Debjani Roy

Debjani Roy is the Director of Training and Prevention at Sexual Violence Response. She designs and executes strategic community-responsive prevention and education programs and initiatives for Columbia students and affiliates. Debjani serves as the creative architect for the design and development of Training, Prevention, and Educational programs, including designing curriculum, facilitating trainings to diverse audiences, and supporting trauma-informed and violence prevention programming based in social justice and the theoretical framework that informs SVR’s work. She oversees the Training and Prevention team and the development, implementation, and evaluation of sexual, gender-based, and power-based violence for primary, secondary, and tertiary training and prevention educational activities.

She has been a thought leader and an advocate for gender equality and justice in the US and UK for over fifteen years. Most recently, Debjani was the Training Director at Girls Educational and Mentoring Services (GEMS) and prior to this was the Deputy Director of anti-harassment organization, Hollaback!, where she managed operations, led key initiatives on leadership development and bystander intervention, and contributed to the culture shifts around the issue of street harassment. At Hollaback!, she also co-founded HeartMob, an online platform providing support to victims of online harassment. She has additionally led key culturally specific initiatives as the Program and Development Manager at Manavi, the first organization working to end violence against South Asian women in the United States.

She has expertise in program creation and management, direct service provision, development, training and technical assistance, curriculum development, communications, research, and policy advocacy on issues including domestic violence, street harassment, sexual violence, forced marriage, ‘honor’ based violence, commercial sexual exploitation and domestic trafficking, widows’ rights, and hate violence across the lines of identity.

Debjani’s work and commentary has been featured in several media outlets, including The New York Times, BBC World News, Fox News, The Guardian, NPR, Huffington Post, and Salon.

Her academic publications include South Asian Battered Women’s Use of Force against Intimate Male Partners in the Violence Against Women Sage Journal and a first ever publication: An Introduction to Forced Marriage in the South Asian Community in the United States, published under Manavi and the U.S. Department of Justice, Office on Violence Against Women. She is an alumni of the Progressive Women’s Voices Class at the Women’s Media Center and is a SheSource expert.


  • B.S., Marketing, with a minor in Gender Studies, NYU Stern School of Business
  • M.A., Cultural Studies with a focus on Gender Theory, University of London, Goldsmiths
  • Certificate, Understanding Women's Human Rights, The London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE)

Certifications and Licensure:

  • Leadership That Works, Certified Community Coach (2018)
  • Certificate in the Art of Leadership, Rockwood Leadership Academy (2016)
  • Certificate in Facilitation, Training for Change (2015)
  • Domestic Violence Response Team 40-hr Training, Women Aware (2009)
  • Counseling &Therapeutic Interventions for Working with Women Survivors of Violence Certificate, London Open College Network (2007)
  • Understanding Women’s Human Rights Certificate, London School of Economics (2006)