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Professional Leadership Staff


Initiative on the Holocaust and Professional Leadership

Jennifer Ciardelli
Jennifer Ciardelli directs the Museum’s Initiative on the Holocaust and Professional Leadership division which creates educational resources and programs for professionals charged with protecting life and liberty. The key audiences include law enforcement, the judiciary, and the military as well as select government audiences. Examining the Holocaust prompts critical thinking about professional roles and responsibilities, decision-making in complex environments, and mass atrocity prevention. Jennifer’s work also includes global outreach which engages educational stakeholders from around the world. Jennifer serves on the United States delegation to the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) where she chaired the Education Working Group in 2017. Previously, Jennifer taught high school social studies as well as workshops for graduate students. Jennifer holds degrees in history and English and a Master's degree in Education.

Alfonso Giscombe
Program Coordinator
Alfonso Giscombe is a program coordinator for the Initiative on the Holocaust and Professional leadership division, serving both the Civic and Defense and Law and Justice Initiatives. A 2001 Bringing The Lessons Home alum, Alfonso was forever changed by the lessons of the Holocaust. He graduated from Salisbury University majoring in philosophy and minoring in religious studies, where he studied Midrash as well as the works of Levinas and Wiesel. He is a former U.S.History teacher, and uses his life experiences to help shape the conversations that emerge from the responsibilities of advocating for fellow humanity.  

William F. Meinecke, Jr., PhD
Dr. William Meinecke is a historian for the Museum’s leadership development programs and is the author of Nazi Ideology and the Holocaust, published by the Museum in 2007. He joined the Museum’s staff in 1992 to help create the Historical Atlas of the Holocaust and a multimedia learning site for students. A graduate of the University of Maryland, Baltimore County, he also attended the Universities of Bonn and Berlin in Germany and received an MA and a PhD in history from the University of Maryland at College Park. His dissertation is titled “Conflicting Loyalties: The Supreme Court in Weimar and Nazi Germany, 1918–1945.”

Bridget Weisenreder
Program Coordinator

Bridget Weisenreder is the program coordinator for the Civic and Defense Initiatives and Law, Justice, and Society Initiatives branches of the Initiative, where she provides administrative and programmatic support for activities across the division. Prior to joining the Professional Leadership team, Bridget worked in the refugee resettlement field and volunteered at the Museum on weekends. She received a BA in International Studies - Peace and Conflict Resolution with minors in History and French from American University.

Law and Justice Initiatives

Russell Garnett
Program Coordinator
Russell Garnett is a program coordinator for the Museum’s Law and Justice Initiatives, facilitating programs for local, national, and federal law enforcement agencies, both in-service and recruit. Previously he worked as a program coordinator for the Museum’s Youth and Community Initiatives, facilitating the Bringing the Lessons Home Program and the National Youth Leadership Seminar. Russell is a native of Washington, DC, and first joined the Museum as a high school student in 1997 as an intern for the Bringing the Lessons Home Program and joined the museum staff to work full-time in 2002.

Ann O'Rourke
Program Coordinator
Ann O’Rourke is a program coordinator for the Museum’s Law and Justice Initiatives, facilitating leadership programs for law enforcement officers and members of the judiciary. She also manages the development of program resources, including translations of historical legal documents, creation of a trainer’s manual for the “Law Enforcement and Society” program, and a banner exhibition on the Holocaust used in off-site judicial programs. Previously she worked in the Museum’s Division of the Senior Historian, helping develop content for Museum programming, serving as a docent, and responding to public inquiries about Holocaust history. She received a BA in history and theology from the University of Notre Dame and spent a year on a Fulbright scholarship to the Diplomatic Academy of Vienna in Austria, where she completed a diploma (a one-year post-graduate program) in international studies. Ann also holds an MA in Democracy and Governance from Georgetown University.

Sarah Reza
Program Manager
Sarah Reza is manager of the Museum’s Law and Justice Initiatives, overseeing programs for law enforcement, judges and attorneys. Her work includes developing programmatic strategies, building and maintaining partnerships, expanding program outreach, and spearheading programming and resource development. She has contributed to several institution-wide projects, including evaluations, outreach, and planning. Prior to coming to the Museum, she worked at the Corcoran Gallery of Art in Washington, DC. She received a BA in film studies from the University of Wisconsin–Madison and an MA in museum studies from The George Washington University.

Civic and Defense Initiatives

Yael Friedman
Program Coordinator
Yael Friedman is a program coordinator for the Museum’s Civic and Defense Initiatives, where she develops and facilitates programs and materials for military and government audiences and supports programming with law enforcement and the judiciary. Prior to joining the Museum, she worked at the Museum of Jewish Heritage - A Living Memorial to the Holocaust and the Auschwitz Jewish Center Foundation, where she ran programs for US officers-in-training, and college and graduate students. Through a Fellowship at the Agahozo-Shalom Youth Village in Rwanda, she gained a unique lens into daily life and rebuilding and healing efforts in a post-atrocity country. She received a BA in Jewish, Islamic, and Near Eastern Studies from Washington University in St. Louis, and a dual MA in Hebrew and Judaic Studies and Education and Jewish Studies with a concentration in Holocaust education from New York University.

Kristin Levere
Program Coordinator
Kristin Levere is a program coordinator for the Museum’s Civic and Defense Initiatives, where she helps to develop and implement programs and materials for military and government officials. Previously, she worked for the Museum's Education Initiatives division, where she helped create an online exhibition, educational resources, and conducted in-depth research for the Americans and the Holocaust exhibition, and served as a research assistant in the Simon-Skjodt Center for the Prevention of Genocide, studying the genocides in Rwanda and Srebrenica. She received a BA in International Affairs and Women's and Gender Studies from Marquette University, and an MA in International Peace and Conflict Resolution from American University. 

Amanda Rooney Stierli
Program Manager
Amanda Rooney Stierli is the program manager for the Museum’s Civic and Defense Initiatives, where she is responsible for building and maintaining program partnerships, expanding program outreach, creating and facilitating programs for military and government professionals, conducting research to support program development, and developing program resources. Previously she worked for the Museum on teacher education and special programs, traveling exhibitions, and in the Center for the Prevention of Genocide. She received a BA in history with a minor in sociology from Thiel College in 2007 and two MAs, in history and in Russian and East European studies, from Florida State University in 2010.