Staff

Executive Office

Tibi Galis, PhD

  • Executive Director

Dr. Tibi Galis has been the Executive Director of the Auschwitz Institute since 2006. Born and raised in Romania, he earned his B.A. in Law and Political Science from Babes-Bolyai University, in Cluj-Napoca. He received an M.A. in International Politics and Political Development from the University of Manchester, and earned a Ph.D. from the Strassler Center for Holocaust and Genocide Studies at Clark University, with a focus on transitional justice. Previously, Dr. Galis worked as an Associate Researcher for the UK Parliament, helping develop the UK position on the UN Special Adviser on the Prevention of Genocide, and as rapporteur for the Swedish government at the 2004 Stockholm International Forum on the Prevention of Genocide.

Jack Mayerhofer

As the Auschwitz Institute’s Deputy Executive Director, Jack Mayerhofer supervises all activities of the organization’s Executive Office taking place in Africa, Europe, Latin America, North America, and Southeast Asia. He also spearheads the Auschwitz Institute’s engagement with parliamentarians around the globe on the role that legislators can play in advancing atrocity prevention policy and produces research related to this initiative. Finally, Mr. Mayerhofer is responsible for the development of all of the Institute’s new programs and provides supervisory support to each of AIPG’s regional offices. Before joining the Auschwitz Institute in January of 2014, Jack Mayerhofer earned a B.S. in French and Applied Linguistics from Penn State University and an M.S. in Global Affairs from Rutgers University. He has worked with Peace Is Loud in New York and the Center for the Study of Genocide, Conflict Resolution, and Human Rights at Rutgers University in Newark.

Samantha Capicotto

Samantha Capicotto joined the Auschwitz Institute in 2010 as the Program Director for the Global Raphael Lemkin Seminar for Genocide Prevention, the organization’s flagship educational program for government officials on genocide prevention prevention policy development and implementation. In 2014, Ms. Capicotto took on the additional role of the Director of Policy and Planning, where she assisted the Executive Office in overseeing the administration and overall programmatic direction of AIPG. In early 2020, she was promoted to the role of Director for Standards and Best Practices where she is charged with ensuring the quality and efficacy of all programmatic outputs of the organization and assisting her colleagues in improving the processes by which they implement their programs. Ms. Capicotto graduated from St. John’s University School of Law magna cum laude and is admitted to practice law in New York State. She graduated valedictorian from her undergraduate studies at the University of Buffalo, with a B.A. in Political Science and a B.A. in Philosophy.

Rob Scharf

Rob Scharf joined the Auschwitz Institute in June of 2015 as New York Programs Officer. In his current role of Director of Communications, Mr. Scharf is responsible for overseeing the Auschwitz Institute’s web presence, publications, and communications products. He is also involved in the organization of events in the New York area and supports the work of the Executive Office. Having previously worked in Washington, New York, and Geneva in the fields of diplomacy, international affairs, and digital freedoms, Mr. Scharf graduated summa cum laude with a B.A. in History from Northeastern University as well as with an M.A. in the History of Warfare from the War Studies Department at King’s College London.

Susan Braden

Susan Braden joined the Auschwitz Institute in March of 2018 as the Strategic Development Manager. Prior to this, she spent two years at the Cardozo Law Institute in Holocaust and Human Rights. Susan has a Joint-European M.A. in Human Rights and Genocide Studies, from Kingston University in London and Universita degli Studi di Siena. She is also the current Managing Editor of Genocide Studies and Prevention. Ms. Braden previously spent time in Kampala, Uganda, assisting the work of the Uganda National Committee, as well as working with resettled refugees in the U.S. at various organizations. Additionally, she completed an internship with the Human Rights Program at The Carter Center in Atlanta, where she focused on African Union charter ratification project and coordinated a South-South learning exchange in Pretoria.

Eliza Fairbrother

Eliza Fairbrother joined the Auschwitz Institute in October of 2019 as the Development Associate, responsible for supporting the organization’s fundraising efforts. Prior to this, Eliza worked for the World Federalist Movement-Institute for Global Policy (WFM-IGP), overseeing the organization’s fundraising and grant management operations for its major programs: the Coalition for the International Criminal Court and the International Coalition for the Responsibility to Protect. In her role at WFM-IGP, she also secured funding for, and managed, projects on Women, Peace and Security in Colombia and Mali. Eliza graduated magna cum laude from Kenyon College in Ohio in 2016 with a B.A. in International Studies and spent six months working as an intern for EducationUSA in Tunis, Tunisia before moving to New York in January of 2017.

Osama Ehimwenman

Originally from Chicago, Osama Ehimwenman worked exclusively as a financial and tax accountant for a privately-owned tax firm in Chicago and New York early in his career. Most recently, he was granted the opportunity to build and manage an accounting department with a growing international wholesaler and spent the last four years undertaking this task. Mr. Ehimwenman holds a B.S. in Accounting from North Carolina A&T State University.

Gary Penzell

As the Auschwitz Institute’s Manager of Budgets and Operations, Gary Penzell is responsible for managing the organization’s budget activities. He also manages Operations, Human Resources, and Payroll. Mr. Penzell has an MBA in Finance and has worked as a Financial Controller for Citibank as well as Controller for the Doe Fund in New York City. In both roles, he was responsible for budgets and financial reporting.

Academic Programs

James Waller, PhD

Dr. James Waller joined the Auschwitz Institute staff in July 2012 as Academic Programs Director. From 2008 to 2012, he held the position of Affiliated Scholar, as well as Curriculum Coordinator for the Raphael Lemkin Seminar for Genocide Prevention. He continues to serve as an instructor at the Lemkin Seminar series, as he has dating back to 2008. In March 2010 Waller was named Cohen Professor for Holocaust and Genocide Studies at Keene State College in New Hampshire. He has been awarded summer fellowships by, and been a teaching fellow with, the Holocaust Educational Foundation at Northwestern University (1996 and 2007-2012) and at the Center for Advanced Holocaust Studies at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, DC (1999, 2003, 2005). His book on perpetrators of genocide, Becoming Evil: How Ordinary People Commit Genocide and Mass Killing (Oxford University Press, 2002), was released by Oxford in a revised and updated second edition in 2007. Waller recently published Confronting Evil: Engaging Our Responsibility to Prevent Genocide in the summer of 2016.

Kerry Whigham, PhD

Dr. Kerry Whigham received a Ph.D. in Performance Studies from New York University. He has published articles in Genocide Studies and PreventionThe Journal of Latin American Cultural Studies, Tourist StudiesMaterial Culture, and Museum and Society, and has written chapters for several edited volumes, including Reconstructing Atrocity Prevention (Cambridge University Press, 2015). Currently, he is a Postdoctoral Research and Teaching Fellow at Binghamton University’s Institute for Genocide and Mass Atrocity Prevention. Dr. Whigham is also the Communications Officer and a member of the executive board for the International Association of Genocide Scholars (IAGS).  His research focuses on the way post-atrocity societies remember and engage with the past, along with how that violent past impacts the present and future.

Ashley Greene, PhD

Dr. Ashley Greene joined the Auschwitz Institute in 2017 as Academic Programs Officer, Africa. She holds a joint Ph.D. in Peace Studies and History from the Kroc Institute for International Peace Studies at the University of Notre Dame, where she specialized in 20th century East Africa. She earned her B.A. in Peace Studies and History from Whitworth University in Washington. Dr. Greene has received fellowships and awards for her research on education and transitional justice in Uganda from the National Security Education Program and the University of Tel Aviv Dan David Prize. Currently, she is an Assistant Professor of Holocaust and Genocide Studies at Keene State College in New Hampshire.

Mariana Salazar Albornoz

Mariana Salazar Albornoz joined the Auschwitz Institute as Latin America Academic Programs Officer in 2019 and has been an instructor for the organization’s seminars since 2013. She has a law degree from the Universidad Iberoamericana in Mexico City and a master’s degree in International Law from the Graduate Institute of International Studies in Geneva. She is a member of the Interamerican Juridical Committee of the Organization of American States and a professor at the Universidad Iberoamericana, where she teaches mass atrocity prevention, international criminal law and public international law. Previously, Ms. Salazar worked at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Mexico, where, among other posts, she was Coordinator of Public International Law, and was Mexico’s Focal Point to the Latin American Network for Genocide and Mass Atrocity Prevention and to the Global Network for Responsibility to Protect.

Stephanie Wright

Stephanie Wright joined the Auschwitz Institute in August of 2019 to provide administrative and technical support for the Online Education Initiative. Ms. Wright graduated summa cum laude with a BA in both Political Science and Russian Language and Culture from Binghamton University, State University of New York. In 2019, she graduated with a Master of Public Administration with a certificate in Genocide and Mass Atrocity Prevention. Prior to coming to AIPG, Stephanie has worked with nonprofits and local government agencies to address population health disparities.

Hannah Waller

Hannah Waller joined the Auschwitz Institute in 2017 and is based in Washington, D.C. She graduated from the George Washington University with a M.A. in International Affairs and Conflict Resolution and from the University of New Hampshire with a B.A. in Political Science and International Affairs. Hannah has experience working in the U.S. government and with international nonprofit organizations, including rapid deployments to respond in conflict- and crisis-affected areas for natural disasters and complex emergencies.

Latin American Programs

Maria Eugenia Carbone

Eugenia Carbone joined the Auschwitz Institute in 2013. A lawyer, Ms. Carbone specialized in International Public Law at the Universidad de Buenos Aires and also completed a Master’s in Human Rights at the Universidad de La Plata. She was the Coordinator of International Affairs at the Human Rights Secretariat of the Ministry of Justice in Argentina. Previously, she worked in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs/White Helmet Commission, collaborating on the design and implementation of international humanitarian assistance projects. She is an instructor for the Raphael Lemkin Seminar for the Prevention of Genocide as well as various other national and regional-level seminars organized by the Auschwitz Institute. Ms. Carbone also teaches as a Professor of International Relations at the Universidad Nacional de La Matanza. Additionally, since joining AIPG, she has served as the Technical Secretary of the Latin American Network for Genocide and Mass Atrocity Prevention.

Sharleen Lazartes

Ms. Lazartes joined the Auschwitz Institute in 2019. Born in New York, she has lived in Argentina since 1995. At the University of Buenos Aires, she has studied psychology and is currently pursuing a career in graphology. Before joining AIPG, Ms. Lazartes worked as an administrative assistant for more than 15 years at different firms in Argentina’s corporate sector. Currently, she applies her talents to the work of the Auschwitz Institute’s Buenos Aires office, principally in support of the Program Director.

Laura Karaskiewicz

Laura Karaskiewicz joined the Auschwitz Institute in 2020. She has a university degree in Social Communication from the University of Buenos Aires and is currently pursuing a graduate program on nonprofit management at San Andrés University in Argentina. She has acquired professional experience in the civil society sector for more than 15 years. Beginning as a trainer, she later functioned as a project and program coordinator, and, in 2016, she took on a General Coordinator role with an Argentinean NGO. Currently, she works in AIPG’s Latin American Program as a Project Officer.

Educational Policies Program

Clara Ramírez-Barat, PhD

Dr. Clara Ramírez Barat is the Director of the Educational Policies Program at the Auschwitz Institute. Before joining the AIPG, she was a Senior Research Associate at The International Centre for Transitional Justice (ICTJ), an organization with which she worked for more than four years after having served for two years as a Fulbright Postdoctoral Fellow. At ICTJ, Dr. Ramírez Barat’s research focused on different aspects of transitional justice with a special interest on outreach, media and the cultural sphere. More recently, she worked on the intersection between transitional justice and education, both by developing a child-friendly version of the Kenyan Truth Commission’s final report and as part of a broader two-year research project on Transitional Justice, Education, and Peacebuilding. She is the editor of Beyond Outreach: Transitional Justice, Culture and Society (New York: SSRC, 2014), and the co-editor of Transitional Justice and Education: Learning Peace (New York: SSRC, 2016) and Transitional Justice and Education: Engaging Young People in Peacebuilding and Reconciliation (Göttingen: V&R, 2018), as well as author of numerous reports, articles and books chapters on different issues relating to transitional justice and human rights. Born in Madrid, Dr. Ramírez Barat obtained her Ph.D. in 2007 at the University Carlos III of Madrid and also holds an M.A. in Philosophy from Columbia University (2002). She is currently based in São Paulo, Brazil.

Amanda Petraglia

Originally from Brazil, Amanda Petraglia holds a bachelor’s degree in International Relations from the Pontifical Catholic University of São Paulo. Prior to joining the Auschwitz Institute in March of 2018, she interned at the Secretary for Human Rights and Citizenship of São Paulo on the coordination of education in human rights, helping to develop projects to promote human rights education in the city of São Paulo. Ms. Petraglia has also worked as an assistant to the 5th and 6th editions of the annual Intensive Course in Human Rights Education: Memory and Citizenship for Educators, organized by the Memorial da Resistencia de São Paulo. During her undergraduate studies, she was selected to participate in a working group funded by the Brazilian government to discuss and research topics related to human rights, violence, and security domestic and international perspectives. Beyond this, she has been involved with several other civil society groups and initiatives for the promotion of human rights in Brazil.

Africa Programs

Ashad Sentongo, PhD

A citizen of Uganda, Dr. Ashad Sentongo joined the Auschwitz Institute in 2013. He earned a Ph.D. in Conflict Analysis and Resolution from George Mason University, M.A in Coexistence and Conflict from Brandeis University, and postgraduate Management Diploma from Damelin School of Management (South Africa). As a Drucie French Cumbie Fellow, his research work focused on power-sharing and ethnic conflict in Africa. He previously worked with the Genocide Prevention Program at GMU as Program Officer on Prevention of Genocide attached to the International Conference on the Great Lakes Region (ICGLR), and helped to establish the Regional and National Committees in Member States. Dr. Sentongo’s publications focus on managing ethnic conflicts, conflict transformation, and traditional approaches to conflict resolution in Africa.

Kevin Lillian Nakayenga

Kevin Lillian Nakayenga joined the Auschwitz Institute in 2019 as a Finance Officer for the organization’s Africa Programs. She holds a bachelor’s degree in Commerce from Makerere University and is a Certified Public Accountant registered with the Institute of Certified Public Accountants of Uganda (ICPAU). She has over 4 years of professional experience in financial management within government. Prior to joining AIPG, she worked in the Finance Department of the Kampala Capital City Authority (KCCA) on both government and donor-funded projects within Kampala city.

Abbas Sekyanzi Muluubya

Abbas Sekyanzi Muluubya joined the Auschwitz Institute’s Africa Programs team in August of 2019. He brings forth experience as both a researcher and development practitioner working on post-conflict rehabilitation and reconstruction, economic empowerment, and HIV/AIDS mitigation efforts in Uganda through the use of bilateral and multilateral donor assistance. Abbas holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from Makerere University in Kampala, Uganda and a Master of Arts in Sustainable International Development from Brandeis University in Waltham, Massachusetts USA. In 2014, he relocated back to Uganda after 12 years in North America and has a strong personal interest in strategic support for peace building, community partnerships, and development.

Laila Igitego

Laila Igitego joined the Auschwitz Institute in December 2016 as Programs Assistant to the Auschwitz Institute’s Africa Programs. She holds a Bachelor’s Degree and Diploma from Makerere University in management, procurement and administration. As Programs Assistant, she coordinates research, training, and other activities for AIPG’s Africa Programs. Ms. Igitego’s experience involves NGO work with communities in Uganda composed of those from Rwanda, DRC, and South Sudan who have fled war, genocide, and other mass atrocity conditions, helping to publicize their situation to the international community. Having worked with Police Services on research and publication as well as on other NGO community liaison projects, she has built a network of focal points working on similar issues in the region and is widely knowledgeable about social and political events that influence conflicts in the Great Lakes Region and in the Africa Union.

Mediterranean Basin Programs

Gabriela Ghindea, PhD

Dr. Gabriela Ghindea joined the Auschwitz Institute in January of 2019. She earned one B.A. in History and another in Political Science from Babeș-Bolyai University, in Cluj-Napoca, an M.A. in European Studies from the Rheinisch Westfälische Technische Hochschule Aachen,  and a Ph.D. in International Relations from Babeș-Bolyai University, with focus on the Cold War and the German Ostpolitik. Interested in memory cultures and civic education, Dr. Ghindea conducted research and pedagogical projects in Romania, Austria, and Germany. In parallel with her academic research, she worked for the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) from 2009–2015 and as a referent and project manager within the Teaching Liaison Department of the Goethe-Institut from 2015–2019, further developing her expertise in the fields of historical-political education and educational marketing during this period. Currently based in Bucharest, Dr. Ghindea coordinates all aspects of AIPG’s Mediterranean Basin Programs, including developing and expanding relationships with State and civil society actors at the regional and national levels, developing and guiding programs through the conceptual, partner identification, implementation, and evaluation phases, teaching in AIPG programs, in addition to regularly liaising with the Auschwitz Institute’s offices around the world.

Matei Demetrescu, PhD

Dr. Matei Demetrescu joined the Auschwitz Institute in 2020. Prior to this, he worked for the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) as a Program Officer and Acting Director of the DAAD Information Centre in Bucharest. After completing his B.A. in Political Science in Bucharest, Matei earned a master’s degree in Political Theory at the Institut d’Etudes Politiques de Paris (Sciences-Po). He obtained a Ph.D. in Political Science from the University of Bucharest in 2013 and was a postdoctoral researcher at the Romanian Academy from 2014 to 2015. Based in Bucharest, he supports the Director of AIPG’s Mediterranean Basin Programs in organizing the Global Raphael Lemkin Seminar for Genocide Prevention, as well as in developing and implementing other programming.

Polish Affairs

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Gosia Waligora

Gosia Waligora assists the Auschwitz Institute in planning and executing Raphael Lemkin Seminars in Poland. While Ms. Waligora officially joined our staff in 2014, she has worked with AIPG since 2009 as a consultant. Ms. Waligora also works in Oświęcim, Poland at the Centre for Dialogue and Prayer. In 2002, she received a B.A. from the College of Administration in Bielsko-Biala, Poland, with a focus on Public Administration and has also received an M.A. in Public Administration from Krakow University in 2011.