ADVANCING WOMEN ADVANCES HUMANITY

OUR MISSION

Women Forward International is a global platform for systemic change in international affairs education, reorienting research towards the principals of unity, collaboration, and service. We create unique partnerships that lead to behavioral changes that advance women to advance humanity.  

 

WFI partners with a range of private sector, academic and non-profit clients to identify research critical to human progress, and then pairs teams of graduate international studies students with these organizations to complete that research and implement solutions.

 

WFI also uses the reflective power of Art to reveal and investigate the underlying cultural issues at stake in a given international relations issue and provide the next generation of leaders a more holistic approach to human relationships.

OUR LEADERSHIP

Kent Davis-Packard

President & Executive Director

 

Dr. Kent Davis-Packard is President & Executive Director of Women Forward International, which she launched as an initiative at the Aspen Institute in 2019.  Most recently, she initiated and developed the SAIS Women Lead curricular program at the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS), launching a practicum program that partners students with public and private organizations on research that advances women.

She taught Johns Hopkins SAIS's first courses on global women's issues: "Transcending Culture: Women as Agents of Change in the International Order” and "Women, Peace, and Security: Moving Beyond the Myth" as well as U.S. Foreign Policy in the Middle East. She is Features Editor for the Studies in Ethnicity and Nationalism journal based at the London School of Economics and a member of the Advisory Board of Kallion, an organization that elevates leadership through the humanities.
 

Previously she was co-Executive Director of Women's Learning Partnership, and a 2014-2015 Council on Foreign Relations Fellow at the Brookings Institution and Guest Scholar and lecturer at the American University in Cairo. As a Presidential Management Fellow, Dr. Davis-Packard played a key role in launching the State Department’s Women in Public Service Project and managed the Egypt Desk's human rights portfolio. She served as a Political Officer in Syria and Department of Defense Desk Officer for Iraq.

 

Dr. Davis-Packard received her Ph.D. in international relations and Middle East studies and master's degree in conflict management and economics from Johns Hopkins SAIS; a master's degree in French and romance philology from Columbia University; a comparative literature Maitrise, Lettres Modernes, from the Universite of Paris VIII; and a BA in English and comparative literature summa cum laude from Cornell University. As a Fulbright Scholar to Morocco, she studied the influence of returning migrants on local communities and literature. She is a graduate of the National Cathedral School for Girls in Washington, DC.

 

Dr. Davis-Packard has reported on such topics as family law reform, sectarianism and extremism, the women’s movement, labor, and language politics for the Christian Science Monitor and other publications including the Washington Post and the Wall Street Journal. A term and International Affairs Fellowship Committee Member of the Council on Foreign Relations and a member of the Cosmos Club's International Affairs Committee, she is fluent in French and able in Arabic and Spanish. She has studied or worked in Bangladesh, Bosnia, Croatia, the Dominican Republic, Egypt, France, Gambia, Guinea-Bissau, Haiti, India, Italy, Jordan, Lebanon, Mexico, Morocco, Qatar, Senegal, Syria, Ukraine, the United Arab Emirates, and Yemen. Dr. Davis-Packard's book on contemporary Islamic thought is forthcoming.

Contact: Kent@WomenForwardInternational.Org

Wesley Elizabeth Spencer, M.A.

Director of Arts Partnership and Strategic Development

 

Wesley Spencer focuses on Strategic Development and Arts Partnerships for Women Forward International. Most recently, she was Advancement Director at Friends School of Louisville, Kentucky. Previously, she served as Director of Major Gifts and Development at the Frazier History Museum in Louisville for eight years. Wesley was Project Manager for Kentucky by Design: The Decorative Arts and American Culture, sponsored and published by University Press of Kentucky, in conjunction with the National Gallery of Art, the Shelburne Museum, Winterthur Museum, Garden & Library, American Folk Art Museum, Historic Locust Grove, Shaker Village at Pleasant Hill and South Union Shaker Village.

 

Additionally, she has served as Chief Curator and Director of Programming for major public exhibitions, including: WWII: 48 Local Stories, Top Drawer: 150 Year of Bittners, and America by Design.

 

During her tenure at the Frazier History Museum, Wesley wrote and researched extensively on standards and best practices for museum and non-profit boards; the development of American cultural identity through the decorative arts; the impact of the 2008 economic crisis on arts and cultural organizations; the effect of cultural institutions on economic growth and development; and the repatriation of cultural property.

 

Spencer received her Bachelor of Arts in History, and a Masters of Fine Arts in Critical and Curatorial Studies, from University of Louisville. She holds a Certification in Major Gifts from the University of Indiana Lilly School of Philanthropy.

 

Contact: Wesley@WomenForwardInternational.Org

Aisha Almesned

Director of Women and Security Program

 

Aisha Almesned  was appointed as the first female Assistant Defense Attaché for Policy at the Embassy of Qatar in Washington, D.C. in August 2018. She is also the first female in the Gulf Cooperation Council countries to ever hold such a position. As Assistant Defense Attaché for Policy she is focused on continuing to enhance US and Qatar bi-lateral relations. She has initiated and developed a new partnership opportunity between the Ministry of Defense and the US defense and intelligence community. She also frequently briefs Congress on matters of national security related to the US and Qatar by providing geopolitical analysis from Qatar’s perspective. 

 

Prior to her current position, Ms. Almesned worked in the Government Communications Office under the Office of the Prime Minister and headed the Public Diplomacy division. In this role she established a public diplomacy department within the Government Communications Office and drafted a comprehensive strategy that would engage non-government entities locally and globally. She conducted research using Arab government archives on the Beirut 1983 Marine Barracks bombing. 

 

Ms. Almesned holds a Master’s Degree in International Studies and International Economics with a concentration in Strategic Studies from the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS). She holds a Bachelor of Science degree in International Politics from Georgetown University’s School of Foreign Service. She has published an article on National Intelligence Estimate |Russia. In addition to Arabic, she is fluent in English and French.

Lindsay Wozniak

Creative Director

 

Lindsay Wozniak is  Senior Vice President, Digital and Creative, at TMP Worldwide LLC and works closely with clients to lead the development and creation of innovative and groundbreaking initiatives and to ensure their success. With 40+ years of experience and over 200 industry awards for creativity and effectiveness, she provides consulting to help clients stay on the forefront of new marketing solutions and trends.

 

Lindsay began her career as an Art Director and then Creative Director for ABC TV, GE and Stackig Advertising and PR prior to TMP. As a “Hall of Fame” advertising design graduate of The Art Institute of Ft. Lauderdale, she thrives in TMP’s innovative and progressive culture.

 

Lindsay also founded Red Fish Studios, LLC in 2005. Red Fish Studios is all about creative expression and giving back. Film. Photography. Music. Design. Whatever.

Mona Oswald

Director of Business Development

 

Mona Oswald is a Financial Marketing Executive with over 20 years of experience in broad based strategic sales planning, market expansion, and relationship management.

 

She holds a master's degree in International Public Policy, with a focus on the Middle East, from the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS), a master’s degree in business administration from George Mason University, and a bachelor of arts in business marketing from Radford University. A first generation American with parents of Egyptian and Lebanese descent, she has worked with organizations doing business in the Middle East to identify and develop opportunities that promote growth and development in order to provide profitable, positive and peaceful outcomes.

 

In 2018, as part of a SAIS Conflict Management delegation, she traveled to Israel and Palestine to analyze the stalled Israeli/Palestinian negotiations. Based on her findings, Ms. Oswald authored the chapter in Johns Hopkins publicationEscaping the Cul De Sac, What to Do About the Stalled Israeli/Palestinian Negotiations that focused on the implications of militarization through a gendered lens.  

 

Ms. Oswald is also an active philanthropist with interests in mental health issues, women’s equality, global security and Middle East policy. She regularly advises nonprofit organizations on strategic planning, funding and organizational transitions, and has been involved with Best Buddies International, the American Heart Association, St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, and the Landon School.

 

As a business minded and socially aware executive, her professional background in finance and international public policy provide her with a unique perspective and the ability to take an interdisciplinary approach to global challenges.

 

 

 

 

 

 

ADVISORY BOARD

WOMEN FORWARD INTERNATIONAL ADVISORY COMMITTEE

GINA ABERCROMBIE-WINSTANLEY
Ambassador (ret.), Consultant

ODEH ABURDENE, Ph.D. 
President of OAI Advisors

STEPHANIE AHERN, Ph.D. 
Colonel, U.S. Army; Director for Strategic Planning, National Security Council Staff

FATEMA AL BAKER
Diplomat, Embassy of the State of Qatar

AISHA AL MESNED
Assistant Defense Attache for Policy, Ministry of Defense of the State of Qatar

SARA AL SAADI
Diplomat, Embassy of the State of Qatar

SEEMA ALIM, Ph.D. 

Honorary Fellow at the Imperial College of Science and Technology, London

NEYLA ARNAS
Senior Research Fellow and Director for Women, Peace, and Security Initiatives at the National Defense University’s Institute for National Strategic Studies

LORA BERG

Senior Fellow, Leadership German Marshall Fund

 

FEDERIGA BINDI, Ph.D.

Jean Monnet Chair and Professor of Political Science, University of Rome Tor Vergata;

Senior Fellow and Director of the Foreign Policy Initiative, Institute for Women Policy Research

SALAH BRAHIMI

President & CEO, Grey Matter LLC

ALEXA CHOPIVSKY
Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Transnational Education Group; Executive Director of the American Center for a European Ukraine; Director, Program on the World Economy, The Aspen Institute

 

PEGGY CLARK
Vice President of Policy Programs and Executive Director of Aspen Global Innovators Group

ALLAN COHEN, Ph.D. 
Founder of Pacific Institute for Research and Evaluation

BARBARA SHAW COHEN
Persuasive Communication Specialist,Washington Post (ret.);Professional Artist

BENJAMIN CROCKETT
Colonel, U.S. Army, Retired; Associate Dean of Academic Affairs, Africa Center for Strategic Studies, National Defense University

KENT DAVIS-PACKARD, Ph.D. 
Director, Women Forward International,Aspen Global Innovators Group, The Aspen Institute

THERESA ALFARO DAYTNER

CEO, Daytner Construction Group

VASIA DELIYIANNI

Art Instructor, The Art Institute of Washington, George Mason University, Independent Curator, Museum Exhibitions

JAMIE DOBIE
Executive Director, Peace is Loud

AMANDA DORY
Associate Dean for Outreach and Office of the Secretary of Defense (OSD) Chair, National War College; Former Deputy Assistant of Defense for Strategy, OSD

PATRICIA ELLIS

President Emeritus, Women’s Foreign Policy Group

President, Ellis Global Issues Forums LLC

FADI ELSALAMEEN

Managing Partner of a private equity advisory group, Adjunct Senior Fellow, American Security Project

ELLIOT GERSON

Executive Vice President, The Aspen Institute

JANICE KOCH, Ph.D. 
Professor Emerita of Science Education, Hofstra University

 

CARLA KOPPELL
Distinguished Fellow, Georgetown University Institute for Women, Peace, and Security

 

MARIA ZOIE LAFIS
Executive Director of the Center for Hellenic Studies, Harvard University

KAMALA LOPEZ
Actress, Filmmaker, Activist, and President of Heroica Films

 

MARSHALL MILLSAP
Managing Principal at Sprezzatura Advisors

 

SHAMARUKH MOHIUDDIN
Principal Associate, Nathan Associates

 

JULIA NESHEIWAT, Ph.D. 
Deputy Special Presidential Envoy for Hostage Affairs, U.S. Department of State

 

ANGELA O'BYRNE

President, Perez APC

RICHARD OAKLEY

Consultant, Intelligence and National Security, The MASY Group

 

JOHN P. OSWALD
President and CEO of the Capital Trust Group

 

MONA OSWALD
Philanthropist

 

KAYLEE OTTERBACHER
Associate, Mercury

 

ELLIS PINES
Vice President, Brand Strategy, TMP Worldwide, LLC

 

SABAHAT QAMAR
Founder and CEO, SixtyW

NORMAN B. SANDRIDGE
Associate Professor of Classics, Howard University; Fellow, Center for Hellenic Studies

CHRISTINA SEVILLA, Ph.D. 
Deputy Assistant U.S. Trade Representative for Small Business

EILEEN ST. GEORGE, Ph.D. 
Vice President, Education for Development, Creative Associates International

CARMEN SURO-BREDIE

Guest Lecturer, Foreign Service Institute

DOAA TAHA, Ph.D.

Founding Chair of the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee Women's Empowerment Forum

VIRGINIE VISCARDY
NATO C&I Representative to North American Organizations and Agencies

BONNIE H. WEINSTEIN
Esq., BHW Global

CONSTANCE WHITESIDE, Ph.D. Senior Outreach Officer, Delegation of the European Union to the United States

SHARON WILKINSON
U.S. Ambassador (ret.), Burkina Faso and Mozambique

LINDSAY WOZNIAK

Senior Vice President, Digital and Creative, TMP Worldwide, LLC. President, Red Fish Studios, LLC

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Women Forward Internationa is an independent nonprofit 501(c)(3) corporation, DLN 26053652004319