I am an expert on international security policy with a particular focus on women, peace and security, and a strong background in advocacy, research design and implementation, writing and analysis, and non-profit management.
International security policy
Women, peace and security
Research design and management
I am currently a Director at InclusivePeace, where I focus on the women, peace and security portfolio, on the organization’s work in Latin America, and on international policy strategy, in particular around the UN in New York.
From 2017 to 2020, I developed and then led the Women, Peace and Security program at the International Peace Institute. Prior to this I was the the women, peace and security advocate in the women’s rights division at Human Rights Watch, where I focused both on international accountability to women’s rights in conflict, and on women, peace and security concerns in specific country situations. In this role, I continued to push governments and the UN to live up to their obligations to women and girls in armed conflict, and published pieces on Burma, Afghanistan, the Central African Republic, sexual exploitation and abuse, and women in peace talks.
Before joining Human Rights Watch in 2015, I was the Executive Coordinator of the NGO Working Group on Women, Peace and Security, a senior-level leadership coalition of NGOs that holds the UN Security Council accountable to its obligations on women’s rights.
I have worked and conducted research in Mexico, Guatemala, and El Salvador, particularly on women conflict negotiators, and written on numerous aspects of the women, peace and security agenda. I hold an MA and a PhD in Political Science.
English: Excellent (first language)
Spanish: Working level
(Doctoral Dissertation, New School for Social Research)
A comparative project on the participation of high-level women negotiators in the conflict resolution processes in El Salvador, Guatemala, and Chiapas, Mexico. I compare how women become involved as negotiators; what work they do at the table; and how (if at all) the final accords address women's rights and concerns. For this research, I conducted open-ended interviews with government, former guerrilla, and civil society actors, in addition to utilizing archival and secondary sources. My findings indicate that a range of factors impact women's participation in negotiations, including: whether the goals of the talks are minimalist or maximalist; the path by which the women joined their negotiation teams; and that international norms and processes can have more impact on these negotiations, and on the content of the accords, than the gender identity of individual negotiators.
(Masters Thesis, University of Canterbury)
A comparative study of the use of gender in the construction of nationalism in Romania and Yugoslavia in the late 1980s and early 1990s. Through an examination of nationalist movements in two case studies, I found that gender constructions are vital to the legitimation of nationalist movements. I examined nationalism and gender through two thematic lenses: the politics of tradition and the politics of reproduction, and used them to examine two countries in which there were leadership legitimation crises, Romania and the former Yugoslavia. As socialist legitimacy was eroded in the 1980s, potential leaders in both countries sought to legitimate themselves through nationalist ideology. These nationalist movements, which occurred during both the late socialist and post-socialist periods, were highly gendered in their rhetoric and discourse. Gender constructions were found to be vital in the demarcation of difference between national groups, and in the mobilisation of communities to achieve national projects. The symbolic and emotive elements of these gender constructions were used to create the perception of internal and external threats. Additionally, gender constructions were found to have long-term effects on ethnic relations, and, in the case of the former Yugoslavia, on the nature of violent conflict and prospects for peace.
Just a sample of my work. To see more, or to discuss possible collaborations >>