Hany Besada is the Senior Researcher working on the Weak and Fragile States research program at the Centre for International Governance Innovation (CIGI) in Waterloo, Canada. CIGI's initiative focuses on the challenges posed by weak and fragile states. The initiative incorporates a multilateral approach to finding sustainable solutions. The Weak and Fragile States research theme aims are essentially three-fold. First, the research seeks to define what is meant by weak and fragile states and to look at some of the indicators of state fragility. Secondly, it tries to define the role of international institutions and national governments in responding to the challenges posed by fragile states. Thirdly, it seeks to create a better understanding of the risks to international peace and security.Hany Besada’s research interests include African economic development, Middle East studies, international diplomacy, and conflict resolution. He holds an M.A. and a B.A. in International Relations from Alliant International University (formerly U.S International University) in San Diego, U.S., where he specialiZed in peace and security studies. Prior to joining CIGI, he worked as the Business in Africa Researcher at the South African Institute of International Affairs (SAIIA) in Johannesburg, South Africa. Prior to that, he worked a research manager at Africa Business Direct, a trade and investment-consulting firm in Johannesburg. While studying in the U.S., Hany Besada worked at a number of nongovernmental and governmental research institutes and offices. In addition to the Institute, these include Amnesty International, the office of U.S. Senator Dianne Feinstein, and the United Nations Association.
Leila Shifteh graduated from McGill University, Montreal, Quebec in June 2001 with an Honors degree in Political Science and a minor in Economic and Political Development, and is now enrolled in a two-year Masters Program in Conflict and Security studies at l'Institut d'Etudes Politiques in Paris, France. In Fall 2003 she was on an academic exchange at Columbia University in New York City to study at the School for International and Public Affairs and the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences. While in New York City, she was an intern at UNHCR where she assisted with research on gender and small arms issues for refugee security. She will receive her degree in June 2004 and hopes to work at the UN High Commissioner for Refugees in Geneva.
Sarah Laubach graduated from law school (UC Berkeley-Boalt Hall) in May 2005 and is spending a year clerking for Judge Tashima of the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals in Pasadena. The clerkship exposes her to many areas of the law, including asylum and immigration law. Sarah is applying for fellowships at some non-profit legal organizations in the Bay Area following the clerkship.
Tiffany Santos graduated from UC Berkeley in 2001 with a degree in Political Science. After her internship at the IPJ she worked as a legal assistant for a Family Law practitioner in San Diego. She entered law school at UCLA in Fall 2002. During Summer 2003 she worked for Federal District Judge Irma Gonzalez as a Judicial Extern in San Diego.
Heidi Knuff, after her internship at the IPJ, graduated from University of San Diego in 2001. She then worked at an international children's camp in England. She is currently working at Pacific Intercultural Exchange in San Diego overseeing the placement and counseling of high school aged foreign exchange students throughout the U.S.