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 the 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 600 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.


Dylan Webber

Communications and Development Assistant



Dylan joined the AHA Foundation as a communications and development assistant in the summer of 2020. Before graduating from the University of Georgia with a degree in journalism, Dylan spent his earlier years eating delicious barbecue in Austin, Texas. He focuses on digital communication for the Foundation, running its social media accounts, contributing to its newsletter and assisting with all other content creation. He’s happy to now be able to combine a passion for writing and human rights activism for the AHA Foundation.



Sheriece Hooks

Intern



Sheriece joined the AHA Foundation in 2018 as an intern. She earned an M.A. in Clinical Psychology with an Emphasis in Marriage and Family Therapy from Pepperdine University in 2017 and is currently pursuing her Psy.D. in Clinical Psychology from the University. Her primary focus is working with trauma, and multicultural issues in underserved communities and she has worked in several non-profit organizations. Sheriece joined the AHA Foundation to provide support in writing for the organization, as well as to connect women and girls in crisis to the appropriate resources.

Krista M. Lofton

Intern


Krista joined the AHA Foundation in 2019. She earned an M.P.H. in Public Health with a concentration in Child and Family Health from the University of Southern California in 2009, before moving on to pursue further education in the field of clinical psychology. She earned her M.A. in Clinical Psychology from Pepperdine University in 2017, and is currently pursuing her Psy.D. in Clinical Psychology from the same University. Krista’s primary area of focus is working with trauma and multicultural issues; namely for youth and emerging adults from underserved and at-risk populations. She has worked in a variety of non-profit organizations and is passionate about social justice reform. Krista joined the AHA Foundation to assist women and girls in crisis by connecting them to the appropriate resources.

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.


Chris Cantwell

Policy Intern



Chris joined the AHA Foundation in 2020 as a policy intern. He is currently a sophomore pursuing his B.A. in Political Science and Homeland Security at Tulane University. His primary focus is working with the policy team to implement the AHA Foundation model legislation to end female genital mutilation and child marriage, and he has also worked at state and local-level government. Chris joined the AHA Foundation to learn about how to enact legislation at the state level and make important political change outside the gridlock of Washington D.C., as well as ensuring that the organizations' goal of implementing legislation banning FGM in all 50 states is reached.

Ophelia Li

Data Analytics Intern



Ophelia joined the AHA Foundation in 2020 as a Data Analytics Intern. She is currently a junior at Tulane University pursuing her B.S. in Mathematics and Economics. She focuses on providing insights into AHA Foundation’s marketing and fundraising tactics using information from its available data. She has a strong background in statistical modeling and programming and has helped other nonprofits improve their performances. Ophelia joined the AHA Foundation to improve her data analysis proficiency and gain a better understanding of how to extrapolate useful meanings from data. She is passionate about human rights and is actively involved with gender-inclusive student organizations on campus.

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