Fletcher Women’s Network Panel Bios

María Coor

María Coor is the first Latina to be elected partner in BakerHostetler’s Washington, D.C. office. Ms. Coor maintains a multifaceted practice, encompassing both environmental and international work.  As a member of BakerHostetler’s Environmental Team, Ms. Coor represents clients in both civil and criminal matters and advises clients on compliance and liability associated with various federal environmental statutes.  In addition to her environmental work, Ms. Coor represents clients in investigations involving Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) compliance, with a focus on Latin America and Brazil, in particular. She has represented corporations making voluntary disclosures to the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) and the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), and she advises corporations and individuals on FCPA compliance, risk exposure and remedial measures. A native Spanish speaker and fluent in Portuguese, Ms. Coor works seamlessly on Latin America-related matters and has been named for the last several years as one of Latin America’s Top Female Lawyers by Latinvex.  Ms. Coor holds a J.D. from Duke University School of Law, a M.A. in Law and Diplomacy with a focus on International Environmental and Resource Policy from the Fletcher School at Tufts University, and a B.S. in Environmental Science from Brown University.

Anna Mecagni

Ms. Mecagni is a Senior Director of Program Design and Development, Women for Women International. She has spent the past 17 years in her career supporting inclusive development with marginalized populations. At Women for Women International, Ms. Mecagni ensures the development and quality of women’s empowerment programs in conflict-affected countries. She guides country teams in social and economic development activities including women’s rights and health education, cash transfers, business and vocational training, savings and lending groups, and men’s engagement. Previously, Ms. Mecagni managed civil society strengthening, youth development and refugee rights programs with FHI 360, IRC, and Human Rights First. Ms. Mecagni served as an adjunct professor at GWU and earned her MALD from the Fletcher School in 2005, with focused study on human development, migration and human rights.

Amy Coletta Kirshner

Ms. Kirshner has served as the Acting Director of the Office of Africa and Middle East in the Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs (INL) at the U.S. Department of State since 2017. She previously served as the Deputy Director of INL’s Office of Iraq Programs and INL’s Office of Africa and Middle East, as the Chief of Staff to the Assistant Secretary for Political-Military Affairs at the Department of State, and in a number of offices in the Political-Military Affairs Bureau and the INL Bureau, specifically focusing on foreign assistance and security sector assistance. Ms. Kirshner has participated in several Department-wide initiatives relating to foreign assistance reform. She joined the Department of State in 2000 as a Presidential Management Fellow, after receiving a BA (International Relations) degree from Brown University and a Master of Arts in Law and Diplomacy from the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University. In 2011, Amy co-founded ‘Balancing Act,’ a Department of State employee organization focusing on integrating work and personal life priorities.

Sarah Wagner

Sarah Wagner is an Associate Professor of Anthropology at George Washington University. She is the author of To Know Where He Lies: DNA Technology and the Search for Srebrenica’s Missing (University of California Press, 2008) and co-author with Lara J. Nettelfield of Srebrenica in the Aftermath of Genocide (Cambridge University Press, 2014). With research funded by the National Science Foundation and the National Institutes of Health, she has published numerous articles and book chapters on the subjects of war and memory, missing persons, and forensic science applied in post-conflict societies. In 2017, she was awarded a John Simon Guggenheim Fellowship and a National Endowment of the Humanities Public Scholar Award to complete her third book, What Remains: Bringing America’s Missing Home from the Vietnam War (Harvard University Press, 2019). She is a member of the American Anthropological Association, and Secretary-Elect of the Society for the Anthropology of Europe.

Filipa Jorge 

A principal of The Scowcroft Group, Filipa Jorge provides strategic risk advisory services and investment support to corporate clients and financial institutions. Ms. Jorge produces original geopolitical risk analyses covering a broad range of issues and regions, and pursues business development opportunities. She has extensive experience in political risk analysis, management consulting, and international development.

Prior to joining The Scowcroft Group, Ms. Jorge was an Associate Director at Eurasia Group, where she supported the management of the research platform’s strategy and activity plan as well as the assessment of project proposals. She also worked in Eurasia Group’s Comparative Analytics division, where she constructed tailored political risk indices and managed products that relied on quantitative and qualitative methodologies to monitor political risk across countries and sectors, such as scenario analysis and trend forecasting.

Previously, Ms. Jorge worked as a management consultant for McKinsey & Company on projects in the banking, energy, and telecommunications sectors. While at the United Nations Department of Political Affairs and the United Nations Development Programme, she covered UN partnerships, capacity development, good governance, and crisis prevention and recovery. Ms. Jorge also worked in the non-profit sector and was a research associate at Harvard Business School.

Ms. Jorge received her BA in Economics and International Relations from Brown University and her MA in International Affairs from The Fletcher School, Tufts University. She is originally from Macau and has worked in Portugal, Switzerland and the United States.

Erin Nicholson

Ms. Nicholson is a career foreign service officer with USAID with experience working in post-conflict and transition economies. Ms. Nicholson is currently serving in a senior management role as the U.S. Global Development Lab’s Deputy Executive Director (Acting) in Washington, DC. Ms. Nicholson began at USAID as a President Management Fellow and upon graduation from the program joined USAID’s foreign service as a private enterprise officer, serving in that capacity for 10 years with tours in Central Asia, Afghanistan, and Southern Africa. In 2014, she was promoted to become USAID/Mali’s Deputy Mission Director and most recently has joined USAID’s Global Development Lab in Washington. Ms. Nicholson has a Master’s degree in National Resource Strategy from National Defense University’s Eisenhower School; a Master’s degree in Development Economics from the Fletcher School, Tufts University; and a Bachelor’s degree in Journalism from the University of Oregon.

Kate Howard – Seewald Consulting

Ms. Howard is an international development consultant whose clients include US government and UN agencies, not-for-profit organizations and private sector companies. Ms. Howard is experienced in advocacy and resource mobilization, partnership engagement, policy and legislative development, and political campaigns and elections. Over the past fifteen years, Ms. Howard has worked in Africa, the Balkans, the Caribbean and Central and South Asia (including multiple assignments in Afghanistan and most recently, Egypt and Burma/Myanmar). Ms. Howard began her career on Capitol Hill where she served as both a senate legislative and committee staff member. She held appointments in the Clinton Administration at the Departments of State and Agriculture. She attended Georgetown University Law Center, the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy, and Mount Holyoke College.

Mehlika Hoodbhoy F’94     (MODERATOR)

Senior Advisor/Team Leader , USAID Bureau of Policy, Planning and Learning

Mehlika Hoodbhoy is the Team Leader for Strategy, Planning and Learning in the Bureau of Policy, Planning and Learning at USAID. She ensures that technical expertise is brought to bear on an efficient process of country strategy development, review and approval.  In 2015/16 she led a Task Force to revise the Agency’s internal policies on strategic planning, project/activity design and monitoring/evaluation. From 2011 to2015, she was the Deputy Director of the Office of Gender Equality and Women’s Empowerment, where she led efforts to build USAID’s internal capacity to carry out gender analysis; monitor and evaluate progress toward gender equality; and effectively communicate why taking gender into account improves foreign assistance.

Mehlika has worked on women’s social and economic rights and development issues for over 20 years. Prior to joining USAID in 2008, she consulted on gender integration for CARE-USA, the City and County of San Francisco Commission on the Status of Women, the Ford Foundation, the New York Women’s Foundation, UNFPA and UNIFEM (now UN Women).  Mehlika started her career in the Asia Program of the Ford Foundation.

Mehlika received her M.A. in International Relations from Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University, and her B.A. in Asian Studies and International Relations from Colgate University. In 2013 the Fletcher Forum of World Affairs published her call to action, “In Pursuit of a Thorough and Nuanced Education: The Importance of Gender and Social Analysis,” which underscores the importance of training all international affairs graduate students in gender and social analysis.


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