Uzra Zeya, President and CEO
As CEO and President of the Alliance for Peacebuilding, Uzra Zeya leads a network of over 100 organizations working in 153 countries to end conflict through peaceful means. Secretary of State John Kerry welcomed her January 2018 appointment by declaring, “After doing so much for so long to advance the cause of peace and human dignity on a global basis, Uzra is ideally suited to lead and help transform modern peacebuilding efforts in a new era.”
Over the course of a distinguished, 27-year diplomatic career, Ms. Zeya championed a more just, peaceful and sustainable world across five continents. As Chargé d’Affaires and Deputy Chief of Mission at U.S. Embassy Paris from 2014 to 2017, she led the U.S. response to three major terror attacks and forged unprecedented cooperation with France in combating terrorism in Africa and the Middle East, countering Russian aggression and malign influence in Europe, and mobilizing global action to confront climate change.
Ms. Zeya served as Acting Assistant Secretary and Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary in the Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor from 2012 to 2014. She oversaw over $400 million in global human rights and democracy assistance, led U.S. human rights dialogues with China and other nations, and launched a new public-private partnership to counter gender-based violence. She frequently briefed U.S. and international media on human rights policy, and has been profiled by the New York Times, Washington Post, and National Public Radio, among others.
As Chief of Staff to the Deputy Secretary of State from 2011 to 2012, she helped shape the U.S. policy response to the Arab Spring and deepened U.S. engagement with emerging powers. She also served as Deputy Executive Secretary to Secretaries Rice and Clinton and overseas at Embassies New Delhi, Muscat, Damascus, Cairo, and Kingston. She is the recipient of the Legion of Honor, France’s highest civilian honor, and 15 Superior Honor and Senior Performance Awards.
Uzra is a Senior Non-Resident Fellow at Georgetown University’s Institute for the Study of Diplomacy, where she taught graduate level coursework on diplomatic tradecraft and U.S.-European relations. Since leaving government, she also served as a Senior Advisor at Albright Stonebridge Group and a Senior Fellow at the Center for American Progress. She speaks French, Arabic, and Spanish.
Elizabeth (Liz) Hume, Vice President
Elizabeth (Liz) Hume is the Vice President at the Alliance for Peacebuilding. She has over 20 years’ experience in senior leadership positions overseeing sizeable and complex peacebuilding programs in conflict affected countries in Asia, Eastern Europe and Africa. From 1997-2001, Liz was seconded by the US Department of State to the Organization for Security and Cooperation (OSCE) in Bosnia and Herzegovina and in Kosovo as the Chief Legal Counsel and Head of the Election Commission Secretariats. In these positions, she was responsible for developing the legal framework and policies in support of the implementation of the Dayton Peace Accords and UN Resolution 1244.
After 9/11, Liz worked for the International Rescue Committee in Pakistan and Afghanistan where she established and managed the Protection Department for Afghan refugees and returning IDPs. Starting in 2004, Liz was a Senior Conflict Advisor and helped establish the Office of Conflict Management and Mitigation at USAID. In this position she developed programmatic interventions and policies for the USG in order to expand and improve USAID’s ability to address the sources and consequences of violent deadly conflict. In 2007, Liz was the Chief of Party for Pact where she managed a USAID funded conflict resolution and governance program in Ethiopia. She also served as a Technical Director at FHI 360 where she managed a USAID funded peacebuilding and governance program in Senegal with a focus on the Casamance one of Africa’s longest running civil wars. Liz is also an experienced mediator, and she is a frequent guest lecturer on countering violent extremism, international conflict analysis and peacebuilding in conflict-affected and fragile states. Liz holds a BA from Boston College, a JD from Vermont Law School, and a MA in Negotiation, Conflict Resolution and Peacebuilding from California State University, Dominguez Hills. She lives in Falls Church City, VA with her husband and twin daughters.
Jessica Baumgardner-Zuzik, Director of Learning and Evaluation
Jessica works on improving capacity and understanding within the field of peacebuilding of monitoring, evaluation, and impact tools and analysis in conflict-affected settings. She has more than ten years of field and academic experience working in economic development, and humanitarian and peacebuilding activities. Jessica has acted as lead program manager for DM&E activities, project design and implementation, impact evaluations, and RCT’s on several World Bank, UN, and NGO projects. She has led research endeavors involving economic empowerment, SBCC and mass media, MenEngage and SGBV, family planning, gender and entrepreneurship, gender and macroeconomic planning, maternal and infant health, ECD, and cross-sector gender involvement in the industry. Jessica specializes in creating usable, innovative data capture and M&E systems in fragile areas. She applies multiple techniques and theories from a range of disciplines to find creative solutions to tackle DM&E in complex settings. Jessica is fluent in French and holds a BA in Peace and Conflict Studies and Foreign Languages from Juniata College and an MA in Economics from the University of San Francisco. She currently resides in Washington, DC with her husband and cat, where she enjoys boxing, reading, and exploring our national treasures.
Sam Danello, Scoville Fellow
Sam graduated from Harvard College in 2018 with a BA in social studies and a minor in psychology. Drawing on Mahatma Gandhi and Martin Luther King, Jr., his thesis defended absolute nonviolence, even in cases as extreme as the Holocaust, the Rwandan genocide, and the Syrian conflict. He was one of 24 early inductees to Phi Beta Kappa and graduated with honors. Previously, he interned at the Public International Law & Policy Group, where he supported human rights documentation in Iraq and researched extrajudicial violence in Kenya. He also spent a summer in Istanbul at Mother-Child Education Foundation, where he copyedited a 300-page curriculum and promoted early childhood education along the Turkey-Syria border. Grants from the Institute of Politics and Center for European Studies underwrote these experiences. At Harvard, he served as a research assistant for two psychology professors. With Sidanius Lab, he surveyed Boston residents about police-community trust; with the Harvard Intergroup Neuroscience Lab, he conducted a computer experiment on group identity and aggression. In addition, Danello volunteered as a tutor for Franklin Afterschool Enrichment, a program designed to combat gang violence in neighboring housing units in Boston.
Throughout his college career, Danello supplemented his work in conflict mitigation with experiences in journalism. He co-edited the sports section of The Harvard Crimson, during which time he managed a staff of 20 reporters and wrote more than 180 articles. Before that role, he co-hosted the first-ever podcast for The Crimson and wrote a column on technology and millennials. In addition, he launched Once Daily Harvard, a publication that produced one in-depth feature per weekday on topics ranging from winter homelessness to Prohibition activism. He gained further experience as a political reporter for Snapchat and obituary writer for the Harvard Alumni Association. In his spare time, he enjoys soccer, classic films, and the “Are and Be” playlist on Spotify. He finished 33rd out of over 1,000 at the Providence Marathon and hopes to run another. A native of Washington, DC, he is proficient in Spanish.
Lisa Schirch, Senior Advisor on Policy
Lisa Schirch is AfP’s Senior Advisor on Policy. She is also a research professor of peacebuilding at Eastern Mennonite University’s Center for Justice & Peacebuilding. She is currently working with global civil society partners and key security sector experts to write a curriculum on security force-civil society relations. With 25 years of experience in on-the-ground peacebuilding in Afghanistan and 25 other countries, Lisa trains security forces, governments, and international organizations to work in partnership with civil society peacebuilding efforts. She holds a BA in International Relations from the University of Waterloo, Canada, and an MS and PhD in Conflict Analysis and Resolution from George Mason University. A former Fulbright Fellow in East and West Africa, Lisa has written five books and numerous articles on conflict prevention and peacebuilding. Her latest book is Conflict Assessment and Peacebuilding Planning: Toward a Participatory Approach to Human Security.
Laura Strawmyer, Policy and Advocacy Manager
Laura Strawmyer is the Policy and Advocacy Manager, and formerly a Herbert Scoville Jr. Peace Fellow, at the Alliance for Peacebuilding. With the Policy & Advocacy Team, she works to lead, support, and empower AfP’s members in advocating to the U.S. government and other institutions. She coordinates several topical Working Groups, leads AfP’s Congressional engagement, and manages administration outreach. Prior to AfP, Laura supported a range of peacebuilding, development, academic, and religious organizations, including the local Rwandan peacebuilding organization, Never Again Rwanda.
She holds an Accelerated Masters of Public Affairs, with concentrations in Nonprofit Management and International Development, from the School of Public and Environmental Affairs (SPEA) at Indiana University. As an undergraduate, she majored in Nonprofit Management with minors in French, African Languages, and African Studies. Strawmyer is a recipient of the U.S. Department of Education’s Foreign Language and Area Studies Fellowship for Swahili, and the SPEA International Engagement Fellowship. She speaks French and Swahili, as well as some Kinyarwanda and Arabic.
Laura is from central Indiana and now resides in Washington, D.C., where she enjoys volunteering with girls’ programs and spending time with her cat.
Madeline Rose, Director of Coalition Campaigns and Policy
Madeline has a strong record of policy, advocacy, and movement-building, as well as deep experience in the peacebuilding field. For the past five years, Madeline served as Senior Global Advocacy Advisor and Senior Policy Advisor at Mercy Corps, where she led advocacy campaigns, as well as global and U.S. government relations on peace and conflict policy. She was the lead advocate behind the Global Fragility and Violence Reduction Act, which passed the U.S. House of Representatives in November 2018, as well as a civil society negotiator on major global initiatives including Sustainable Development Goal #16 on Peace, Justice, and Strong Institutions, and the Secretary General’s Platform for Action on the Prevention of Violent Extremism. Prior to her role at Mercy Corps, Madeline was the lead lobbyist for the Peaceful Prevention of Deadly Conflict program at the Friends Committee on National Legislation.
As a professional staff member on Capitol Hill, Madeline played a lead role in drafting the Women, Peace, and Security Act of 2012, developed the drone warfare oversight strategy for the Congressional Progressive Caucus, and managed the Congressional Ethiopia Caucus, all while serving one of the most diverse Congressional districts in the United States. Madeline has also worked at the United Nations, developed the greenhouse gas reporting approach and Corporate Responsibility framework for a Forbes 500 technology company, and served with community-based organizations in South Africa. She has a B.A. from Occidental College in Diplomacy and World Affairs and is a Seminar XXI U.S. National Security Fellow with Massachusetts Institute of Technology. A native of Northern California, Madeline will be based in San Francisco.
Jonathan (Jon) Rudy, Senior Advisor on Human Security
Jonathan (Jon) Rudy is a Senior Advisor on Human Security for AfP. He currently is the Peacemaker-in-Residence for Elizabethtown College’s Center for Global Understanding and Peacemaking as well as professor of Peace and Conflict Studies.
With more than more than twenty five years of working and learning in 30 countries in Asia and Africa, he has focused his efforts at peacebuilding and conflict transformation on a grass roots communities and middle-out leadership.
Jon has an MA in Religion with a Graduate Certificate in Conflict Transformation from Eastern Mennonite Seminary/University in Harrisonburg, Virginia. He recently earned a Teaching for Higher Education Certificate from Temple University. He has a BA in International Development, an AA in Industrial Arts and Minor in Communications from Bethel College in North Newton, Kansas.
Adam Wolf, Membership and Outreach Manager
Adam Wolf is AfP’s Membership and Outreach Manager and has worked with AfP since 2016. He graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in International Studies from the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh in 2013. After graduation, he spent several months interning with the NGO Committee on Disarmament, Peace and Security where he focused on international disarmament and nonproliferation policy at the United Nations Headquarters. Examples of his work include monitoring negotiations within the General Assembly First Committee and drafting articles on nuclear nonproliferation and outer space security. He has spent the past two years working with nonprofits in the state of Wisconsin, including one year of service with AmeriCorps VISTA. As a VISTA, Adam worked with the Greater Fox Cities Area Habitat for Humanity in developing methods to improve donor cultivation and project evaluation. He has also contributed research for several publications on arms control and global governance.
While pursuing his Bachelors, Adam was actively involved in Model United Nations (MUN), an educational simulation where students represent countries and negotiate resolutions through parliamentary procedure. To this day, Adam continues his love for MUN by staffing three different conferences, including serving as Secretary-General for Midwest Model United Nations and Undersecretary-General at National Model United Nations DC.
Kathleen Pfohl, Policy & Communications Intern