AGM 2015 – Speakers and Bios

AGM 2015 Guest Speakers


Julie L. Arostegui, J.D.
is a lawyer and international human rights and gender and security expert with extensive experience in combating gender-based violence, countering violent extremism, women’s political participation, rule of law, access to justice, and security sector reform.  She serves as an international advocate, advisor, and trainer for the civil society, political, security, and justice sectors.

Julie has managed programs related to gender, women’s rights, and the rule of law in Africa, Asia, the Middle East and North Africa, Eastern Europe and Latin America, and has advised, trained, and published extensively on gender, women’s rights, and  international human rights law, gender-based violence, and human trafficking. Julie has extensive experience in creating legal structures, policy and advocacy Her audiences included judges, legal practitioners, law enforcement, military, government, social workers, religious and cultural leaders and civil society.

Julie most recently led the Women, Peace and Security (WPS) program at Women’s Action for New Directions (WAND’s), working to empower women politically both in the U.S. and in Afghanistan, Pakistan, and the Middle East and North Africa as leaders on critical issues of conflict prevention, peace building, violence against women, and national and global security. She also works with Members of  the US Congress, federal agencies, and the United Nations to ensure that women and gender perspectives are included in diplomatic, development, and defense efforts in line with international and U.S. policy.


Catherine Bell, President Graduate Women International (GWI)
Catherine lives in Johannesburg, South Africa, where she develops strategies for and implementation of large sustainable projects. Before becoming president of GWI, Catherine served as board liaison to the Finance Committee and the Hegg Hoffet Committee. She  has extensive knowledge of the United Nations and it’s specialized agencies which gives her a great understanding of how GWI fits into the UN and NGO world.


Kathleen Welsh Beveridge, President and founder of Spark Nonprofit Consulting, LLC
has more than 17 years of experience in fundraising and leadership in the nonprofit sector. She is a confident program builder, teacher, and spark of inspiration who always exceeds expectations.

As Executive Director of the Bucks County Women’s Fund, Kathy quickly and dramatically expanded the image and reputation of the Fund, engaging hundreds of new volunteers and donors in its mission. She conducted a community needs assessment; developed a new strategic direction for the Fund; and crafted a professional report outlining a blueprint for action. In addition, she generated broad-based collaboration on key community issues by establishing the Bucks County Women’s Advocacy Coalition: a groundbreaking nonpartisan coalition of Bucks County women and over 20 nonprofit organizations that serve them.

Kathy has 10 years of extraordinarily results-oriented development experience at top-tier universities.


Dr. Loges Ponnusamy, GWI Award Recipient
GWI fellowship recipient and WG-USA member Logeswari Ponnusamy is currently researching the molecular mechanisms associated with the development of resistance to chemotherapeutic drugs, specifically in the treatment of breast cancer, at The Institute of Environmental & Human Health, Texas Tech University, USA, with support from GWI.She was recently awarded the INSIGHT into Diversity magazine’s “Inspiring Women in STEM” national recognition. This prestigious award is a tribute to her inspiring work as a woman in the STEM field and will be featured in the September STEM issue of INSIGHT Into Diversity magazine as one of 100 women who will be honored. Loges currently serves on the WG-USA Membership Committee.


Katie Sheketoff, Director of Special Projects, Teach For All
Katie Sheketoff is the Director of Talent Development and Engagement at Teach For All, a global network of over 35 independent organizations with a shared vision for expanding educational opportunity in their countries and around the world. To accelerate the individual and collective impact of its network partners, the global organization within Teach For All provides a platform that enables partners to connect with and learn from each other across borders, works to ensure partners can grow sustainably and that their students and participants are learning and achieving, provides access to global resources for the benefit of the whole, and fosters the leadership development of partner staff, participants, and alumni. In her role, Katie supports the staff of Teach For All’s global organization through professional development to increase their effectiveness. Before joining the Talent team, Katie was the Partner Engagement Director for Teach For Malaysia, where she supported the program during its first two years of implementation.

Prior to Teach for All, she worked at IREX, an international organization focused on building strong local movements for change, where she oversaw programs strengthening civil society in Rwanda, supporting library development in Eastern Europe, and supporting the prevention of human trafficking in Egypt. Katie has over ten years of experience in international development, focused on education, civil society capacity building, women’s rights and anti-trafficking, training and capacity development, and monitoring and evaluation. She has lived, studied, and worked in Malaysia, China, Indonesia, and Egypt, and has an MA in International Development Studies, focused on gender and conflict mitigation, from George Washington University, and a BS in Foreign Service from Georgetown University.

Kristin Wells, Senior Director for Government Relations at CARE USA

(At the time that we asked Kristin to speak for this conference, she was a Senior Advisor in the Office to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons at the State Department, the key office that coordinates U.S. foreign policy to combat trafficking around the world. However, Kristin recently left that office and she is now working as the Senior Director for Government Relations at CARE USA. CARE is a nonprofit humanitarian organization, devoted to ending global poverty by focusing on policies and programs to assist women and girls.  Kristin is now speaking to us today in her own private capacity – she is not representing the State Department or any views of the U.S. government, nor is she here representing CARE.)

As Senior Advisor on the Public Engagement team at J/TIP, Ms. Wells guides legislative strategy regarding human trafficking for the Office, including preparing the Ambassador-at-Large to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons and other senior officials for Congressional hearings, briefings, and meetings with Members and Senators. She also serves as liaison for the office with U.S. corporations on labor trafficking issues, examining forced labor and trafficking in product supply chains and advising the Ambassador and the TIP Office on supply chain labor issues.

A Capitol Hill veteran, Ms. Wells previously served as Deputy Chief Counsel to Chairmen Howard Berman (D-CA) and the late Tom Lantos (D-CA) on the U.S. House of Representatives’ Committee on Foreign Affairs. In that role she provided counsel to the Committee Chairman and other Democratic Committee members regarding legislative and foreign policy matters, with an emphasis on international refugee policy and immigration matters, as well as legislation related to Africa, Latin American, the Caribbean, human trafficking, international women’s issues and consular affairs matters. She also worked for the House Committee on the Judiciary as counsel to Ranking Member John Conyers, Jr. (D-MI), where she advised and briefed Democratic Committee members on matters including immigration, homeland security, antitrust and civil liberties issues. She frequently worked with members and staff of the Congressional Black Caucus and Congressional Hispanic Caucus during her time on the Judiciary Committee staff.

In her time in public service, Ms. Wells was involved in numerous pieces of historic legislation, including the Homeland Security Act of 2002, the Intelligence Reform Act of 2004, the REAL ID Act of 2005, historic House and Senate resolutions declaring genocide in Darfur in 2005, Tom Lantos and Henry J. Hyde United States Global Leadership Against HIV/AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria Reauthorization Act of 2008, the William Wilberforce Trafficking Victims Protection Reauthorization Act of 2008 and the Department of State Reauthorization Act of 2009.


Ms. Natalie Ben Zakour Man, Conflict-related Sexual Violence Adviser to  the UN Department of Peacekeeping Operations .. bio to come

Natalie Ben Zakour Man is the Sexual Violence Adviser to the Departments of Peacekeeping Operations and Field Support, a position she has held since 2010. She joined the United Nations in 2001, and has since served two peacekeeping operations (MONUC (2001-2002) and MINUSTAH (2005-2010)) as a child protection Officer and as a gender adviser.  She has also done extensive work with UNICEF field offices as a child protection officer including in Sierra Leone (2001), Uganda (2003-2004), the Democratic Republic of Congo (2002-2003), and Haiti (2004-2005). Prior to working for the United Nations, she worked in humanitarian emergencies in Rwanda (1994-1995), and the Former Soviet Union (1995-1997).

She holds an LLM in International Human Rights Law (University of Essex), an MSc in Medical Anthropology (Brunel University), and an MA Joint Honours in Social Anthropology and French (University of Aberdeen).



Geeta Desai
is the Advocacy Convener for Women Graduates – USA, the American affiliate of the Graduate Women International (GWI) and she has represented GWI at the UN. Geeta has been the featured speaker at several women’s events in the United States and Asia. She has spoken on topics that cover the Global Women’s Crisis, Human Rights and Social and Economic Justice in South Asia. Specifically, her work focuses on India and she travels frequently to that country to work with women’s groups trying to end sex-trafficking and other crimes against women.

Bonnie Lincoln
a founding member of WG-USA, is a retired Foreign Service Officer with extensive service in Latin America and Africa. She is a member of VGIF and has served on the Budget Advisory Committee for Lee County Schools in Florida. She resides in Fort Myers, FL.

Jackie Shahzadi, Ph.D.
is currently employed as a Campus College Chair of the College of Humanities and Sciences and faculty member for the Southern California Campus of the University of Phoenix. She is a member of VGIF, AAUW, and a charter member of WG-USA. Jackie lives in California.