WIIS Former Staff and Fellows

WIIS Former Fellows

FullSizeRenderNehal Ali

Visiting Fellow

Nehal Ali is a visiting fellow at Women in International Security (WIIS). Ali is from Cairo, Egypt and she works for the Egyptian Center for Women’s Rights (ECWR) as a researcher and international relations officer. At the ECWR Ali monitors and evaluates Women’s Voices, an initiative supported by the Fund for Gender Equality which aims to promote the political participation of women, both as voters and political candidates in the 2016 Local Council elections. Ali is also a co-founder of the Gender and Legal Expert House (GELEH), a Cairo-based consultancy which provides a bridge between local politicians and civil society members to promote policies that contain a gender perspective. Ali has a Master of Arts in Public Policy from Sabanci University in Istanbul and a Bachelor of Arts in Economics from the American University in Cairo.

Nehal Ali is a 2015 Fall participant of the Legacy International Professional Fellows Program (PFP). This program links community leaders in an exchange program designed to promote capacity-building and professional development with the aim of supporting civil society development in Egypt, Tunisia, Algeria, and Morocco. Ali is dedicated to the promotion of women’s rights and gender mainstreaming as a strategy for pursing gender equality. She believes the first step to gender mainstreaming is to allow women to be part on the policy-making process. As visiting fellow with WIIS, Ali will develop advocacy tools to raise awareness of women in the Greater Cairo area on the importance of political participation.


MoniaMonia Zgarni

Visiting Fellow

Monia Zgarni is a visiting fellow at Women in International Security (WIIS). Zgarni is from Bizerte, Tunisia and is currently completing a PhD on women’s rights in transitional settings. She works for the Tunisian Association for Political Studies (ATEP) where she conducts research, collecting and analyzing data related to the Tunisian National Dialogue. Funded by the U.S. Institute of Peace, the Tunisian National Dialogue is a project which studies the process of the national dialogue and provides an overview of the varying perspectives between national political parties and civil society organizations. Prior to working for ATEP, Zgarni worked as a paralegal focusing on intellectual property. She holds both a Bachelor of Arts in Law and a Master of Laws in Common Law from Carthage University.

Monia Zgarni is a 2015 Spring participant of the Legacy International Professional Fellows Program (PFP). The PFP links community leaders in an exchange program designed to promote capacity-building and professional development with the aim of supporting civil society development in Egypt, Tunisia, Algeria and Morocco. Zgarni is interested in women empowerment and peacebuilding, and will present a Tunisian women’s leadership project as part of her training with the PFP. As a visiting fellow with WIIS, she will develop a proposal related to the increasing awareness of young Tunisian women, focusing on the rights recognized and guaranteed under the Convention on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW) and UN Security Council Resolution (UNSCR) 1325. Zgarni will also build expertise on issues related to gender equality as they relate to peace and security.


 WIIS Former Staff

rebeccaandryushchenkoRebecca Andryushchenko

CII Research Program Assistant

Rebecca Andryushchenko is a Master’s candidate in the School of International Service at American University studying United States Foreign Policy and National Security. She graduated from Northern Arizona University with a Bachelor of Science in Political Science with a minor in International Relations, focusing on the Middle East, Russia and Eurasia. While pursuing her BS, she worked for U.S. Congresswoman Ann Kirkpatrick (AZ) as a campaign finance intern while simultaneously assisting in the district office. Prior to enrolling in graduate school, Rebecca worked for a small non-profit in Southern California. She is excited to explore the role of gender issues as it relates to global security and foreign policy at WIIS.


Rose pictureRose Blanchard

Gender Research Program Assistant 

Rose Blanchard is a graduate student at GW’s Elliot School of International Affairs studying Peace and Conflict Resolution.  Her areas of interest include the former Soviet Union, US foreign policy, and security studies.  She holds a B.A. in Political Science and Russian studies from Vassar College, where she studied abroad in Saint Petersburg, Russia.  Prior to coming to WIIS she worked in Intellectual Property law, and she is interning this semester at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars.  She looks forward to the working with WIIS members on The 1325 Scorecard and the Mentor and Professional Development Program.


ShelbyBourgaultShelby Bourgault

Gender Research Program Assistant

Shelby Bourgault is a recent graduate of Connecticut College where she earned a Bachelor of Arts in International Relations and East Asian Studies. In order to gain a more global perspective as an undergraduate student, Shelby completed two semesters abroad in Beijing and achieved advanced proficiency in Mandarin Chinese. Upon returning to the US, her studies focused primarily on Chinese women's labor migration, human trafficking, and gender ideologies in the military. As a senior, Shelby was invited to co-author an article with her advising professor on theoretical approaches to UN preventative diplomacy, which they hope to publish later this year. Shelby is excited to join WIIS this summer and continue researching the gendered aspects of the US military, specifically the integration of women in combat roles and the impact of military presence on civilians.

StephanieStephanie Breitsman

Gender Research Program Assistant 

Stephanie Breitsman is a recent graduate of the Elliott School of International Affairs with a master's in Middle East Studies and a professional specialization in conflict and conflict resolution. In March 2015 she traveled to Birzeit University in the West Bank to interview students, faculty, administration, and local researchers about changing political attitudes and the importance of university politics to the national scene. Stephanie also spent summer 2014 in the West Bank on a grant from the Aramex Student Fund studying Arabic at Birzeit University and translating children's books and organizational reports for the Tamer Institute for Community Education in Ramallah. Prior to her travels and joining WIIS she was a research assistant for Dr. Peleg at the Middle East Institute in Washington, D.C. She also holds a BA in Middle East Studies from Ursinus College, where she completed her thesis work on Moroccan Islamist Politics.


Gabe Bio PictureGabriel Dayley

Gender Research Program Assistant

Gabriel Dayley is currently completing a master’s in International Peace and Conflict Resolution at the School of International Service, American University. Gabe graduated from Pomona College with a Bachelor of Arts in International Relations, where he completed a thesis on social-psychological empathic processes and methods for improving empathy and compassion among groups in intractable conflict. His academic and professional interests include the construction of identity in conflict, methods of empowering women in conflict environments, dialogue as a tool for shifting intergroup attitudes, and the role that mindfulness techniques can play in conflict resolution. He is thrilled to be working at Women in International Security, deepening his interest in and understanding of the experience of women and gender dynamics in peace and security.

Gabe is also the Washington Project Coordinator for Mediators Foundation, where he supports the development of collaborative projects among organizations seeking to transform hyper-partisanship in the American political system. His previous work includes dialogue facilitation at American University’s Intergroup Dialogue program and at Building Bridges, a Colorado-based organization that runs leadership and communication programs for young women from Israel, Palestine, and the United States. Additionally, Gabe is co-founder and editor of The Arrow: A Journal of Wakeful Society, Culture & Politics, a scholarly publication that explores the connection between cultural transformation and political and economic change.


Denecke Professional PhotoJulienne Denecke

CII Program Associate

Julienne Denecke is an Army veteran who spent 5 years on active duty. Julienne served stateside and internationally. She has participated in joint operations with the South Korean, Japanese, and Singaporean Armies and she successfully deployed for 13 months to the Middle East. Julienne has demonstrated expertise in directing tactical level supply movements and in coordinating complex supply chain global logistics. Julienne completed airborne school and is a qualified aerial delivery and material management specialist. Prior to the military, she completed internships at the Department of State in the Political-Military Bureau and at the U.S. Senate where she interned for Senator Mark R. Warner (D-VA). Julienne holds a BA in Political Science from The George Washington University.


Ellen Galdava for handbooks_journals, etc.Ellen Galdava

Gender and Global Security Program Assistant

Ellen Galdava graduated with her MS from School of Conflict Analysis and Resolution, George Mason University in May 2015. Her master thesis explored generational gap in understanding Georgian national identity and the perception of the Other. She has regional expertise in Europe, Eastern Europe, Central Asia, and Caucasus. Currently, she works at IREX in Education Program Division. At IREX her primary goal is to empower and assist youth from the conflicting regions to acquire education, professional skills, and to become leaders of their regions. For Ellen working at WIIS was a great experience, where she was able to learn from distinguished scholars  in the field and to contribute to WIIS’s various projects.


eringreenwaltErin Greenwalt

Gender Research Program Assistant

Erin Greenwalt is currently completing the last semester of her Master’s in Global Governance, Politics, and Security at the School of International Service, American University. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science with a concentration in Ethnic Conflict from Southern Illinois University of Edwardsville. Erin became interested in international relations through her focus on Native American Studies with Dr. Anne Flaherty. Her senior capstone encompassed ‘the politics of hurt’ in African ethnic conflict. At American University, she now studies women’s security, economic development, and female empowerment. Specifically, she analyzes how women’s grassroots movements in Africa combat corruption and bring about customary land tenure reform. Give that a section of her graduate research is heavily influenced by the Liberian Second Civil War and the impact of the Women of Liberia Mass Action for Peace, she is extremely excited to start doing work on the UN Security Council Resolution 1325, as well as combatant disarmament.


meAshley Holmes

Web Development and Strategic Communication Program Assistant

Ashley Holmes is a native of Richmond, Virginia and alumna of the University of Florida. In 2005 she graduated with a degree in public relations and a commission as a second lieutenant in the United States Army Signal Corps. She spent more than eight years on active duty and currently is a major and public affairs officer in the US Army Reserve. Before joining WIIS, Ashley substitute taught in the District of Columbia Public Schools system, and interned at the International Bureau of the Federal Communications Commission. Ashley is pursuing a M.A. in Global Communication (Information and Communication Technology in International Affairs and Development) from the George Washington University's Elliott School of International Affairs. Her areas of interest include ICT4D, ICT for disaster relief/emergency response, and media for conflict resolution. She is also a communications and policy intern at TechFreedom.


Sung-gyu-Bio-Picture-150x150Sung-gyu (Mark) Hong

Strategic Communications and Web Development Program Assistant

Sung-gyu (Mark) Hong recently graduated from Washington State University with a Master of Arts in Communication, specializing in political communication and media effect. Sung-gyu also holds a Bachelor of Arts in English Literature and Communication from Han-yang University in South Korea. His academic interests include topics related to political polarization, focusing specifically on the role of mass media in political polarization in political parties and the general public. Sung-gyu has also conducted research on the use of social media and media framing in political communication. Before joining WIIS, he worked as a research associate at AudioNow LLC in Washington, DC. In this capacity Sung-gyu specialized in conducting market research and developed marketing strategies for prospective domestic and international clients through various social media platforms. Moving forward, Sung-gyu will continue his doctoral studies in political communication and build on his existing knowledge of marketing and communication systems.

catherine_howell (3)Catherine (Cathy) Howell

Communications and Marketing Program Assistant

Catherine (Cathy) Howell is originally from Los Angeles, CA. where she earned a B.A. in Global Studies and a B.A. in Communications. She is interested in the nexus of human rights initiatives and best communication practices among various cultural communities internationally. Her interests lead her to become involved in a human trafficking seminar in Thailand, where she worked with various anti-trafficking nonprofit organizations. Some of her relevant previous work experience involved drafting and editing research materials, websites, and print publications; as well as conducting interviews with the purpose of gathering stories of human interest for establishing policy recommendations.  Immediately before working at WIIS, Cathy worked at the Center for Strategic and International Studies within the External Relations department.  Presently, she is working on her second year capstone research project for her master’s degree in Global Communications with emphasis in Public Diplomacy and Global Gender Policy from the Elliott School of International Affairs at GWU.


deblandauDeb Landau

Gender and Global Security Program Assistant

Deb Landau was a Gender and Global Security Program Assistant at Women in International Security where she helped support the research and programmatic operations. Prior to enrolling in graduate school, Deborah worked for U.S. Senator Bob Casey (PA) as a foreign policy intern, and subsequently a Staff Assistant. Deb is a Master’s candidate in the School of International Service at American University studying Global Governance, Politics, and Security. Deb graduated from Allegheny College with a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science with a focus on international politics. Her senior thesis examined sexual and gender based violence as a weapon of war in civil wars, specifically the conflicts in Bosnia-Herzegovina, Rwanda, and the Democratic Republic of Congo. She is excited to be able to pursue her interests in gender and global security at WIIS.


julianalawJuliana Law 

Outreach and Development Program Assistant                    jlaw@wiisglobal.org

Juliana Law is the Outreach and Development Program Assistant at Women in International Security where she supports fundraising activities to support the organization's many programs. She gained most of her internship experiences from the corporate business sector, specifically in finance and accounting. Juliana is a rising senior at Boston University Questrom School of Business studying finance. At WIIS, she is excited to explore topics about women, security, and global economic equality for women.


Shannon Travis

CII Program Associate

Shannon Travis is a current undergraduate at McDaniel College, majoring in Political Science with a specialization in International Relations. Her background includes serving four years active duty in the US Army, including a 14 month deployment to Iraq as a Petroleum Supply Specialist and most recently, an eight month deployment to Afghanistan as an Army Reservist. In this capacity, her daily duties comprised key leader engagements with local Afghan leaders and government officials such as Afghan National Army officers and Afghan National Police chiefs within the greater Kabul area. Her other duties included liaising with NATO and ISAF force protection officials as a subject matter expert on insider threats. Shannon redeployed December 2014.

Prior to enlistment in the military, Shannon interned for PeaceBridge International in Kabul, Afghanistan. She taught English as a second language at Kabul University and participated in women’s development and empowerment programs. One such program included distributing loans to local women to for the creation of small businesses.


LilaLila O'Brien-Milne

Gender and Global Security Program Associate

Lila O'Brien-Milne was a Gender and Global Security Program Assistant at Women in International Security where she supported the research and programmatic operations. Prior to coming to WIIS, Lila was a Women, Peace, and Security Fellow at Women's Action for New Directions, a Program Assistant with the Andi Leadership Institute for Young Women, and an Institutional Learning Team Intern with Search for Common Ground. Lila graduated from Bryn Mawr College with a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science with a focus on gender and peacebuilding. Her senior thesis examined gaps between rhetoric and reality around women's inclusion in peacebuilding and security in Kosovo and Bosnia-Herzegovina. She is excited to be able to pursue her interests in gender and peacebuilding at WIIS.

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