Meet the Team

Hillary Rodham Clinton is the Honorary Founding Chair of the Georgetown Institute for Women, Peace and Security (pictured here with Georgetown President John J. DeGioia). From January 2009 to February 2013, she served as Secretary of State of the United States. During her tenure as Secretary of State, Mrs. 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, GIWPS

Melanie Verveer

Ambassador Verveer most recently served as the first US Ambassador for Global women’s issues, a position to which she was nominated byPresident 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 US  foreign policy, and she played a leadership role in the Administration’s development of the US National Action Plan on Women, Peace and Security.

President Obama also appointed her to serve as the US 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 of2000.

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 US 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 – Assistant Director, GIWPS

Mayesha AlamMayesha Alam is the Assistant Director of the Institute and, in this role, manages the Institute's various projects, including theProfiles in Peace oral histories project, major convenings, in-house research, 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. Mayesha co-teaches a graduate seminar on Women, Peace and Security with Ambassador Verveer in the School of Foreign Service. She is the author of Women and Transitional Justice: Progress and Persistent Challenges (Palgrave Macmillan, 2014). Originally from Bangladesh, Mayeshareceived her M.A. in Conflict Resolution at Georgetown University, during which she specialized on gender mainstreaming in peacebuilding, security and post-conflict reconstruction as well as human rights more broadly. She has previously worked in the U.S. and internationally for The World Bank, the United Nations and a number of NGOs. Mayesha received her B.A. in international relations and biology from Mount Holyoke College.

Dr Robert Egnell - Senior Faculty Adviser, Institute for Women, Peace and Security

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, 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”. He over the years 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, as well as the connection between security and development. His current research project is nevertheless 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 in 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.

Rebecca Turkington - Program Assistant, Institute for Women, Peace and Security

Rebecca TurkingtonRebecca Turkington is a program assistant at the Institute for Women, Peace and Security. Prior to joining the Institute, she worked on the Women’s Political Participation team at the National Democratic Institute (NDI), interned at the Moroccan Ministry of Interior and was a research assistant for Wellesley Centers for Women and the Women in Public Service Project. Rebecca 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 - Program Coordinator, International Council for Women's Business Leadership

Alexandra is the Program Coordinator for the International Council on Women's Business Leadership. She joins the Institute of Women, Peace and Security 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 Conference, which convened in Pristina, Kosovo in October 2012. She also spent a year in Chittagong, Bangladesh teaching at the Asian University for Women. Alexandra 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 Georgetown Institute for Women, Peace and Security. She received her BS in International Business and Spanish from Central Michigan University in 2010. Upon graduation, D’Amico moved to Miami, Florida and completed a term as an AmeriCorps VISTA working with Miami Dade College in the Institute for Civic Engagement and Democracy, and another term 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. She moved to Little Rock in 2012 to attend the Clinton School of Public Service. Here, Mara 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. D’Amico graduated with a Master of Public Service from the Clinton School in May 2014. 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 2014-2015 Hillary Rodham Clinton Law Fellow.  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 Global Learning Center in Budapest, Hungary, where she developed training materials on international refugee law.  Ashley 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.  Ashley 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 is the Hillary Rodham Clinton Research Fellow at the Institute for Women, Peace, and Security. She received her M.A. from Georgetown's School of Foreign Service, with a concentration on human rights, security, and international justice. Her coursework and research focused on post-conflict transitions, specifically 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.