Founder & President
Dr. Kent Davis-Packard is Founder and President 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. She also holds a Certificate in Management Essentials from Harvard Business School Online. 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.
Dr. Julia Nesheiwat
Dr. Julia Nesheiwat is a recognized expert in national security, energy, and sustainability as a public servant, academic, former military officer, and U.S. diplomat. She is a Distinguished Fellow at the Atlantic Council, and a Commissioner on the U.S. Arctic Research Commission having worked with indigenous communities.
Dr. Nesheiwat brings unique experiences having served over 20 years in public service, spanning the Bush, Obama, Trump, & Biden Administrations. In 2019-2020 she was appointed as Florida’s first Chief Resilience Officer, launching a new office dedicated to addressing the environmental and economic impacts of climate change for the state.
A former U.S. Army combat veteran, she served multiple consecutive tours in Afghanistan & Iraq and was awarded the Bronze Star Medal; As Deputy Assistant Secretary of State she helped build the first Energy Resources Bureau, and later was appointed in the White House as Deputy Assistant to the President for Homeland Security & Resilience.
She also served on the World Economic Forum’s (WEF) Global Advisory Council, is a life member with the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR) and visiting professor at the Naval Post Graduate School, and has lectured at Stanford University & University of California San Diego. She earned a BA from Stetson University, an MA from Georgetown University, and a PhD from Tokyo Institute of Technology. Dr. Nesheiwat speaks Arabic and Japanese.
Director of Strategic Development & Arts Partnerships
For a decade, Marta Chicano has worked as an executive coach and systemic/organisational dynamics consultant. She has extensive experience in co-designing and facilitating leadership, partnership and organisational development interventions, and providing top level executive coaching with highly regarded clients across sectors globally such as in social media, marketing and PR, strategy management consulting, construction, engineering and heavy engineering, oil and gas, aerospace and the food industry. Prior to that, Ms. Chicano was a managing director at an automotive company.
In addition, Ms. Chicano has an MSc in Marketing Management and Finance, is a certified Executive Coach and Systemic Coach, holds an MSc in Human Resources from the London School of Economics, and is a qualified systems psychodynamic practitioner with the Tavistock institute.
Lindsay Wozniak is also Senior Vice President, Client Development, at Radancy, 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.
Global Programs Consultant
Adriana Fotino has worked in political risk analysis as well as in the New York and Nairobi offices of the International Crisis Group, a think tank devoted to identifying practical solutions for the prevention and resolution of armed conflict. Her personal experience as the daughter of refugees and with chronic illness has impressed on her the persistent effects of unseeable factors such as unresolved trauma, and the healing potential of the world's varied cultural traditions. She draws on these traditions to develop and promote programs that foster mutual understanding and dynamic communities.
Ms. Fotino holds a master's degree in International Relations from the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS), with a concentration in International Economics and Strategic Studies, and graduated magna cum laude in History from Amherst College. With a longstanding interest in foreign languages, she speaks or has studied Romanian, French, Spanish, Italian, German, Russian, Japanese, Latin and ancient Greek.
WFI ASSOCIATE CONSULTANTS
Health & Wellbeing
Isabella Brandes is a health and gender policy professional. Her career experience spans gender equity, access to healthcare, and improving nonprofits’ operational efficiency. She currently works with the OECD Development Centre’s Social Institutions and Gender Index (SIGI) program in Paris, France.
Previously, as a consultant at Deloitte, Ms. Brandes supported the launch of a national social purpose growth strategy, conducted research on gender equity, and led pro-bono consulting projects for health-oriented nonprofits. She is a returned Peace Corps volunteer; while serving in Ecuador she collaborated with local and indigenous leaders on program development in a cross-cultural context. In her spare time, Isabella enjoys watercolor painting and linocut block printing. Ms. Brandes holds bachelor’s degrees from UC Berkeley in Business Administration and Public Health.
After partnering with Women Forward International to conduct health equity research while in graduate school, Komal Kumar is excited to continue working with WFI to further health and wellbeing for women around the world. She holds a B.S in Human Biology and an M.S. in Community Health and Prevention Research, both from Stanford University.
Ms. Kumar is passionate about improving access to and the quality of healthcare, particularly for marginalized communities, and currently works to improve mental healthcare for young adults across the United States. She is particularly interested in using research to further health outcomes on the population level, and increasing access to mental health support in low-income communities.
Carolina Medina Zárate holds a master’s degree in International Development, with a specialization in Human Rights and The Americas, from Sciences Po Paris and a cum laude BA in Political Sciences and Euro-Latin American studies from the same university. She is passionate about defending human rights, promoting gender equality, and peacebuilding from different fronts.
Ms. Medina has worked in the fields of research, public policy, international relations, political affairs, and programming in the public sector, think tanks, foundations and non-governmental and international organizations. As a contributor to various media and digital platforms, she has published articles and created multimedia content on topics including women's rights, social movements, grassroots initiatives, and sustainable development.
Ms. Medina has assisted the Executive Office of the UN Secretary-General with the preparation and organization of high-level meetings and conferences aiming to promote strategic thinking, interdepartmental coordination, and contribute to the international peacebuilding and conflict prevention agenda.
Jillian Montilla is a human rights researcher, activist, and part-time poet. Ms. Montilla received her M.A. in human rights and humanitarian action with concentrations in methodology and Asian studies from Sciences Po’s Paris School of International Affairs
(PSIA). She holds an Advanced Certification in Gender Studies from Sciences Po’s Research and Educational Programme on Gender Studies (PRESAGE).
In 2019-2020, she partnered with WFI, PRESAGE, and the European Network of Migrant Women to investigate the barriers to political participation of young migrant women in Europe. She co-designed a workshop with 20+ young migrant women, employing spoken word poetry and meditation to release internalized stereotypes and to develop a better understanding of their rights enshrined in international human rights treaties.
Most recently, Ms. Montilla worked as a policy researcher at Fòs Feminista, an alliance of
135+ sexual and reproductive health and rights organizations throughout the Global South. Ms. Montilla is interested in poetry, intersectionality, human rights, and reproductive justice. A licensed yoga teacher, Ms. Montilla is led by the principles of commitment, service, and unity forged on—rather than in spite of—difference.
Sreya Nath's interests lie in international affairs such as refugee and migration related research especially through a gendered lens. She is also proficient in computational social sciences and qualitative research. Additionally, she is the recipient of the prestigious French Government Scholarship (Charpak AME) which is helping her to pursue her Masters in International Development at Paris School of International Affairs (PSIA) at Sciences Po, Paris. Her concentrations are Migrations and Research Methods with a specialisation on Advanced Gender Studies.
Previously Ms. Nath worked as a Graduate Research Assistant at Sciences Po Medialab where she analysed the gendered perception and racialized hierarchies on the migration related Tweets churned by the French press and corresponding twitter accounts of French Organizations, Politicians, etc. respectively. As an Intersectional feminist, she is very curious about the media's perception of the marginalized and wrote her masters thesis on the representation of the margins on discourses around Islam on Twitter.
Robin Schmid is a Senior Manager at Corus International where she guides communications strategies and technical content to advance business development goals and strategic partnerships with governments, multilateral agencies, foundations, and corporations.
Ms. Schmid earned her master’s degree from Yale University’s Jackson Institute for Global Affairs where she explored issues of gender equity and human rights in international development and public policy. She worked for several years in the nonprofit sector in Guatemala, championing women’s rights and supporting sustainable community development. She led the development and communications strategy of the Women’s Justice Initiative and managed partnerships and grants at Pueblo a Pueblo after being awarded a Princeton in Latin America Fellowship. She has also worked on projects in Panama, Peru, and Ecuador, as well as supported the Government and External Affairs Office of the Inter-American Foundation in Washington, DC. Ms. Schmid earned her bachelor’s degree from Georgetown University's School of Foreign Service.
Martina Sole is a young professional holding a First Class Honours BA in Politics and International Studies from the University of Warwick and currently pursuing a Dual Master Degree in International Affairs from Sciences Po and the London School of Economics. She is a resilient and enthusiastic individual who is keen to have a positive impact on the world by conducting research on political, economic and societal issues and by searching for innovative solutions to the complex problems which characterise modern society.
Ms. Dole has had the opportunity to gain professional experience in various fields. In 2018, she worked as an Intern for the Iraqi-Kurdistan Regional Government in Rome, gaining professional experience in the field of International Relations and Diplomacy. In 2019, she worked as a Research Intern for Seeds&Chips, a Milan-based company which promotes sustainability and food security. Moreover, she currently works as a Young Policy Leaders Intern at Whiteshield Partners, a Dubai-based global strategy & public policy advisory firm. Ms. Sole regularly takes part in volunteering activities and she has founded a youth non-profit association in her hometown in Southern Italy.
Leadership & Peacebuilding
Education & Economic Empowerment
Qin Miao holds a bachelor’s degree in Economics and Society from Sciences Po, Paris, and is currently pursuring his master's degree from Sciences Po.
Mr. Miao is interested in the economic empowerment for refugee and migrant women through the power of public policy and private organizations. He understands the complexity of issues in international development, and values pragmatic and applicable solutions to improve the situation.
Mr. Miao has a multi-disciplinary academic background with knowledge in political sciences, sociology, economics, international relations, and finance. His education in various academic domains helps him understand an issue with different perspectives. He is an internationalist who believes in the possibility of cross-culture communication, and is interested in contributing to international development projects all over the world.
WFI FILM TEAM
Walker has been designing, producing, writing and directing media productions for 17 years. He specializes in using storytelling to communicate complex messages and ideas in persuasive and captivating ways.
He has worked and studied closely with some of the world’s leading experts and organizations on social impact media production and won awards for excellence in filmmaking and production. His ongoing work with Iowa State University’s Seed Science Center led the university to present him their Distinguished Lifetime Achievement and Service award in 2019 for the communications and media programs he has built for them. In addition, he has over a decade of experience designing and developing online multimedia programs focused around training innovation for national organizations.
After earning a degree in English from the University of Chicago, he earned an MBA and a Masters in social change entertainment from Johns Hopkins University.
Bryan Marks is a Theatre Artist interested in telling compelling stories and exploring the collision of art, narrative, and the contemporary world. He most recently toured the United State as the Technical Director of the Aquila Theatre Company, where he worked closely with actors and designers to present a poignant and timely interpretation of 1984 by George Orwell.
Bryan graduated in 2018 from the University of North Carolina Asheville with a B.A. in Theatre. His focus was on lighting design in nontraditional spaces. He also accomplished a minor in Physics and another in Applied Mathematics.
HR and Accounting
HR and Accounting Team: Elaine Parsons and Lisa Alcid of Parsons & Associates
CPAs: Becky Phillips and Mountjoy Chilton Medley