Our Team

Group photo of GWI team  

 

Mary Ellsberg, PhD

Mary Ellsberg

 

Executive Director
(202) 994-7177
[email protected]

Dr. Mary Ellsberg is the Executive Director and Founding Director of the Global Women's Institute at the George Washington University.  Dr. Ellsberg has more than 30 years of experience in international research and programs on gender and development. Before joining the university in August 2012, Dr. Ellsberg served as Vice President for Research and Programs at the International Center for Research on Women. Dr. Ellsberg’s deep connection to global gender issues stems not only from her academic work, but also from living in Nicaragua for nearly 20 years, leading public health and women’s rights advocacy. She was a member of the core research team of the World Health Organization’s Multi-Country Study on Domestic Violence and Women’s Heath, and she has authored more than 40 books and articles on violence against women and girls. Dr. Ellsberg earned a doctorate in epidemiology and public health from Umea University in Sweden and a bachelor's degree in Latin American studies from Yale University.


 

Manuel Contreras-Urbina, PhD

Manuel Contreras-Urbina

 

Director of Research
(202) 994-3547
[email protected]

Manuel Contreras-Urbina is the Director of Research of the Global Women’s Institute at the George Washington University. Dr. Contreras-Urbina provides management and overall strategic direction to research projects.

He has more than 20 years of experience in gender and women’s rights research and programs. Before joining the University in February 2014, He served as National Programme Officer at UN Women in Mexico, where he was responsible for the planning, management, implementation and evaluation of UN Women programmes in Mexico and Central America.

Dr. Contreras-Urbina worked as the coordinator of the Gender, Violence and Rights portfolio at the International Center for Research on Women (ICRW) and as a research associate at the UNFPA Country Support Team for Latin America and the Caribbean. He has also worked as a consultant for several high level institutions in Mexico and elsewhere. He has published widely in the areas of violence against women and sexual and reproductive health.

Dr. Contreras-Urbina earned a PhD in Population and Gender Studies from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, a Masters in Demography from El Colegio de México and a Bachelor’s degree in Mathematics and Actuarial Science from the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM).

 


Marianne Makar

Marianne Makar

 

Operations Manager
(202) 994-3025
[email protected]

Marianne Makar is the Operations Manager of the Global Women’s Institute at the George Washington University.  She brings to GWI extensive grants, finance and project management experience from more than ten years at The Brookings Institution.

She has an educational background in political science and peace studies, including a master’s degrees from Syracuse University and the University of Bradford.



Justin Brown

Deviyani Dixit

 

Research Assistant
(202) 994-7177
[email protected]

Justin Brown is a Research Assistant with the Global Women’s Institute. Before joining the GWI team, he worked in the nonprofit space. For two years, he served as an Americorps volunteer with City Year in Washington, D.C.’s in some of the city’s most under-resourced communities, and another two years as alumni board member. He then spent five years managing logistics, data and operations for Live It Learn It, an education-focused nonprofit. Justin brings a love of reading and solution-oriented approach with him to GWI to support moving the mission forward of ending violence against women.


Deviyani Dixit

Deviyani Dixit

 

Senior Research Associate
(202) 994-0863
[email protected]

Deviyani is a Senior Research Associate at the Global Women's Institute with experience working on violence against women and girls in the Pacific Islands (PNG, Fiji, Vanuatu, Samoa, Solomon Islands and Tuvalu) and South Asia (Nepal, Bangladesh, India, Sri Lanka). From her prior work experience at the World Bank, Deviyani brings expertise on EVAWG programming in operational sectors of the World Bank such as Transport and Extractives. In this capacity, she led the development and pilot testing of a GBV and Child Protection Codes of Conduct and Action plan along with supporting activities to prevent and mitigate risks of sexual exploitation and abuse and sexual harassment on World Bank transport projects in the Pacific Islands. Deviyani has worked with local service providers, women’s groups and Governments in the Pacific Islands to develop GBV and Child Protection training materials, identify and support appropriate referral pathways and support M&E frameworks. Deviyani has led strategic communication campaigns on ending violence against women and girls at the World Bank and currently leads all communications and outreach at the Global Women's Institute.  

Deviyani holds a Master's in International Development and Social Change (IDSC) and has a professional interest in conducting action-oriented research to inform programming on ending violence against women and girls. 


 

Maureen Murphy, MPH

Maureen Murphy

 

Research Scientist
(202) 994-9161
[email protected]

Maureen Murphy is a Research Scientist with the Global Women’s Institute at the George Washington University. Previously, she has worked with numerous international non-governmental organizations, including in South Sudan with the American Refugee Committee and in Sierra Leone with GOAL Ireland. Prior to this, she worked with the Child Protection in Crisis Network based at Columbia University to coordinate locally driven child protection and gender based violence research projects in Africa and Asia. 

Maureen holds a Master’s of Public Health from Columbia University and has a professional interest in improving monitoring and evaluation in complex emergencies, particularly in the realm of gender-based violence and reproductive health programming. She is a published author on a variety of gender based violence and reproductive health topics.

 


Junior Ovince

Junior Ovince

 

Senior Research Associate
(202) 994-0047
[email protected]

Junior Ovince is a Senior Research Associate with the Global Women’s Institute at the George Washington University and has over seven years’ experience in program evaluation, knowledge management and learning, and mixed research methods. Prior to joining GWI, he worked at the International Initiative for Impact evaluation in Washington, DC as a research intern and played an important role in managing the intimate partner violence scoping project which consisted of developing a portfolio review and creating an evidence gap map. Additionally, he worked at CARE, Haiti as the Knowledge Management and Learning Advisor for the country office. He was the key technical person for monitoring, evaluation and accountability and developed a range of theories of change, process evaluations and quasi-experimental evaluations for four main sectors: women’s empowerment and economic development, education, food security and neighborhood improvement. Furthermore, he served as the Monitoring and Evaluation Specialist for a youth empowerment project implemented by a national NGO and funded by FOMIN/IADB and MasterCard Foundation. Junior worked as a consultant for different evaluations and research projects focusing on gender and economic development, education and multilateral cooperation.   

Junior holds a Master's of Social Business from the University of Lumière Lyon II, France. He has a Bachelor's of Applied Economics from the Centre de Techniques de Planification et d’Economie Appliquée (CTPEA), Haiti. 

 


 

Alina Potts, MPH

Maureen Murphy

 

Research Scientist
(202) 994-9203
[email protected]

Alina Potts is a Research Scientist with the Global Women’s Institute at the George Washington University, where she aims to center women and girls in asking and answering questions around how to better address gender-based violence (GBV) in humanitarian settings. Previously, Alina coordinated violence prevention research at UNICEF and explored intersections between GBV and child protection in emergencies. As a practitioner, Alina led GBV programming for the International Rescue Committee in a number of humanitarian responses over the last 10+ years—including Bangladesh (Cox’s Bazar), Lebanon, Syria, DR Congo, Kenya (Dadaab) and Sudan (Darfur). Her experience in forced migration extends to refugee resettlement in the US; asylum advocacy in Europe; and addressing grave violations in conflict settings. 

Alina holds a BA in Anthropology and International Development from Boston University and a Master's of Public Health in Forced Migration and Health from Columbia University. She welcomes opportunities for shared learning, and teaches graduate classes on GBV in complex emergencies.

 


 

Elizabeth Rojas

Elizabeth Rojas

 

Research Assistant
(202) 994-9212
[email protected]

Elizabeth Rojas is a Research Assistant with the Global Women’s Institute at the George Washington University. Prior to joining GWI, she worked in international development for several years with diverse teams and clients in the public and private sector.  She has an educational background in political science and Latin American studies from the University of Maryland.

Elizabeth is currently pursuing a Master’s of Public Health at George Washington University, with a focus in Global Health Program Design, Monitoring, and Evaluation.


 

Chelsea Ullman

Chelsea Ullman

 

Senior Research Associate
(202) 994-3510
[email protected]

Dr. Chelsea Ullman is a Senior Research Associate at the Global Women’s Institute (GWI). She joined GWI at its founding while serving as a Presidential Fellow at the George Washington University (a selective program that offers high-achieving students the opportunity for professional development while completing a Masters degree).

Chelsea has contributed to the strategic growth of GWI by developing key policy initiatives, communications & outreach programs, and participating in research on violence against women and girls globally. Chelsea holds a PhD in Public Policy and Public Administration, focused in Gender and Social Policy, from the George Washington University. Her doctoral work explored theories of justice for survivors of campus sexual assault in the United States, with a goal of improved policymaking on the issue. Chelsea is committed to amplifying the voices of survivors of violence in research and policy.


Skylar Wynn

Skylar Wynn

 

Senior Research Assistant
(202) 994-7177
[email protected]

Skylar Wynn is a Senior Research Assistant at the Global Women’s Institute at the George Washington University. She received her bachelor’s degree with honors in Women's Studies from Old Dominion University in May 2015. As an undergraduate, Skylar interned with the Old Dominion University Women’s Center on campus focusing on empowerment, activism and creating a sexual assault free environment. She is passionate about exploring the politics of identity within girlhood in order to provide a counter-cultural experience for girls that promotes empowerment, inclusivity and global consciousness. 

During this time, she was the recipient of multiple honors such as the Anita Clair Fellman Service-Learning Scholarship, the Carolyn Rhodes Undergraduate Scholarship, Women's Studies Student of the Year Award and an International Research Award. After studying abroad in South Africa, Skylar created Project Annette to offer assistance to a secondary school she had spent time at while focusing on education and gender equality. In partnership with Education without Borders, they were able to fund two programs promoting early childhood literacy. Both programs have been proposed to continue in 2016. As Skylar completed her senior year at Old Dominion University, she was selected to be featured on the ODU main website as a commencement success story.