These members of the American Council on Women, Peace, and Security have worked in the United States, at the United Nations, and around the world in their diverse professional occupations promoting peace, security, justice, and development.

Susan Yoshihara

Council President

Susan Yoshihara, Ph.D., is the founder of the American Council on Women Peace and Security. A former Navy combat logistics helicopter pilot and Gulf War veteran, she advises UN delegations and U.S. policy makers on women, peace and security, human rights, maternal and child health policy, and population politics.

Read more about Susan here.

Eunice Apio

Senior Fellow

Eunice received her PhD in African studies and anthropology from the University of Birmingham (UK) and is now a postdoctoral fellow studying Gender and Transitional Justice. She is founder of the charity Facilitation for Peace and Development (FAPAD) based in northern Uganda, and has worked in conflict and post conflict settings in northern Uganda since 2001.

Read more about Eunice here.

Humira noorestani

Senior Fellow

Humira Noorestani, is a corporate and commercial attorney based out of Washington DC. She is the founder of DigiCounsel, a platform that teaches practical legal and business skills. Ms. Noorestani has been dubbed an “unconventional attorney” because of her non-traditional legal education and work experience. Ms. Noorestani has earned degrees from the William and Mary Law School, the University of Pennsylvania Carey Law School, the American University of Central Asia, and the American University of Washington D.C.

Read more about Humira here.

charlie ponticelli

Senior Fellow

Former Deputy Under Secretary for International Affairs at the Department of Labor and Senior Coordinator for International Women’s Issues at the U.S. Department of State. Provides consultation services to clients working in Central and South Asia, Eurasia, and Latin America regarding change management, business development, strategic planning and project management. 

Read more about Charlie here.

Grace Hoffman


Dr. Grace Hoffman is a Fellow at American Council on Women Peace and Security. She serves as a Women, Peace, and Security subject matter expert and instructor at Defense Security Cooperation University (DSCU) where she is integrating WPS into curriculum for Department of Defense security cooperation planners and U.S. international partner militaries. Dr. Hoffman is a historian who received her Ph.D. in 2021 from Trinity College Dublin.

Read more about Grace here.

mary habeck

Senior Fellow

Mary Habeck is a strategic planner and an expert on military matters, Islam, and extremism.  She teaches on Al-Qa’ida and ISIS at Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS) and at Georgetown, while running her consulting firm, Applied Grand Strategies.

Read more about Mary here.

nicole robinson


Nicole Robinson is a fellow at American Council on Women Peace & Security. She is a senior research associate in the Douglas and Sarah Allison Center for Foreign Policy at The Heritage Foundation, focusing on Middle East Policy. She researches and writes on economic, security, and political challenges facing the Middle East and North Africa, with a particular focus on the Levant region. Among other topics, she has written on women’s empowerment and domestic developments in Iran, Lebanon, and Yemen.

Read more about Nicole here.

dorothy taft

Senior Fellow

Dorothy has represented the US Government and Members of Congress, she has defended the human rights and dignity of men and women in virtually every continent around the globe, with particular focus on violence against women and children, torture of political and religious prisoners, accessibility for those with disabilities, and the crime of human trafficking.

Read more about Dorothy here.

Wendy Wright

Senior Fellow

Wendy Wright is president of Christian Freedom International, an international human rights organization that aids, equips, and advocates for persecuted Christians. Christian Freedom International provides material and spiritual support such as schools and shelters; food and medicines; Bibles and churches.

Read more about Wendy here.



Catalina Margarita “Mica” Udani is a Ph.D. candidate in Political Science at the University of Pennsylvania studying the intersection of conflict, immigration, authoritarianism, and human rights. She examines the relationship between the political economy of international migration and ethnic, religious, and national identities in authoritarian states in the Middle East, in pursuit of human rights and the prevention of human trafficking and modern-day slavery in the global South.

Read more about Micah here.

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