Executive Director

Emily Perkins

Emily Perkins is a senior leader of policy-focused non-profit organizations.  Her 20-year career spans international program management, fundraising, and external relations.  

Perkins served most recently as Vice President of Development at the Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies where she helped “America’s Black think tank” create a multi-year development strategy and establish operational best practices across the organization.  She previously spent eight years at the Brookings Institution where she led fundraising strategy and operations for teams whose issues ranged from foreign policy to domestic political institutions.  She has also held program management and business development roles in the private sector.

Perkins earned a B.A. in Political Science from Boston College and an LL.M. from the University of Kent’s Brussels School of International Studies.




Director of Programs

Simone Williams

Simone Williams is the Director of Programs for LCWINS. In this role she leads and manages the implementation of LCWINS current and future programming. She previously worked with the Project on Nuclear Issues (PONI) at the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS). There she managed the team’s budget and worked on programming that provided opportunities to help advance young professionals in the nuclear security pipeline. Prior to PONI, she worked with the Smart Women, Smart Power Initiative at CSIS. Before moving to DC, she worked as a project manager for a healthcare communication company in Chicago where she seamlessly managed countless deliverables and budgets from execution to implementation. She holds a bachelor's degree in psychology from the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign and a master's degree in international affairs from American University.




Spring Fellow 2022

Ali Tobey

Ali is the LCWINS Spring 2022 Fellow. Prior to joining the LCWINS team, Ali worked as a Summer Fellow for The Cohen Group (TCG), a strategic advisory firm in Washington D.C. In this role, she worked across a variety of client teams conducting and supporting research to meet client needs. She also created client deliverables across varying media platforms. She also supported the production of virtual and in-person events, including TCG’s Women in National Security Speaker Series. Ali also worked as a Digital Desk Editor with the Bangor Daily News where she curated content for the BDN website and social media accounts. 

Ali is a second-year graduate student in the University of Maine’s School of Policy and International Affairs, concentrating in International Security. She earned her Bachelor of Arts Degree from UMaine in 2020, majoring in journalism and minoring in international affairs. Ali was a goalkeeper on the UMaine Women’s Soccer team and currently sits as the Gender Equity Chair of the Student Athlete Advisory Committee.




Spring Intern, 2022

Resham Patel

Resham is the LCWINS Spring 2022 Intern. She earned her Bachelor of Arts from Pennsylvania State University in 2021, majoring in Political Science with honors and Economics. During her undergraduate career, she conducted research on women's substantive representation in Congress, under the guidance of Penn State professor Susan Welch. This experience embedded in her a deep desire to advocate for gender equity in all arenas. She has also worked with a nonprofit organization called Prayosha to uplift and empower socially and economically disadvantaged young girls in India. Through tutoring and mentorships, Resham has built deep relationships with some of the girls the organization sponsors, furthering her passion for gender advocacy. She plans to attend law school in the fall and hopes to eventually build a career that champions women rights.




Fall Intern 2021

Grace Lee

Grace is a senior at Boston University majoring in International Relations with a focus in foreign policy/security studies in Asia. Prior to joining the LCWINS team, Grace worked for the affinity group "Executive Women @ State" at the U.S. Department of State. There, she worked to promote women in the State Department through events, communication, and mentorship programming. This opportunity showed her the importance of having women supporting other women in male-dominated spaces. Grace is passionate about diversity, equity, and inclusion and wants to pursue work to promote DEI in government, policymaking, and higher education spaces. Additionally, she is passionate about policymaking on all levels but has the most experience in local politics.

Former Fellows & Interns




Fall Fellow 2021

Cassandra Zavislak

Cassandra is the LCWINS Fall 2021 Fellow. Prior to joining the LCWINS team, Cassandra worked with Women In International Security, Global, where she carried out research on masculinity and international security, and developed a workshop training program for emerging security professionals. She has also worked with the Hudson Institute on US-Russia-China relations and the effects of COVID-19 on transatlantic relations policy. In the past, she has worked with the Military Intervention Project at the Fletcher School and conducted research with the University of Michigan on the development of international human rights law and ethical political science theory.

Cassandra earned her Bachelor of Arts from the University of Michigan in 2019, majoring in International Studies with honors; PoliticalScience; and Russian, Eastern European and Eurasian Area Studies. She earned her Master of Arts in Law and Diplomacy (MALD) from the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University in 2021, specializing in International Security and International Negotiation and Conflict Resolution. In addition to her current work at LCWINS, Cassandra works full time as a Project Assistant on Women, Peace and Security with the Our Secure Future program at the One EarthFuture Foundation.




Summer Fellow 2021

Christine German

Christine is currently a PhD student in political science at the Schar School of Policy and Government and Fellow at the Center for Security Policy Studies at George Mason University. She is currently working on her dissertation examining the similarities and differences between extreme ideologies. Prior to pursuing her PhD, Christine worked in international development for more than 11 years, focused mostly on supporting women and youth engagement in democratic movements in the Middle East and North Africa. She has worked with the UN, USAID, US Department of State, German Federal Foreign Office, Swedish International Development Agency, as well as international and local non-profit organizations throughout her career. She is also a proud TCK and cat parent. She currently holds a MA in International Human Rights and a BA in International Studies and French from the University of Denver.




Summer Intern 2021

Maya Guzdar

Maya is a junior at Stanford University majoring in International Relations with a focus in East Asia. She is passionate about understanding the essential connections between American domestic and foreign policy. At school, she has studied topics ranging from mis- and disinformation in the 2016 election to the formation of "The Quad" to 5G policy in the Baltic States.  Last fall, she discovered her passion for advocacy while working as a fellow National Security Action, an NGO that supported democratic Presidential and Congressional campaigns on issues of foreign policy. After college, she plans to pursue a masters degree in international policy and dreams of working on China-related issues in the State Department or Department of Defense.




Spring Fellow 2021

Stephanie Farfan

Stephanie Farfan is the Spring Fellow for LCWINS. Before joining LCWINS, Stephanie was the Policy, Practices and Latinx Outreach Associate at RespectAbility, a nonprofit that advocates for people with disabilities in the United States. There, she worked on employment policy and created a Spanish-language toolkit for immigrants with children with disabilities. She was also previously an intern for Win Without War, where she focused on the intersection between immigration and militarization.

Stephanie has an MA in International Peace and Conflict Resolution from American University, where her research focus was disability issues in Ecuador, and a BA from Juniata College in Peace and Conflict Studies. She hopes to combine the experience she has working with the Latino community and her academic work in peace studies into a career that can help the international disability community.

Stephanie lives in Miami, FL with her family.




Spring Intern 2021

Folashade Olumola

Folashade Olumola is a junior planning to major in Political Science with a minor in Arabic at the University of Illinois Urbana Champaign. In the future, Folashade hopes to work in the sector of International Development and learn more about the role of policies in political institutions. This year, Folashade completed a Virtual Student Federal Service Internship with the USAID. This opportunity allowed her to learn more about the role and impact of policies on developing nations. On campus, she serves as the Undergraduate Research Ambassador for her university in which she promotes the involvement of undergraduate students in research based on their respective field of interest. Following her time in Urbana Champaign, Folashade plans to pursue a master's degree in a public policy program.




Fall Fellow 2020

Alden Leader

Alden Leader is the Fall Fellow for LCWINS. Prior to joining the LCWINS team, Alden was an editor for the Georgetown Journal of International Affairs, the flagship academic publication for the Walsh School of Foreign Service. She recently had an article published by War Room on the security implications of China’s Uighur policies.

Alden graduated from the Georgetown Security Studies program with an M.A. She also holds a B.A. in Political Science and International Relations from Northwestern University.

She lives in Connecticut with her new husband and their dog, Fitz.




Summer Fellow 2020

Areesha Irfan

Areesha Irfan is a second-year Master’s student at Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies with concentrations in Strategic Studies and International Economics. She is also an intern at the National Defense University in their Institute for National Strategic Studies. This fall she will be interning at Lockheed Martin with their Government Affairs' Intelligence, Cyber, and Technology team.

Areesha earned her bachelor’s degree in Political Science and Middle Eastern and Islamic Studies at New York University. During this time Areesha served on the board for Model United Nations and ran the competitive Model UN team for this organization. During her undergraduate degree, she also interned at the IBREA Foundation, the Office of Senator Kirsten Gillibrand, multiple law firms, and a lobbying group.