Alumnae Spotlight

Kira Barden

Kira Barden '00

Psychology and Women's Studies

Kira Barden graduated from Agnes Scott College in 2000 with a double major in Psychology and Women’s Studies. She is originally from a small town in upstate New York and has lived in New York City and surrounding suburbs since graduation. Kira went immediately from ASC to CUNY, Graduate Center at Baruch College to attend their Doctoral Program in Industrial/Organizational Psychology. While there, Kira was awarded the CUNY Graduate Teaching Fellow award and taught undergraduate psychology courses at both CUNY, Baruch College, and SUNY, Purchase College. From 2006-2010, Kira served in multiple roles at AXA Equitable where she was awarded the AXA Innovation Award for her ideas to create the Team Flexibility Program and recognized as a Women’s Bond Club, Rising Star Nominee. From 2010-2014, Kira worked at Starwood Hotels & Resorts in the organizational effectiveness team leading the global employee survey programs where she received SIOP’s Wiley Award for Survey Excellence in Research. From 2014 to present, Kira has served in multiple roles in PepsiCo’s Global Talent Management and OD team leading multi-rater, internal coaching, and performance management strategy for the organization. She earned the PepsiCo Excellence in HR Award (2016) for her work in building and rolling out PepsiCo’s leadership competency model. In addition, Kira has served for multiple years as the Chair for PepsiCo’s employee resource group, EQUAL, which advocates for workplace equality for LGBT employees. Outside of work, Kira has been a key leader in the LGBT community in Westchester County, NY. She has served on the The LOFT’s Board of Directors in several officer level roles for more than a decade including 6 years as President. Being a Scottie has shaped Kira’s career and life trajectory by building her confidence in being a female leader and encouraging her to speak up and share her voice. The classes at ASC infused a focus on the role that race, class, and gender plays in all situations and to be cognizant of this when making decisions. The relationships Kira built with her classmates have lasted through the years and some of her closest friends today were her best friends and roommates at college. The I/O psychology focus she had in Jennifer Hughes’ classes, and working with her on research, were fundamental in shaping Kira’s career as an I/O psychologist. The one regret Kira has is not taking advantage of the study abroad programs at ASC and she has since spent many vacations traveling to other countries and learning about different cultures. Kira’s photo is from the balcony of a cruise ship during her 2018 trip around Italy, Croatia, and Greece.