Meet Hannah Proctor!

Hannah Proctor is currently a Gender and Global Security Program Assistant at WIIS. She is spearheading the Blue Book Project, the Global Trends Report and creating a Gender 101 Resource. WIIS is happy to have such an accomplished and intelligent member of our team, and we are excited to continue learning more from her!

Hannah is from Manhattan Beach, California. Manhattan Beach’s claim to fame is that you can visit the pier from the Hannah Montana movie, and beach volleyball was basically invented there. Her mother is a lawyer, and her father owns a sports production company. Her entire family loves baseball; she was just six weeks old when she went to her first baseball game. Hannah has visited 17 out of 30 baseball fields in the country, and it is one of her goals to visit all 30. When she was younger, a doll company designed a doll based off her, and another one based off her best friend. She won best celebrity look-alike for Michelle Williams in her senior year of high school because her class watched the movie ‘Dick’ in AP US History.

After graduating from high school, Hannah decided to go to college to become a sports journalist. She received offers from schools in Wisconsin and Georgia for her undergraduate degree. After visiting the campuses and experiencing sleet in Wisconsin and sunshine in Georgia, she decided to attend the University of Georgia (UGA). During her time at the University of Georgia, Hannah changed her degree six different times before graduating with a double major in International Affairs and Women’s Studies.

Following her dream of being a sports journalist and her love of baseball, Hannah became a Diamond Darling for UGA, paving the way for her brother (a comedy writer and baseball player) to be recruited to the team years later. She decided to become a sports agent after reading the book Playing Ball with the Boys: The Rise of Women in the World of Men’s Sports by Betsy M. Ross, which the stories of the first women to work in men’s sports and the misogyny they faced. She decided to apply for an internship at a sports agency to learn more about the field, but the interview was awful. The interviewer answered calls and texts while interviewing Hannah and told her that she was too unqualified to have even applied.

Hannah decided to look elsewhere and landed a job as a summer intern for Special Olympics World Games and loved it so much she ended up working for them full-time the following summer as well. Her job at Special Olympics changed her life. Hannah made lasting friendships with her coworkers, and her boss is still an amazing role model. After working there and seeing a photo of an Iranian & Israeli athlete dancing together and experiencing the positive impact that image portrayed, she decided to change her major to International Affairs.

Hannah’s decision to double major in Women’s Studies came about after she left her sorority over the misogyny, racism and homophobia the sorority embodied. For example, during finals she received an email from the sorority stating that it didn’t matter how the sorority sisters did on their finals, it just mattered how their future husbands did. Additionally, her sorority held a Duck Dynasty themed social that was extremely anti-LGBTQ+. Hannah took a stand, voiced her support for the LGBTQ+ community, and painted a rainbow flag on her cheek, which (satisfyingly) angered the fraternity that hosted the event. After these experiences she knew she wanted to make a difference in the world by double majoring in International Affairs and Women’s Studies.

Throughout college, Hannah worked for TEDxUGA as the Director of Engagement. She was inspired by the incredible speakers with whom she worked during her three TEDx events. After studying abroad at Oxford her junior year, she interned for a small Croatian soccer team during the summer of 2016 where she developed the Girls’ Empowerment Program to encourage local girls to take up soccer.

After graduating from UGA, Hannah attended the London School of Economics (LSE) and earned her Master’s degree in Women, Peace, and Security (WPS). She is currently one out of 20 people worldwide who hold this degree. She specifically chose LSE because of the WPS major and loved living in London because of the diversity. During her first year in London, Hannah lived in Shoreditch (a very hipster and artsy area) and worked at the coffee house, Shoreditch Grind. During her summer break she traveled to France, Norway, Sweden, and the Netherlands with her boyfriend, Ryan.

During her second year she lived in a beautiful and quaint cottage in Hertfordshire with an adorable dog. She wrote her Masters Dissertation on the role women and girls’ right to education has in the WPS Agenda. Her program at LSE was overall an amazing experience. She was lucky enough to meet Angelina Jolie during a class, and can now refer to her as ‘Angie’. She particularly loved learning from accomplished practitioners and academics, and connecting with the people in her class that came from so many different places around the world.

After graduating from LSE, Hannah moved to Washington DC with her boyfriend, Ryan, who works at the University of Maryland. She has only been in DC for a short time, but loves it! Hannah’s ultimate dream job is to be the US Ambassador to the United Nations, a role we know she could accomplish with grace!

Hannah’s main research interests are in the power of educating women and girls; militarized sexual violence and the militarization of societies; WPS; and the shortcomings of US policy when it comes to intersectional equality. Her overall research is to find correlations between a person’s ability to maintain power and their support for women’s equality. By doing this, she hopes to help promote feminist foreign policies around the world. Hannah will one day live barefoot and sustainably on the archipelago islands in Sweden, or on a Greek Island where she can sing ABBA to her heart’s content.

Hannah brings intelligence and energy to everything she does. We at WIIS couldn’t be luckier that she is part of our team and is willing to share her time and talents with us! She has already accomplished so much, and we cannot wait to see what her future holds.

By Kayla McGill