Meet the Team

Hillary Rodham Clinton is the Honorary Founding Chair of the Georgetown Institute for Women, Peace and Security. From January 2009 to February 2013, she served as Secretary of State of the United States. During her tenure as Secretary of State, Clinton launched the U.S. National Action Plan on Women, Peace and Security at Georgetown University on December 19, 2011, at which time she also announced the creation of the Institute. A lifelong advocate of women and girls’ empowerment, Secretary Clinton has some four decades to public service. Read more.

Melanne Verveer - Executive Director

Melanie Verveer

Ambassador Verveer most recently served as the first U.S. Ambassador for Global Women’s Issues, a position to which she was nominated by President Obama in 2009. She coordinated foreign policy issues and  activities relating to the political, economic and social advancement of women, traveling to nearly sixty countries. She worked to ensure that women’s participation and rights are fully integrated into U.S. foreign policy, and she played a leadership role in the Administration’s development of the U.S. National Action Plan on Women, Peace and Security.

President Obama also appointed her to serve as the U.S. Representative to the UN Commission on the Status of Women.

From 2000-2008, she was the Chair and Co-CEO of Vital Voices Global Partnership, an international NGO that she co-founded to invest in emerging women leaders. During the Clinton administration, she served as Assistant to the President and Chief of Staff to the First Lady. She also led the effort to establish the President’s Interagency Council on Women, and was instrumental in the adoption of the Trafficking Victims Protection Act of 2000.

Ambassador Verveer has a B.S. and M.S. from Georgetown University. In 2013, she was the Humanitas Visiting professor at Cambridge University. She is a member of the Council of Foreign Relations and the World Bank Advisory Council on Gender and Development. She holds several honorary degrees and is the recipient of numerous awards, including the U.S. Secretary of State’s Award for Distinguished Service.

Jeanne Ruesch - Chair, GIWPS Advisory Board

Jeanne RueschJeanne Ruesch is Chair of the Advisory Board of the Georgetown Institute for Women, Peace and Security, and has previously served as a Trustee of the University. She is also Chair of the Ruesch Family Foundation, a charitable entity primarily focusing on medicine, education as a tool for social justice, and the arts, which was founded in 2004 by her and her late husband, Otto J. Ruesch. In 2009, she established the Otto J. Ruesch Center for the Cure of Gastrointestinal Cancers at the Georgetown Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center. She and her late husband also funded the Christoph Ruesch Neuroscience Research Center at Medstar National Rehabilitation Hospital. Prior to the establishing the family foundation, she and her husband founded Ruesch International, an international financial services company.

Mayesha Alam – Associate Director

Mayesha Alam

Mayesha Alam is the Associate Director of the Georgetown Institute for Women, Peace and Security. In this role, she manages the Institute's various research projects, the Profiles in Peace oral histories project, major convenings, the Hillary R. Clinton Fellowship program, the Summer Graduate Research Fellows program, and the online repository. She is also in charge of operations at the Institute, and supports the Executive Director in fundraising and building external relations. Ms. Alam is an Adjunct Faculty in the School of Foreign Service where she co-teaches a graduate seminar on women, peace and security. She is the author of Women and Transitional Justice: Progress and Persistent Challenges (Palgrave Macmillan, 2014).

Ms. Alam has previously worked in the U.S. and internationally for The World Bank, the United Nations and several NGOs. Originally from Bangladesh, she received her M.A. in conflict resolution at Georgetown University and her B.A. in international relations and biology from Mount Holyoke College.

Dr. Robert Egnell - Senior Faculty Adviser, GIWPS

Robert Egnell

Robert Egnell (PhD London) is, beyond his work with GIWPS, a Visiting Professor and Director of Teaching with the Security Studies Program, on leave from a position as Associate Professor at Uppsala University in Sweden. Robert is also the founding Director of the Stockholm Center for Strategic Studies.

Dr. Egnell's research and expertise can best be summarized as “the conduct and effectiveness of peace and stability operations”. Over the years, he has studied state-building and security sector reform, counterinsurgency in Iraq and Afghanistan, gender in military operations, civil-military coordination for effectiveness in peace operations, and the connection between security and development. His current research project is a book on human security and the state – an attempt to rethink the way we understand security, who the threatened are, who threatens, and who the providers of security should be.

Dr. Egnell is a captain in the Swedish Army Reserves with operational experience from the first Swedish battalion in Kosovo from 1999-2000. Previous appointments include working as a senior researcher at the Swedish Defence Research Institute (FOI), where he focused his research on African security, peace support operations and civil-military relations. Until June 2007 he was an assistant lecturer at the Department of Political Science at the University of Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, where he taught International Relations, Conflict Management and Political Science.

Dr. Claudia Paz y Paz Bailey - Distinguished Scholar in Residence

Claudia Paz y Paz

Guatemala’s first female Attorney General, Dr. Claudia Paz y Paz Bailey, is a criminal law specialist, scholar, judge and litigator, who has worked for over eighteen years to strengthen the justice system in her country, Guatemala. She earned her doctorate in human rights and criminal law, served as a judge, and was the national consultant to the UN Mission in Guatemala. In 1994, she founded the Institute for Comparative Criminal Studies of Guatemala, a human rights organization that promotes restorative justice and protects the rights of marginalized and discriminated groups during criminal proceedings.
Dr. Paz y Paz Bailey assumed leadership of Guatemala’s Ministerio Publico (Prosecutor’s Office) in December 2010 until may 2014, and pursued cases against both the organized criminals of today and the perpetrators of massive human rights abuse in the past. 
She is currently at Georgetown University for one year as a Distinguished Scholar in Residence, with a joint appointment between GIWPS and the Georgetown University Law Center.

Rebecca Turkington - Program Assistant

Rebecca TurkingtonRebecca Turkington is the Program Assistant for the Institute. Prior to joining the Institute, she worked on the Women’s Political Participation team at the National Democratic Institute, interned at the Moroccan Ministry of Interior and was a Research Assistant for the Wellesley Centers for Women and the Women in Public Service Project. Ms. Turkington received a B.A. in International Relations and History from Wellesley College, where she was a 2011 fellow at the Madeleine K. Albright Institute for Global Affairs.


Alexandra Zimmerman Safir - Program Coordinator, International Council on Women's Business Leadership

Alexandra Zimmerman Safir is the Program Coordinator for the International Council on Women's Business Leadership. She joins the Institute from The Wilson Center, where she served as Executive Assistant and Scheduler to President and CEO Jane Harman. She previously worked at the National Democratic Institute as a Program Assistant to the International Women's Summit, which convened in Pristina, Kosovo in October 2012. She also spent a year in Chittagong, Bangladesh teaching at the Asian University for Women. Mrs. Safir holds an M.A. from the Center for Middle Eastern Studies at the University of Chicago, and a B.A. in Religion, concentrating in Islamic Studies, from the George Washington University.

Mara D'Amico - 2014 Hillary Rodham Clinton Communications Fellow

Mara D’Amico is the inaugural Hillary Rodham Clinton Communications Fellow with the Institute. She received her B.S. in International Business and Spanish from Central Michigan University. Ms. D’Amico completed a term as an AmeriCorps VISTA with Miami Dade College in the Institute for Civic Engagement and Democracy, and served as an AmeriCorps Public Ally working at the University of Miami as a liaison between the Office of Civic and Community Engagement and the Butler Center for Service and Leadership. Ms. D’Amico graduated with a Master of Public Service from the Clinton School of Public Service in May 2014. Here, she served as Student Body President, and completed field service working to address recidivism and re-entry in Little Rock, gender-based violence on Ometepe Island in Nicaragua, and policy and research related to women and girls with the Women's Foundation of Arkansas. She has previously worked with The Carter Center, and is a certified advocate for survivors of domestic violence.

Ashley Binetti - 2014 Hillary Rodham Clinton Law Fellow

Ashley Binetti is the inaugural Hillary Rodham Clinton Law Fellow with the Institute. Ashley received her J.D. cum laude from Georgetown University Law Center in 2014, with certificates in Refugee and Humanitarian Emergencies, and Transnational Legal Studies. She previously worked with the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees at the Global Learning Center in Budapest, Hungary, where she developed training materials on international refugee law. Ms. Binetti has a deep interest in the plight of women refugees, and is dedicated to achieving social justice throughout the world through advocacy, human rights education and strengthening rule of law. Ms. Binetti graduated Phi Beta Kappa from Cornell University with a B.A. in Government and International Relations.

Rukmani Bhatia - 2014 Hillary Rodham Clinton Research Fellow

Rukmani Bhatia is the inaugural Hillary Rodham Clinton Research Fellow with the Institute. She received her M.A. from Georgetown University's School of Foreign Service with a concentration on human rights, security and international justice. Her coursework and research focused on post-conflict transitions, examining the role of women within the post-conflict framework. Her regional areas of interest are the Western Balkans, the European Union, and South Asia. She received her B.A. in International Relations and French with honors from Wellesley College. 


Annabelle Timsit - 2014 Research Assistant


Annabelle Timsit is a sophomore in the School of Foreign Service originally from Paris, France. She is an International Politics major with a concentration in Foreign Policy. Ms. Timsit has worked for Vital Voices Global Partnership. Her areas of interest include the intersection between women's reproductive rights and development as well as the role of international diplomatic institutions in contemporary international relations.


Amanda Jessen - 2014 Graduate Research Assistant

Amanda Jessen is a graduate research assistant with the Institute, and is a student in Conflict Resolution program at Georgetown University. Ms. Jessen has focused her coursework on understanding the role that women play in both perpetrating and countering violent extremism. During her second year at Georgetown, Ms. Jessen completed a Boren Fellowship in Istanbul, Turkey. In 2013, she was awarded two concurrent research fellowships through the Institute and the Conflict Resolution program to research and publish a report on the degree to which the Turkish Government has mainstreamed gender considerations throughout their programming for Syrian refugees. Prior to beginning her studies at Georgetown, Ms. Jessen consulted for Deloitte’s Emerging Markets segment and completed two years of service in the U.S. Peace Corps in Azerbaijan. She is a graduate of UCLA and a Point Foundation Scholar. Ms. Jessen will join the Bureau of International Organizations at the Department of State upon graduating this spring. 

Helen Moser - 2014 Graduate Research Assistant

Helen Moser is a graduate research assistant with the Institute, and is a student in the School of Foreign Service Global Human Development program. Ms. Moser has focused her Georgetown coursework and internships on South Asia and governance, with a specific emphasis on women's political participation. She spent the summer of 2014 working with Save the Children in Sri Lanka, and interned with Vital Voices Global Partnership last spring. Prior to beginning her studies at Georgetown, Ms. Moser worked at the Asian University for Women in Bangladesh, where she served as a lecturer, teaching assistant, and adviser to young women from across South and Southeast Asia. She has also worked for the non-profit and public sectors in the Federated States of Micronesia, Germany, Scotland and Taiwan. Ms. Moser graduated Phi Beta Kappa from the University of Southern California in 2010 with degrees in print journalism and political science. 

Roslyn Warren - Research Associate

Roslyn Warren serves as deputy on a research project housed at the Institute on women's civil society organizations' impact on peace processes in conflict-affected countries. Ms. Warren also serves as country director for Zambia for Medeem LLC. Prior to this, she conducted a year-long research project for the Institute on women's participation in the peace process in the Democratic Republic of Congo and the larger Great Lakes region. As a graduate student in the Security Studies program at the School of Foreign Service, Ms. Warren conducted research with Dr. Tammy Schultz on issues ranging from the politicization of civil-military relations to the application of international relations theories to fictional works. Prior to coming to Georgetown, Ms. Warren worked at the University of Southern California as the Director of Programs & Community Engagement for the Jesse M. Unruh Institute of Politics. She received her B.A. in Political Science from the University of California, Berkeley, where she graduated with distinction, and her M.A. in Security Studies from Georgetown University, where she received the inaugural Director's Citizenship Award for her contributions to her program, peers, and school. She has published on issues ranging from protecting local partners in Iraq and Afghanistan to empowering girls as a means to achieve the post-2015 agenda of the Millennium Development Goals. She is also a member of the Pacific Council on International Policy.