International RelationsCareer Challenge
February 19 - 23, 2018
King's College London, United Kingdom
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Speakers 2017 JHU

The following professionals attended the IRCC 2017 intake at Johns Hopkins University:

                                                                    
IRCC Day 5: Application

Robin Goebel
Vice President, Human Resources and Administration
Dexis Consulting Group
LinkedIn Link

Robin Goebel is currently a Vice President of Human Resources and Administration at Dexis Consulting Group, a company providing monitoring and evaluation, program management, institutional support, and training solutions for economic growth, governance, and democracy challenges to the social sector and across developing economies. In her current role, Robin champions Dexis’ commitment to invest in people while ensuring staffdeliver impactful development results and exceptional service to clients. She enjoys cultivating the growth of human resources professionals, be they her staff or the students she teaches as an Adjunct Professor at Trinity University. Previously Robin worked at Chemonics as Human Resources Director and has managed the unique staffing, legal, and operational demands of global international development organizations for over 15 years. Robin received her MS in Organizational Development from Johns Hopkins University and her BA from Penn State University.

 

                                                                    
IRCC Day 5: Application

Jenny Alejandra Castillo
HR Business Analyst
World Bank Group
LinkedIn Link

Jenny Alejandra Castillo is a passionate Human Resources professional with more than 9 years of experience developing talent management initiatives with international and local organizations. At the present moment Ms. Castillo holds a position of HR Business Analyst at the World Bank Group, where she supports recruitment, hiring, analytics and career development processes. She previously served as a HR Analysts’ Team Coordinator at the Inter-American Development Bank for over 5 years, working on recruitment and hiring initiatives, performance management and reengineering projects. Jenny possesses a dual Master’s degree in Organizational Psychology, excellent analytical skills and critical sense applied to build client relationships.

 

                                                                    
IRCC Day 4: Campaign & Outreach

Moncef M. Bouhafa
Director
Center for Development Communication
Twitter Link
Facebook Link

Mr. Moncef Bouhafa is a strategic communication expert with more than three decades of experience in the field of communication. He is currently director and founder of the Center for Development Communication (CDC), where he designs and implements learning programmes in the field of communication and development and has worked to design learning events with the United Nations System Staff College including pioneering the “Communication as a reform tool for the UN” series of workshops for senior UN staff. Mr. Bouhafa also developed ground-breaking programmes for the UN in the field of rapid public information response in peace keeping, humanitarian programmes, and reputation management for the UN in the Middle East and in Africa. Prior to the founding of CDC, he was a long-serving UN official in the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) and a senior specialist with The Johns Hopkins University’s Center for Communication Programmes (CCP) – one of the leading institutions in social marketing and communication for behavior change. While at UNICEF he helped the organization define the concept of Social Mobilization, which has been extensively used as a means of generating support and interest through stakeholders for UNICEF’s programmes, and serving as spokesperson for the organization in many situations including emergencies in West Africa. Mr. Bouhafa is also a senior coach to executives including heads of UN agencies, heads of state & government, and resident coordinators of the UN System. While a Middle East and Africa specialist, Mr. Bouhafa has worked in more than 30 countries worldwide in Africa, Asia, Europe, and Latin America and the Caribbean.

 

                                                                    
IRCC Day 4: Campaign & Outreach

Dena Gudaitis
Senior Communications Strategist
Panagora Group & Independent Consulting Services
Website Link

Dena Gudaitis is a seasoned Communications Strategist with over 13 years of experience at multiple news outlets and several non-profit and international development organizations. She is a current member of the Knowledge Management and Communications (KMC) team at the USAID Global Health Supply Chain Procurement and Supply Management (GHSC-PSM) Project. Dena began her career in international development as a Public Information officer at the UN World Food Program in their New York Liaison office. Following three years in that role, she moved to Nairobi, Kenya where her primary work focused on teaching journalism at a local college, United States International University. Upon returning to the U.S., she was a Senior Communications Specialist for Family Health International (FHI 360) where her project supported digital finance and technology activities within USAID’s Global Development Lab. Dena also oversaw various media, partner outreach and advocacy activities for Malaria No More as their Global Communications Manager. Prior to working in international development, she has worked in the news and departments for NPR, C-SPAN, and WAMU 88.5 FM, and served as a digital producer for ABC News. Dena has an M.A. in Journalism and Public Affairs and a B.S in Multimedia Design & Development, both from American University.

 

                                                                    
IRCC Day 4: Campaign & Outreach

Tony Briggs
Regional Communications Director
American Red Cross
LinkedIn Link

Tony Briggs is the communications director for the Desert to the Sea Region of the American Red Cross. A national spokesperson for the organization, he deployed in response to Hurricanes Harvey and Irma where he conducted interviews for local, national and international news outlets on Red Cross response and recovery efforts in the affected areas. Tony served as the deputy public affairs officer for Pacific Partnership 2006, a humanitarian deployment highlighting interoperability between federal and non-governmental organizations bringing health and wellness programs to 8 countries throughout the western Pacific.Tony earned his Bachelor’s Degree in Communications from the University of Maryland University College. A twenty-four year veteran of the U.S. Navy, he holds certifications in Public Affairs and Public Affairs Leadership from the Defense Information School and Video Production and Photography certifications from the Naval School of Photography.

 

                                                                    
IRCC Day 3: Project Management

Julien Schopp
Director of Humanitarian Practice
InterAction
LinkedIn Link

Julien Schopp holds the position of Director of Humanitarian Practice at InterAction, an alliance of more than 180 NGOs working throughout the world. In this capacity, he supports humanitarian emergency responses and contributes to the improvement of humanitarian practice on behalf of the network’s members. This involves representing InterAction members on the IASC Emergency Directors Group (EDG) and on the Sphere board, working on improving partnerships with UN agencies, overseeing country-specific working groups and facilitating the development of clear advocacy positions on the major humanitarian issues of the day. Before joining InterAction, Julien worked as a Senior Policy Officer for the International Council of Voluntary Agencies (ICVA) in Geneva, focusing on Forced Displacement issues. As such, he was the primary NGO focal point at the UN High Commissioner for Refugees. Julien has substantial field experience managing humanitarian operations, primarily for the International Rescue Committee (IRC). Over the years, he has worked as IRC country director in Ethiopia, Ivory Coast and Uganda, also serving the agency in Congo-Brazzaville, Sudan and Chad.

 

                                                                    
IRCC Day 3: Project Management

Lianne Romahi
Associate Director
Counterpart International
LinkedIn Link

Lianne Romahi is an international development professional with over 15 years of experience, specializing in sustainable development and local governance. In numerous roles throughout her career, she has led teams in all phases of the Project Management Life Cycle; project conceptualization, implementation, monitoring and evaluation, and close-out. This broad experience provides Lianne with a unique approach when conceptualizing and monitoring and evaluating international development projects. Lianne currently serves as an Associate Director at Counterpart International with the New Business Development team, where she leads business development opportunities and project conceptualization activities in Asia, Eurasia and the Middle East. Prior to joining Counterpart, Lianne served as the Acting Regional Director for the Middle East and North Africa and Project Director at the International City/County Management Association, where she managed a USAID funded local economic development activity focused on expanding market access for micro and small enterprises and building the capacity of municipalities to serve as a facilitator of local economic development activities. Lianne has also consulted with numerous international and local organizations, including the International Labor Organization (ILO), Chemonics, IUCN, among many other local organizations in the Middle East.

                                                                    
IRCC Day 3: Project Management

Steffen Cole Brandstrup Hansen
Environmental Specialist
The Global Environment Facility
LinkedIn Link

Steffen Hansen joined the Global Environmental Facility (GEF) as a Junior Professional Officer (JPO) in March 2013 and is based in Washington DC, USA. As a JPO he went through a two year training phase doing analytical work, while receiving guidance enabling him to work on a global portfolio of projects focusing on strengthening institutions and policies towards optimized water, nutrient and fisheries management. Prior to joining the GEF Steffen worked within the Danish bio-refinery sector focusing on business case development and optimized utilization of biomass for feed, energy and green chemicals. As part of his studies as a geographer from Copenhagen University, Steffen developed an integrated coastal zone management model, focusing on the production of seaweeds as a cost effective nutrient bio-filtering tool for the purpose of proteins and energy.

 

                                                                    
IRCC Day 2: Research and Policy Recommendations

Alexander Gerts
Senior Strategy Officer, Fragility, Conflict, Violence & Forced Displacement
World Bank Group
LinkedIn Link

Following his studies in international law and human rights at Leiden University, Lex became a career diplomat in the Dutch Foreign Service and was posted in the Dutch Embassy in Bosnia and Herzegovina and the Mission to the United Nations, both times with a special focus on development in fragile states and humanitarian issues. Working at the Ministry’s headquarter in The Hague, Lex was deputy head of the human rights division for 4 years. In between these postings, he was selected as a Fulbright Scholar to do a LL.M in human rights at Columbia University, School of Law. Most recently, Lex was Chief of Staff in the office of the Dutch Minister for Development Cooperation and Foreign Trade, Lilianne Ploumen. Currently, Lex is seconded by the Dutch government to the World Bank. He works on issues related to fragility, conflict and violence.

 

                                                                    
IRCC Day 2: Research and Policy Recommendations

Ahmad Maaty
Acting Chief Economist
Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA)
LinkedIn Link

Ahmad Maaty has had considerable experience in developing and evaluating economic policies, projects and programs, along with research and data analysis at a range of international organizations and government agencies. Currently overseeing the regulatory agenda of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) as the agency’s Acting Chief Economist, he previously served the Policy Analysis unit of the State Department’s Office of U.S. Foreign Assistance Resources for two years. There, he helped the State and USAID foreign assistance budget build, incorporating and institutionalizing data analysis on country and regional performance to help shape U.S. economic growth strategy and operations. Mr. Maaty had served in prior roles in analysis and implementation of socio-economic programs, specifically as applied within Asia, Africa and the Middle East, with fieldwork in 18 countries including Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Chad, China, Kenya, Pakistan, Sudan and Tajikistan. He has worked for over six years as an economist with the Islamic Development Bank (IsDB), a multilateral financial institution based in Saudi Arabia, focusing on the design and effectiveness of development assistance; first with Middle East and North Africa Operations and later with the IsDB’s Poverty Fund. Previously, Mr. Maaty has worked with the World Bank​’s Operations Evaluations Department​ and the United Nations Development Programme’s Regional Bureau ​for Arab States in evaluating development programs. Mr. Maaty holds a Masters of Public Administration from Cornell University and a Bachelors in Business Administration from George Washington University.

 

                                                                    
IRCC Day 2: Research and Policy Recommendations

Christophe Bonneau
Deputy Economic Counselor
Embassy of France in the United States
LinkedIn Link

Christophe Bonneau has been Deputy Economic Counselor at the French Embassy in Washington D.C. since 2016, covering business and industrial affairs. Prior to that, he had been working at the French Embassy in Seoul, South Korea for two years, reporting on Korea’s economic and financial situation. He started his professional career in the United Nations System working for UNESCO’s International Bioethics Committee in Paris and for UNDP’s Seoul office and was engaged in activities to assist Korea share its  development experience with middle-income countries. Christophe holds an M.A. in International Studies from Seoul National University.

 

                                                                    
IRCC Day 1: Introduction

Roberto Amorosino
Senior HR Specialist, HRD Talent Acquisition
World Bank Group
LinkedIn Link

Roberto, an Italian national, joined The World Bank Group in 1994. He currently works for the Talent Acquisition team in the HR Department dealing with external recruitment, diversity and outreach issues. He has worked at the Headquarters in Washington, DC (1994-1996 and 2008-present), Paris (1996-2001) and Rome (2001-2008). Prior to the Bank, Roberto worked for Italian-based executive search firms. He has a Law Degree (Master’s equivalent) from the University La Sapienza, Rome.

 

                                                                    
IRCC Day 1: Introduction

Paula Boland
Executive Director
United Nations Association – National Capital Area
Website Link

Paula Boland is an attorney specialized in environmental law and international affairs. Although born in the United States, she received most of her academic and professional experience in Argentina. Paula worked for three years on regulatory and corporate compliance matters at the law firm of Klein & Franco in Buenos Aires. Her strong interest in the protection of the environment led her to the LL.M. program in Environmental Law at Vermont Law School, from which she graduated cum laude. Following a clerkship with the Environmental Enforcement Section of the US Department of Justice, Paula assisted a number of environmental nongovernmental organizations in the development of conservation projects to be carried out in Latin America. Paula began her journey at UNA-NCA as a volunteer where soon she was appointed Chair of the Young Professionals providing volunteer opportunities and engaging professionals and students in dialogue on the UN and international affairs. Paula joined the UNA-NCA staff, serving first as Program Director, and then as Executive Director. Paula received the UNA-NCA Evelyn Falkowski Volunteer Service Award and the United Nations Association of the USA’s 70th Anniversary Chapter Legacy Award. She has played a significant role developing and nurturing strategic partnerships, diversifying membership and expanding program activities. She serves as regional representative of the UNA-USA National Council.

 

                                                                    
IRCC Day 1: Introduction

Elisabeth Anna Resch
Global Policy & Government Affairs Officer
Global Citizen
LinkedIn Link

Elisabeth’s path at the UN started in the Executive Office of the Secretary General, as she was part of Amina J. Mohammed’s post-2015 team where she followed the intergovernmental negotiations towards the SDGs with a focus on SDG 16 (Peace, Justice & Strong Institutions) and participated in their adoption of the SDGs in September 2015 ensuring the input and participation of youth from all around the world. Elisabeth then joined the Canadian chapter of the UN Global Compact as Sustainability Coordinator working towards the implementation of the goals in the private sector, laying seeds for multi-stakeholder partnerships and inter alia initiating the first-ever Canadian SDGs awards. Furthermore, Elisabeth has experience at the World Bank Group, conducting policy analysis in the ‘Public Private Partnership Benchmarking Procurement Project’. In August 2017, Elisabeth joined the Global Policy & Government Affairs Team of Global Citizen and is working on Global Citizen’s water and sanitation campaign. Throughout the past years, Elisabeth was able to be part of successive UN General Assembly Opening Sessions, CSW, the ECOSOC Youth Forum, World Bank Annual Spring Meetings and most recently the UN Oceans Conference. Elisabeth completed her Master’s studies focusing on International and Environmental Legal Studies at Georgetown Law School, where she took the initiative to found ‘UNA Georgetown Law’ – the first-ever law school chapter within UNA-USA to promote the UN’s work throughout the legal profession.

 

                                                                    
IRCC Day 1: Introduction

Gail Sasse
Human Resources Manager
Vital Voices Global Partnership
LinkedIn Link

Gail Sasse is currently the HR Manager at Vital Voices Global Partnership. With over 8 years of extensive and diversified experience in all facets of human resources, including training, administrative support, program management, full-cycle recruiting and policy development in the public and private sectors. Gail has her PHR and is pursuing her SPHR and GPHR. Her years of experience include time in Afghanistan and Iraq, both in managerial roles over CCN’s in the Finance and HR Department. Gail has donor experience with: UN, DoS, USAID, WB, DFID, IMF, DoD, and independent donor foundations. She has in country experience in: Namibia, Egypt, Germany, South Africa, Afghanistan, Iraq, and Tanzania. In addition to English, Gail speaks Arabic and is knowledgeable in German, Spanish, and Afrikaans. She has a BA from Boston University-International Relations/Africa and Sustainable Development and a MA from the University of Cape Town-African and Islamic Studies and where she was the Elected African Studies Center Representative to the UCT Chancellor.

 

                                                                    
IRCC Day 1: Introduction

Alexandra Gordina
Director
YPUN, Ltd.
LinkedIn Link

Alexandra Gordina is the founder and the director of YPUN Ltd., a company assisting young professionals throughout the recruitment process at the United Nations agencies. Previously she held the position of an international consultant at the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) for two years mainly focusing on Empretec, a capacity-building program fostering entrepreneurship in developing countries. She also worked at the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE) assisting national statistical offices and other stakeholders to coordinate their work and fill statistical gaps. As of today, Alexandra possesses seven years of expertise in both private and public sectors in the United Kingdom, Switzerland, Russia, the United States, Colombia and South Africa. She founded YPUN, Ltd. in 2014 to help young professionals get hired for their ideal job in international affairs area with a meaningful raise, while skipping the irritation of the typically discouraging failures.