Class of 2003 Bios

Emilia Sičáková Beblavá photo

Emilia Sičáková Beblavá

Emilia Sičáková Beblavá is Professor at the Institute of Public Policy and Economics at Comenius University in Bratislava where she conducts research and teaches courses on anti-corruption strategies and multilevel governance.

Emilia also works with The World Bank, the Open Society Institute, the European Commission, and the British Department for International Development and many other international institutions to help them understand corruption in formerly communist countries.

As President and a board member of Transparency International Slovakia, Emilia created publicity campaigns and led fundraising and lobbying efforts to fight institutional corruption.

Kamala Chandrakirana photo

Kamala Chandrakirana

Kamala Chandrakirana is a human rights activist and currently a member of the UN Human Rights Council’s working group on laws and practices which discriminate against women and the UN Social and Economic Commission for Asia and the Pacific Working Group on Women, Peace and Security. In 2009, she was part of a group of activists, academics, and religious scholars who founded Musawah, a global movement for equality and justice in the Muslim family.

In Indonesia, since completing her 6-year term as Chairperson of the National Commission on Violence Against Women in 2009, she has been active in various civil society organizations, including serving as coordinator of a national coalition of civil society organizations advocating for justice and accountability for past human rights violations.

In 2011, she was appointed by the President of Indonesia as a member of a 6-month task force to deal with Indonesian migrant workers on death row in their countries of employment.

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Celine d'Cruz

Celine d’Cruz has been advocating for the urban poor in various roles for more than two decades. She was a founding member and coordinator of Slum Dwellers International and currently serves as Urban Practitioner for the Asian Coalition for Housing Rights.

Celine joined the board of Block by Block in February 2017 and has participated in Block by Block projects in Hanoi, Nairobi, Kalobeyei, and Addis Ababa. She currently serves as Vice President and as a member of the Project Committee.  

Celine serves on the board for the Society for the Promotion of Area Resource Centers, of which she was a founding member and previous Associate Director. She is also an advisory board member of Included, which helps migrant laborers throughout Asia. Celine speaks English, Hindi, and Marathi, and she loves exploring the cities that she lives in and visits on foot.

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Carmen Dominguez

Carmen Dominguez is the special advisor to the High Commissioner of the UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights in Switzerland. Before that, she was Deputy Representative of the Chilean Mission to the UN in New York City.

Carmen was previously Director of Strategic Planning at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Chile. Until recently, she was the Mason Fellow at the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University in the Mid Career Master in Public Administration program. Until July 2013, she served as the Deputy Permanent Representative of Chile to the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development.

Carmen has mainly worked in the economic and trade area, dealing with issues such as energy, fisheries, mining and decentralization, regional integration initiatives and international development. A career foreign service officer, she has worked extensively as a trade negotiator in Washington and Geneva and has been a top trade adviser to the Chilean Foreign Minister and Chief of Staff to the Deputy Foreign Minister, dealing with political and trade affairs between Chile and its Latin American neighbors.

Hoda Elsadda photo

Hoda Elsadda

Hoda Elsadda is Professor of English and Comparative Literature at Cairo University. She previously held a Chair in the Study of the Contemporary Arab World at Manchester University, and was Co-Director of the Centre for the Advanced Study of the Arab World in the UK. She was Carnegie Visiting Scholar at Georgetown University in 2014-2015. In 1992, she co-founded and co-edited Hagar, an interdisciplinary journal in women’s studies published in Arabic.

In 1997, she co-founded and is currently Chairperson of the Board of Trustees of the Women and Memory Forum (, a research organization which focuses on reading Arab cultural history from a gender-sensitive perspective. She is a member of the editorial board of the Journal of Middle East Women’s Studies JMEWS, member of the Advisory Board of the Durham Modern Languages Series; Associate Editor of the Online Edition of the Encyclopedia of Women in Muslim Cultures, member of the Board of Directors of The Global Fund for Women; member of the Advisory Board of al-Raida, member of the Arab Families Working Group, and member of the Board of Trustees of the Sawiris Cultural Award.

Her research interests are in the areas of gender studies, women’s rights, cultural studies, comparative literature, oral narratives and women’s writings. She is author of Gender, Nation and the Arabic Novel: Egypt: 1892-2008.

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Sofia Frech

Sofia Frech is a coordinator in the Ministry of Education for the government of Mexico. She was previously the program coordinator for the development of social-emotional skills in the Mexican high school system until November 2018.

Her professional career has been developed in the educational and public sphere. In the Monterrey Institute of Technology and Higher Education (ITESM), she was the director of the Center of Studies on Education. In the public sector, she has collaborated in several areas, including the Office of the President and the Ministry of Education.

She holds a Ph.D. in government and public administration from the Complutense University of Madrid, a master's in education from ITESM, and a master's in social development and education from the London School of Economics.

Raenette Gottardo photo

Raenette Gottardo

Raenette Gottardo is a consultant based in South Africa with expertise in public policy, politics, and defense and foreign policy. She was formerly the Director of The Helen Suzman Foundation and Adjunct Senior Lecturer at the University of Cape Town. In 1999, at the age of 25, she became the youngest woman ever elected to the South African parliament. As a former Democratic Alliance MP, she was the Shadow Minister of Finance and a member of the Portfolio Committee on Finance. She also served on numerous other parliamentary committees, including the Standing Committee on Public Accounts during the arms deal investigation. From 2011-2015, Raenette served as a member of the Electoral Commission of the Republic of South Africa, a constitutional office bearer position, and was responsible for overseeing the country's 5th democratic elections in its 20th year as a democracy.

Raenette is a Young Global Leader of the World Economic Forum, Fellow of the Emerging Leaders Program of the Centre for Leadership and Public Values and an ALI Aspen Institute Fellow. She serves on the board of LoveLife, South Africa's largest HIV/AIDS NGO, on the Board of Stias at Stellenbosch University and is a member of the Regional Agenda Council on Africa of the World Economic Forum. She earned her PhD in Political Science at Stellenbosch University.

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Hiddo Houben

Hiddo Houben is currently a head of division at the European Commission headquarters in Belgium where he is responsible for overseeing trade relations between the European Union and the United States and Canada. Prior to this, he was the Head of the economic department of the EU embassy in Washington DC. He also served in the private office of the UK’s EU Trade Commissioners, Peter Mandelson and Baroness Catherine Ashton in Brussels, working on trade, energy policy and financial markets.

Hiddo got his start in trade policy in the Uruguay Round negotiations in the early 1990s. He was later deputy chief of the EU team negotiating China’s terms of accession to the WTO, a process that took over ten years and was concluded in 2001. Hiddo's 25 years at the EU Commission have given him an insider view of the process of European integration and of the way the process of globalization is redefining the EU and multilateral institutions.

Brian Kagoro photo

Brian Kagoro

Brian Kagoro is the Programme Support Division Director of the Africa Regional Office (AfRO) of the Open Society Foundations (OSF). Prior to that he was Founder and Executive Director of UHAI Africa Group, a governance and development consulting firm with operations in Johannesburg, Harare, and Nairobi. Brian is a Pan Africanist and a constitutional and economic relations lawyer.

Prior to establishing UHAI Africa Group, Brian was the Regional Programme Advisor for the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) Africa Governance and Public Administration Program, where he also led the UNDP Africa Governance Team within the Regional Service Centre for Africa. Prior to joining the UNDP, Brian served as Pan African Head of Policy and Advocacy at Action Aid International. Prior to joining Action Aid, Brian was a Partner at Law at Kantor & Immerman Legal Practitioners in Zimbabwe, where he also served on various Corporate and civil society Boards.

Brian is a 2005 World Economic Forum Young Global Leaderand is Co-Chair of the WEF Levi Initiative working group on Public Goods, Public Resources & Leadership. Brian has extensive leadership, policy research and advocacy experience and expertise in African Development Governance.

Brian has also served as Board Chairperson for Atrocities Watch Africa and GreenPeace Africa, respectively. He serves as a mentor on the African Leadership Centre mentoring program. He has degrees from the University of Warwick and the University of Zimbabwe.

Robert Klee photo

Robert Klee

Robert Klee is a lecturer at the Yale School of the Environment and previously served as Commissioner of the Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection.

Prior to joining state service, Robert was an appellate litigator at Wiggin and Dana LLP, in New Haven where he also was a member of their Energy and Climate Change and Sustainable Development practice groups. Earlier in his career he clerked for Judge Mark R. Kravitz of the US District Court for the District of Connecticut and Judge Barrington D. Parker of the US Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit.

Robert has published a number of articles on environmental law and policy, sustainability, and industrial ecology. He received a BA from Princeton, and an MA, JD, and PhD from Yale.

Norbert Mao photo

Norbert Mao

Norbert Mao is a lawyer and politician currently serving as President of the Democratic Party, Uganda's oldest political party. Norbert ran for president in the 2011 Uganda General Elections, emerging third in a field of eight candidates.

One of Uganda’s most outspoken advocates for democracy and human rights, Norbert continues to be featured regularly as a speaker in national and international events. He was a Member of Parliament for ten years and most recently the highest elected leader in the Gulu Local Government in Northern Uganda. In that capacity he was a key player in the peace process with the Lord's Resistance Army (LRA). He continues to champion post-conflict reconstruction efforts in Northern Uganda, the epicenter of the two-decade-long conflict.

Nneka Mobisson-Etuk photo

Nneka Mobisson-Etuk

Nneka Mobisson-Etuk is Co-Founder and CEO of mDoc, a social enterprise that integrates proven methodologies in quality improvement and behavioral science with web and mobile-based technology to optimize the end to end care experience for people living with chronic health needs such as diabetes, hypertension, and cancer.

Prior to mDoc, Nneka was Executive Director for Africa at Institute for Healthcare Improvement (IHI), a leading global health organization focused on healthcare quality improvement, where, through her leadership, IHI dramatically expanded its efforts at building sustainable change in healthcare delivery systems in priority African countries.

A pediatrician by training, Nneka was previously Vice President of Community Health and Population Health Management at the Connecticut Hospital Association, where she provided leadership to hospitals in population health management. At McKinsey & Company, she worked primarily in the area of strategy development for healthcare companies. At The World Bank, she worked on investing in private health care and developing the health care strategy for Africa. She has also worked at Merck and Co., CDC, and SFH.

She earned a bachelor's in Mechanical Engineering from MIT, her MPH from Emory University, and her MD/MBA from Yale University and completed her Pediatrics residency at The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia. She is a 2017 Cartier Awards Finalist and a 2014 World Economic Forum Young Global Leader.

Hugh Morrow photo

Hugh Morrow

Hugh Morrow is Managing Director at an Australian financial services company, SuperEd Pty Ltd. He advises a portfolio of for-profit and non-profit organizations that are committed to growth, innovation and impact. He is most interested in the interaction of information technology, organizational behavior, and corporate strategy. His long-term ambition is to bring management capabilities in the social economy to at least the level found in the private sector.

Hugh sits on the board of an Australian public company (IPGA) and the boards of the Australian Scholarships Foundation, the Australian Social Innovation Exchange, and the Stanford Australia Alumni Foundation. He has worked for a global strategy consulting firm, held senior roles within one of Australia’s largest companies, and has taken a high-tech business from concept to commercial success.

He developed Australia’s first postgraduate course on social entrepreneurship and developed an active research program as Adjunct Professor at Macquarie University.

Angela Orozco-Gomez photo

Angela Orozco-Gomez

Angela Orozco-Gomez is Minister of Transportation for the government of Colombia. She was previously a partner at Vali Consultores S.A.S and Before CEO of her own consulting firm – Research & Opportunities, where she worked to strengthen the Colombian export and manufacturer sectors.

Angela previously headed the Colombian Flower Exporters Association, Asocolflores, participating actively in the Colombian defense strategy for counteracting the Antidumping Processes and Duties imposed by the U.S. Department of Commerce in the 1990s, as well as the Colombian Flower Sector lobby before the U.S. Congress between 1995 and 1998.

As the country's top trade official, Angela helped design and implement a negotiation strategy in preparation for Free Trade Area of the Americas (FTAA) talks and led the drafting of a comprehensive Productivity and Competitiveness Policy that is now widely emulated throughout Latin America.

She has degrees from the University of Texas and Pontioficia Universidad Javeriana.

Cornelia Quennet-Thielen photo

Cornelia Quennet-Thielen

Cornelia Quennet-Thielen is State Secretary at the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research, responsible for more than 1,000 members of staff and an annual budget exceeding €10 billion. Before becoming State Secretary, she served as Deputy Chief of Staff at the Office of the Federal President of Germany (2004–2008). During this period, Cornelia acted as the president’s senior advisor on domestic policy as well as on constitutional law and mercy petitions.

Prior to joining the president’s staff, Cornelia was deeply invested in environmental and sustainability policy at the Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation, and Nuclear Safety. From 1999 to 2004, she served as Deputy Director-General, with primary responsibility for strategic planning for environmental legislation and research, which encompassed the development of a national strategy for sustainable development. In her capacity as head of the German negotiating team for climate change from 1990 to 1999, she helped shape the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change and the Kyoto Protocol. She was also the responsible German negotiator at the Rio Earth Summit in 1992 and helped oversee its follow-up.

Cornelia entered public administration as personal assistant to State and then Federal Environment Minister Klaus Toepfer from 1985 to 1990. She has a strong background in law, having received her final degree in 1984 and started her professional career as a judge.

Cornelia serves on the boards of the Deutsche Bundesstiftung Umwelt, the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation, the German-Polish Research Foundation, the German Historical Museum, and the Roland Berger Foundation. She is also a member of the steering committee of the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (German Research Association) and the German Council of Science and Humanities.

Shamit Saggar photo

Shamit Saggar

Shamit Saggar is the Director of the Public Policy Institute and Professor of Public Policy at the University of Western Australia. He was previously a Senior Policy Advisor in the Prime Minister's Strategy Unit, Cabinet Office, an ESRC Knowledge Exchange Fellow with HM Government, Associate Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Research) at the University of Essex, and Professor of Political Science at the University of Sussex.

In 2015 he was elected as a Fellow of Academy of Social Sciences, and in 2017 became Chair of the Campaign for Social Science. In 2017 he was awarded a CBE in the Queen’s Birthday Honours for services to social science and public policy.

He takes an active part in public leadership roles at board level. These include the Financial Services Authority; the Solicitors Regulation Authority, the Law Society Legal Complaints Board, the National Asylum Commission, the Better Regulation Commission, the National Consumer Council, the Whittington Hospital Trust, the Peabody Trust, the Accountancy Foundation Ethics Standards Board, the Institute for Citizenship, the Foreign Policy Centre Global Britons Programme, the Royal National Institute for the Blind, and the RSA Migration Commission.

He was previously Non-Executive Chairman of UPP Group Holdings Ltd. He has also held advisory and board roles with Unbound Philanthropy, Demos, Policy Exchange, the Institute for Public Policy Research, Policy Network, Fabians and British Future. Shamit has also been a Special Advisor to the Commonwealth Secretariat/Sen Commission and to the House of Common’s Speaker’s Conference on Parliamentary Representation.

He is married with four children, and has one pet dog. 

Debra Shushan photo

Debra Shushan

Debra Shushan is Director of Government Affairs at J Street, where she manages the advocacy operations and activities of the Government Affairs team. As an analyst of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and US foreign policy, Debra honed her expertise as the director of policy and government relations at Americans for Peace Now.

Prior to that, Debra was an assistant professor of government at the College of William and Mary in Williamsburg, VA, where she focused on the comparative politics and international relations of the Middle East, including the Gulf states. She was also a research fellow at the Georgetown University School of Foreign Service in Doha, Qatar.

Debra's research and language studies have taken her to much of the Middle East, including Bahrain, Egypt, Jordan, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Syria, Turkey and the UAE, in addition to Israel/Palestine. She is a former Marshall Scholar and Truman Scholar. She is a graduate of Harvard University (BA), Oxford University (MPhil) and Yale University (PhD). A foreign language aficionado, she speaks Hebrew, Arabic, Spanish and Japanese (chotto dekimasu) with varying levels of success.

Ali Sindi photo

Ali Sindi

Ali Sindi is Minister of Planning for the Kurdistan Regional Government in Erbil where he has contributed to the reconstruction of Iraqi Kurdistan's infrastructure, especially in the health and capacity building sectors, over the last two decades. Since October 2009, his duties as Minister of Planning include leading government efforts on preparing the annual investment budget, strategic plans, human resource development, and issues related to quality control in the region.

A surgeon by training, Ali was a senior advisor to Kurdistan Prime Minister Nechirvan Barzani from 2002-2009 on health, higher education, capacity building, and donor funds. He is also the honorary president of the Emergency Management Center, an independent NGO supervising two prominent hospitals, treating victims of violence in the region and heart disease patients. In 2004, he established the Kurdistan Institute of Public Administration, which aims to create and foster better governance through short-term training courses for mid-level government officials.

Allison Squires photo

Allison Squires

Allison Squires is an associate professor of nursing and medicine at New York University and the Director of the Florence S. Downs PhD Program in Nursing Research & Theory Development. Her research focuses on health workforce capacity building around the world, with a track record of work in 35 countries to date. She is the 2019-2020 Distinguished Nurse Scholar for the United States’ National Academy of Medicine where she is contributing to the Future of Nursing Consensus Study.

Nurses are the primary focus of her global health workforce capacity building research. In the United States, the patient focus of her work centers on immigrant health and studying the intersections of how language preference influences patient outcomes, health services delivery, and patient-provider relationships. Her research methods expertise is in cross-language research.
Allison has consulted with the Migration Policy Institute and the World Bank on nursing and health workforce issues and produced several major policy analyses with their teams.

A prolific writer, Allison has authored over 150 publications including 100 in peer-reviewed journals. Prior to entering academia full time, Allison worked as a staff nurse in solid organ transplant and as a staff educator for 11 years in the US healthcare system. She has collaborated with several Yale World Fellows on health related research projects over the years.

Allison earned a BSN in nursing from the University of Pennsylvania, a MSN in nursing from Duquesne University, and a PhD from Yale University

Chinwe Philomena Uwandu photo

Chinwe Philomena Uwandu

Chinwe Philomena Uwandu retired from the service of the Federal Government of Nigeria in January 2020. In the course of her career as a Government Legal Advisor, she counseled the Federal Republic of Nigeria, its Agencies, and Overseas Missions on a diverse and complex range of legal issues. She also represented Nigeria at bilateral and multi-lateral meetings at sub-regional, regional, and international levels, and participated in the negotiation and preparation of bilateral and multi-lateral treaties, and other agreements.

As Lead Counsel to Nigeria’s Human Rights Violations Investigation Commission, Chinwe uncovered crimes and gross human rights violations during thirty years of Military dictatorship in Nigeria. She also prosecuted criminal cases on behalf of the Federal Government of Nigeria and defended the Federal Government in many civil cases.

She is presently a private legal practitioner, international arbitrator, and mediator, and she continues to advise the Federal Government in some specialized areas of law, including public international law and arbitration.

Prior to going into Law, Chinwe taught english language and literature in Lagos, and she worked as an Education Officer in the Federal Ministry of Education.

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WAN Yanhai

WAN Yanhai is Founder and Director of the Beijing Aizhixing Institute, the largest AIDS NGO in China that uses health education, research, publishing, and conferences to confront the HIV/AIDS crisis in China. As one of the most prominent leaders in the global campaign against HIV/AIDS, Yanhai launched China's first HIV/AIDS counseling hotline in 1992 while working for China's National Health Education Institute.

The institute works on HIV/AIDS and public health related policy, legal aid and human rights, and community outreach among the most vulnerable population. Yanhai organized several challenging campaigns in China including a national compensation campaign for the victims of HIV infection caused by blood transfusion or blood products, a national working group for the educational rights of people with HIV, hepatitis or other health problems, and a China HIV/AIDS NGO Network.

Michael Ward photo

Michael Ward

Michael Ward is on the Board of Directors of Commissionaires Ottawa in the Canadian Corps of Commissionaires, the largest group of security companies employing veterans in Canada. He previously served as Chief Operating Officer and Associate Director General for the Canadian Forces Morale and Welfare Services.

A Major General, he was previously Deputy Commander of the NATO Training Mission in Afghanistan, responsible for the development of the Ministry of the Interior and training of the Afghan National Police – one of the international community’s critical priorities for capacity building in Afghanistan and key to establishing a secure environment that will permit the reemergence of civil society and sustainable development.

Prior to this, in 2008-09, he was the Canadian Department of National Defense’s Director General for International Policy, responsible for coordinating and implementing Canada’s Defence and Security policy objectives and military training cooperation activities throughout the world, most notably in Afghanistan, the Middle East, Africa, and the Americas.