June 13, 2018

WLP International Liaison Office (Bethesda, Maryland)

Mahnaz Afkhami

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), Leading to Action: A Political Participation Handbook for Women (2010), and Beyond Equality: A Manual for Human Rights Defenders (2015).

Lina Abou Habib

Lina Abou Habib, Executive Director, provides programmatic oversite in each of WLP’s partner countries, guides WLP’s organizational development and fundraising efforts, and leads WLP’s Global Training of Trainers Initiative, which seeks to build the capacity of partner organizations. She is the former Executive Director of WLP Lebanon/Collective for Research and Training on Development–Action (CRTDA), and is a co-founder and coordinator of the Machreq/Maghreb Gender Linking and Information Project. She has collaborated with a number of regional and international agencies, as well as public institutions, in mainstreaming gender in development policies/practices and in building capacities for gender mainstreaming. She is a former chair of the board of the Association for Women’s Rights in Development (AWID), and she currently is a MENA advisor for the Global Fund for Women and on the editorial board of Oxfam’s journal, Gender and Development. Abou-Habib has published numerous articles on action-oriented research on the impact of the denial of citizenship rights to women in MENA countries; active citizenship and gendered social entitlements in Lebanon, Palestine and Egypt; and topics related to women and their political participation, invisible care work, economic contribution in rural communities and access to markets, faith based organizations, migrant women, and women in post-war Lebanon.

Heather Forrester

Heather Forrester, Program Associate for Monitoring and Evaluation, tracks and manages WLP’s data and reporting. She also liaises with WLP partners in North and West Africa to support local implementation of training and advocacy programs. Before joining WLP, Heather worked as a Program Officer with John Snow Inc. and Pathfinder International, supporting development activities in Africa and Asia. Early in her career, Heather served as a Community Development volunteer with Peace Corps Niger where she led projects related to women’s and girls' health and empowerment. She holds a Bachelor's degree in International Affairs from James Madison University and an M.A. in Political Science from the Master’s International program at George Mason University.

Emily Heimsoth

Emily Heimsoth, Program Associate for Communications and Advocacy, manages WLP's communications strategy and supports the organization's advocacy initiatives. She also liaises with partner organizations to assist with the coordination of WLP programs. Prior to joining WLP, Emily worked in nonprofit communications and taught English in Spain and Taiwan. She received a B.A. in Journalism and Spanish from the University of Maryland, and is currently studying for her M.A. in International Affairs with a concentration in Global Gender Policy from the George Washington University.

Allison Horowski

Allison Horowski, Senior Program and Publications Associate, facilitates the creation and publishing of WLP's training curricula and materials. She also liaises with WLP partner organizations in Central Asia, Southeast Asia, and the Middle East 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.

Nene Keita

Nene Keita, Finance and Operations Manager, manages administrative and finance functions for WLP. Prior to joining WLP, Nene served six years as the Director of Accounting and Financial Services at a not-for-profit organization, where she was responsible for organizational financial management and reporting. Along with an accounting degree from Salisbury University, Nene brings 11 years of nonprofit accounting experience and fluency in five languages including French.

Krista Nickerson

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 an information manager and trainer for communications technology in the defense 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

Kimberly Schor, Special Assistant to the President & Operations Liaison, joined WLP in 2011 and provides support to the President and staff of WLP, manages logistics for domestic and international events, and contributes to special projects. 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.


Ann Eisenberg is a writer, human rights advocate and retired lawyer. Ms. Eisenberg is co-author and author of several of WLP’s publications, including Leading to Choices: A Leadership Training Handbook for Women, Beyond Equality: A Manual for Human Rights Defenders, and Leading to Compassion. Ms. Eisenberg was formerly director of research and publications at WLP. Prior to her employment at WLP, she was the Associate Director of programs and publications at Sisterhood is Global Institute (SIGI), and the Assistant Director of the Jacob Blaustein Institute for the Advancement of Human Rights in New York City. She continues to assist WLP on development of its learning tools and with strategic planning.

Negar Esfandiary is Senior Research Associate for WLP’s Oral History Project and Digital Archives. Ms. Esfandiary is responsible for collecting, documenting, and preparing for publication interviews with women leaders for the Oral History Archive of the Global Women’s Movement, as well as documenting and analyzing WLP’s multimedia archives for use in trainings and advocacy programs. She has more than two decades of international experience as a journalist, including for Channel 4 News (UK), Index on Censorship, and the anthropological COLORS Magazine. She was producer of the Persian language edition of the WLP manual Leading to Choices: A Leadership Training Handbook for Women.

Nanette Pyne is a consultant for proposal and report writing and publications. She has 32 years of non-profit management experience including having served as COO of the American Research Center in Egypt (Cairo), and with arts, medical, and development organizations in the US. She spent eight years working as an archaeologist in the developing world, which led to her interest in supporting women’s empowerment programs in these societies. Since 2005 Nanette has been a full-time consultant, assisting U.S. and international non-profit organizations and private foundations in the areas of fund development, proposal and report writing, case statements, grant making, evaluation, project development and management, board development, and administration. She also edits books for various U.S. university presses. 


S:SSO to Sakai