Washington DC Rape Crisis Center
Dr. Indira M. Henard, DSW MSW
Dr. Henard has been with the DC Rape Crisis Center for the last fifteen 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 , and 2022 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, and received the 2021
Women Who Mean Business Award, presented by the Washington Business Journal.
Dr. Henard currently sits on numerous boards and commissions including but not limited to the Alumni
Board of the National Catholic School of Social Service, the Board of Directors for the National Alliance
to End Sexual Violence, The Board of Trustee’s at Wheaton College in Norton, MA. Dr. Henard was most
recently appointed to the UBER Safety Advisory Board, as well the Board of Directors for Leadership
Greater Washington. Additionally, Dr. Henard holds faculty appointments at the School of Social Work at
Catholic University, and Howard University.
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. 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