Shenald Kumar best known as “Chanel” to Family and Friends – is a proud Transgender Female from Fiji of ethnic Indian origin. Chanel serves on the staff of UTOPIA Washington as the Finance Director.
With 18 years of experience in the Corporate & Non Profit Sector, Chanel has previously held numerous senior positions in the Pacific, having a Bachelor’s Degree in Finance and Administration from the University of New South Wales and a Associates degree in Information Technology from TAFE New South Wales in Sydney, Australia. Chanel is the first visible senior business leader from the corporate sector in Fiji to be openly living her true identity as a transgender woman. Consequently, Chanel has become an advocate and ambassador for diversity and inclusive leadership for others who follow suit in similar senior roles in the Fiji and the Pacific.
Chanel has always found solace in the LGBTQI+ communities and she finds it fitting that this new adventure is a call to serve the Queer Trans Pacific Islander community.
For every door that’s been opened to me, I’ve tried to open my door to others. And here is what I have to say, finally: Let’s invite one another in. Maybe then we can begin to fear less, to make fewer wrong assumptions, to let go of the biases and stereotypes that unnecessarily divide us. Maybe we can better embrace the ways we are the same. It’s not about being perfect. It’s not about where you get yourself in the end. There’s power in allowing yourself to be known and heard, in owning your unique story, in using your authentic voice. And there’s grace in being willing to know and hear others. This, for me, is how we become.Michelle Obama