Your Executive Board
President, Alexa Burk
(she/her- elle) was raised in Seattle WA USA and holds a Bachelor’s degree in History from Seattle Pacific University. She went on to obtain her MA in International and Global History from Aarhus University, Denmark. She is here in Geneva with her husband and 2.5-year-old daughter. She is a doctoral candidate of International History at the institute. Her academic interests deal with the history of humanitarian propaganda, the neocolonialist role of humanitarians during the process of decolonization, with her dissertation on what has been a longstanding passion for studying the international labour movement and the processes of global capitalism. She enjoys cooking, reading, painting, activism, roaming parks, listening to music, and talking with her husband every night (a ritual they have kept up since they were 16 years old).
Events Coordinator, Bushra Asghar
Bushra Asghar (she/her) was born to an ex-pat family in Saudi Arabia and identifies as part of the South Asian diaspora living on Turtle Island (Canada). Bushra is a community organizer, proud feminist + abolitionist and is very excited to spend her life working on dismantling border imperialism. As an organizer with Climate Justice TO, she feels that social movements and civil society are key to having a strong community.
When she’s not reading political theory or science fiction you can find her learning to cook delicious Bengali or Saudi food. As an Events Coordinator, she wants to ensure we have a vibrant community that is connected to the larger issues we are tackling in class theoretically. I am most available for students on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays!
President Environmental Committee, Hugo Brandam
Hugo Brandam (he/il) was raised near Avignon and in the department of Hautes Pyrenees (France); two rural territories which made him aware of the delicate balance between environmental protection and human activity. Global warming became his main academic interest during his Master's degree in International Affairs from Sciences Po Lyon. He is currently a Master student in Environment, Resources and Sustainability (Development Studies) and committed to making sustainability the new norm in public policy by supporting the SDGs and promoting local solutions. Lover of hiking, wine and cheese, Hugo is always in for a walk around the lake or a drink after class. Do not hesitate to reach out to him if you are curious about the Environmental Committee work, willing to hike with the EC Team on Sundays or just interested to know more about sustainability within Geneva
VP for Phd Programs, Ximena Ozorio
(Mena works too!), was born in Lima, Peru, and holds a double Bachelor’s degree in History and in Journalism from the University of Navarre. She obtained her Master’s degree in International Relations and Political Science at the Graduate Institute, with a focus on feminist theory, gender, and political violence. She is currently a 3rd year PhD candidate in International Relations, and her research investigates technologies of reproductive control and how they are mobilized for political and colonial violence, looking in particular at forced and coerced sterilizations of indigenous women in Peru. In her free time she enjoys reading, listening and dancing to Latin music, playing the cajón, and (feminist, decolonial, anti-racist) activism.
VP for Masters Programs, Lorena Villavicencio
(she/her-elle) was born in New York City (NYC) and holds two Bachelor’s degrees in Forensic Psychology and International Criminal Justice from John Jay College of Criminal Justice. She is currently enrolled in the Master’s in International Relations and Political Science at the Graduate Institute. She has an extensive background working in local nonprofit organizations in NYC. At the moment, Lorena is working at the City University of New York on several projects that she is passionate about (e.g., immigration, job opportunities, youth development, etc). On her free time, she likes to just be at the beach, lakes, rivers, or any natural bodies of water - it is the Pisces in her. Lorena also enjoys creating aesthetic and elaborate bullet journals.
Administrative Director, Ali Eddy
(she/elle) holds a bachelor’s in Peace and Global Studies and has worked in different aspects of the food system, as a farm crew member, in food waste and on democracy activism and research. She is pursuing a Master’s in International Affairs: Environment, Resources and Sustainability, and her research interests are around food and seed sovereignty movements. Ali loves to bake and cook, and when the opportunity arises to help out in a garden, go into the mountains, or get as much nature time as possible. Feel free to email Ali any time.
President Welfare Committee, Monideepa Mukherjee
(she/her/elle) is a lawyer from Kolkata, India and is pursuing her Masters in International Law at the IHEID. Being a lawyer has given her the opportunity to be the voice of the people; to be their representative and to work for their betterment. She is a passionate advocate who will work hard to make sure that your grievances are addressed and your voices heard. Moni loves to cook and has a keen interest in sports nutrition as she was into powerlifting before the lockdown happened. She is also a movie buff and masters the art of cracking PJs too (poor joke). For her the only way to deal with stress is to have desserts! Moni hopes you will feel free to reach out whenever you want. She’s always there for you all!
Treasurer, Luise Garleff
(she/her-elle) was born and raised in Hamburg/ Germany and obtained her Bachelor of political- and educational science at the Leuphana University Lüneburg. During her Bachelor studies, she particularly enjoyed and valued the intimacy, familiarity, but also engagement that small universities––same as the Graduate Institute––offer. She particularly enjoys playing beach volleyball and card/ board games. Traveling, concerts (especially intimate pop-up concerts), theatre, as well as photography, and museums are what inspires her. At the IHEID, she is studying the MA of Development studies. As treasurer of GISA, she wants to be open and accessible, so feel free to reach out to her – not only concerning budgeting-issues.
Communications Director, Daniela Salazar
(she/her/elle) was born in Bogotá DC, Colombia and holds a Bachelor’s Degree in International Affairs from the University of Rosario. She obtained a Master’s degree in International Cooperation and Development from the Institut d’études politiques de Bordeaux and is currently pursuing a Master in Development Studies at the Graduate Institute, with a major in Environment, Resources and Sustainability and a minor in Trade and International Finance. She worked three years in the public sector in Colombia and her main interest is the planning of sustainable development projects. She loves dancing and spending time with family and friends, she is a pet lover and she is concerned about students’ welfare.
President Professional Development Committee, Aravind Ganapathi
Aravind Ganapathi (he/him/Il) is a 1st-year student in Master of Development Studies with a specialization in Environment, Resources, and Sustainability. As the President of the Professional Development Committee, he looks after all student-led activities and events corresponding to the Institute students' career development and professional engagement. He also has a growing interest in gender studies, communications, and strategy.
In his free time, he likes to go on long walks and cook food for his friends. He also loves making dance videos!