Naomi Kikoler is the director of the Simon-Skjodt Center for the Prevention of Genocide. As the Center’s deputy director she led Center’s policy engagement with the United States government and work on Bearing Witness countries, including undertaking the documentation of the commission of genocide by ISIS. Previously she developed and implemented the Global Centre for the Responsibility to Protect’s work on populations at risk and efforts to advance R2P globally and led the Centre’s advocacy, including targeting the United Nations Security Council. Prior to joining the Global Centre for the Responsibility to Protect in 2008, she worked on national security and refugee law and policy for Amnesty International Canada. She has also worked for the UN Office of the Special Advisor on the Prevention of Genocide, the Office of the Prosecutor at the UN International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda, and the Brookings-Bern Project on Internal Displacement at the Brookings Institution, and she worked as an election monitor in Kenya with the Carter Center. She has been an adjunct professor at the New School University and is the author of numerous publications, including the US Holocaust Memorial Museum's 2015 report, Our Generation is Gone: The Islamic States Targeting of Minorities in Ninewa, the 2013 Nexus Fund series on the emerging powers and mass atrocity prevention, and the 2011 report Risk Factors and Legal Norms Associated with Genocide Prevention for the UN Office on the Prevention of Genocide and the Jacob Blaustein Institute. She is a graduate of McGill University’s Faculty of Law, Oxford University, where her masters thesis was on the Rwandan genocide, and the University of Toronto. She is a board member of the Canadian Centre for the Responsibility to Protect, the Free Yezidi Foundation, is a Fellow at the Montreal Institute for Genocide and Human Rights Studies, and was called to the Bar of Upper Canada.
Kyra Fox is a research associate for the Simon-Skjodt Center for the Prevention of Genocide, where she conducts research on strategies to prevent and mitigate contemporary mass atrocities. Previously, she served as program intern at the Center for Social Integrity, a Rohingya-led civil society organization in Bangladesh. From 2015–2018, Kyra was the communications specialist at the African Studies Program at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, where she oversaw communications strategy and assisted with the implementation of the Mandela Washington Fellowship for Young African Leaders. Kyra is a senior fellow at Humanity in Action. She holds a BA in international studies and psychology with a minor in African studies from UW-Madison, where her thesis focused on the drivers of youth participation in mass atrocities.
Andrea Gittleman is a senior program manager for the Simon-Skjodt Center for the Prevention of Genocide, where she focuses on policy outreach, justice and accountability efforts for mass atrocities, and leads the Center's work on Burma/Myanmar. Previously she was interim director of US policy and senior legislative counsel at Physicians for Human Rights where she designed advocacy and policy strategies on a broad range of international human rights issues, including mass atrocities. Prior to that she served as an Arthur Helton Global Human Rights Fellow with the Burma Lawyers’ Council in Mae Sot, Thailand, where she coordinated an international advocacy campaign for criminal accountability in Burma. She also worked with the New York University Immigrant Rights Clinic, Legal Momentum, the New York Civil Liberties Union’s Reproductive Rights Project, and Human Rights Watch’s Women’s Rights Division. Prior to attending law school she served as a Peace Corps volunteer in Mauritania where she managed gender and development programs. She received a JD from the New York University School of Law and a BA in political science and international studies from the University of Chicago.
Kendal Jones is the program assistant for the Simon-Skjodt Center for the Prevention of Genocide. Previously, she interned in the Department of State’s Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor in the Office of East Asian and Pacific Affairs, where she researched human rights in Burma/Myanmar. Kendal also worked as program support at Corrymeela, a peace and reconciliation center in Northern Ireland. She has interned for a variety of human rights and atrocity prevention organizations, including the Enough Project, the Simon-Skjodt Center for the Prevention of Genocide, and Invisible Children, and has conducted human rights research in South Africa, Rwanda, and India. Kendal has a BA in history from American University with a minor in international peace and conflict resolution. She completed an MA in applied human rights from the University of York in the United Kingdom.
Sarah McIntosh is the associate for the Ferencz International Justice Initiative. In May 2017, she received her master of laws from Harvard Law School. Sarah has a bachelor of laws and international studies from the University of New South Wales, and is admitted as a solicitor of the Supreme Court of New South Wales.
Jennifer Schmidt is director of planning and operations for the Simon-Skjodt Center for the Prevention of Genocide. She oversees the Center's development efforts, finances, specialized projects, and leads its strategic planning process. She previously served as manager of strategic initiatives and programming for the Museum's marketing office. In that capacity, she led cross-disciplinary teams to develop and produce programs, and managed relationships with a variety of institutional partners and constituent groups. Prior to her work in marketing, Jenn served in the Museum's development office and was responsible for budgeting, contracting, and other support services, and organizing numerous institutional conferences and events. She has a BA in political science from Elon University and an MA in museum studies from The George Washington University. She also holds certification from Coaches Training Institute.
Jackie Scutari is a program manager for the Simon-Skjodt Center for the Prevention of Genocide, where she oversees a number of education, communication, and outreach initiatives. She works on the Museum's exhibits on contemporary genocide and genocide prevention and manages the Center’s website, social media, and communications strategy. She also produces programming for professional and public audiences. Formerly Jackie served as the Center's research assistant and managed the internship program. Prior to her work at the Museum she was the program administrator for Georgetown University’s Fellowship Program. She has a BA in psychology from Georgetown University and an MS in conflict analysis and resolution from George Mason University, where her focus was the dynamics of gang structures and gang violence, the prevention of female youth participation in gang activity, and the role of gender in the field of criminology.
Amber Sears is the executive assistant to the director for the Simon-Skjodt Center for the Prevention of Genocide where she provides administrative support to the director and Center as a whole. Previously she served as the executive assistant to the vice president of administration and operations for the Chesapeake Bay Foundation. She has a BA in sociology from Pennsylvania State University with a minor in law and liberal arts.
Daniel Solomon is a researcher for the Simon-Skjodt Center for the Prevention of Genocide, where he conducts research about contemporary mass atrocities and tools and strategies for their prevention. Previously he was a consultant at Booz Allen Hamilton, a global technology and strategy consulting firm, where he conducted research and analysis for US defense and commercial clients. He also worked for the West Africa and war crimes offices of the Central Intelligence Agency’s Directorate of Intelligence and as the national student director of STAND, a national network of student advocates for the prevention of violent conflict and mass atrocities. He has a BA in international politics from Georgetown University, where he is currently pursuing his PhD in government.
Nicole Widdersheim is the senior policy advisor for the Simon-Skjodt Center for the Prevention of Genocide. From 2015–2019, she was the USAID senior human rights and atrocity prevention advisor, representing the agency on the Atrocity Prevention Board and assisting field missions on prevention policy and programming. For over 20 years Nicole has designed and managed human rights, justice and atrocity response programming in post-genocide Rwanda, Darfur, South Sudan, Haiti, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Cote d'Ivoire, Bangladesh, Burundi, and the Philippines. She has assisted in the design and facilitation of atrocity prevention training modules and online courses for US foreign service officers and other foreign government officials. Her primary focus has been the integration of atrocity prevention approaches in national security strategies, democracy and governance programming, and counter-terrorism strategies. She served 2017–2018 at the National Security Council as director for Central Africa and the Sudans under the Trump Administration. Nicole has a BA in international relations and African studies from Kent State University and an MA in the political theory of human rights from the University of Essex in the United Kingdom.
Lawrence Woocher is the research director for the Simon-Skjodt Center for the Prevention of Genocide. He previously served as senior atrocity prevention fellow with the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), where he supported the agency’s participation on the Atrocities Prevention Board, authored the Field Guide: Helping Prevent Mass Atrocities (PDF; external link), developed a new training module on atrocity prevention, and co-led the development of a new State Department–USAID Atrocity Assessment Framework. Prior to his USAID fellowship, he was research director for the Political Instability Task Force at Science Applications International Corporation, where he led efforts to enhance forecasting of regime change, civil war, mass killing, and other kinds of political violence worldwide. From 2006 to 2011, he was a senior program officer at the United States Institute of Peace (USIP), where he served as a member of the executive committee and lead expert on early warning for the Genocide Prevention Task Force, which was co-sponsored by the Museum and co-chaired by former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright and former Secretary of Defense William Cohen. Before joining USIP, he was a research fellow at Columbia University’s Center for International Conflict Resolution and, concurrently, a consultant on early warning to the Office of the Special Adviser to the UN Secretary-General on the Prevention of Genocide. He is a lecturer at the Elliott School of International Affairs at George Washington University and a graduate of Brown and Harvard Universities.
Mollie Zapata is the research manager for the Simon-Skjodt Center for the Prevention of Genocide, where she is responsible for conducting quantitative and qualitative research on a wide range of issues related to genocide prevention, with a primary focus on the Center’s Early Warning Project. Previously Mollie had been doing natural language processing analytics at Monitor 360, an international affairs consulting firm, for various government and foundation clients. Her areas of interest are North and West Africa, conflict prediction, border security, security sector reform, transnational criminal and terrorist networks, and corruption. Prior to graduate school Mollie worked at the Enough Project on the Satellite Sentinel Project, using satellite imagery to report on mass atrocities and border violations in and between Sudan and South Sudan. Her other work experience includes the US Institute for Peace North Africa Program, the World Peace Foundation, the Institute for Inclusive Security, and National Geographic Television. Mollie holds an MA from the Fletcher School at Tufts University and a BA in international affairs from Boston University.