BOARD OF DIRECTORS
BOARD OF DIRECTORS
Seema Alim, Ph.D., PE
Honorary Fellow at the Imperial College of Science and Technology, London
Dr. Alim is a professional consulting engineer. She has a PhD in Civil Engineering and AI from the Imperial College, London where she is also an Honorary Fellow since 2012. Over the last 25+ years Dr. Alim has held senior positions with international consulting firms responsible for program management, planning and delivery of major infrastructure programs in water, wastewater, transit, highways, ports and energy sectors and smart cities. Her international experience has included working on programs in the US, Canada, UK, UAE, Pakistan, Maldives, S. Arabia and Singapore. She was a Vice President and Sr. Global Program Manager at CH2M Hill (now Jacobs) for over 13 years and Vice President (Operations-Major Programs), Louis Berger (now WSP); she also worked as the Municipal Practice Lead in Louisiana for Brown & Caldwell and as General Manager (Programs & Contracts), NESPAK Ltd.
Dr. Alim served 6 years in the public sector working with the former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto during the Prime Minister’s two terms in office. During this period, she participated in national infrastructure planning and policy making and was responsible for expediting, monitoring and implementing infrastructure programs of national significance such as the private-public partnership light rail transit for Karachi.
Throughout her private and public sector career Dr. Alim has maintained on-going engagement with academic and research activities through board memberships, publications, and teaching. She served as a Member, Expert Advisory Board, i-Build, UK between 2013-18. She has been a visiting professor at several institutions including 6 years teaching the graduate Engineering Management program at the University of New Orleans.
Ghida AlJuburi, PH.D.
Attorney, Salzay Advisory
Dr. Ghida AlJuburi, is an attorney with a background in public health and policy and a focus on non- profit board governance. She spent the majority of the past decade working for Her Highness Sheikha Moza bint Nasser in multiple senior roles. Dr. AlJuburi served as the Legal Advisor to the Chairperson of Qatar Foundation and Secretary to the Board of Qatar Foundation (QF), an institution that has over 50 different entities focusing on health, education, research and community development including an integrative campus that includes Georgetown University, Weil-Cornell, Carnegie-Mellon, Northwestern and a number of others. Dr. AlJuburi held the position of Assistant Professor of Healthcare Policy and Research at Weill-Cornell School of Medicine. She served as the Director of the QF Board Management Office where she led a high performing team that helped to build and retire hundreds of boards and supported dozens of strategic and commercial initiatives. Prior to her tenure at QF, Dr. AlJuburi was the General Counsel at the office of Qatar’s First Lady as well as Secretary of the Board to the Qatar Supreme Council of Health (i.e. the State of Qatar's Public Health Ministry).
Dr. AlJuburi is a lawyer by training. She completed her JD at George Mason University School of Law, holds a Bachelors in English Literature from Johns Hopkins University, a Masters of Public Health from Columbia University, and she is admitted to practice in both the United States and as Solicitor of the Supreme Court of England & Wales. Dr. AlJuburi also has her PhD from Imperial College's department of Primary Care and Social Medicine. She is a purveyor of unique experiences and an investor in community innovations. She is the founder of Salzay Advisory and is currently writing and consulting on projects of interest. Although Dr. AlJuburi is a global citizen and world traveler, she has been hanging her hat in the Washington, D.C. area for over 40 years.
Assistant Defense Attaché, State of Qatar
Ms. Almesned was appointed as the Assistant Defense Attaché for Policy at the Embassy of Qatar in Washington, D.C. in August 2018, she is also the first woman to ever hold such position. As Assistant Defense Attaché for Policy she is focused on continuing to enhance US and Qatar bi-lateral relations. In this capacity, Ms. Almesned also advises the Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of State for Defense Affairs on national security strategy as it pertains to defense and security.
Prior to her current position, Ms. Almesned worked in the Government Communications Office under the Office of the Prime Minister and was heading the Public Diplomacy division. In this role she developed strategic communications plans to showcase the government's vision and policies.
Ms. Almesned holds a Master’s Degree in International Studies and International Economics with a concentration in Strategic Studies from Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies. She holds a Bachelor of Science degree in International Politics from Georgetown University’s School of Foreign Service. In addition to Arabic, she fluently speaks English and French.
Kent Davis-Packard, PH.D.
President, Women Forward International
Dr. Kent Davis-Packard (Chair) 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.
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.
Mary Beth Long
Founder, M B Long & Associates, PLLC
From 2007-2009, Ms. Long served as the first woman confirmed by the U.S. Senate as Assistant Secretary of Defense for International Security Affairs in the Office of the Secretary of Defense, and as Chair of NATO’s High Level Group (HLG), responsible for NATO’s nuclear policy. In her defense department roles, she also acted as Principal Deputy Secretary of Defense on the Middle East, Africa, the Western Hemisphere, Asia, and Southeast Asia; and was the Deputy Secretary of Defense for Counter Narcoterrorism with a budget of over $1 billion. To those credentials, she adds more than a decade of Central Intelligence Agency operational experience (1986–99) on terrorism and other security issues.
After leaving government, Ms. Long founded Metis Solutions LLC. Under her tenure as CEO, the company was recognized in Inc. Magazine’s List of America’s Fastest Growing Companies in 2014, 2015, and 2016. She was recently featured in Forbes magazine’s Women Business Leaders. Ms. Long advises several Fortune 500 companies on international defense markets. From 2013-2016, she served as a Senior Subject Matter Expert for the Supreme Allied Commander of NATO and as a Senior International Advisor to the Minister of Defense of Colombia.
Ms. Long has advised several Presidential candidates and appears regularly on Fox News, BBC, CNN, Al Jazeera English and NPR on Middle East issues and the Intelligence Community. She is a licensed lawyer and, from 1999 until 2004, was an associate specializing in civil litigation matters at Williams & Connolly LLP. She is an Honors Graduate of Pennsylvania State University, magna cum laude, and in 2016, Ms. Long received the Distinguished Alumni Award, the University’s highest honor presented to its alumni. She received her J.D. from Washington and Lee University School of Law.
Ambassador Sharon P. Wilkinson
Foreign Service Officer, Retired
Ambassador Wilkinson is a retired Foreign Service Officer, with service in Mexico, Brazil, The Netherlands Antilles, Portugal and Ghana. President Clinton appointed her as Ambassador to Burkina Faso, and later to Mozambique. Following that, she served as Diplomat in Residence then Assistant Dean for Global Engagement at Arizona State University where she developed plans for meaningful international experiences for Global Studies students. While in Arizona she was a docent at the Heard Museum. At Meridian International Center in Washington DC where she was the Diplomatic Advisor, she examined strategies for engaging the local Washington DC community to “think global” and participate in activities with a global reach. She has been a speaker on foreign policy issues and greatly enjoys mentoring aspiring young Foreign Service Officers; additionally she tutors individuals preparing for their US citizenship interviews.
Ambassador Wilkinson is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations, the American Black Ambassadors Association, and the American Foreign Service Association. She is a board member of the Senior Living Foundation and Women Forward International and a Lay Leader at Unity of Washington DC where she also sings in the choir. Ambassador Wilkinson is a Reiki master, docent/mentor at the National Museum of African-American History and Culture, voice-over artist, and a volunteer with Washington Volunteer Readers for the Blind.
Ambassador Wilkinson has a BA in International Relations from Brown University, and a MAT/Social Science from the University of Chicago.
WOMEN FORWARD INTERNATIONAL ADVISORY COMMITTEE
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
Senior Research Fellow and Director for Women, Peace, and Security Initiatives at the National Defense University’s Institute for National Strategic Studies
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
President and CEO, Grey Matter LLC
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
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
Colonel, U.S. Army, Retired; Associate Dean of Academic Affairs, Africa Center for Strategic Studies, National Defense University
KENT DAVIS-PACKARD, Ph.D.
President and Executive Director, Women Forward International
THERESA ALFARO DAYTNER
CEO, Daytner Construction Group
Art Instructor, The Art Institute of Washington, George Mason University, Independent Curator, Museum Exhibitions
Executive Director, Peace is Loud
Associate Dean for Outreach and Office of the Secretary of Defense (OSD) Chair, National War College; Former Deputy Assistant of Defense for Strategy, OSD
President Emeritus, Women’s Foreign Policy Group
President, Ellis Global Issues Forums LLC
Managing Partner of a private equity advisory group, Adjunct Senior Fellow, American Security Project
Executive Vice President, The Aspen Institute
Counselor, Friends of the American University of Afghanistan
JANICE KOCH, Ph.D.
Professor Emerita of Science Education, Hofstra University
Distinguished Fellow, Georgetown University Institute for Women, Peace, and Security
MARIA ZOIE LAFIS
Executive Director of the Center for Hellenic Studies, Harvard University
Actress, Filmmaker, Activist, and President of Heroica Films
TODD MCALLISTER, Ph.D.
Director, Global Supply Chain & Logistics, National Defense University
Director, Global Alliance Advisors
Managing Principal at Sprezzatura Advisors
Principal Associate, Nathan Associates
Consultant, Moroz Consulting
JULIA NESHEIWAT, Ph.D.
Deputy Special Presidential Envoy for Hostage Affairs, U.S. Department of State
President, Perez APC
Consultant, Intelligence and National Security, The MASY Group
Vice President, Brand Strategy, TMP Worldwide, LLC
Founder and CEO, SixtyW
Director, Center for Latin America, Atlas Network; and President of the Mexico Business Forum in Mexico City
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
DOAA TAHA, PH.D.
Managing Director at Grey Matter International LTD, Chair of Women's Empowerment Forum and National Board Director, American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee
NATO C&I Representative to North American Organizations and Agencies
BONNIE H. WEINSTEIN
Esq., BHW Global
CONSTANCE WHITESIDE, MD
Senior Outreach Officer, Delegation of the European Union to the United States
U.S. Ambassador (ret.), Burkina Faso and Mozambique
Senior Vice President, Digital and Creative, TMP Worldwide, LLC. President, Red Fish Studios, LLC
Consultant, National Security and Infrastructure