WLP International Liaison Office (Bethesda, Maryland)
Mahnaz Afkhami, President and CEO, is former Secretary General of the Women's Organization of Iran and Minister for Women's Affairs. She is Executive Director of the Foundation for Iranian Studies and serves on advisory boards for a number of national and international organizations. She has over three decades of experience working at the government and non-government levels to advance the rights of women, particularly in the Middle East. She has authored numerous publications, among them Muslim Women and the Politics of Participation (1997), Faith and Freedom: Women's Human Rights in the Muslim World (1995), Women in Exile (1994), and Women and the Law in Iran (1993). Among the training manuals she has co-authored are Claiming Our Rights: A Manual for Women's Human Rights Education in Muslim Societies (1996), Safe and Secure: Eliminating Violence Against Women and Girls in Muslim Societies (1998), Leading to Choices: A Leadership Training Handbook for Women (2001), and Leading to Action: A Political Participation Handbook for Women (2010).
Lina Abou-Habib is co-Executive Director of WLP and leads the Global TOT and advocacy initiatives. She is WLP Lebanon/CRTD.A Executive Director and has worked on issues related to gender, citizenship, economic rights, leadership and political participation in the MENA region. Lina has collaborated with a number of regional and international agencies, notably the Royal Tropical Institute as well as public institutions, in mainstreaming gender in development policies and practices and in building capacities and research for gender mainstreaming. Ms. Abou-Habib served on the board of the Association for Women’s Rights in Development (AWID) as Secretary and Chair from 2008 to 2012. She is the regional coordinator of the Equality without Reservation Coalition and founded in 1999 the Machreq-Maghreb Gender Linking and Information Programme which provided training and research on critical gender issues in the MENA region.
Kent Davis-Packard is co-Executive Director of WLP. She holds a Ph.D. in Middle East studies and international law from the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies. In 2014-2015, she was a Council on Foreign Relations Fellow at the Brookings Institution and Guest Scholar at the American University in Cairo. As a Presidential Management Fellow, Davis-Packard played a key role in launching the State Department’s Women in Public Service Project. Most recently she managed the Egypt Desk's human rights portfolio. Conducting research since 2000 in 10 countries including Morocco, Yemen, Bosnia-Herzegovina, and Senegal, Davis-Packard interviewed hundreds of women, Islamist leaders, human rights activists, and government officials on issues ranging from women’s political participation to violent extremism. Her reporting and analysis has been published by Brookings, the Christian Science Monitor, the Wall Street Journal, and the Washington Post.
Katerina Canyon is Program Associate for Advocacy and Communications. She is the founder of CampBPW, a mentoring and social skills program for low-income teenage women. Prior to joining WLP, Katerina served as the Advocacy Project Peace Fellow in 2014, where she provided communications services for CONCERN for Children and the Environment in Kathmandu, Nepal. She has worked as the communications and development intern for Institute for Justice and Democracy in Haiti, and as the associate for international affairs and social media for Peace Economy Project, where she started the arts and poetry program “Women for Peace.” She earned a B.A. in English, International Studies, and Creative Writing with a minor in Russian Language and Culture from Saint Louis University. She currently is an M.A. in Law and Diplomacy candidate at The Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University. From 2001-2004 Katerina served as Poet Laureate for Sunland-Tujunga, CA.
Siobhan Hayes, Senior Program Officer for Training and Evaluation, develops and manages WLP’s Global Training of Trainers Initiative, coordinates partnership evaluation activities, and liaises with WLP partner organizations in Africa, Latin America, the Middle East, and South Asia. Siobhan earned her M.A. in International Education at The George Washington University, where her research focused on gender, intercultural conflict, and multicultural education. She received her BA in Philosophy at Fordham University and has taught in Thailand and the U.S. Her past work includes serving with the Jesuit Volunteer Corps in Los Angeles, providing counseling and aiding homeless women and men to gain employment, and providing research assistance on a project investigating women’s health care in the US prison system at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars.
Allison Horowski, Program and Publications Associate, facilitates the creation and publishing of WLP's training curricula and materials. She also liaises with WLP partner organizations in Southeast Asia, the Middle East, and West Africa to coordinate country-based programs. Allison's past work includes serving as a consultant for Women Deliver and providing research assistance and support for the Global Women's Leadership Initiative at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars. She earned her M.A. in International Affairs with a concentration in gender and development from the Elliott School of International Affairs at George Washington University. She received her B.A. in International Relations and Spanish from Michigan State University.
Ariana Leon, Director of Development and Special Projects. She has over 15 years of global experience in research, strategic engagement, and project management on social development issues including gender inequality, sustainable development, and culture. She recently served as Co-Investigator for the George Washington University (GW) project, “Women and Water in South and Central Asia: Building International Social Capital for Sustainable Peace and Development.” She has conducted research and given presentations for UNDP, GW, Conservation International and Asia Society on women’s political leadership, gender and environmental policy, social protection for Southeast Asian migrant women, and violence against women. She earned an M.A. in International Affairs (majors: Women in Development and Southeast Asia).
Ruby Mohamed is Program Assistant for Online Learning and liaises with WLP partners in the Middle East and North Africa. Growing up in Egypt, Mohamed experienced first-hand the social, economic, political, and gender issues that impact civil liberties and fundamental human rights in the region. Prior to joining WLP, Ruby worked as a gender and youth outreach specialist at Urban Governance Collaborative where she developed targeted outreach strategies for marginalized populations living in developing countries. She also worked as a fundraiser at the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) where she raised awareness regarding humanitarian efforts for refugees and internally displaced persons (IDPs) across the globe. She earned her B.A. in International Studies and Diplomacy from the University of Central Arkansas.
Krista Nickerson, Senior Associate for Knowledge Management, develops and maintains WLP’s knowledge sharing and information management systems. She also liaises with WLP partner organizations in Africa, the Middle East, and Asia to support the implementation of training and advocacy programs. Prior to joining WLP, Krista worked as a technical writer and trainer in the communications technology industry. During that time, she also pursued her passion for gender-focused training and education, completing a Fulbright English Teaching Assistantship in Argentina and conducting training programs for adolescent girls in Ghana and Baltimore, MD. Krista earned her M.S. in Women’s and Gender Studies with a concentration in Women, Leadership, and Social Change from Towson University. Her research focused on transnational feminist activism and women’s trauma, writing, and healing. She earned her B.A. in English and Hispanic Studies at Vassar College.
Kimberly Schor, Special Assistant to the President & Operations Liaison, joined WLP in 2011 and provides support to the President and staff of WLP. She has several years of experience in nonprofit administration including office management, project coordination, program and donor development activities, and foundation and corporate grant writing and reporting. Her background in mission-based environments includes The Network for Teaching Entrepreneurship-Greater Washington office, International Internship Programs, and Cable in the Classroom—a commercial-free, K-12 educational initiative of the National Cable and Telecommunications Association. She earned a B.A. from Hollins College.
Nathaniel (Nate) Taylor is a Program Assistant for Knowledge Management providing research and administrative support for the development and functioning of WLP’s knowledge management systems. He also writes, edits, and provides Arabic-English translation support for WLP communications. Outside of WLP he is a regular contributor of English translations of Arabic-language editorials concerning US-foreign policy to Watching America. In the past he has worked as a professional commercial, fine art, and event/wedding photographer, a licensed certified nursing assistant, and a local reporter. He holds a B.A. in International Relations and Middle Eastern Studies from Virginia Commonwealth University and an A.A. in Fine Art Photography from Northern Virginia Community College.