Renata A. Tonks Forste is an American sociologist who specializes in the health and well-being of women and children in Latin America. She was the chair of the department of sociology at Brigham Young University when this was written and has also directed that institution's women's studies program. Sister Forste was born in New Mexico and raised in Virginia, Oregon, and the Seattle area. She has bachelor's and master's degrees from BYU and a PhD from the University of Chicago. Sister Forste joined the BYU faculty in 1995. Previously she was on the faculty of Western Washington University. She and her husband, Michael, are the parents of three daughters.