Contributors and Student Assistants


Dr. Robert Egnell - Senior Fellow

Robert Egnell (PhD London) is a Senior Fellow with the Institite. Dr. Egnell is a Professor of Leadership at the Swedish Defence University in Stockholm. He is also a senior fellow with the Security Studies Program at Georgetown University. Previous appointments include working as a senior researcher at the Swedish Defence Research Institute (FOI), and as an assistant lecturer at the Department of Political Science at the University of Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. 

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 international security and military operations, civil-military coordination for effectiveness in peace operations, and the connection between security and development. His main 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 also a captain in the Swedish Army Reserves with operational experience from the first Swedish battalion in Kosovo from 1999-2000. 

Jeanne Ruesch - Chair, GIWPS Advisory Board

Jeanne 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.

Anita Botti - Special Adviser on Strategic Partnerships

Anita Botti was Chief of Staff and Principal Deputy in the Secretary’s Office of Global Women’s Issues. Ms. Botti previously served as a Legislative Liaison Officer in the Department’s Bureau of Legislative Affairs and as the first Congressional Coordinator for the Bureau of Economic and Business Affairs and for the Under Secretary for Economic and Business and Agricultural Affairs. In 1997, Ms. Botti was seconded to the President’s Interagency Council on Women and served as Chair of the U.S. Interagency Task Force on Trafficking in Human Beings. She holds a bachelor’s degree in psychology and a master’s degree in demography.

Dr. Margaret Jenkins - Research Associate on Peacekeeping

Dr. Margaret Jenkins is a Research Associate on peacekeeping with the Institute. Dr. Jenkins' current research focuses on women in peacekeeping, and she is working on a multiyear study funded by SSHRC Canada. She is a research fellow at the Women and Public Policy Program at Harvard University's Kennedy School of Government.

Marjan H. Ehsassi - Policy Fellow

Marjan H. Ehsassi is a Policy Fellow and leads the Principled Engagement Initiative at the Institute for Women, Peace and Security. She is also the Founder and President of Black Fish Advocates, a 501c3 working to enhance space for civil society in closed environments such as Iran and North Korea. Her expertise is in Democracy & Governance, Peace & Security, Rule of Law, and Women’s Empowerment. Marjan serves on the Board of several organizations and has a combination of private and public sector experience including as litigator, COO, Consultant, as well as Executive Director, SPM with organizations such as the National Democratic Institute, ABA-ROLI, and the World Bank. Marjan has a BA in International Relations from the University of Toronto and an LL.M from McGill University. Iranian-American, she was born in Geneva and has lived and worked in Canada, Africa, Asia, Europe and the Middle East. Marjan speaks English, French and Farsi with native fluency. 

Research Assistants 

Katherine Butler-Dines is a research assistant on the Women & Economy Project. She is a senior in the School of Foreign Service at Georgetown University. She is majoring in Regional and Comparative Studies with a focus on the Middle East and North Africa, and is also pursuing a certificate in Religion, Ethics and World Affairs through the Berkley Center. She has studied abroad in both Jordan and Morocco and is working toward fluency in Arabic. 

Alex Rohlwing is a graduate research assistant with the Institute, entering his second year in Georgetown's Conflict Resolution program. Alex has a BA in Cultural Anthropology with a minor in History from the University of Florida. After working in the emergency medical sector as an EMT and Paramedic for several years, Alex turned his attention to disaster and conflict response and recovery. His studies at Georgetown focus on conflicts in emergency and disaster contexts and integrating conflict resilience into disaster recovery.   

Annabelle Timsit is an undergraduate Research Assistant with the Institute. She is a third year student in the School of Foreign Service and is majoring in International Politics with a concentration in Foreign Policy. Annabelle is a student strategist for the Institute for Politics and Public Service, and writes for the U.S.-Middle East Youth Network and the Berkley Center for Religion, Peace and World Affairs. 

Haydn Welch is a graduate research assistant with the Institute, and is a first year graduate student in the Arab Studies program at Georgetown. Haydn received a B.A. in Middle East studies from Swarthmore College in 2015. She studied Arabic in Amman, Jordan, where she conducted research for her undergraduate thesis on collective memory and national identity formation of Palestinian-Jordanians. At Georgetown, Haydn is developing her research in war and gender in Syria and Lebanon.

Andrea Welsh is a second-year graduate student in Georgetown's Global Human Development program and a candidate for the Certificate in Refugee and Humanitarian Emergencies and Certificate in Diplomatic Studies. Andrea also serves as the Co-President of the Georgetown Women in International Affairs (GWIA). Previously, Andrea served in the US Peace Corps and worked at an international non-profit where she backstopped HIV/AIDS and TB programs for twelve country offices. She graduated from the University of Oregon with a B.A. in Spanish and International Studies and is fluent in Spanish and conversational in French. Her current research focuses on the nexus of development, humanitarian assistance and security.