President of WIIS DC
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Michelle Shevin-Coetzee joined WIIS-DC in May 2015 as Vice President, having previously served as the Founder and President of WIIS-GWU, the chapter at the George Washington University.
Outside of WIIS-DC, Michelle is an MA candidate in Security Studies at Georgetown University. She previously was a 2018-2019 Fulbright Schuman Fellow based at Chatham House in London and the German Council on Foreign Relations (DGAP) in Berlin. Michelle also worked in Washington’s think tank community, serving as a Research Assistant at the Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments (CSBA) and as a Researcher at the Center for a New American Security (CNAS). Her work focuses on European defense policy.
She graduated summa cum laude from the George Washington University’s Elliott School of International Affairs with a B.A. in International Affairs and a minor in Arabic. She has also studied at the University of Cambridge.
Brenda Estefania Ortiz Calva
Estefania is an Analyst in the Congressional Affairs Office at the Embassy of Mexico in Washington, DC. She has contributed in the organization of a wide variety of events, including briefings to Congressional staffers, a discussion on consular protection to LGBTI communities, and a mentoring talk between Mexican diplomats and college women interested in foreign policy. Estefania obtained a master’s degree in Security Policy Studies from the George Washington University, where she belonged to the first generation of Carlos Slim Scholars.
As a graduate student, Estefania interned at the Inter-American Dialogue and the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime liaison office in New York. She is interested in the intersection between security and development, particularly in the Western Hemisphere. She enjoys working on topics like migration, transnational crime, and regional cooperation. Estefania was born and raised in Hidalgo, Mexico. She received her bachelor's degree in International Relations from ITAM. As a research assistant, Estefania participated in the organization of roundtable events to discuss the state of the energy sector in Mexico. Her thesis about security cooperation between Mexico and Central America allowed her to graduate with distinction.
Carly Millenson’s focus is the international peace and security field, particularly as it pertains to the Eurasian sphere. She completed a graduate certificate in international affairs in 2019 from the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies. She received her BA from Princeton University with a self-designed major in International Security with Historical Studies, which used the lens of modern history to understand current security challenges facing the US, and a minor in East Asian Studies. Her senior thesis examined how best to characterize the US-China-Russia strategic dynamic. Other research interests include the South China Sea dispute and the Far Right. While at Princeton she served as a fellow at the Center for International Security Studies, where she helped run inter-institutional crisis simulations and the Center’s speaker series. She also represented Princeton at the 2018 McDonald Conference for Leaders of Character at United States Military Academy at West Point.
Carly first began working with WIIS while in high school, when she served as Program Manager at WIIS-NY. She speaks Mandarin, Spanish, and German and has spent time living in the People's Republic of China, as well as Taiwan, where she attended National Taiwan University for a semester. Carly has interned at the Center on National Security at the Fordham University School of Law, the American Enterprise Institute’s Asian Studies Group, and Washington’s Laogai Research Foundation. She was accepted into the MA program at the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies but is currently taking a leave of absence to serve as Director of Marketing & Global Partnerships at a public benefit company that is working to develop a home test for SARS-CoV-2.
Social Media Coordinator
Luca DiDomenico is a passionate scholar, advocate and ally of issues related to gender in the sphere of International Affairs. A dual-national of the United States and France, he has used his background to work in multinational institutions and expand on research topics related to his academic specialization, Global Gender Policy.
During his Hillary For America internship in 2016, he completed quantitative data analysis, social media management, and language translations for the campaign website. As a Press and Communications intern at the French Embassy, he drafted and edited articles for the Embassy newsletter which touched on a number of gender issues in France and francophone countries around the globe. As an undergraduate at The George Washington University, he co-founded March On the Campus, the first collegiate affiliate of March On. More recently, he worked closely with the Elliott School’s Gender Equality Initiative in International Affairs on organizing and managing the social media for a Women Peace and Security Conference in March 2020.
After earning his BA in International Affairs from The George Washington University, Luca started his Master’s in International Affairs at GWU. His thesis is a policy paper assessing the effectiveness of gender-segregated transportation.
Luca speaks English, French, Spanish and Italian, and his hobbies include playing and watching soccer and recreating his family’s French recipes in the kitchen.
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Jessie Evans is the Africa Program Lead for the Institute of Security Governance at the U.S. Department of Defense. She works closely with foreign security sector partners across Africa on institutional capacity building. Prior, Jessie served as a security sector reform advisor to the United States Mission to Somalia in Mogadishu, Somalia, and Nairobi, Kenya. Her team managed over $115 million dollars in US- security assistance to Somali forces and other African partners serving in Somalia. She pushed for tougher conditionality and as a result, the US Ambassador paused and realigned millions of dollars of assistance to address issues of waste, corruption, and poor alignment to policy goals.
Previously, she served six years as a Conflict Specialist in the Bureau of Conflict and Stabilization Operations supporting US embassies in Burma, Bangladesh, and Afghanistan. Before the State Department, Jessie worked at the Harvard School of Public Health on international health and human rights. Jessie received her master’s degree from The Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University. While at Fletcher, Jessie was a Rosenthal Fellow in the Department of Defense, Office of the Secretary of Defense in the Office of African Affairs. She received her BA in Diplomacy and World Affairs from Occidental College and originally hails from Bend, OR.