Our People


 

Ayaan Hirsi Ali

Founder of AHA Foundation



Ayaan’s journey began in Somalia in 1969 where, as a young girl, she was subjected to female genital mutilation (FGM). From very early on, she questioned the subjugation of women she saw all around her; while listening to a sermon on the many ways women should be obedient to their husbands, she couldn't resist asking, "Must our husbands obey us too?" Ayaan has shown great courage, risking her life to expose the violence she sees around her. But she has done more than speak out. Ayaan has connected her life experiences, and the attention she garnered, to the AHA Foundation. She took action to protect women and girls from the violence she - and so many others - faced.

Ayaan Hirsi Ali is currently a Research Fellow at the Hoover Institution, Stanford University and founder of the AHA Foundation. Prior to joining the Hoover Institution, she was a Fellow at the Belfer Center’s Future of Diplomacy Project at Harvard University, and a Resident Fellow at the American Enterprise Institute in Washington, D.C. Read more



Our Team

 

George Zarubin

Executive Director


George Zarubin is an attorney and a seasoned, senior executive with 20 years of philanthropic and non-profit experience in Washington, DC, Eastern Europe, and Eurasia. He built the organizational capacity of foundations and non-profits by overseeing their transformation, sustainability and ensuring targeted and measurable impacts. With an undergraduate degree from Georgetown University’s School of Foreign Service, and law degrees from Tulane University Law School and McGeorge School of Law at the University of the Pacific, Mr. Zarubin practiced law for 10 years in California and Russia before transitioning to work with non-profits and international development. As the former Executive Director of the Soros Foundation Kazakhstan, Vice President of the Eurasia Foundation, and President of Eurasia Partnership Foundation, he worked as a change agent and implemented new programs to promote liberal western values, supporting civil society organizations to engage in policy dialogues with national and local governments. One of Mr. Zarubin’s favorite quotes was given at Salzburg Global Seminar where he worked as Vice President designing and raising money for international dialogue programs about the world’s most pressing issues: “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it's the only thing that ever has.” Margaret Mead


 

Amanda Parker

Chief Financial Officer & Senior Director



Amanda Parker is the Chief Financial Officer and Senior Director of AHA Foundation. Ms. Parker oversees AHA’s women’s rights programs. She develops federal and state policy proposals to protect women and girls from harmful cultural practices, recently working with Michigan to put in place the most comprehensive anti-female genital mutilation (FGM) legislation in the country. She has facilitated trainings on honor violence, FGM, forced marriage, and child marriage for more than 3,000 professionals likely to encounter cases, and has supported survivors of these abuses to help them find protection and the services they need.


Natalie Arroyo

Campus Program and Public Relations Manager



Natalie joined AHA Foundation in 2018 after graduating from Texas State University with a degree in Business Administration with a focus in Management. In 2020, she began working as the Program and Public Relations Coordinator. Natalie focuses on recruiting fellows and assisting in hosting events across the nation to bring awareness to the issues we cover. She is passionate about ending gender-based violence.


Brooke Bumgarner

Prospect and Program Development Coordinator


As the Prospect and Program Development Coordinator, Brooke focuses on cultivating AHA Foundation’s donor portfolio and supports the foundation’s policy initiatives and women’s rights programs. After graduating from Rollins College in 2017, Brooke spent two years working with both domestic and international non-profits concerned with the protection of children. She then went on to pursue her Master of Arts in International Development from George Washington University. Brooke is driven by an intrinsic passion to end gender-based violence after focusing a majority of her graduate research on child, early and forced marriage.

John Ferri

Communications and Social Media Assistant



John was drawn to the AHA Foundation in the fall of 2021 by a desire to advocate for human rights and a goal to work with dedicated people in mission-driven non-profits. He enjoys working to grow AHA’s social media presence and form meaningful connections with current and potential supporters of AHA. His previous non-profit experience includes the industries of energy, workplace giving, and employment for the differently abled. John earned his Bachelor’s Degree in Italian with a minor in French and certificates in Public and Professional Writing, Transatlantic Studies, and West European Studies at the University of Pittsburgh. He is passionate about human rights, equal opportunity, critical thought, the arts, and cultural diplomacy.

Egypt Leithman

Case Management Associate



Egypt joined AHA Foundation in 2020 as a Help Request Case Manager intern. He earned an M.A. in Clinical Mental Health Counseling from The George Washington University and is currently pursuing his Psy.D. in Clinical Psychology. His areas of interest include: Trauma/recovery, Asylee/Refugee populations, and LGBTQIA+ issues. Egypt is passionate about helping marginalized communities. Egypt joined the AHA Foundation to provide support to those in crisis by connecting them to the appropriate resources.


Cara Schiff

Assistant Campus Program Coordinator



Cara joined the AHA Foundation in the Spring of 2021 as an assistant campus event coordinator. Before joining the Foundation, she obtained her bachelor’s degree in sociology at the University of Miami and worked in nonprofit marketing. Cara now lends her analytical research experience and communications expertise to help facilitate AHA’s Campus Fellowship Program. She also enjoys producing written copy, designing promotional material, and serving other departments in an editorial capacity. Cara is passionate about reaching young adults and future policy makers to strategically expand the platform for engagement around global human rights issues.

Daniel Sharp

Marketing Consultant



Daniel holds a first class degree in English Literature and History from the University of Edinburgh. He is a writer and editor with bylines in many outlets. As a longtime admirer of Ayaan Hirsi Ali and her work, he was proud to join AHA Foundation as a Marketing Consultant. He lives in Fife, Scotland.


Lisa Brett

Senior Consultant


Lisa helped found the UK’s National FGM Centre and chaired their advisory board before moving to Washington DC in 2017. Having initially studied Electronics, Lisa worked in manufacturing before joining Voluntary Service Overseas in 1989 to become a teacher in a Nigeria. Lisa first became familiar with the practice of FGM teaching girls in Nigeria. Returning to England, Lisa worked for the national charity Victim Support, where she sat on several international project steering groups and worked with the European Commission on projects to support victims of violence and abuse. Lisa also became involved in local politics, which resulted in her being elected to the UK’s Local Government Association, a powerful cross-party Westminster lobby group. Here she became Deputy Chair of the Safer, Stronger Communities Board where she helped found the National FGM Centre. Lisa currently supports the AHA Foundation’s activities in tackling FGM, forced marriage and honor based violence.


Sean Callaghan

Senior Consultant



Sean brings over 30-years’ experience in international development, having worked extensively in Africa, the Middle East, the United States, and in Europe. His work over the past decade has focused almost exclusively on gender-based violence and gender justice. For the past five years he co-led a research institute focused on FGM/C in Africa and has consulted on FGM/C in the diaspora context. Sean has lectured on community development and social justice at both undergraduate and post graduate levels in the United Kingdom and the United States. Sean is currently facilitating a number of research partnerships for universities in the United Kingdom and the United States. Sean is a PhD candidate at University of Leicester where his research explores FGM/C in diaspora communities.

Shriya Subramanian

Data Analytics and Marketing Intern



Shriya joined AHA Foundation as a Data Analytics and Marketing Intern. She is currently pursuing a Bachelor’s Degree in Statistical Data Science and Computational Cognitive Science from the University of California, Davis. Currently, Shriya serves as the External Operations Director of Women in Data at UC Davis, an on-campus organization dedicated to promoting diversity in technical careers. Shriya is motivated by aiding causes for social good and hopes to use her acquired skills to continue aiding such causes in the future.

Evan Thomas

Social Media Intern



Evan started with AHA Foundation as a Social Media Intern. He is a Senior at Weber State University finishing up his Digital Media BA and a Photography BFA. He works freelance as photographer, videographer, and designer, doing various types of events and projects. My goal as an event content creator is to capture the hidden moments and help tell the stories of those without a voice. At AHA Foundation he works as a video editor, creative content consultant, and captures the essence of each event we host.

Kelsey Zapf

Grant Writing Intern



Kelsey joined the AHA team as a grant writing intern focusing on ending FGM. Currently a third year at the University of Washington Seattle, she is working towards a Bachelors Degree in International Human Rights and Social Justice. On campus, she is the Urgent Action Coordinator for the UW chapter of Amnesty International. At AHA Foundation, Kelsey is using her interest and passion for women's rights and advocacy to help ensure the safety of women and girls.