Dr. Kali Furman was born in 1988 in St. Maries, Idaho. Her mother worked for the Departments of Commerce and Labor, while her father worked for the Idaho Department of Lands. She remained in the same town throughout her childhood. She later attended Boise State University for her undergraduate degree, studying history and minoring in English and Women and Gender Studies. During her time at Boise State, Furman worked with the Gender Equity Center.
For her graduate studies, she chose to pursue Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies at Oregon State University, where she also worked as a Graduate Assistant at the Pride Center. She has remained at OSU ever since, working for a period in Student Affairs and completing her PhD in 2021. She began working as a full-time instructor in Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies starting in Fall 2022.