After graduating from the University of Pennsylvania with Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in International Politics, Dena joined AFIA, an international insurance association as a political risk analyst. Within two years, she was transferred to London to establish the company’s Political Risk and Export Credit operation serving all European produced business. When CIGNA acquired AFIA she stayed on in London. In her capacity as a senior underwriter she travelled extensively throughout Europe and Asia. She returned to Penn to earn an M.B.A. from the Wharton School and stayed in Philadelphia working again for CIGNA in a variety of increasingly responsible positions ultimately as a Vice President of International Marketing and of E-Commerce, that had her implementing customer satisfaction programs throughout Latin America, leading the China entry strategy team, co-leading the European opportunity analysis, analyzing global pension opportunities, revising business strategies in over 16 countries and managing the development and implementation of the international e-commerce strategy.
Dena also worked as an independent consultant designing and implementing research programs to support strategic planning, product development and new market entry analysis. She has volunteered extensively at a number of Philadelphia based non-profit organizations. As a member of Penn’s secondary school committee, she has interviewed nearly 100 high school seniors applying to Penn’s College of Arts and Science and the Wharton School. She also served on the board of Operation Understanding, and for several years served as the Friends Select Upper School Co-Vice President, working as a parent association liaison.
Dena served as a President of Congregation Rodeph Shalom, the largest Jewish Congregation in Philadelphia with over 2,250 individual members and growing. She co-chaired the most significant capital campaign in the Congregation’s 220 year history resulting in a major renovation and expansion of their historic building. As President of Rodeph Shalom, Dena also worked on critical initiatives including financial management, board governance and community engagement. She chaired the launch of a new school model leading to a doubling of students in five years, built partnerships with neighborhood schools and other non-profit organizations to pursue educational and community improvement opportunities, and helped found the North Broad Community Coalition.
Dena is a proud long-time resident of Philadelphia where she lives with her husband and raised two children. She is thrilled and honored to be part of the Girls Inc. family; inspiring all girls to be strong, smart and bold!