CRWG Board Members
Kathleen Ryou is currently completing a Master of Public Administration degree at Columbia University, specializing in International Conflict Resolution and Human Rights.
Prior to attending SIPA, Kathleen worked as the Deputy Refugee Status Determination Team Leader at Africa and Middle East Refugee Assistance (AMERA), providing legal counseling to asylum-seekers applying for refugee status in Cairo, Egypt. She also received a Fulbright grant to conduct independent research concerning North Koreans’ integration into South Korean society. While living in Seoul, she also interned at the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR).
Kathleen holds a BA in International Relations from Stanford University.
Miriam Bensky is a first year Master of International Affairs Candidate concentrating in International Security Policy and specializing in International Conflict Resolution. She is also a founding member of the Middle East Dialogue Group at SIPA. Her interests are negotiation, mediation and Track II diplomacy, with a special emphasis on the Israeli-Palestinian peace process.
Prior to attending SIPA, Miriam worked with the Permanent Mission of Israel to the United Nations in New York, where she served as assistant advisor on Human Rights, Gender and Peacebuilding.
Miriam holds a B.A. Honors in Government and Diplomacy from the Interdisciplinary Center Herzliya, in Israel. Throughout her undergraduate career, Miriam conducted research on Political Psychology and assisted with two projects that studied psychological barriers to conflict resolution. Miriam grew up in Finland and she speaks English, Finnish, German, Swedish, Hebrew and some French.
| Fadi Nicholas Nassar
Fadi Nicholas Nassar is a candidate for a Master in Public Administration at Columbia University, specializing in international security policy and conflict resolution.
Prior to attending SIPA, he worked in Beirut at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace and in Geneva at the Holy See’s Permanent Mission to the United Nations. At the Carnegie Endowment his research focused on the political economy of the transitions in North Africa. While at the Holy See’s Mission he worked on human rights and humanitarian issues with a particular focus on international migration.
In 2011, he graduated from Georgetown University with a Bachelors of Science in Foreign Service and a certificate in Muslim-Christian Understanding.
| Erika Benson
Erika Benson is a graduate of the University of Southern California School of Architecture where she specialized in humanitarian architecture and architectural responses to conflicts. Her architectural thesis was a proposal for responses to farm demolitions in Palestine. During her time at USC she was also the founding president of the USC Chapter of Architecture for Humanity which she completed three humanitarian projects: a school in Cambodia, a masterplan for Gilbert Lindsay Park in South Los Angeles, and a water station in the desert bordering San Diego and Mexico.After graduating from USC, Erika spent two years in Matagalpa, Nicaragua working with various organizations and the City of Matagalpa on sustainable projects. In partnership with the local NGO, ODESAR, Erika completed two branch offices and a preschool in the rural community of La Dalia. Erika also completed the design for an eco-tourism center in El Arenal with the City of Matagalpa Secretary of Tourism for which the city was awarded $300,000 by the Federation of Canadian Municipalities. She is currently working on the construction of a daycare for street kids outside of Granada, Matagalpa which will serve as a test project for a sustainable construction method using prefabricated bamboo panels.
Erika Benson is a first-year MIA candidate with a concentration in Urban Policy and a dual Specialization in Management and International Conflict Resolution.
|Maricarmen Hinojosa Silva
Maricarmen is a first year MPA student from Mexico concentrating in International Security Policy and specializing in International Conflict Resolution. Prior to SIPA, she worked for three years at the Mexican Embassy in Washington, DC, as one of the Ambassador’s National Security Advisers. During college, she volunteered in Kenya, where she designed and developed the project “Sustainable Production of Dolls”, a program designed to empower women in the Mfangano community. She also studied abroad for one year in Seoul, South Korea, where she researched and developed the thesis, “North Korean Nuclear Strategy Against the United States: A Country Looking for its Survival,” for which she was recognized as having produced the best thesis of the year by the Universidad de Monterrey.