DC Mentoring Fair - 2019
Thank you to our Mentors!


Guillermo Areas, BMW Group
Mr. Areas has over 25 years of experience in international business and government relations. He has worked in the United States and throughout Latin America for renowned multinational companies such as Bayer AG, Deutsche Post DHL Group and currently for BMW Group as Head for Government Relations Latin America. Mr. Areas holds an AA degree in political science from Miami Dade College a BA degree in International Relations from Florida International University and a Master in International Business from Thunderbird School of Global Management. Mr. Areas has been a lifelong advocate of women empowerment. He is married to Violeta Chamorro, they have three daughters and a son.

Christie Arendt, Department of State
Dr. Arendt has more than 15 years of diplomatic, development and research experience on democracy, human rights, and political inclusion. Currently, she serves as the Global Affairs Section Head in the Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights and Labor at the State Department. She manages a team focused on advancing democracy, governance, women's political inclusion, LGBTI and disability rights, and the promotion of civic space around the world. After joining the State Department as a Presidential Management Fellow, Dr. Arendt spent the first ten years of her diplomatic career promoting human rights and democracy in Africa. In 2015, she joined USAID's Center of Excellence for Democracy, Human Rights and Governance to support gender integration efforts and democratic processes. Dr. Arendt is also an adjunct professor teaching Gender and Development at the George Washington University's Elliott School of International Affairs.

Jordyn Arndt, Department of State
Ms. Arndt is a member of the Internet Freedom and Business and Human Rights team at the Department of State. Previously, she worked at the intersection of business and international development in Asia and Africa. Most recently, she served as a Rosenthal Fellow at the Department of Labor's Bureau of International Labor Affairs, supporting their policy and research to improve worker livelihoods across global supply chains. As the Government Affairs Manager at the American Chamber of Commerce in Singapore, she advanced U.S. economic interests in the region through policy, research, and relationship development. Passionate about women's empowerment, she studied women in garment manufacturing as a Fulbright Scholar and served on the board of a professional women's association. Ms. Arndt holds a M.A. from Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS) in International Relations and Economics and a B.A. from St. Catherine University in French, International Business and Economics.

Sarah Bannister, Department of State
Dr. Bannister is a Foreign Service Officer (political cone) preparing for her second tour as a political-economic officer in the US Embassy in Costa Rica. Her first tour was as a consular officer in Dakar, Senegal. Previously, she worked in the International Women's Issues Office at State Department as a AAAS Diplomacy Fellow (2002-03). She has worked in the chemicals industry, academia (US and Germany), and in private legal practice. Dr. Bannister has a PhD in Chemical Engineering and a JD from The George Washington University Law School.

Maria Belovas, Delegation of the European Union to the US
Ms. Belovas is the Spokesperson and Head of Press and Public Diplomacy at the Delegation of the European Union to the US in Washington since August 2018. Her team covers the entire spectrum of press, strategic communications, cultural diplomacy, people-to-people exchanges, and education in close coordination with the EU member states and local partners.  Before joining the EU external action service she spent ten years in the diplomatic service of the Republic of Estonia, most recently as Director General for Communications, including during Estonia's very first Presidency of the Council of the EU. Her department was responsible for media relations, public diplomacy, strategic communications and nation branding. She has also served in Estonian embassies in Portugal and the US. Ms. Belovas has a degree in journalism and public relations from University of Tartu.

Gretchen Bloom, WFP Alumni Network
Ms. Bloom has over 40 years of experience in international development and humanitarian assistance, beginning as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Togo. She is currently a Gender Expert for the World Food Programme's Alumni Network. Ms. Bloom has worked, lived and traveled in 100 countries, where she focused primarily on gender issues. She worked as the Gender Adviser in the ANE Bureau of USAID before joining the UN World Food Programme as the Senior Gender Adviser. She retired from WFP after serving 15 months in Kabul, Afghanistan. Since 2003, she has worked as a Gender Expert for WFP, USAID, DFID and the World Bank. Her interest in gender began when she earned her Master's degrees in sociology and community health in New Delhi at Jawaharlal Nehru University.

Janine Branch, FHI 360
Ms. Branch joined FHI 360 as a Program Officer working on the International Visitor Leadership Program in April 2018, with nearly a decade of experience in the non-profit sector at the World Trade Center Institute in Baltimore. While at WTCI, she was promoted to Director of the Professional Exchanges Program in 2016 and has experience in international exchanges, international education, talent management, event planning, as well as represented the organization on the Governor's Subcabinet for International Affairs. Ms. Branch holds a BA in Business Administration with a concentration in International Business from Towson University. She is a volunteer career mentor for Towson University, a Certified Tourism Ambassador, and a Master's degree candidate at the University of Baltimore focusing on Global Affairs and Human Security.

Janet Breslin-Smith, President CrossWinds Strategic Consulting
Dr. Breslin-Smith, president of Crosswinds International Consulting, draws on her 30-year career in public service, including leadership roles in the Senate, the National War College, and in Saudi Arabia, where she focused on higher education and outreach to women in the Middle East. Dr. Breslin-Smith a Professor of National Security Strategy for 14 years at the National War College in Washington, DC, was the first woman to Chair the Department of National Security Strategy. Prior to her academic career, she was Legislative Director for Senator Patrick J. Leahy and Deputy Staff Director of the Senate Agriculture Committee. While Saudi Arabia from 2009 through 2013, with her husband, Ambassador James Smith, Dr. Breslin-Smith she developed extensive contacts with Saudi women leaders and consulted with women members newly appointed to the Shoura Council. Dr. Breslin-Smith earned her PhD from UCLA.

Daniella Burgi-Palomino, Latin America Working Group
Ms. Burgi-Palomino is the Senior Associate at the Latin America Working Group where she leads advocacy efforts related to US policies impacting human rights and migration in Mexico and Central America. She has ten years of experience in human rights advocacy and program management with civil society organizations in the US, Mexico, and Central America. Her expertise includes immigration, policies impacting the US-Mexico border, and human rights issues in Mexico and Central America. Previously, Ms. Burgi-Palomino was the first coordinator of the Central America and Mexico Alliance, a Fulbright García Robles Fellow in Mexico, and a Program Associate at Oxfam America. She holds a BA from Tufts and a Master’s degree from the Fletcher School of Law & Diplomacy, where she focused on human security and migration. She is fluent in Spanish and English and has also studied French, German, and Portuguese.

Dawn Calabia, Refugees International, WFPG Board of Directors
Ms. Calabia is a consultant and resident advisor at Refugees International, where she works on issues of rights of displaced, statelessness, resettlement, and asylum. She served ten years in the UN as deputy director for the United Nations Information Center Washington office and as senior external relations officer for the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR). Calabia was also director of refugee policy and development at the US Catholic Conference and has worked on the Hill. She is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations and a founder and commissioner of the Womens Refugee Commission. In 1996, she was honored at the White House for her work with refugee women and children. She also serves on the WFPG Board of Directors.

Amy Chase, World Learning
Ms. Chase, the Compliance Officer at World Learning's office DC, has eight years of experience managing USG-funded projects, mostly USAID projects in conflict and unstable environments. She has worked in Iraq, Afghanistan, Turkmenistan, Kosovo, and Rwanda. She has also worked for Democracy International, Kosova Women's Network, Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation, Abt Associates, IFES, and QED Group. In 2018, Ms. Chase launched a social enterprise called The Crescendo Group which supports economic empowerment for women refugees, survivors of armed conflicts, and survivors of gender-based violence. Crescendo works with local partners in Kosovo and the DC area and will expand to Albania, Bangladesh, Turkey, and Jordan in 2019. Previously, she was a project manager in marketing, media, and sales. She has a BBA from Baruch College and an MA in International Affairs from The New School. Ms. Chase speaks fluent French and Cantonese.

Lizzie Cohen, PSI
Ms. Cohen leads communications and advocacy planning for the Maverick Collective, an initiative of PSI which created a community of strategic philanthropists and informed advocates who use their intellectual and financial resources to create change by investing in women and girls. To her current role, she brings almost a decade of experience across global health, advocacy & policy, communications, and strategic partnerships in both the public and private sectors. Her previous positions at PATH, Devex, and the AB InBev Foundation specialized in transforming new teams within organizations through internal communications initiatives and building visibility opportunities for leadership.

Donna Constantinople, KMA Communications
Ms. Constantinople is a founding partner of KMA Communications, a management consultancy providing counsel to over 100 national and international corporations, industry associations, and non-profit organizations. The firm's work includes strategic staffing/executive recruitment, executive counsel/training, senior management/corporate governance, internal/external communications, special events, media and public relations. She holds degrees in political science/economics from Northwestern University and has served on the boards of the WFPG, Democratic Party's Women's Leadership Forum, Women's Campaign Fund, and National Trust for Historic Preservation/Decatur House.

Will Davis, OECD
Mr. Davis, Head of the OECD's Washington Center, leads the OECD's efforts to deepen understanding of, and appreciation for the work of the organization in areas such as market-based economic growth, anti-corruption efforts, and development cooperation. Previously with the OECD, Mr. Davis served as the Deputy Director of Public Affairs at the organization's headquarters in Paris. He also served as the Director of the United Nation's Information Center in Washington, DC, and earlier as the Director of the UNDP's Washington Office. His government service includes a number of roles at the State Department and on the National Security Council staff. During his career he has worked for NGO's such as the US Global Leadership Coalition and the ONE Campaign. He holds degrees from Duke University, is a lecturer on the faculty of George Washington University's Elliott School, and is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations.

Marleine Davis, Motorola Solutions, Inc.
Ms. Davis is the Director of Government Affairs leading Motorola's government engagement in the Middle East, North Africa, Latin America, Central Asia, and parts of Europe. She is responsible for advancing Motorola's government affairs strategy, advocating for projects and public policy goals, and targeting business development initiatives. Previously, She played a key role in revitalizing the operations of the National US-Arab Chamber of Commerce both in the US and the Middle East. She has created many public/private partnerships that are flourishing today and has guided several successful delegations to and from the Middle East region. Her former training as a CPA appropriately positioned her to direct business growth, guide budgeting efforts, and improve financial projections. Her background includes over 20 years of experience in management and business development, finance and accounting, operations, project administration, and organization at a senior level.

Vitessa Del Prete, Department of State
Ms. Del Prete, is the Chief of the Grants Division within the Office of Press and Public Diplomacy in the State Department's Bureau of South and Central Asia. Her previous positions at the Department have included Senior Program Officer for Iraq in the Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor; Team Lead for Rule of Law in Iraq for the Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement; Team Lead for Palestinian Refugees in the Bureau of Population, Migration, and Refugees; and Senior Advisor for Pakistan Security Assistance in the Bureau of Political and Military Affairs. Prior to joining the State Department, she managed legal and economic reform programs in MENA for the Department of Commerce. She retired as a Lieutenant Colonel from the US Army in 2010 after 22 years of service. She holds a BA in Sociology and a MA in Middle Eastern Studies/Anthropology from UT Austin.

Veronique Dockendorf, Embassy of Luxembourg
Ms. Dockendorf has been the Deputy Chief of Mission of the Embassy of Luxembourg in Washington, DC since the summer of 2016. She previously served as the Deputy Political Director in the Luxembourg Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs from 2013 to 2016 and as a First Secretary at the Permanent Mission of Luxembourg to the United Nations in New York from 2008 to 2012. She joined the Luxembourg diplomatic service in 2003 after studies of history, international relations and political science in Strasbourg and Paris, France. She is married and has three daughters.

Ambassador Kathleen Doherty, Department of State
Ambassador Doherty served as US Ambassador to Cyprus from 2015 until 2019. She holds the career rank of Minister Counselor, and in her 28-year career, has served in Italy, the UK, Russia, Brazil and the Dominican Republic. Prior to Cyprus, she was the Deputy Chief of Mission in the Embassy in Rome and served as a Deputy Assistant Secretary in the European and Eurasian Affairs Bureau. She has also held numerous other positions within the Department including: Director, Office of European and Regional Affairs; Senior Watch Officer, Operations Center; Special Assistant to the Deputy Secretary of State; and Economic officer in the Offices of Investment Affairs and Development Finance. Ambassador Doherty speaks Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, and some Russian, and received one of the Departments highest honors for her work on US-EU relations. She has a MSc from LSE and a BA from Colgate.

Doreen El-Roeiy, US Citizenship and Immigration Services, DHS
Mrs. El-Roeiy is an Immigration Officer currently serving in DHS's Refugee Affairs Division, Security Vetting and Program Integrity Policy Unit, where she focuses on policy questions regarding the vetting of refugees and inter-agency cooperation to tackle national security concerns. Mrs. El-Roeiy was a Presidential Management Fellow, where she was trained as an Asylum Officer, served as the Migration and Human Rights Officer in the Political Office of the US Embassy in Greece, and also rotated at NASA HQ and the International Operations HQ of US Citizenship and Immigration Services. In 2014, she was a Fulbright scholar in Sweden, researching the protection of minority languages at the Raoul Wallenberg Institute of Human Rights. She has also worked at the United Nations and the State Department's Foreign Service Institute. Mrs. El-Roeiy holds a BA from Brandeis in International Relations and an MSc from LSE in Global Politics.

Erika Elvander, Office of Global Affairs, HHS
Ms. Elvander is currently director of the Office of Asia-Pacific in the Office of Global Affairs at the Department of Health and Human Services. Prior to her position at OGA she worked on post-deployment health issues for the Department of Defense, and coordinated women's health research at the National Institutes of Health. She has also worked on US-Russia and US-Ukraine health activities. Early in her career she worked for a grassroots women's health organization. Ms. Elvander has an MA in World History and a BA in Asian studies. She has worked in public health for nearly 20 years.

Jessica Ernst, USAID
Ms. Ernst is an expert in international public-private partnerships, with significant experience in Africa and Southeast Asia, and a published author. She currently works with the Departments of Defense, State, and USAID to jointly capture, analyze, and report on overseas contingency operations. Previously, Ms. Ernst worked as an independent consultant and directly with nonprofits, foundations, companies, and the US government to increase social impact through partnerships. She managed company relationships and projects at the Initiative for Global Development, a nonprofit that engages a global network of corporate leaders to reduce poverty through business growth and investment in Africa. She also led a Rockefeller Foundation project that engaged over 80 companies across Africa to reduce food loss. In 2017, she published "So You Want to Save the World: A Guide to Pursuing a Career in International Development".

Jessica Ernst, USAID
Ms. Ernst is an expert in international public-private partnerships, with significant experience in Africa and Southeast Asia, and a published author. She currently works with the Departments of Defense, State, and USAID to jointly capture, analyze, and report on overseas contingency operations. Previously, Ms. Ernst worked as an independent consultant and directly with nonprofits, foundations, companies, and the US government to increase social impact through partnerships. She managed company relationships and projects at the Initiative for Global Development, a nonprofit that engages a global network of corporate leaders to reduce poverty through business growth and investment in Africa. She also led a Rockefeller Foundation project that engaged over 80 companies across Africa to reduce food loss. In 2017, she published "So You Want to Save the World: A Guide to Pursuing a Career in International Development".

Paula Feeney, Cardno
Ms. Feeney is senior advisor for business development at Cardno Emerging Markets USA. Previously, she served 27 years with USAID, including eight years in the Senior Foreign Service. Her overseas assignments included Georgia, Kazakhstan, the US Mission in Geneva, Barbados, and Nicaragua. At USAID in Washington, she directed the Office of European Country Affairs focused on 21 countries, and served as Acting Deputy Assistant Administrator for Europe in the Europe and Eurasia Bureau for 18 months. She has designed and/or implemented USAID programs in economic growth, health, governance, energy, environment, disaster response, and post-war reconstruction. Ms. Feeney has an MPH and ABD for a DrPH at Johns Hopkins University, as well as a BS from Georgetown University. She has worked in the Americas, Africa, Asia, Europe, Eurasia, and the Middle East.

Pamela Fierst-Walsh, Department of State
Ms. Fierst-Walsh works for the State Department as a Senior Advisor on Conflict Minerals and is the US representative to the Kimberley Process. In her 15 years at State, she has worked on democracy and governance, security and counterterrorism, and humanitarian assistance. She is an expert on US policy in Africa and counts among her most impactful experiences the effort to prevent violence against women in the IDP camps of Darfur. During her time working on Somalia, in 2013, Ms. Fierst-Walsh guided US engagement toward the first US recognition of a Somali government in 20+ years. In her current role, she engages public and private sector partners on the importance of responsible sourcing for national security and brand protection. Previously, she served as Senior Advisor on Atrocity Prevention and as a Foreign Policy Fellow for Senator Edward Markey. She is a graduate of the National War College and Indiana University Maurer School of Law.

Gina Fiore, The Pew Charitable Trusts
Ms. Fiore works for The Pew Charitable Trusts as a Senior Associate on their Ending Illegal Fishing Campaign. In her role at Pew she is the lead for convergence crimes and maritime security. Prior to Pew, Ms. Fiore worked for Booz Allen Hamilton as a Senior Consultant, supporting offices within the Navy and the Army. She also spent five years working in the Department of Defense, deploying to Afghanistan to facilitate private sector investment. She has also interned in the House of Representatives, and has worked in the private sector. Ms. Fiore has a Masters in Historical Studies and Political Science from the New School University as well as two Bachelor degrees from SUNY at Stony Brook.

Kathryn Gest, Communications Consultant
Ms. Gest became an independent public affairs strategist, trainer and consultant in 2015 after a career as a journalist, Capitol Hill staff member, public affairs consultant and spokesperson for an NGO specializing in democracy building. She has a particular interest in international assignments. She served eight years as director of public affairs for the National Democratic Institute (NDI); 11 years at Powell Tate|Weber Shandwick, where she co-chaired the international practice; 10 years as press secretary to US Senator William Cohen of Maine; and 16 years as a journalist. She has participated in 21 election observation missions and has conducted training sessions for parliamentarians, political spokespeople, press secretaries and journalists from more than 30 countries.

Safiya Ghori-Ahmad, McLarty Associates
Ms. Ghori-Ahmad, Director, is a member of the South Asia and McLarty Inbound practices at McLarty Associates, and helps coordinate the firm's business development and global client management efforts. She previously served on the staff of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, and in the State Department, as an advisor on Pakistan and Afghanistan in the Office of the Special Representative to Afghanistan and Pakistan under Secretaries Clinton and Kerry. She began her State Department career in the Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor, where she managed portfolios in South Asia and worked to promote good governance, transparency, and rule of law. Ms. Ghori-Ahmad also led global business development at an international law firm. She is a term member of the Council on Foreign Relations. She holds a JD and MA from the University of Arkansas and speaks fluent Hindi and Urdu and intermediate Arabic.

Maureen Greenwood, Wellspring Philanthropic Fund
Ms. Greenwood, a Senior Program Officer in the Global Children's Rights Program, has led advocacy-based efforts for global social justice for over two decades. Currently, she steers grant-making, donor engagement, and learning processes to advance children's rights. She also plays a field leadership role as the Vice-Chair of the Executive Committee of the Global Partnership to End Violence against Children and co-chairs the East and Southern Africa Working Group of Elevate Children Funder Network. Previously, Ms. Greenwood served Executive Director, Women, Girls and Population, at the UN Foundation and guided the creation of Family Planning 2020. At Amnesty International USA, she worked as Managing Director of Government Relations and Advocacy Strategy as well as the Advocacy Director of MENA and Europe. She holds a MA in International Relations from the University of Chicago and a BA from the University of Michigan.

Sumona Guha, Albright Stonebridge Group
Ms. Guha is a Vice President at the Albright Stonebridge Group, where she advises on market entry and expansion in Europe and South Asia. Previously, she was Senior Director at the US-India Business Council, where she led executive committees on infrastructure, energy, and manufacturing and Indo-Pacific connectivity. A former Foreign Service Officer, she served as a Special Advisor for National Security Affairs in the Office of the Vice President, as a Pearson Fellow in the Senate, and in the Office of the Under Secretary for Political Affairs. Ms. Guha also served on the Secretary's Policy Planning Staff and was Senior Advisor in the Office of the Special Representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan. She has served at US Embassies in Paris and Moscow and was a Political Advisor at the US UN Mission. Ms. Guha holds degrees from Georgetown and Johns Hopkins. She speaks Bengali, French, and Russian.

Julia Gurganus, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
Ms. Gurganus, a Non-resident Scholar at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace’s Russia and Eurasia Program, has over two decades of experience in the US intelligence community. From 2014 to 2017, she was a national intelligence officer for Russia and Eurasia. She has also served as an analyst and a manager at the CIA, assessing developments in Eurasian foreign and security policy, domestic politics and economic performance. She also served as a visiting scholar with the Russia and Eurasia Program at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace from 2017 to 2018, where she focused on trends in Russian foreign policy and Russia-US relations. Before joining the government, Ms. Gurganus worked at the Kennan Institute for Advanced Russian Studies, facilitating research programs for scholars from the former Soviet Union. She holds a BA from Bryn Mawr and an MA in Russian Studies from Georgetown University.

Noemie Hailu, Center for Civilians in Conflict (CIVIC)
Ms. Hailu is the Africa Program Manager at Center for Civilians in Conflict (CIVIC), which works with armed actors and civilians in conflict to develop and implement solutions to prevent, mitigate, and respond to civilian harm. Prior to joining CIVIC, Ms. Hailu led the human rights programs in Africa at Vital Voices, a women's empowerment and leadership organization. She also worked at Oxfam America, an international development and humanitarian NGO. Holding various positions on the Research and Policy, Extractive Industries, and Financing for Development teams, Ms. Hailu represented Oxfam at the United Nations Headquarters in NYC and the UN Economic Commission on Africa in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. She holds a Master of International Affairs from Columbia University's SIPA, a Master of Public Policy from the Hertie School of Governance in Berlin, Germany, and a BA from Boston College in Communication and African Studies.

Fran Hardin, RS3 USAID
Ms. Hardin, an international communications consultant, develops strategies and leads communications teams in emerging economies and fragile states. She also coaches political and business leaders for on-air presentations. She has worked on numerous USAID projects in Africa, Central Asia and Eastern Europe which have focused on business climate change, agricultural land reform, mobile money and education initiatives. She has also developed and executed journalism training workshops in Africa and Central Asia. Previously, Ms. Hardin, served as senior press officer for Africa for the International Monetary Fund and vice president for international business development for Widmeyer Communications. She began her career as a broadcast journalist and served as CNN’s White House Correspondent for eight years. She holds Master’s degrees from Cornell (History) and Columbia (Journalism) Universities, as well as a BA (Political Science) from the University of California at Berkeley.

Sarah Hodsdon, John Snow, Inc.
Ms. Hodsdon is a Technology Advisor and UX Designer with JSI's Applied Technology Center. She has led the design and implementation of digital health programs in over 10 countries across Africa, Asia and the US, including mobile applications to improve service delivery for mental health care, reproductive and maternal and child health, and infectious disease management and research. At JSI, she advises health programs on digital strategy and leads mobile user experience design for health and education programs worldwide. Prior to JSI, Ms. Hodsdon was a project manager at Dimagi, a social enterprise that develops Open Source technologies for low connectivity environments; a consultant for ICT4D start-ups; and a visiting researcher at the Grameen Bank in Dhaka, Bangladesh.

Mehlika Hoodbhoy, USAID
Ms. Hoodbhoy is the USAID Team Leader for Strategic Planning and Adapting in the Bureau for Policy, Planning and Learning, where she is responsible for ensuring that the Agency's country strategic plans respond to national security concerns and address the underlying development challenges that undermine stability. Before becoming team lead in 2016, she has held several positions at USAID including Deputy Director of USAID Gender Equality Office. Previously she consulted for the Ford Foundation’s Human Rights and Sexual Reproductive Rights Programs, CARE-USA, and Doctors of the World USA. She is a Human Rights First Graduate of the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy, where she studied economic development, international human rights law and Chinese. She also holds a BA from Colgate University in Asian Studies and International Relations.

Kate Howard, Seewald Consulting
Ms. Howard is an international development consultant whose clients include US government and UN agencies, not-for-profit organizations and private sector companies. She is experienced in advocacy and resource mobilization, partnership engagement, policy and legislative development, and political campaigns and elections. Over the past fifteen years, Ms. Howard has worked in Africa, the Balkans, the Caribbean and Central and South Asia (including multiple assignments in Afghanistan and most recently, Egypt and Burma/Myanmar). She began her career on Capitol Hill where she served as both a senate legislative and committee staff member. She held appointments in the Clinton Administration at the Departments of State and Agriculture. She attended Georgetown University Law Center, the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy, and Mount Holyoke College.

Heera Kamboj, Department of State
Ms. Kamboj, a U.S. Foreign Service Officer, is currently the Team Lead for the US Strategy for Central America at the Department of State, where she focuses on the drivers of migration from the region. She joined the Foreign Service in 2007 and has served as Vice Consul in Mexico, a Political Officer in Afghanistan, an Information Officer (Press Attaché) in India, and most recently in the UAE where she focused on Iranian culture and education. Ms. Kamboj can speak Punjabi, Spanish, Dari, and Farsi. She holds a BA in international affairs and politics from George Washington University and a MPP in International Security Policy from Harvard's Kennedy School.

Samantha Karlin, CommonGenius
Ms. Karlin is the Director of Global Community at CommonGenius, a new Silicon Valley based startup platform that gives ambitious people and entrepreneurs on demand access to consultants, mentors, and trainers from acrss the globe. Formerly, Ms. Karlin was the director of global engagement at Ashoka, where she focused on elevating women social entrepreneurs. She previously worked for the Hillary for America campaign, the State Department in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Lumni in Peru, and the American Jewish Committee in NYC. Ms. Karlin holds a Masters of Law and Diplomacy in global gender analysis from the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy, and her master's thesis focused on children born of wartime rape, and argued for reproductive justice as necessary for effective post war reconstruction.

Anne Knight, Office of the Under Secretary of Defense for Policy
Ms. Knight is the Deputy Director of Human Capital in the Office of the Under Secretary of Defense for Policy (OSD Policy) and new mother to an energetic four-month old. Within OSD Policy, she has served as Special Assistant to the Under Secretary, Colombia Country Director, and co-chair of the Action Officer Council, among other positions. Ms. Knight also worked in strategic communication at US Africa Command in Stuttgart, Germany. She began her career as a Presidential Management Fellow in the Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights and Labor at the State Department. From 1999 to 2002, she served as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Burkina Faso. Ms. Knight is the recipient of the Secretary of Defense Medal for Meritorious Civilian Service, among other awards. She holds an MA from Johns Hopkins SAIS.

Stanley Kober,
Dr. Kober was a research fellow in foreign policy studies at the CATO Institute. His areas of expertise include the relationship between democracy and peace, with a focus on control over the war power. He has lectured frequently for the US Information Agency and his work has appeared in Foreign Policy, International Affairs (London), The New York Times, The Washington Post, and The Wall Street Journal. Dr. Kober previously worked on Soviet and defense issues at SRI International, the Center for Naval Analyses, and the Hudson Institute. He is a graduate of Georgetown and received his PhD from Tufts University.

Diane Kohn, Department of State
Ms. Kohn has worked for the Department of State for 14 years focusing on anticorruption and economic issues. She has served in Washington, Nigeria, and Lithuania. In Washington, she lead the US delegation for the Inter-American Convention Against Corruption peer review mechanism and conducted criminal justice assessments in Bolivia, Guatemala, Honduras, El Salvador, DRC, and Yemen, and provided onsite advising for new anticorruption programs in Afghanistan. In Nigeria, she developed programs to improve counter-narcotics enforcement, training for agencies combating human trafficking and counterfeit drug smuggling, reform of Nigeria’s police academy system, and professional responsibility enforcement in anticorruption agencies. In Lithuania, she focuses on anti-bribery legislation and OECD accession. Prviously, she worked for Transparency International, the Toledo Ohio Chamber of Commerce, the US Chamber of Commerce, and the Center for International Private Enterprise. She holds a BA from Valparaiso University and a JD from the George Washington University.

Agota Kuperman, Department of State, Retired
Since retiring from the US Foreign Service, Ms. Kuperman was assistant dean at the University of Denver and also worked at Booz Allen Hamilton, and Allied Technology group. She currently leads her own consulting firm, AMK Consulting, LLC. After joining the USIA in 1977, Ms. Kuperman's first diplomatic assignment was Iran, followed by Pakistan, Tunisia, Romania, Germany, and Bosnia (where she served as spokesperson). She also had short-term assignments working on the peace process in Macedonia, and as a public affairs officer in Ireland and Afghanistan. Before joining the Foreign Service, she was a librarian and taught US military personnel for the UMD in Greece, Italy, Germany and Turkey. She is fluent in Hungarian, Romanian, German, French and Hebrew.

Ruth Kurzbauer, Department of State, Retired
Ms. Kurzbauer recently retired from the United States Foreign Service/Department of State. Her 25 years as a US diplomat brought her to China, the former Yugoslavia, the Philippines, Canada, and Washington, where she served as consul, public affairs officer, political officer, international relations officer and press officer and as a Foreign Service Examiner for the State Department's Board of Examiners. Since retirement, she works as a State Department Foreign Service Rehired Annuitant for the Department's Bureau of Consular Affairs and the Bureau of Human Resources. She recently completed temporary duty assignments at US embassies in Bulgaria and China, and US consulates in Shanghai and Vancouver. She is an Art Information Volunteer at the National Gallery of Art. She speaks Mandarin Chinese, French, Serbian, and a bit of Spanish and Italian.

Izza Leghtas, Refugees International
Ms. Leghtas is a senior advocate at Refugees International where she focuses on Europe and the Mediterranean. Since joining RI, she has authored reports on the situation of refugees and asylum seekers in Greece, Turkey, Jordan and Libya. Previously, she worked as a researcher on Western Europe at Human Rights Watch where she covered issues related to migration, rights of refugees and asylum seekers, discrimination, and criminal justice. Before joining Human Rights Watch, she worked at Amnesty International's International Secretariat in London as a researcher covering France and Spain and then as a researcher on the Maghreb, focusing on Tunisia and Morocco. Ms. Leghtas holds a law degree from the University of Montpellier, France, a Master's in European litigation from the University of Luxembourg, and an LLM from the College of Europe in Bruges. She speaks Arabic and French and Spanish.

Keri Lowry, National Commission on Service
Ms. Lowry serves as the Director of Government Affairs & External Relations at the National Commission on Military, National and Public Service. Prior to the Commission, she served as the lead executive consultant at the US Agency for International Development (USAID) where she developed USAID's private sector engagement strategy on humanitarian assistance and disaster response. Previously, Ms. Lowry was the former Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Private Sector Exchange at the Department of State; Regional Director for Asia, Europe, the Middle East and North Africa at the Peace Corps; Senior Policy Advisor at USAID; Director for Development, Democracy & Humanitarian Affairs and Deputy Executive Secretary at the National Security Council; and, held numerous other positions at USAID including Senior Advisor to the Administrator, Conflict Mitigation and Management Specialist, Democracy and Governance Advisor, and Embassy Liaison Officer at the US Embassy in Baghdad.

Suzanne McGuire, Department of Defense
Ms. McGuire is on a one year leave of absence from the Department of Defense where she was the F-35 Liaison to the Office of the Secretary of Defense for Acquisition and Sustainment. During her sabbatical, she is volunteering with the American Red Cross in the International Services Directorate. Previously, Ms. McGuire served as a senior strategic planner in Strategic Plans and Policy (J5 Asia Division) with the Joint Chiefs of Staff, which included a detail in the Office of the Vice Chairman of the Joint Chiefs. She has also held positions with US Southern Command, US Senator Mark Pryor's office, Defense Threat Reduction Agency, National Nuclear Security Administration/DOE, and the Nuclear Regulatory Commission. Prior to her federal service, she worked as a contractor with the Air Force and the World Bank. She holds a BA from Marquette and a Master of International Studies from the University of Sydney.

Melissa Miller, Department of Homeland Security
Ms. Miller works on fraud detection and national security issues in the asylum system for the Department of Homeland Security. Previously, she served in the Refugee Corps at DHS, where she interviewed refugees for eligibility and resettlement in the United States. Prior to entering the immigration field, she worked as a contractor at the Department of Transportation and the Smithsonian, as well as in nonprofit sector. Ms. Miller earned her bachelor's degree in German studies from Mount Holyoke College and her master's degree in international affairs from Texas A&M University. She also studied for two years in Germany, and completed a State Department internship in Leipzig.

Amandine Muskus, Global Automakers
Ms. Muskus has extensive experience in energy and environment issues both in the United States and the European Union. She consulted for the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration on the 2008 CAFE rulemaking technical analysis and regulatory drafting. She also worked on the global harmonization of transportation safety, road infrastructure and vehicle to infrastructure issues within both the UN/ECE WP.29 and European Union. Prior to Global Automakers, Ms. Muskus worked for two Brussels-based firms: S3Transportation, an transportation consultancy; and the European Biodiesel Board. She holds Bachelor and Master Degrees in Mechanical Engineering from Case Western Reserve University and a Doctorate in Strategic Negotiations and Diplomacy from the Institut d'Hauts Etudes Sciences Politique (Sciences Po), Paris.

Erin Nicholson, US Global Development Lab, USAID
Ms. Nicholson is a career foreign service officer with USAID with particular experience working in post-conflict and transition economies. She is currently serving in a senior management role as the US Global Development Lab's Deputy Executive Director (Acting) in Washington. Ms. Nicholson began at USAID as a President Management Fellow and upon graduation from the program joined USAID's foreign service as a private enterprise officer, serving in that capacity for 10 years with tours in Central Asia, Afghanistan, and Southern Africa. In 2014 she was promoted to become USAID/Mali's Deputy Mission Director and most recently has joined USAID's Global Development Lab in Washington. Ms. Nicholson has a Masters degree in National Resource Strategy from National Defense University's Eisenhower School; a Masters degree in Development Economics from the Fletcher School, Tufts University; and a Bachelors degree in Journalism from the University of Oregon.

Kaylin Nickol, Nickol Global Solutions
Ms. Nickol, president of Nickol Global Solutions LLC, is an international development leader with 20+ years of experience supporting US foreign policy initiatives. She specializes in democracy and governance programming with a particular focus on post-conflict and political transition countries. For US government-funded projects, she has led or supported transparency, accountability, and good governance programming; civil society capacity-building programs; rapid-response mechanisms; research and analysis; SOP development; change management initiatives; and strategic planning and implementation. Ms. Nickol has also served as Vice President for Operations at Dexis Consulting Group, was a USAID contractor, and consulted for PAHO and the Grameen Foundation. She holds a MA from George Washington and a BA from Austin College.

Jennifer Noisette, Department of State
Ms. Noisette is currently a Foreign Service Officer studying Spanish to prepare for her onward assignment as the Consular Section Chief in Nuevo Laredo, Mexico. She has been with the State Department since September 2000 as a civil service employee specializing in information technology and security. She joined the Foreign Service in 2006 and specializes in both consular and public diplomacy. Her overseas assignments include Georgetown, Guyana; Algiers, Algeria; Mumbai, India; and Port-au-Prince, Haiti. While in Haiti she was the Cultural Affairs Officer for three years and often the Acting Public Affairs Officer where she spent most of her time developing and implementing programs to combat gender based violence and economic inequality. She graduated from Kansas State University with a Bachelor’s of Science in Management Information Systems. She speaks French, Haitian Creole, and Spanish.

Christina Christensen Parisi, US Citizenship and Immigration Services
Ms. Parisi is currently a Budget Analyst and Presidential Management Fellow at US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). She recently completed a six-month detail at the Office of Management and Budget as a Program Examiner, covering a portfolio of Department of State accounts. Immediately prior, she worked for USCIS as an Asylum Officer. She also was an Editor at Congressional Quarterly, and a Governance Coordinator at the American Educational Research Association. She holds a Master of Public Administration in International Public and Nonprofit Management from the Robert F. Wagner School of Public Service at New York University and a BA inPolitical Science from the University of Maryland. During graduate school, she worked at USAID/Tanzania and the International Labour Organization's Impact Insurance Facility. A native New Yorker, she loves to travel and has been to 53 countries (so far).

Simone Peloquin, impl. project
Ms. Peloquin is a Program Officer at impl. project, a 501(c)(3) NGO specializing in data collection and targeted programing in conflict affected environments. Previously, she worked at the National Democratic Institute for International Affairs (NDI), supporting United States government democracy programming in Nigeria. At NDI, she worked on electoral strengthening and launched an election observation mission for Nigeria's 2015 presidential elections. Ms. Peloquin has also worked for CAMRIS International and Senator Christopher Coons. She holds a MA in Politics from New York University, and a dual BA in Political Science and Journalism from the University of St. Thomas.

Stefania Piffanelli, United Nations Information Center
Dr. Piffanelli, acting director of the United Nations Information Center (UNIC) in Washington, has over 20 years of experience with the UN, academia and the private sector. Before joining UNIC, she managed the work of the UN Peacebuilding Commission and the Peacebuilding Fund in Sierra Leone both out of NY and Freetown. Previously, she served as the special assistant to the UN Deputy Secretary-General and in the Executive Office of the Secretary-General. She also held a number of positions in the UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs in development and gender equality, worked as a consultant for the UNDP Bureau for Eastern Europe and Central Asia, and for UNDP Lebanon. Prior to her work with international organizations, she worked as a junior fund manager in Italy. She holds a PhD in Economics from NYU and a graduate degree in Economics from the University of Bologna, Italy.

Michelle Quinn, VxL Enterprises
Ms. Quinn is SVP of Patriot Group International, which provides security, operational, logistics, and training solutions for agencies including the Departments of State and Defense. Previously, Ms. Quinn served as Vice President of International Programs at A-T Solutions; Operations Manager for Counter-Terrorism programs at the FBI; and Program Manager for several State Department programs in high threat theaters. She has worked on Capitol Hill, supporting the House Banking Committee on legislation tied to work and funding of USAID, IMF, World Bank; and at The White House for the Office of Management and Budget. Ms. Quinn holds a BA and MBA, and recently completed the National Security Seminar at the US Army War College. She is a member of WIIS and is currently Chairman of the Board of the International Stability Operations Association, which strives to elevate discussions on the roles/effectiveness of women in stability operations.

Andreas Sandre, Embassy of Italy
Mr. Sandre is a Press and Public Affairs Officer at the Embassy of Italy in Washington, DC. He is the author of "Digital Diplomacy: Conversations on Innovation in Foreign Policy" (Rowman & Littlefield, January 2015) and "Twitter for Diplomats" (DiploFoundation and Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, February 2013). He was previously at the Italian Mission to the United Nations in New York. Mr. Sandre has contributed articles to the Huffington Post, the London School of Economics Global Policy Journal, and other publications, and has spoken at numerous international events, including TEDxStockholm and Mashable Digital Beltway, with a focus on digital diplomacy, digital communications strategies, and technology policy.

Nancy Travis, Advanced Medical Technology Association (AdvaMed)
As Vice President for International Compliance and Governance at the Advanced Medical Technology Association (AdvaMed), Ms. Travis leads the association's efforts to promote codes of ethics for the medical technology industry worldwide, focusing on Asia-Pacific, Latin America and Europe. She was instrumental in launching the Business Ethics Forum at APEC and the Inter-American Coalition for Business Ethics in the Medical Technology Sector. In addition to her policy focus, she has also spearheaded several governance initiatives to increase board engagement promote diversity and women’s leadership. Ms. Travis has 20 years of international affairs and leadership experience, including at the Department of State, where she focused on market opening and China trade issues. She advised key government officials on US-Korea Free Trade Agreement as well as China and Taiwan’s World Trade Organization accession negotiations and has been involved in assessing compliance with WTO commitments.

Carine Umuhumuza, Devex
Ms. Umuhumuza is the Associate Director of Communications at Devex where she leads brand strategy and writes a weekly column on media trends and insights. Prior to this role, she worked on Devex's partnerships team where she launched over a dozen major campaigns in partnership with leading communicators from a range of development agencies, major corporations, NGOs, and social enterprises. Ms. Umuhumuza has a digital-first approach to storytelling and content curation. As Devex's resident social media guru, she's often an early adopter of new tools and techniques for storytelling, mastering them and teaching others how to use them. Prior to Devex, Ms. Umuhumuza led media relations and digital strategy at the Center for American Progress focusing on human rights and genocide prevention. She is a graduate of the Newhouse School at Syracuse University.

Nancy Walker, Nancy's Wonderful Women
Dr. Walker is a political organizer with the J Walkers Action Group and a mentor with Nancy's Wonderful Women. She has served in government, taught at several universities (including GW), and consulted for the UN and NGOs. She served as DoD's Director of the Office of African Affairs and inaugural Director of the Africa Center for Strategic Studies. Before DoD, she worked on German and NATO issues at USIA. In 2007, Dr. Walker moved to Turkey, where she was a Visiting Scholar at Ankara and Bilkent Universities. She was the founding Director at the Atlantic Council's Africa Center and was an election observer in the DRC. She holds an AB from Harvard and Radcliffe and a DPhil from Oxford. She speaks fluent German and French, and conversational Spanish and Turkish. She completed MIT's Seminar XXI, was a Bosch Fellow, and was awarded Senegal's Order of the Lion.

Ellen Wasylina, Transatlantic Global Advisory
Ms. Wasylina is CEO of the Transatlantic Global Advisory and Founder of the Green Economy. She has extensive overseas expertise in France and the EU, with a focus on laws, policies, markets, and regulatory environments. She was a cabinet member and former director of environment and sustainable development of a French city of 20,000 people (2008-2011), a senior expert to Euroepaid in Algeria (2014-2015), and was also an adjunct professor in several Parisian business schools. She previously served as Sustainability Team Lead at The Spectrum Group, president and founder of the Paris-based think tank International Geostrategic Maritime Observatory, and Editor-in-Chief IGMO’s Geostrategic Maritime Review. A regular media commentator, Ms. Wasylina is author of two books in French on Ukraine and on European security, and her third book will be published in January 2019 on "Sustainability Governance in a post-globalized world".

Contact: [email protected]