Dr. Indira M. Henard, DSW, MSW

Dr. Indira M. Henard, DSW, MSW

Dr. Henard has been with the DC Rape Crisis Center for the last sixteen years serving in different capacities, lending invaluable experience including leadership roles in fundraising, operations, cultivating relationships and strategic partnerships, as well as coalition building. Under Dr. Henard’s Executive leadership she has not only repositioned the oldest rape crisis center in the country, but she has laid a strong foundation as the agency is celebrating 50 years of survivor centered, and community led services. Additionally, under Ms. Henard’s leadership the DC Rape Crisis Center received the 2019, and 2020 Best Places to Work by the Washington Business Journal, the 2019, 2020, 2021, 2022, 2023, and 2024 Best of Washington Award to include the Business Hall of Fame, as well as the 2019 Agency of the Year Award by the National Association of Social Workers.

Dr. Henard’ s direct service experience in many gender-based violence programs has helped to inform her policy analysis that has led to coordinating public policy initiatives and organizing and planning spaces for survivor led advocacy. Spanning over 20 years of dedicated service in the violence against women’s movement, Dr. Henard’ s experience exemplifies her expertise in non-profit management, organizational development, crisis management , education, training, fundraising and public policy. Dr. Henard has worked nationally and internationally in helping organizations build capacity to respond to the needs of sexual violence in their communities. Dr. Henard’s high level training and technical assistance provided to local nonprofits, and international NGO’s has resulted in the repositioning of the sexual assault coalition in the District of Columbia, partnering to help open the first rape crisis center in Lagos, Nigeria, as well as working with a coalition of international NGOs in developing a mobile app to aid refugee workers who are working with sexual assault victims. Most recently, Dr. Henard was selected to serve on the Independent Review Commission to address Sexual Assault in the military under the Office of the Secretary of Defense as ordered by President Biden.

Dr. Henard has been recognized locally, and nationally, for her contributions to the violence against women movement to include, but not limited to the following, the 2015 national “Victim Impact Award” from the Academy of Criminal Justice Sciences. In 2018, Dr. Henard was named by Essence Magazine as one of four African American women on the ground doing sexual violence work. She was also named in 2018 by the Washington City Paper as one of 20 people in DC making a difference. She also received the 2018 alumni achievement award from National Catholic School of Social Service at the Catholic University of America. Dr. Henard was named the 2019 Community Leader of the Year by RALIANCE, as well as she received the 2019 40 under 40 award from the Washington Business Journal. Dr. Henard received the 2020 Washington Women of Excellence Award presented by Mayor Muriel Bowser of Washington, DC, and was named by Washington Business Journal as one of 2020’s People on the Move. Additionally, Dr. Henard was selected to be a part of the 2021 class of Leadership Greater Washington. Most recently, Dr. Henard was awarded the 2020 Washingtonian of the Year award, the 2021 Women Who Mean Business Award, presented by the Washington Business Journal. Dr. Henard was also honored as one of the top 10 women leaders of 2023 by Pinnacle Magazine, and most recently awarded by World Leaders Magazine as one of the worlds most inspiring leaders making a difference in 2024.

Dr. Henard currently sits on numerous boards and commissions including but not limited to the Board of Directors for the National Alliance to End Sexual Violence, the Board of Trustee’s at Wheaton College inNorton, MA. Dr. Henard was most recently appointed to the Women’s Foundation Board, UBER Safety Advisory Board, as well the Board of Directors for Leadership Greater Washington. Additionally, Dr. Henard serves as an adjunct faculty member in the School of Social Work at Catholic University, and Howard University.

Dr. Henard holds memberships in the Chief Network, Junior League of Washington, Washington Business Journal’s Biz Leadership Council, The National Association of Social Workers, and the National Association of Black Social Workers. Additionally, Dr. Henard is certified as Death Doula & End of Life Planner and a Reproductive Justice Doula.

Dr. Henard has been featured on such media outlets as Fox DC, ABC Washington, CNN, USA Today, The Complex, AOL, NBC Washington, Washington Post, WHUR Radio, Ventor’s Africa, Business Daily Online, The Root, Essence Magazine, as well as The Cult have interviewed Ms. Henard.

Dr. Henard holds a Bachelor’s of Arts Degree from Wheaton College (MA), a Masters of Social Work degree from Catholic University of America, and a Doctorate of Social Work Degree from the University of Southern California. Most recently, Dr. Henard completed the Strategic Perspectives in Non-Profit Management Program from Harvard Business School Executive Education. Additionally, Dr. Henard has deep ties within the policy sector having served as a Ralph Bunche Institute Fellow at Duke University, a Congressional Truman Fellow on Capitol Hill, and a Charles Hamilton Houston Fellow at Georgetown Law Center. Additionally, Dr. Henard was a Shannon Institute Fellow at the Wilder Foundation. Before joining the DC Rape Crisis Center, Dr Henard served as a Senate Aide for Senator Barack Obama D-IL on Capitol Hill, as well as Special Assistant on his Presidential Campaign.