Emma Bixler | Conference, Co-chair

Emma is a 2024 MALD candidate at the Fletcher School with a specialization in Gender Theory & Intersectional Analysis and Human Security. Her research focuses on gender and conservation in Sub-Saharan Africa, looking specifically at the impact of women leadership in East African environmental justice movements. She spent this past summer working as a Monitoring, Evaluation and Learning Fellow with Women’s Earth Alliance in Kakamega, Kenya and Bukoba, Tanzania. 

Prior to attending the Fletcher School, Emma served in the Peace Corps in Benin, West Africa, worked as a field organizer during the 2020 presidential election, and was an executive consultant with Deloitte. Emma holds a Bachelor’s Degree in International Relations and Communications from SUNY Geneseo.

Erin Norris | Conference, Co-chair

Erin is a MALD 2024 candidate at the Fletcher School specializing in Gender and Intersectional Analysis and Technology and International Affairs. Her research interests include the intersection of gender, ethnicity, and sexuality with political and cultural memory, especially in post-conflict societies; development and global health; and the practical applications of international humanitarian and human rights law. This summer, Erin worked as a Research and Analysis Intern for the UN Foundation’s FP2030 project, conducting a landscape review of gender in East and Southern Africa and researching country commitments to post-abortion and postpartum family planning.

During her undergraduate education, Erin completed internships in Seoul, South Korea and Belgrade, Serbia, in addition to a Boston-based internship with Pathfinder International. After graduating Northeastern University with a joint degree in International Affairs and Political Science, Erin worked as a Program Officer for John Snow, Inc., where she supported programs in Timor-Leste, Zambia, Egypt, Ghana, and the Lao PDR.

Catherine Prestoy | Content Chair

Catherine Prestoy is a 2024 MALD candidate specializing in gender and intersectional analysis as well as technology and international affairs. She graduated with a bachelor’s degree in women, gender and sexuality studies with a minor in journalism at the University of Kansas where she was inducted as a member of Phi Beta Kappa Honor Society. Throughout her undergraduate career, Catherine additionally pursued studies in East Asian languages and culture. She studied abroad in China and Japan, gained proficiency in Mandarin and Japanese and conducted research on gender identity and masculinity as it relates to study abroad dating culture in China.

She currently works as a Research Analyst at Bowersock Capital Partners, where she researches global market conditions, economic data and political action that direct portfolio investment decisions. As a graduate student, Catherine focuses on the effects of disinformation on gender equity.

Elizabeth Smith | Content Chair

Elizabeth is a second-year MALD, concentrating in Gender and Intersectional Analysis. Her research interests lie at the intersection of gender, memory, and social movements. 

Elizabeth is currently a Tisch Summer Fellow with the Women’s Empowerment/Gender Equality team at The Asia Foundation. Prior to Fletcher, she conducted research on East Asian feminisms and peace movements as a Fulbright fellow in Seoul. In addition, she spent nearly four years connecting with her family roots in Japan, first as a student and researcher, and later producing documentary content for a Tokyo media startup. Elizabeth holds a B.A. with honors in Law, Letters, and Society from the University of Chicago. 

Elizabeth is classically trained in ballet and studies traditional Japanese dance (Nihon Buyou). In her free time, she enjoys experimenting with different styles of dance, fitness, and movement.

Sejal Jain | Finance & Community Relations Chair

Sejal is a 2024 MIB candidate at the Fletcher School with a specialization in Human Security and Humanitarian Affairs, and Business for Social Impact. Her interest areas are deeply rooted to her childhood experience, thus addressing issues that children and women face due to sexual gender-based violence in conflict as well as peaceful zones.
She is currently a recipient of Child Protection Certificate Program by FXB Center of Health and Human Rights at Harvard University. Apart from CGIA, she is also a staff writer at PRAXIS: The Fletcher Human Security Journal.
Prior coming to the Fletcher she worked a couple of years in the corporate world and then pivoted her career in the development sector. She worked with Child Rights and You (CRY), an NGO and gained in-depth insight into the legal and political aspects of child rights and their violations, by highlighting its current state in rural India, and its effect on the holistic growth of children due to lack of formal support.

Alyssa Scheiner | Operations Chair

Alyssa is a 2024 MALD candidate at the Fletcher School with a specialization in international development and environmental policy. Their academic interests lie at the intersections of water security, climate migration, and gender and intersectional analysis. 

Alyssa is currently a Climate Policy and Advocacy Intern at Mercy Corps where she works on Mercy Corps’ COP28 engagement and research projects on climate adaptation in fragile and conflict affected states. Prior to Fletcher, Alyssa worked at a nonprofit organization transforming the economy to build a just and sustainable future for people and the planet. 

Alyssa holds a Bachelor’s Degree in International Relations and Middle East and North Africa Studies from Boston University.

Ina Thigith | Marketing Chair

Ina is a 2024 MALD candidate at the Fletcher School with a specialization in Human Security & International Business. Her research focuses on social urbanism, architecture, and civic engagement as tools for community wellness and restoration, specifically in the Latin American context. 

Ina is currently the Senior Production Associate for the Pacific Council on International Policy, a non-profit based in Los Angeles. In her role with the Pacific Council, Ina focuses on DEI-centered projects, organizational development, and graphic design. Prior to attending the Fletcher School, Ina spent time living in London, Hong Kong, and Tokyo. 

Ina holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science and International Relations from UCLA. In her free time she enjoys visiting art galleries and museums, experimenting with nail art, playing with her dog Goomba (named after the Mario character), and spending time at the beach.

Bri Fierro | Volunteer Chair

A second-year MALD student at the Fletcher School, Bri studies Gender & Intersectional Analysis (GAIA) and Business for Social Impact. She is a passionate advocate of incorporating gender analysis and fostering inclusive work systems within the nonprofit and public sectors.

Bri spent this past summer in Tijuana, Mexico, conducting research with the Leir Institute focused on how people who are migrating access and process information as well as assess risk along their journeys. She also serves as a Knowledge Management Consultant for FinEquity, a community of practice convened by CGAP and working to empower women through financial inclusion. 

Prior to Fletcher, Bri spent 6 years working in international economic development, focusing on women’s economic empowerment and financial inclusion through Savings Groups. Bri holds a bachelor’s degree in Political Science and Spanish, with a minor in Chinese Language & Culture from Washington University in St. Louis.

Rebecca Kelly | Admin Chair

Rebecca is a 2025 MALD with a specialization in Gender and Intersectional Analysis and Human Security. Her focus is gender-based violence issues, and she is specifically interested in how gender-based violence prevents women from acting as community and peace builders. 

Prior to Fletcher, Rebecca spent three years in the House of Representatives helping constituents having issues with federal agencies like the Department of State, USCIS, SSA, and Medicare. She has additional experience interning for the US Senate and for the Center for Strategic and International Studies. She graduated from Tulane University in 2019, where she spent a semester studying in France and wrote an honors thesis on foreign intervention in civil wars. 

Liv Wittenberg | Volunteer Chair

Liv is a first-year MALD candidate studying International Human Rights Law and Gender Theory and Intersectional Analysis. Her research interests lie at the intersection between international legal organizations and human rights, and she’s passionate about expanding the capacities of countries and IO’s to better promote and protect the human rights of their people. She currently works with the Hopes, Fears and Illusions Project at the Leir Institute and with the Office of the Assistant Secretary General of the Organization of American States (OAS).

Prior to attending the Fletcher School, she completed internships at the International Rescue Committee, OAS, Sanisera Archaeological Institute, and a Fulbright Grant in Tucumán, Argentina. Liv holds Bachelor’s degrees inInternational Affairs and Spanish from the University of Colorado Boulder.

Sina Fischer | Finance & Community Relations Chair

Sina is an exchange student from the Geneva Graduate School, where she is specializing in Gender, Race and Diversity as part of her Master in International and Development Studies. Her research focus is on power dynamics in conflict, peace and tech studies with a regional focus on the Middle East and Sub-Saharan Africa.

Prior to starting her Masters, Sina worked in the public sector at the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation as a Thematic Regional Advisor on health related projects in Eastern and Southern Africa. She is also engaged in various projects such as the first LGBTQ+ filmfestival in Bern.