presented on issues related to her area of expertise – menstruation and the law – at the White House and before Congress, as well as in state legislatures and major city governmental bodies; she works closely with domestic and global leaders, advocates, and innovators in pursuing policy reforms. Her 2017 book Periods Gone Public: Taking a Stand for Menstrual Equity was lauded by Gloria Steinem as “the beginning of liberation for us all.” Her forthcoming book, Period. Full Stop. The Politics of Menopause will be published by NYU Press (2025). Weiss-Wolf’s scholarship and writing have been published by the NYU Review of Law and Social Change, Columbia Journal of Gender and Law, and William and Mary Journal of Race, Gender, and Social Justice. Her writing and work have also been featured in the New York TimesWashington PostLos Angeles Times, TIMECosmopolitanHarper’s BazaarTeen Vogue, NPR, PBS, and NowThis, among others. Weiss-Wolf received her JD from Cardozo Law School, where she was editor-in-chief of the Cardozo Women’s Law Journal, and her BA in government from Lafayette College. Twitter: @jweisswolf

Sheri Arnold
Deputy Director of Advocacy and Institutional Initiatives

Sheri Arnold

Sheri Arnold is the deputy director of advocacy and institutional initiatives for the Birnbaum Women’s Leadership Center at NYU School of Law. With a passion for gender equity, she joined the BWLC in 2023 to help strengthen and deepen the Center’s advocacy work, strategic partnerships, and institutional engagement. She has prior experience building institutional capacity working in development at the Brennan Center for Justice, also housed at NYU School of Law, which works to reform and revitalize our country’s systems of democracy and justice. She also has experience in the tech startup sector cultivating relationships, managing projects, and streamlining operations and processes. Sheri holds a BS in Community and Nonprofit Leadership and a Certificate in Gender and Women’s Studies from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. 

Shirley Dang
Assistant Director of Program Initiatives

Shirley Dang

Shirley Dang is the assistant director of program initiatives for the Meltzer Center for Diversity, Inclusion, and Belonging and the Birnbaum Women's Leadership Center (BWLC) at NYU School of Law. She has been with the Meltzer Center since its inception in 2016 assisting the directors with event planning and administrative matters. She has prior professional experience working in education and medical nonprofits, and managing grant portfolios for a philanthropic fund. She holds a BA in Asian and Asian American Studies from Stony Brook University, an MA in International Education from NYU Steinhardt, and an MPA in Public and Nonprofit Management specializing in social impact, investment, and innovation from NYU Wagner.

Claire Whitman
Assistant Director of Strategic and Student Initiatives

Claire Whitman

Claire Whitman is the assistant director of strategic and student initiatives for the Birnbaum Women’s Leadership Center and the Meltzer Center for Diversity, Inclusion, and Belonging at NYU Law. She has been with the BWLC since its inception in 2018 and joined the Meltzer Center in December 2022. She came to the Law School in 2015 as leadership initiatives coordinator; in this position, she helped implement a wide range of leadership programming, including workshops for students and law firms, as well as conversations with notable guest speakers. Prior to NYU Law, Claire spent three years working as the assistant to the president of a small cultural nonprofit in New York City before attending graduate school. She graduated from Oberlin College with a BA in politics and received an MA in political communications from Goldsmiths, University of London. She recently received an advanced certificate in management for public and non-profit organizations at NYU Wagner.

Visiting Fellows-in-Residence (AY 2023-24)

Rose Cuison-Villazor

Rose Cuison-Villazor is Professor of Law and Chancellor’s Social Justice Scholar at Rutgers Law School. She was formerly Interim Co-Dean (2021-2023) and Vice Dean (2019-2021). Professor Cuison-Villazor is also Director of the Center for Immigration Law, Policy, and Social Justice, which conducts publicly engaged research and policy work on behalf of noncitizens and their families. During the 2023-2024 academic year, she will serve as a Visiting Fellow-in-Residence at the Birnbaum Women’s Leadership Center (BWLC) at NYU School of Law. While at BWLC, she will work on a book project that explores the extent to which mid-20th century immigration, military, and citizenship laws deployed race and gender to separate mixed-race families from living together in the United States. Professor Cuison-Villazor’s overall research agenda examines laws, policies, and norms that determine membership and belonging. She teaches and writes in the areas of immigration and citizenship law, property law, critical race theory, Asian Americans and the law, U.S. territorial law, and equal protection law. Professor Cuison-Villazor’s scholarship has appeared or will appear in top law journals in the country, including California Law Review, Columbia Law Review, Fordham Law Review, Harvard Law Review Forum, Michigan Law Review, Minnesota Law Review, New York University Law Review, North Carolina Law Review, Southern California Law Review, Washington University Law Review, William and Mary Law Review, and University of California Davis Law Review. Her books include Race and Races, Cases and Resources for a Diverse America (4th Ed.) (with Juan Perea, Richard Delgado, and Osamudia James) (2022); Integrating Spaces: Property, race, and Identity (with Al Brophy and Kali Murray) (forthcoming 2023); The Immigration and Nationality Act of 1965: Legislating a New America (with Gabriel “Jack” Chin) (Cambridge University Press) 2015) and Loving v. Virginia in a Post-Racial World: Rethinking Race, Sex, and Marriage (with Kevin Maillard) (Cambridge University Press 2012). Professor Cuison-Villazor obtained her LLM from Columbia Law School and JD from American University.

Kimberly Mutcherson

Kimberly Mutcherson is a Professor of Law and former Co-Dean at Rutgers Law School in Camden. She was the first woman, the first Black person, and the first member of the LGBTQ community to be a Dean at Rutgers Law. Professor Mutcherson is a reproductive justice scholar whose work focuses on assisted reproduction and abortion among other topics. Cambridge University Press released her edited volume, Feminist Judgments: Reproductive Justice Rewritten in 2020. In 2023, Professor Mutcherson received the Trailblazer Award from the New Jersey Women Lawyer’s Association. Professor Mutcherson was a co-recipient of the 2021 M. Shanara Gilbert Human Rights Award from the Society of American Law Teachers and the 2020 Association of American Law Schools inaugural Impact Award as one of the creators of the Law Deans Antiracist Clearinghouse Project. Also in 2021, the Rutgers Law School Black Law Students Association honored her with the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Champions of Social Justice Award and the Association of Black Women Lawyers of New Jersey celebrated her as a Distinguished Changemaker. Professor Mutcherson received the Center for Reproductive Rights Innovation in Scholarship Award in 2013, a Chancellor’s Teaching Excellence Award in 2011, and the Women’s Law Caucus Faculty Appreciation Award in 2011 and 2014. Professor Mutcherson has been a Senior Fellow/Sabbatical Visitor at the Center for Gender and Sexuality Law at Columbia Law School and a Visiting Scholar at the Center for Bioethics at the University of Pennsylvania. She earned her BA from the University of Pennsylvania and her JD from Columbia Law School. Upon graduation from Columbia, she received the Kirkland and Ellis Fellowship for post-graduate public interest work. Prior to entering academia, Professor Mutcherson was a consulting attorney at the Center for Reproductive Rights and a Staff Attorney at the HIV Law Project.

Affiliated Faculty

Florencia Marrotta-Wurgler

Florencia Marotta-Wurgler ’01 is the Boxer Family Professor of Law at NYU Law and the faculty director of NYU Law Abroad in Buenos Aires. A former faculty co-director of the Birnbaum Women’s Leadership Center, she continues to support the BWLC through empirical research and supervision of the Abby Lyn Gillette Research Assistantship. Her teaching and research interests are contracts, consumer privacy, electronic commerce, and law and economics. Her published research has addressed various problems associated with standard form contracts online, such as the effectiveness of disclosure regimes and whether people read the fine print. She is currently working on a large empirical project on consumer privacy policies online and on the effectiveness of the Federal Trade Commission’s privacy enforcement actions. In 2009, she testified before the US Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation at a hearing titled, “Aggressive Sales Tactics on the Internet and Their Impact on American Consumers.” She is a co-reporter of the American Law Institute’s Restatement of the Law of Consumer Contracts, a board member of the American Law and Economics Association, and a fellow at the Law School's Engelberg Center on Innovation Law and Policy. She received a BA magna cum laude from the University of Pennsylvania and a JD cum laude from NYU School of Law.


Morenike Williams

Morenike Williams ’07 is the CEO of Revision Coaching™, an elite consultancy that provides tailored coaching and workshop solutions to empower legal and business executives in accelerating their personal and professional growth, accessing untapped potential, and ascending to new heights. She is an experienced senior legal executive, with over 15 years of experience navigating top law firms and corporations, both domestically and internationally, and serves as the lead coach for the BWLC’s Women’s Leadership Fellows Program. Morenike is an alum of NYU School of Law, and began her legal career by joining the New York office of Cravath, Swaine & Moore LLP as a corporate transactional attorney, where she rotated through banking, securities, and M&A practice groups over a four-year period. After her time with Cravath, Morenike relocated to London to join Allen & Overy, where she led cross-border high yield bond deals as a senior attorney, until starting her own legal consulting business. In addition to private practice, she has also worked in the legal departments at Hewlett Packard Enterprise, and most recently, at Vanguard as Assistant General Counsel, prior to moving into HR as a Senior Manager and Divisional Lead. Morenike understands firsthand many of the challenges her clients face daily and combines that knowledge and the strategies she acquired over the years, with her coaching training and proprietary frameworks, to deliver focused and impactful coaching programs in a way that uniquely relates to and resonates with clients. In addition to Morenike receiving her JD from NYU School of Law, she holds a BS in business administration from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She founded Revision Coaching LLC in 2020.

K.M. Zouhary

Katie Marie (“K.M.”) Zouhary serves as Vice President, Leadership Initiatives, at the Estée Lauder Companies (ELC). She develops the Company’s women’s advancement and gender equality strategy, with a focus on the leadership development pillar. K.M. co-created Open Doors, the company’s signature women’s leadership program. She designs experiential learning, coaching, and development programs to grow the next generation of leaders. Prior to joining ELC, K.M. founded Cadenza Communications LLC, where she created dynamic programs teaching persuasion, negotiation, and effective communication. She is a founding consultant, coach, and facilitator for the BWLC. K.M. is an award-winning lecturer. In 2020, she received Northwestern Law’s Outstanding Teaching Award—voted on by students, and in 2021, Northwestern Law honored her with the Emerging Leader Award. K.M.’s squiggly career has included multiple chapters. As an attorney, she received Proskauer’s Golden Gavel award and appeared on 60 Minutes in connection with her work to exonerate innocent men who were coerced to give confessions when they were kids (the Dixmoor Five and Englewood Four). K.M. proudly served as the Chief of Staff of the National Endowment for the Arts. She worked as the Associate Producer of HAIRSPRAY (Broadway). K.M. has served on the boards of the Michigan Prison Doula Initiative and the Center on Wrongful Convictions Justice Council. K.M. received her JD (magna cum laude and Order of the Coif) from Northwestern University School of Law and her BA (cum laude) from Yale. She also graduated from The Second City Chicago’s Conservatory Program.

Monica Parham

Monica Parham, who worked with the BWLC to develop the Womens Leadership Fellows Program, passed away in 2020.

Monica Parham was a consultant, speaker, coach, and facilitator in the areas of diversity and inclusion, talent, and professional/leadership development. She worked with individuals ranging from pre-college students to executive-level leaders, and with for-profit, non-profit, educational and government entities. Parham served as president of the Women’s Bar Association of the District of Columbia and the Women’s Bar Association Foundation — the first woman of color to hold both roles. She held leadership roles with several community-facing organizations and serves on the advisory board of the Honors College at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Parham was an appointed member of the Federal Communications Commission’s Advisory Committee on Diversity and Digital Empowerment (ACDDE), focusing on expanding opportunities in the telecommunications and tech industries. Previously, Parham served as Diversity Counsel/Head of Diversity at Crowell & Moring LLP, where she worked across firm functions and with internal and external stakeholders to address and enhance the recruitment, retention, and promotion of attorneys from traditionally underrepresented groups. She was a former president of the Association of Law Firm Diversity Professionals, and in 2011 was named a Fellow of the American Bar Foundation for her inclusion work. Prior to moving into D&I, Parham was a commercial litigator. Parham received her JD from Yale Law School, where she was Finals Chairman of the Yale Moot Court Board, and a BA with honors and distinction in political science from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where she was a Morehead-Cain Scholar and Phi Beta Kappa.