Meet the current Georgetown Ambassadors for Women, Peace and Security.
Halé Behzadi is the Head of North America private banking at Citi Private Bank. From 2014-2021, she was Managing Director and Global Market Manager of the Western Region at Citi. Halé Co-Chairs Citi’s California Leadership Council and is the Executive Sponsor of Citi’s North America Diversity Committee. Most recently, Halé chaired the Mentoring Committee at Citi Private Bank and served as the Business Sponsor of Citi’s Pride Network for Southern California and the Women’s Network for Northern California. Prior to joining Citigroup and establishing the Private Bank office in Beverly Hills in 2003, Halé was a Senior Vice President at Bank of America. Halé is a graduate of Georgetown University with a BA in Economics where she is an active member of the Georgetown Institute for Women, Peace and Security.
Michelle Bhatia recently joined Dyson as Director of Strategic Programmes. She previously served as Vice-President of Business Operations of Juniper Networks and has also worked in product management and business strategy at an IOT startup, Sun Microsystems, Motorola and Textron. Michelle has served on the boards of Girls’ Middle School and Child Advocates and led a portfolio of projects with the Stanford Alumni Consulting Team (ACT). She is an alumna of Georgetown University, MIT Sloan School of Business and Stanford University Graduate School of Business Executive Program. She has served as a member of Georgetown University’s Northern California Advisory Committee and Alumni Admission Program. She currently resides in Singapore.
Sherry Buchanan was features editor of the editorial page of the Wall Street Journal and a columnist with the International Herald Tribune (The New York Times International Edition). She was posted to Brussels, Paris, London and Hong Kong. After discovering a collection of war drawings in Vietnam, she created her imprint Asia Ink, a client press of the University of Chicago Press. In addition to being a publisher, editor and guest curator of the British Museum, she is the author of several books on the Vietnam War including Vietnam Zippos: Engravings and Stories of American Soldiers (2007) and On The Ho Chi Minh Trail: The Blood Road, The Women Who Defended It, The Legacy (2021). She is active in charities that promote the education of women and girls mainly in non-western countries. She lives in London. Sherry has a B.A. in Political Science, Smith College and an M.A. in International Relations, The Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy, Tufts University.
Amy Christiansen is the founder of the socially conscious, luxury fragrance house Sana Jardin. Sana Jardin is built on the principles of a circular economy; their alternative business model enables women in the supply chain to become micro-entrepreneurs by upcycling the waste products from perfume production and contributes to the three of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. Sana Jardin perfume is sold in 100 luxury retailers around the world including Net-A-Porter and Harrods and has been featured widely in the New York Times, Vogue and The Wall Street Journal. Amy’s background is in the non-profit sector and after earning her Bachelors and Master’s degree in Social Work, she became a direct practice social worker before spending almost 20 years partnering with various foundations to address economic inequality including President Clinton’s Foundation, the Cherie Blair Foundation to support Women and the Robin Hood Foundation. Amy is involved in a number of non-profit organizations including being a Georgetown Ambassador for Women, Peace and Security, Board member of the Elisa Sednaoui Foundation and Advisory Board member of Nest.
Theresa Miller DeGioia received a BS in Psychology from Georgetown University and earned her MSW from Catholic University. She worked in the Office of National Service at the White House during President George H. W. Bush’s administration. In Georgetown’s development office she worked on events and fundraising with young alumni. She has served as a clinical social worker in an elementary school and a juvenile detention facility. She has also been on the Archdiocese of Washington Catholic Charities board as well as the Washington Jesuit Academy board.
Tanja Ellis is an entrepreneur, philanthropist and mother of four. Tanja has published books on Bermuda, South Pole, and planet Earth as charitable endeavors. She has also developed resorts and currently manages an international portfolio of homes across the globe. Tanja serves on the boards of Waterside School, and Greenwich YMCA. She is a graduate of the University of Pennsylvania and Smith College. She currently resides in New York and London.
Samia Farouki is the Founder and CEO of Hii-Finance, Corp., a global investment company. Mrs. Farouki has also dedicated herself to causes focused on education, the arts, and women’s empowerment. She is currently a member of the board of governors of the Middle East Institute, serves on the boards of the Georgetown University Center for Contemporary Arab Studies, King Hussein Foundation, the King Hussein Cancer Center, the Kennedy Center International Committee for the Arts, Bridges for Understanding, and Tomorrow’s Youth. Mrs. Farouki has also been a member of the boards of the Lab School of Washington, Folger Shakespeare Library, Vital Voices, Corcoran Gallery, D.C. region Teach for America, Arab American Cultural Foundation, and Washington Opera Company, and she was the co-chair of the Aspen Institute Middle East programs.
Suzanne Freind graduated from Georgetown University’s College of Arts and Science and received her MBA from Columbia Business School. She worked for many years in sales and brand management at Procter & Gamble, Johnson & Johnson, Bristol Myers Squibb and Lancome, Paris, with responsibility for developing and launching new products, as well as building existing brands. Suzanne serves on The Musical Theater Council of The Public Theater and has been a leading volunteer at The Allen-Stevenson School, The Chapin School and Riverdale Country School.
Anisya Fritz has lectured, consulted, and published on humanitarian relief, competitive strategy and international entrepreneurship. Anisya currently serves as the CEO and Chairman of the privately owned LynnCo Supply Chain Solutions. She also serves as Proprietor and Director of Marketing and Consumer Sales at Lynmar Estate, a producer of highest quality Pinot Noir and Chardonnay wines in Sonoma County’s Russian River Valley. Another of Anisya’s contributions, Fritz Institute, created a wide coalition of partners to produce impactful research, training, metrics, and technology to improve humanitarian logistics worldwide. Anisya holds a BA from Loyola College in Maryland and an MS and PhD in Management from Virginia Tech. Anisya now shares her love of learning by teaching Wine Entrepreneurship to winery and vineyard owners at Sonoma State University. She currently serves on the Board of the San Francisco Conservatory of Music.
Mary Goudie is a member of the British House of Lords and a global advocate for the rights of women and children. She works globally to promote gender equality, women’s rights and peace building. She is an advisor to the Georgetown Institute for Women, Peace and Security and is also on the advisory board for the London School of Economics – Centre for Women, Peace and Security and a member of the advisory board of Women’s Forum, a leading platform dedicated to highlighting women’s voices and perspectives on global issues. At present, Baroness Goudie is a member of the Adult Social Care Committee and the Protocol on Ireland/Northern Ireland Sub-Committee. Baroness Goudie is also a member of the Gender Action for Peace and Security (GAPS) management board of advisors. A trustee of the El-Hibri Charitable Foundation, which foster interfaith dialogue and establish common ground and solutions to global challenges affecting mankind. Baroness Goudie is an active ambassador for the International Center for Research on Women (ICRW), a global research institute whose mission is to empower women, advance gender equality and fight poverty. As well as a founding member of the 30% Club steering committee, which aims to influence chairman into bringing more women on to corporate boards across the world.
Raana Hasnat is a global executive focusing on banking and management consulting. She has worked in high level management positions with US and global reputable institutions such as Salomon Smith Barney at Citigroup, Wells Fargo Bank, Washington Mutual, Dubai World, Digital Daya LLC. As a specialty, she has developed the women’s market in the Middle East and North African region as well as the US and has demonstrated strong success in unlocking this $580 billion empowerment market. Raana was very successful as a Founding Member in setting up and running Forsa, the first Women’s Investment Bank in the Middle East & North African Region, an initiative of His Highness, Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Prime Minster of UAE, and Ruler of Dubai. She had the honor of being invited by her majesty Queen Rania of Jordan to speak and represent her organization at a high-profile public, private partnership forum in Amman, Jordan. Raana has served on many boards in positions of Vice Chair, Commission on the Status of Women, Dignity Health, Adventist Medical Center, Glendale Educational Foundation among others. She received her BS degree with high honors in Political Science from Illinois State University and MBA degree in Finance from California State University, San Diego.
Tricia Hoefling is a professor at Georgetown Law School. She is an outspoken advocate for reproductive rights. Most recently, she worked for the national nonprofit reproductive rights organization, Whole Woman’s Health Alliance, where, in addition to lecturing, advocacy work and legal research, she served as the project manager for the opening of two nonprofit reproductive health clinics, in Charlottesville, Virginia and South Bend, Indiana. Prior to her work at Whole Woman’s Health Alliance, Professor Hoefling taught as an Adjunct Professor at Washington and Lee School of Law, and practiced law for many years at Cravath, Swaine & Moore LLC. Professor Hoefling currently serves on the boards of many organizations, including Whole Woman’s Health Alliance, The Board of Regents at Georgetown University, The Miller Center at The University of Virginia, the Emily Couric Leadership Foundation and the Village School of Charlottesville. She received her B.S. from Georgetown University’s School of Foreign Service and her J.D. from Columbia Law School.
Fan Hu is the founder of UP Education Consulting, which provides educational consulting services to foreign students and focuses on bridging the gap between the education systems in China and the US. Originally from China, Fan earned her advanced degrees in the U.S. universities and devotes her passion to narrowing the gender gap in education and employment opportunities. Prior to starting her own business, Fan had over two decades of working experiences in the financial sector, including Loomis Sales & Co., Columbia Management Group and The Colonial Mutual Fund Group. She holds a Ph.D. in Economics from North Carolina State University and had numerous publications in the top peer-reviewed journals.
Julie Jalelian is a Managing Director within the Global Technology, Media & Telecom Corporate Banking Group at Bank of America Securities Inc based in Boston. Julie has over 25 years of global corporate banking experience, delivering Bank of America’s Global Corporate and Investment Banking platform to large corporate clients in the media sector. Julie holds an A.B. in Economics from Mount Holyoke College and an M.A. in Economics from Boston University. Prior to her banking career, Julie was a Peace Corps Volunteer in Cameroon, West Africa where she worked in community development with local women’s agricultural groups.
Delia Jampel is a clinical psychologist, social services strategic planning, at the California School of Professional Psychology. She attended Princeton University and completed her master’s degree at Columbia University’s School of Social Work. She later obtained her Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology from the California School of Professional Psychology.
Carolina Garcia Jayaram is the Founding Executive Director of The Elevate Prize Foundation, a global purpose-driven nonprofit that serves to amplify social impact and empower passionate problem solvers, leaders, and innovators. Carolina has over two decades of experience in leading nonprofit organizations dedicated to enriching and shaping social impact, philanthropic, and cultural communities. She most recently served as CEO & president of the National YoungArts Foundation and, prior to that, as president & CEO of United States Artists, where she managed $25M in unrestricted awards to the country’s most accomplished artists.
Rachael Jarosh is a leading voice in the transformation of distribution models to accelerate partnerships, education and impact advancing equity and sustainable capitalism. A US-based business executive, community leader and philanthropist, Rachael most recently served as President and Chief Executive Officer of Enactus, the largest experiential learning platform dedicated to creating a better world while developing next generation social innovators and entrepreneurial business leaders. Under Rachael’s leadership, Enactus grew to welcome 500,000+ participants in 80+ countries (amid the pandemic) while achieving a best-in-class efficiency rate; in 2019, Enactus students positively impacted 2.9M people worldwide. Rachael has built a distinctive professional portfolio in law, finance, communications and philanthropic strategy during her 25+ year career. She served as foundation president and led global communications for Pentair plc; earlier, worked in equity analysis; and began her career as an attorney. In addition, Rachael is a writer, and has been published in the Wall Street Journal and the New York Post among other outlets. An avid outdoorswoman with a passion for adventure, Rachael is a member of the Explorer’s Club.
Victoria Johner y Cruz is Director of JC Consulting in Geneva, Switzerland, where she has been engaged since 2001 in the practice of Commodity Trade Finance. She previously worked with Women’s World Banking as Latin America Manager, and prior to that worked as a lawyer with Shearman & Sterling and Mayer, Brown & Plat in New York city. She is a member of the New York Bar and holds and LLM from Boston University School of Law and a JD from Colegio Mayor de Nuestra Senora del Rosario in Bogota, Colombia. She is a proud Georgetown parent and supporter of Georgetown’s Global Scholarship Fund, as well as GIWPS.
Janet Little is a faculty member at the University of Cincinnati where she has taught both pre- and in-service teachers for over twenty years. She has bachelor’s and master’s degrees in education from the University of Kansas, and a TESOL certificate from the University of Cincinnati. Early in her career she became interested in gender equity in education, focusing her research on gender equity awareness and interventions of early childhood educators. As a field-service supervisor and professor, she helped coach aspiring teachers to be aware of unconscious biases, inequities and ways to mitigate these in the classroom. While living abroad with her family in Switzerland, she taught at the International School of Geneva, providing support services to Culturally and Linguistically Diverse students, while maintaining her college teaching, learning, and research workloads. Her philanthropic work includes serving as a key scholarship committee chair for P.E.O., an organization whose mission is the global advancement of women’s education and achievement, and as co-chair of the Georgetown Parent Leadership Council. Janet’s proudest accomplishment is raising two high-achieving, motivated and fearless daughters who are also Hoyas.
Katherine Kwun McLane is an advocate for humanitarian causes with over 20 years of experience at the management, committee, and board levels. Katherine is an advisor to and supporter of GIWPS. She is also a member of the acquisition committee for Greater China and Asia artists at the Musée Centre Pompidou in Paris. Katherine has previously served as Vice-chair of the Fund-raising Committee for Hong Kong’s Society for the Protection of Children, and Director of Membership for The Clinton Global Initiative in Asia. Katherine began her career as an investment banking and consulting professional with McKinsey & Co., Morgan Stanley, and Merrill Lynch. Katherine received her BSFS from Georgetown University and her MA in International Finance from Columbia University.
Kaia Miller is founder of Aslan Global, Inc., a Boston-based consulting firm advising private and public sector organizations in developing economies on competitiveness and economic development, and on the role of diasporas in building homeland competitiveness. She worked with the consulting firm Monitor Group as a leader in its Country Competitiveness Practice and co-founded the spin-out on the FRONTIER (now The OTF Group) in 2000 before founding Aslan Global, Inc. in 2001. Kaia currently serves on President Kagame’s Advisory Council, supporting the implementation of Rwanda’s long-term vision, and is an Associate at Harvard’s Institute for Strategy and Competitiveness. She chairs the New England Board for the US Fund for UNICEF. Kaia received her B.A. in International Relations from Brown University and her M.Sc. in International Relations from Georgetown University.
Adelaida (Addie) Palm, a global real estate advisor, has focused on high-net-worth individuals investing in Miami and New York. She has extensive experience in international business development and wealth management. Prior to her 25 years in London, Adelaida was a Vice President of the Corcoran Group, the second largest residential real estate firm in New York, where she ranked amongst Corcoran’s top four producers. Before that, she worked for Chase Manhattan Bank, followed by Citibank’s International Private Banking Group working with Brazil, Spain and Portugal. She sits on Georgetown’s Board of Regents as an Emeritus Member. She served as Co-Chair of Georgetown’s John Carroll Weekend celebrated in London with 1,400 attendees in 2013 and received the John Carroll Award in 2018. She Co-Chaired Georgetown University’s London UK Alumni Club for 13 years. Adelaida obtained her BS in Business Administration from Georgetown University.
Kara Ross is a renowned entrepreneur and award-winning fine jewelry designer. She collaborated with the Obama White House on numerous commissions, and her one-of-a-kind fine jewelry pieces can be found in art museums across the country. She sits on the board of Georgetown University, the CFDA (Council of Fashion Designers of America), the Accessories Council, and is a member of the Harvard Kennedy School Women and Public Policy. After achieving top recognition for jewelry design (the GEM Award) and successfully running a global accessories business, she formed her vision for UNLEASHED. She now dedicates 100% of her time towards supporting female artisans and entrepreneurs through story-focused media ventures, including the documentary film series Connecting Thread.
Jeanne Ruesch chairs the Ruesch Family Foundation which focuses on medical research, education and the arts. The Foundation funded the Ruesch Center for the Cure of GI Cancers at Georgetown/Medstar Hospital in honor of her late husband, Otto Ruesch. Ms. Ruesch is the previous chair of the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network and the National Symphony Orchestra. She has served on the boards of Georgetown University, Medstar Georgetown University Hospital, Gonzaga College High School, Washington Performing Arts, Washington Jesuit Academy and Catholic Charities. She is a member of the Committee of 200, a worldwide organization for entrepreneurial business women. Prior to establishing the family foundation, Ms. Ruesch and her husband founded an international financial services company.
Mary Schammel is Co-Founder and CEO of M&A Advisory firm Venture Investors Business Group. She also acts as a Strategic Consultant with Greenwich Associates providing market structure, intelligence and advisory services to the buy and sell-sides. She previously served as Head/SVP for Standard Chartered Bank. Mary is exceptionally committed to community involvement, serving as the US State Department representative for the International Women of Courage, board member of Georgetown University Board of Governors, The Ann Peppers Foundation and The Alzheimer’s Association California Southland and Founder of Georgetown’s Wall Street Alliance West. She is also Chair of Pasadena’s City Code Commission. Mary has a B.A from Georgetown University and a recent MBA from Georgetown University’s Business and Foreign Service Schools, and ESADE University.
Sarah von Thun-Hohenstein (SFS’82, P’15) is chair of the Georgetown School of Foreign Service Board of Advisors. She graduated cum laude from the SFS and helped launch the International Trailblazers Awards in Europe for the Georgetown Institute for Women, Peace and Security. She worked in finance for Chase Manhattan Corporation in New York City before moving to Chase Investment Bank, London, in 1984, to become the youngest female director in currency swaps and derivatives. Subsequently, she earned a Master’s degree from the London School of Economics in International Political Economy. Sarah serves as trustee for the City of London Sinfonia and is an active volunteer in her local community and children’s schools. She served as a member of the Georgetown Board of Regents for six years as well as the John Carroll Weekend London Planning Committee. Sarah’s husband, Christian, SFS’81 and eldest son, Natango, SFS’15, are also proud Hoyas.
Maria Clara Tucci is chair of a European family foundation focused on women’s rights and climate change mitigation. Clara oversees the grant giving strategy and corporate governance body. She worked more than three decades in finance (partner at a Wall Street firm and subsequently founder of a successful UK hedge fund capital introduction business) and has been engaged for decades of in charitable fundraising and active volunteering. Clara is a graduate of Università di Firenze (Political Science, International Law) and received her MBA (Finance) at UC Berkeley Haas Business School. She became Georgetown Ambassador for Women, Peace and Security after being a member of the GU Parents Leadership Council for four years. Her son Luca Perper is a proud Hoya graduate.
Ariadne Velissaropoulos recently relocated to her native Athens, Greece after a 25-year career in New York, London and Geneva, and was elected to the board of Petros Petropoulos, a publicly listed automotive company. She leads the company’s efforts on ESG and serves on the board’s Nomination and Remuneration Committee. Prior to this, Ms. Velissaropoulos spent 15 years in business development roles at investment management firms. In total, she raised more than $4.5 billion for a handful of investment vehicles. Before this she worked for Morgan Stanley in the Equities division. Ms. Velissaropoulos started her career on Madison Avenue, at ad firm Young & Rubicam where she was part of the team that launched the Star Alliance brand. She also spent time at Y&R subsidiary Burson-Marsteller working on crisis communications. She holds a BSLA from Georgetown University and an MBA from Columbia Business School, where she served as Editor in Chief of the weekly newspaper and Chair of the Class Gift Committee.
Emilie Fritz Veloso has spent her career as a consultant, entrepreneur and executive working to educate people around the world about health and wellness. In 2018, Emilie accepted the opportunity to serve as CEO of The Sacred Space Miami, a holistic wellness center. She previously was co-founder and President of O.N.E. Coconut Water, which grew from a concept to a globally distributed brand purchased by PepsiCo in 2012. Emilie earned her MBA from Pepperdine University (2003) and BA from Georgetown University (1998). Her current philanthropic work is dedicated to Foster Care, the environment and helping elect women to public office. She is a Board Member of Genesis Hopeful Haven, a foster care organization. She resides in Miami, FL with her husband and two children, Arthur and Beatrice.
Gina Wolfe is Professor Emerita of Catholic Theological Ethics at Catholic Theological Union. In addition to being on the faculty, she served as Interim Vice President and Academic Dean. She is a Senior Wicklander Fellow at the Institute for Business and Professional Ethics DePaul University and was Christopher Chair in Business Ethics at Dominican University’s Brennan School of Business. Prior to that, she spent ten years on the theology faculty at Saint John’s University in Collegeville, MN. In addition, Gina has lived in Europe, Asia, and the US and worked in the fields of market research and economic research and forecasting and was on the editorial staff of The Tablet, based in London, England. She is co-author of Alleviating Poverty Through Profitable Partnerships: Globalization, Markets, and Economic Well-Being (2nd edition, 2020) and of Global Women Leaders: Breaking Boundaries (2017). She is co-editor of Systems Thinking and Moral Imagination (2019) and of Ethics and World Religions: Cross-cultural Case Studies (1999). She has a bachelor’s degree from McDonough School of Business Georgetown University, a master’s degree from the Jesuit School of Theology in Chicago, and a PhD from King’s College London University of London.