Chaitra Shenoy



Chaitra “Chai” Shenoy is an attorney, activist, and professor in the field of gender-based violence. She recently joined USAID as the agency's Gender Based Violence Advisor. Prior to working at AID, Chai had the pleasure of being in the Office of the General Counsel at the U.S. Peace Corps. Her portfolio focused on the implementation of the Kate Puzey Peace Corps Volunteer Act of 2011, which included the development of policy and procedures, trainings, and legal advice to the agency as it related to sexual assault, domestic violence, stalking and other serious crimes.

Chai is former Executive Director and founder of Collective Action for Safe Spaces (formerly Holla Back DC!) a mostly volunteer-run, community-based organization whose aim is to educate and address public sexual harassment and assault. Started in April 2009, the organization has collected over 500 street harassment and assault experiences from DC metro residents. Most recently, through testifying at DC City Council, the organization petitioned Washington Metro Area Transit Authority (WMATA) to address sexual harassment and assault on the metro system. She also worked at several DC based non-profits providing civil legal services to victims of domestic violence, sexual assault, dating violence, and stalking.

Chai is originally from the Bay Area, California, and received her B.A. at UCLA and her J.D. at American University, Washington College of Law.



Currently Teaching