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 is the Vice President at the Alliance for Peacebuilding. She is a conflict expert and has more than 20 years of experience in senior leadership positions in bilateral, multilateral institutions and NGOs.  She has extensive experience in policy and advocacy and overseeing sizeable and complex peacebuilding programs in conflict-affected and fragile states 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, she served in leadership positions and helped establish the Office of Conflict Management and Mitigation at USAID developing programs and policies to improve the USG’s ability to address the causes 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 an 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.

Stone PictureJessica 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 eleven 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.

Stephanie was previously AfP’s Conference Associate in the lead-up to PeaceCon 2019. She graduated with a Bachelor’s of Arts in International Relations from Kent State University in 2016. As an undergraduate she spent time abroad interning for an international human rights organization while attending sessions at the United Nations in Geneva, formatting reports on the Human Rights Council and other events. In her final year she was accepted into Kent State’s Washington Program in National Issues and spent a semester taking classes in D.C. and interning with the International Rescue Committee.

Currently, Stephanie is a Master’s student at George Mason University’s School of Conflict Analysis and Resolution. In the future she plans to pursue research studying reconciliation and the protection of minority groups in communities in the aftermath of violent conflict.

Stephanie lives in Virginia with her spoiled cockatiel and enjoys writing D&D campaigns.

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 is based in San Francisco.

Zander is +Peace Network and Communications Coordinator. He graduated with a Bachelor’s of Arts in Political Science & French with a minor in Peace Studies from Manchester University in 2018. During undergrad, he had multiple opportunities to study abroad for long and short terms. In Palestine, he studied conflict transformation and nonviolent civil resistance. In Northeastern Nigeria, he liaised with peacebuilding and humanitarian projects. In Strasbourg, France, he studied at the Institut d’études politiques and did an internship in the European Parliament studying migration and development policy

After undergrad, he spent a year coordinating cocurricular Peace Studies education and local community organizing for the Manchester University Peace Studies Institute and Program in Conflict Resolution. He also served as a mediator and mediation trainer for Education for Conflict Resolution, a local community mediation center in North Manchester, IN. He speaks French and enjoys passions for coffee and language learning.

Maher Akremi is the fall ’19 Herbert Scoville Jr. Peace Fellow at Alliance for Peacebuilding. He graduated in 2018 from Lincoln University in Jefferson City, Missouri where he studied political science as well as History, Philosophy, and English. His particular interests lie in the role of local action within peacebuilding, the importance and impact of the inclusion of women, youth, minorities, and other historically marginalized groups in peacebuilding efforts. The intersection of political participation, peacebuilding, social cohesion, and stability is also of particular interest to him. 

During his undergrad, Maher spent a semester abroad in Tunisia, where he worked as an intern for the League of Tunisian Women Voters, and conducted research on the economic, social and political circumstances of women in Tunisia from an international perspective.  

In the future, Maher plans to continue to work in DC on peacebuilding and participation issues as well as eventually pursue a master’s degree in international affairs, particularly focused on the impact of political participation.

Mena Ayazi is the Manager for Policy and Communications at the Alliance for Peacebuilding. Prior to joining AfP, Mena spent the past few years working as a Research Assistant at the United States Institute of Peace (USIP) where she researched gender dynamics in conflict and American youth and educator engagement in global peacebuilding. At USIP, she also coordinated the U.S. Civil Society Working Group on Women, Peace and Security (U.S. CSWG), conducted program evaluation, developed resources for youth engagement, designed graphics, contributed to and monitored USIP social media activity, and provided administrative support to the Gender Policy and Strategy and Public Education teams. Following her interest in youth and peacebuilding, Mena has spent the past two summers working with Seeds of Peace International and the Conflict Resolution Youth Summit cultivating youth leaders from conflict zones around the world. She also has spent time interning with the House Democratic Caucus and volunteering for local and national political campaigns. Mena is also passionate about diaspora issues and transnational peacebuilding and has been working with the Afghan Diaspora for Equality and Progress (ADEP) to engage the Afghan-American diaspora in the on-going Afghan peace process through grassroots advocacy.

Currently, Mena is finalizing her Masters in Conflict Analysis and Resolution from George Mason University where she is researching the links between conflict memory and political engagement among the Afghan diaspora. Mena received her B.A. in Conflict Analysis and Resolution with a minor in Arabic Language and Culture from George Mason University. Mena is fluent in Pashto, enjoys traveling, is an avid jazz fan, and currently resides in Arlington, VA.