Our partner-driven approach is exemplified by our talented and diverse team. The PartnersGlobal team brings the Partners Way to life, leading positive change and shaping sustainable peace from our Washington, DC office and around the globe.

Julia Roig President

Starting in 2008, Julia had the privilege of working as Executive Director for two years at PartnersGlobal under the mentorship of our founder Raymond Shonholtz.  She took over as President of the organization in 2010 upon his retirement and feels strongly about carrying on his legacy.  Her roots in Portland, Oregon are an important part of her identity, as well as the number of years she spent living and working in Bogota and Belgrade.

Julia has spent her entire career as a mediator, conflict resolver and peacebuilder and brings to the Partners Network a commitment to multi-lateralism, authentic partnership and building bridges with other networks and industries. Trained as a lawyer, she is a collaborative leader who drives the entrepreneurial spirit at PartnersGlobal to continue to grow and adapt as an organization.

Anyone who knows Julia well, knows she loves to bake cookies for her loved ones, will lead any group in song around the piano or campfire and has been accused of being a “pathological optimist.”

To access Julia’s full bio, please click here.

Sergey Nikolin Controller

Originally from Moscow, Sergey began work with PartnersGlobal in October 2013. In addition to a Masters in Accounting and Finance, he brings over 20 years of experience working with USAID in the politically sensitive context of Russia.

As Financial Controller, Sergey works to ensure the financial health of the organization. In this role he protects the company’s assets, improving efficiency in financial management and procurement, and coordinated on all the financial planning and reporting functions.

Originating from the north, he naturally loves winter sports like skiing, skating and hockey. However, his real hobby is gardening and planting flowers. Somehow, he manages to be a cat and dog lover.

Roselie Vasquez-Yetter Global Director For Civil Society

Roselie is Mexican-American born in Germany and raised in California. She made her way to DC initially for graduate school studying International Communications. After spending several years in Central Asia, being an independent consultant, and launching a small business, Roselie found her way to PartnersGlobal through a family friend.

In her dual role with a foot in both the regional teams and the technical support team, she is at the heart of providing strategic planning and oversight for the Latin America programs while also applying lessons learned from the civil society portfolio throughout the organization.  She takes the lead on our Civil Society global partnerships with a commitment to organizational resiliency and innovative partnerships in the sector.

Some of her past accomplishments include building a sustainable civil society capacity building program in Central Asia, empowering women social entrepreneurs in Saudi Arabia, and building a network of women’s health advocates. Roselie also loves combining her love of theater, travel, and cross-cultural exchanges and previously founded a company called Wanderlust Theater Lab to provoke conversation and understanding.

Ahmed Gutan Senior Director, Middle East & North Africa

Ahmed is a native of Iraq. He joined PartnersGlobal in 2012 coming from previous leadership positions at CIPE and Women for Women, and has a wealth of experience working with civil society and government partners throughout the region. He studied first in Baghdad and then at Oxford Brooks University.

As the MENA Director, Ahmed leads on supporting and expanding the Partners Network affiliates in the region, overseeing a growing team to ensure the successful implementation of programs, and engages with external stakeholders. Some of the projects he has led include enabling at-risk youth to transform conflict; justice and security dialogues; organizational capacity building; and, government transparency.

While traveling to new places is one of his favorite hobbies, he prefers spending time relaxing on a beach listening to the waves.

Kamissa Camara Director, Sub-Saharan Africa

Kamissa was born and raised in France by West African parents. She joined PartnersGlobal coming from the National Endowment for Democracy (NED) and the International Foundation for Electoral Systems (IFES) where she developed an expertise in democracy assistance, elections and security sector reform. She is a well published political commentator and often appears on French and American TV and radio programs for her political analyses on Africa. She is currently a non-resident fellow at the Center for African Studies of Harvard University.

As the Africa Director, Kamissa oversees Partners’ donor-funded programs in sub-Saharan Africa and is responsible for business development in the region. She also coordinates partners’ efforts in bridging the gap between civil society, national governments and local officials throughout the African continent, with a concentration in the Sahel region.

Outside of work, Kamissa can often be spotted exercising in the trendiest Zumba studios of the Washington, DC area.

Nilanka Seneviratne Director of Operations

Nilanka grew up in Columbia, SC with parents and strong ties from Sri Lanka. He has the distinction of being the first DC-based employee after Partners moved from our original offices in San Francisco in 2007. He joined us right after graduating with an MPA from George Washington University, working closely with our founder Raymond Shonholtz to help grow that two-person office to the organization we are today.

Nilanka has worn many hats within PartnersGlobal, but his current role includes overseeing operations, grants compliance and overall leadership for the smooth running of the office. Informally, Nilanka serves as the organization’s historian and continues to maintain strong relationships with all of the Partners Network members throughout the world.

In college Nilanka worked as a radio DJ and has held a number of different jobs, from selling rugs, to cooking, to working in a library. During his tenure with PartnersGlobal he was able to celebrate his 30th birthday in Dakar and his 35th in Bogota. He is also an enthusiastic soccer player.

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Joseph Harrison Assistant Controller

Joseph is a native DC Washingtonian.  He has more than 15 years of experience in accounting. He has worked in a wide breadth of industries including the US government, wealth management, digital news media, talent management,  and public grants management, to name a few.

At PartnersGlobal, Joseph works to streamline financial management, assists with the formulation of internal controls and policies to comply with applicable regulations and industry best practices, and maintains accountability of financial reporting. This includes, but is not limited to, reconciling the general ledger, budgeting, forecasting financial data, and maintaining the accounting systems.

Joseph is passionate about all forms of art, but especially literature, music, and painting. Joseph enjoys cultivating his own creativity in his free time.

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Alyson Lyons Senior Advisor to Global Initiatives

Originally from New Jersey, Aly started working with PartnersGlobal in early 2015 as a project manager and has quickly stepped into leadership positions within the organization. After working for many years in a think tank environment focused on research and policy in Sub-Saharan Africa, Aly wanted to apply her program management, analytical and communications skills to a more hands-on approach to peacebuilding and development with in-country programming and partners.

At PartnersGlobal, Aly plays a crucial role in ensuring that we live our values and foster an organizational culture of learning and reflection. As a member of the Global Initiatives team and inspired by the nuts and bolts of running an organization, Aly is spearheading a review and revision process of Partners organizational strengthening process and training programs, and is engaging in curriculum development for new, innovative approaches to peacebuilding. She also provides technical support to programmatic teams on Partners’ proven participatory and inclusive methodologies such as cooperative advocacy, consensus facilitation, and Security: Governance, Accountability, and Performance framework.

In addition to being passionate about her work in the fields of conflict resolution and citizen security, Aly loves the arts, from singing to painting. She also loves the outdoors and any activity that will take her there, including hiking, swimming, and taking her dog Parker to the dog park.

Luis Gomez Chow Deputy Director, Civil Society and Latin America and the Caribbean

Luis has been a part of the Partners Network since 2008, starting his career at our affiliate in Mexico City at the Centro de Colaboracion Civica where he served as a facilitator of complex citizen security dialogue processes. He joined the PartnersGlobal team in DC in February 2015, bringing to the organization a deep level of technical and regional expertise. He has experienced first-hand the power of dialogue and believes deeply in positive conflict transformation.

At PartnersGlobal, Luis oversees the management of the LAC portfolio, leads business development for the region, and maintains a close and productive engagement with regional allies and partners. He also leads the Closing Political Spaces Initiative which brings together practitioners, donors, and scholars to strategize on how to protect and enable the role of civil society.

In addition to his work at PartnersGlobal, Luis is an avid reader and chef.

Bridget O’Loughlin Manager, Business Development

Bridget is a native of the Boston area and started working at Partners in 2013 as an intern pursuing her Masters’ of Arts in Latin American Studies at Georgetown. Bridget is a Latin Americanist and has studied in Ecuador and Colombia and spent a year as a Fulbright Fellow in Maracaibo, Venezuela.

As the Manager for Business Development, Bridget manages proposal coordination efforts, identifies new funding opportunities, and works to sustain external partnerships and build Partners’ institutional knowledge capacities. She also plays a key role mentoring and coaching beneficiary organizations in the Latin American region. In addition to her official duties, Bridget is also involved in making Partners a better place to work and believes strongly in teamwork, collaboration, and any excuse to celebrate with people.

She finds joy in yoga and cooking but mostly through hanging out with her tortoiseshell cat and (attempting to) take her for walks.

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Maura Miller Senior Program Manager, Middle East & North Africa

Originally from Massachusetts, Maura comes to PartnersGlobal after almost five years at Chemonics International, where she recently managed the USAID-OTI Syria Program. Maura also served as regional compliance specialist at Chemonics and traveled to support USAID projects implemented in Jordan, Libya, Afghanistan, and Cote D’Ivoire. Previously, Maura worked with Search for Common Ground in Tunisia and Washington DC, assisting their MENA team with both Tunisia and regional work.

At PartnersGlobal, Maura leads financial and operational support for programs in Yemen. Maura also leverages her passion for youth-focused peacebuilding and experience programming in conflict environments to support projects throughout the MENA portfolio.

Maura has a MA in International Affairs from Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs and a BA from Hamilton College. She enjoys spending her weekends exploring new breweries and fixing up her house with her husband.

Oriana LaVilla Program Manager, Middle East & North Africa

Before starting in January 2015 with PartnersGlobal, Oriana worked at the National Democratic Institute on the Central and Eastern Europe team. Oriana is from the other Washington and is a native of Seattle. Her passion and interests in conflict resolution and transitional justice drew her to PartnersGlobal.

As a Program Manager, she helps manage the MENA portfolio with a focus on our capacity building initiatives in the Gulf, women’s empowerment programming and new and for business. She is also involved in pushing innovation through Partners Ideas, an internal program.

As part of her studies, she carried out field work and research in both Sarajevo and The Hague on transparency between the International Criminal Tribunal and State Court in Bosnia-Herzegovina. An avid lover of the outdoors, Oriana used to nationally compete in flat water sprint canoeing.

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Leigh McBain Program Associate, Sub-Saharan Africa

Leigh McBain is a California native, having been raised in the Bay Area and completed her undergraduate degree in Southern California. Before moving to DC, Leigh worked for TASAAGA, a local grassroots organization in Uganda. She was responsible for managing microfinance programs in the Nakivale Refugee Camp and created the Kick HIV/AIDS soccer tournament.

At PartnersGlobal she works on the Sub Saharan Africa team where she is responsible for backstopping programs in Nigeria focusing on anti-corruption initiatives, access to justice, justice reform, and security.

Being from California, she misses the accessibility of outdoor activities when living in a city. She tries to spend as much time outside and finds solace on the soccer field.

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Jeffrey Zimmer Senior Technical Expert, Middle East & North Africa

Hailing from New Jersey, Jeffrey comes to PartnersGlobal after six years with the MENA team at The Solidarity Center, dedicating much of his career to workers’ rights. There, he helped spearhead the organization’s efforts on migrant worker and trade union rights in Jordan, Qatar, Kuwait, and Bahrain.

At PartnersGlobal, Jeffrey leads programs in the region that are reducing conflict between internally displaced persons (IDPs) and their host communities in Iraq, as well as helping to build civic engagement across the religious and political spectrum in the Gulf.

Jeffrey is extremely passionate about his profession and lives by the principle that if you find something you love to do, you’ll never have to work a day in your life. When he is not in the office, you will find Jeffrey listening to podcasts, catching up on his ever-growing reading list, and rooting on his favorite team, the Minnesota Vikings.

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Lauren Head Senior Program Associate, Middle East & North Africa

Lauren is from the Seattle-area, and has spent most of her life living and studying in the Pacific Northwest. She moved to DC after working for a leadership consulting firm to pursue her interests in supporting women and religious communities in peacebuilding. She was introduced to PartnersGlobal through her work as a fellow at the International Center for Religion and Diplomacy, where she had the opportunity to support collaborations with Partners Yemen on religious freedom education and interfaith dialogue.

In her role on the MENA team, Lauren provides financial and programmatic support for the Yemen, Iraq, and Bahrain portfolios. In line with her passion to keep women at the heart of building community resilience and opening spaces for dialogue, she incorporates gendered perspectives to our MENA programming and global security initiatives.

Her interests in peacebuilding and international development grew over time, from teaching refugees in western Thailand, to studying visual storytelling in northern India, to working with an indigenous NGO to address land conflicts in eastern Uganda.

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Andye Sanon Program Associate, Sub-Saharan Africa

Andye is originally from Haiti. She is the Program Assistant of the Sub-Saharan Africa team.

Her role encompasses providing administrative and financial support to facilitate the implementation of projects in Sub-Saharan Africa.

Before starting at Partners, Andye lived in the Netherlands where she completed a Master of Science in International Development at the University of Amsterdam. Prior to that, she worked, interned and conducted research in Ghana, NYC, Haiti, France and Senegal.

Andye is also an enthusiastic traveler and loves to share her cooking skills.

Yu Chen Finance Associate

Yu Chen is originally from China, having been raised in the Canton. She graduated from the George Washington University with a degree of Accountancy and minor in Economics. Before starting at PartnersGlobal, Yu Chen worked for Meridian International Center, a global leadership organization that focuses on cultural exchange and educational cooperation. She has worked for various nonprofit organizations in Washington, DC where she was responsible for finance, accounting and grant management functions.

At PartnersGlobal, Yu Chen is responsible for all matters within the financial team, and provides day-to-day assistance on a wide range of accounting transactions. This includes reviewing and verifying financial documents, making entries in the accounting system, participating in the monthly financial closing, and ensuring compliance with donor regulations and Partner’s internal policies and procedures.

Yu Chen is passionate about contemporary art and electronic music. She enjoys spending her free time at the hidden galleries and boutiques in Georgetown.

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Assita Diallo Administrative and Finance Associate, Sub-Saharan Africa

Born and raised in West Africa, Assita started working with PartnersGlobal in early 2018. Before Partners, Assita lived in Paris, France where she completed her Master’s degree in Financial Management and worked with Aviva France. Prior to this, Assita lived in Bamako, Mali where she attained her Bachelor’s degree in Management.

She is responsible for providing administrative and financial support to the Sub-Saharan Africa team, ensuring smooth and timely flow of work. She also supports Partners West Africa Centers in Senegal and Nigeria as well as PartnersGlobal’s subgrantees in Guinea, Senegal and Burkina Faso

Assita finds joy in reading and cooking, but mostly in spending time with her two handsome son. They particularly enjoy taking trips to the library.

Daphne Assimakopoulos Program Assistant, Executive Programs

Originally Greek, Daphne spent most of her childhood living overseas in Europe and the Middle East. Nevertheless, she considers Boston home. Daphne joined PartnersGlobal after completing her undergraduate degree in Government at Hamilton College.

Daphne works on the Executive Program team, supporting global civil society initiatives and helping to ensure that inner workings of the office run smoothly. She has been particularly involved in an effort to explore narratives for peace. She also manages the organization’s social media platforms.

Daphne is an avid Red Sox fan and loves staying active. She enjoys eating Middle Eastern and Mediterranean food, and constantly searches for authentic Greek feta in DC.

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