by April Hall
Recognized as one of New Jersey’s leading women in business, Tanuja Majumdar Dehne ’93 is senior vice president of human resources for NRG Energy, Inc., Princeton, N.J. She was named to the 2011 NJBIZ Best 50 Women in Business for her leadership in company, industry, and community.
At NRG, Dehne oversees benefits, compensation, labor and employee relations, recruiting and staffing, and organization development and training for the company’s corporate, plant, and retail locations.
Dehne joined NRG in 2004 as deputy general counsel and corporate secretary. Notable among her accomplishments is the company’s successful defense against a 2009 hostile takeover attempt. In recognition of their efforts, Dehne and her colleagues were named Corporate Governance Team of the Year by Corporate Secretary magazine. She was promoted to her current position in October.
Dehne, who holds a master’s degree in political science from University of Pennsylvania and juris doctorate from Syracuse University College of Law, was corporate attorney at Saul Ewing LLP, Philadelphia, Pa., before joining NRG.
The determination that underlies Dehne’s success began during her years at Lafayette.
With cur non (why not?) as her rallying cry, Dehne took on new challenges. While double majoring in international affairs and anthropology & sociology, she served as a resident adviser and worked several part-time jobs. She joined crew instead of continuing her high school sport of track and field. In addition, she ventured outside her comfort zone as a tutor for inmates at Northampton County Prison.
“Lafayette was a safe and nurturing environment where I could try new activities, meet different people, and do it all,” Dehne says. “I learned to manage my time and multi-task, which have come in handy.”
Today, in addition to work and family, she is involved in her community. “It’s in my nature to be busy and to do it all, like I did back in my Lafayette days,” she says.
Dehne serves on the board of trustees and the planning and finance committees for Homefront of New Jersey, a nonprofit that works with homeless families to end the cycle of poverty. She also was recently elected to the board of Young Audiences New Jersey, which supports children’s arts programming for schools and communities. She was previously corporate secretary and member of the board of United Way of Greater Mercer County, N.J.
“I make time to give back to my community and to use my business experience and connections to add value to the charitable organizations that I serve,” she says. “I want to show my children that you can and should make time for the things that are important to you.”
Dehne balances the demands of her job with commitment to family, which includes husband Phillip Dehne ’93, professor of history, St. Joseph’s College, Brooklyn, N.Y., and five children, all under the age of 9.
“We take it one day at a time,” she says. “We have to be flexible, agile, and patient, which isn’t always easy, but we do our best.”