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SAIS Women Lead Practicum Presentations

May 12, 2021 10:00 am - 11:45 am

Join SAIS Women Lead to see the innovative projects pursued by the Practicum students this year addressing international development and policy issues that advance women’s status and promote social, economic, and political equality and prosperity in communities across the world. On May 12, 2021, from 10 to 11:45 a.m. EST, tune in to hear from our students and our guest speaker, Dr. Dafna Rand, Vice President for Policy and Research at Mercy Corps, with closing remarks by Professor Nina Gardner. Moderated by Professor Chiedo Nwankwor, Director of SAIS Women Lead, come discover the students' compelling work for BRAC, the International Republican Institute (IRI), and Women In International Security (WIIS). 


  • Dr. Dafna Rand manages Mercy Corps' global policy and research work, and represents Mercy Corps' field teams with international institutions, donors and a range of stakeholders. She previously served as a Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Democracy, Human Rights and Labor (DRL), covering the Middle East. Her career has included positions as the Deputy Director of Research at the Center for a New American Security, a member of the National Security Council staff and the State Department's Office of Policy Planning staff, and two tours of duty as a Senate staffer covering national security and foreign assistance issues
  • Professor Nina Gardner is an Adjunct Lecturer at Johns Hopkins SAIS and is the director of Strategy International, a consulting firm she founded specializing in Corporate Social Responsibility, sustainability, and climate change. Prior to her work in CSR, she practiced law in Washington, DC and in Prague. She then joined the UN as a political officer in their Zagreb liaison office post Operation Flash and Storm in 1996 and then with the OSCE focusing on institution building in Vukovar. She is an activist in women’s issues—and is the founding president of three professional women’s associations in Europe (Prague, Paris, Rome) and was instrumental in getting the OECD women’s entrepreneurship MENA program launched. 
  • Professor Chiedo Nwankwor is the Director for SAIS Women Lead and a Lecturer at Johns Hopkins SAIS. Her primary areas of specialization are Comparative Politics with a focus on African politics, and Women and Gender Studies. Within women and gender studies, her research and teaching interests include women’s political participation with an emphasis on ministerial level politics in Africa, women’s health and health policy, feminist international relations, and the political economy of gender in Africa. She directs the SAIS Women Lead Practicum. 


  • For BRAC, a renowned microfinance company with high levels of women's leadership: "Understanding the Role of BRAC’s 'ELA' Intervention in Women’s Employment and Entrepreneurship in Tanzania and Beyond" 
  • For IRI, a premier, high-impact international democracy-development organization: "Women who Lead: A Framework to Enhance Women's Political Competitiveness in Sri Lanka"

For WIIS, a premier international organization advancing the leadership and professional development of women in the field of international peace and security: “Food Security in Crisis: Assessing the Social Challenges and Economic Potential of Women Migrant Workers in Agricultural America”

Location: Online SAIS Event