Women Network on the Responsibility to Protect, Peace and Security


The purpose of this British Academy award to create an international women network and organise an international conference was two-fold: first, this is meant to highlight the excellent work and impact of established academics and researchers, experienced diplomats, United Nations and European Union officials, seasoned policy-makers and practitioners, civil society and charity directors – all women – in the international peace, security and the Responsibility to Protect (R2P) fields; and second, to bring these experts together with female Early Career Researchers, so that the latter find inspiration in the former’s research and work and learn about ways to generate impact in order to make their research relevant to the real world and to decision-makers facing hard choices in implementing the atrocity prevention, protection, R2P, and WPS inter-related agendas.

The topics covered include:

  • The Global State of R2P, Peace and Security Research, from the Perspectives of Women Academics and Practitioners
  • Researching Women, Peace and Security
  • Assessing the Importance of an Atrocity Prevention Focus
  • Regional Contexts of Violence and Protection, including perspectives regarding Asia, Africa, Europe, Latin America
  • Assessing Protection Responsibilities in the European context
  • International Law, Human Rights, and the United Nations
  • Insights on Bridging the Gaps: From Academics to Policy-Makers, from Research to Impact

International Network and Conference Organiser: Dr Cristina Stefan, University of Leeds 

Dr Cristina Stefan is the Co-Director of the European Centre for the Responsibility to Protect (ECR2P), a Lecturer in International Relations at the University of Leeds, and a Senior Analyst with the Global Governance Institute in Brussels. Prior to joining Leeds in 2014, she held a variety of positions in USA and Canada, including teaching international relations, transitional justice and peace and conflict studies at Western University and the University of Toronto. Her research on intervention, peace and security, and R2P appeared in a variety of journals, including Security Dialogue, International Studies Perspectives, Global Governance, International Criminal Law Review, and European Journal of International Security, and in a monograph on Humanitarian Intervention and the Responsibility to Protect: Security and Human Rights.

Network and International Conference Participants

Professor Emerita Fiona Williams OBE
Fiona Williams is Emeritus Professor of Social Policy at the University of Leeds. Professor Williams has written widely on gender, race and ethnicity in social policy, which is informed by an attempt to understand how individuals, groups and social movements articulate their needs and how policy responds to this.


Gillian Kitley
Gillian Kitley is the Senior Officer in the United Nations Office for Genocide Prevention and the Responsibility to Protect, which works to advance national and international efforts to protect populations from genocide, war crimes, ethnic cleansing and crimes against humanity, as well as their incitement.


Professor and Judge Iulia Motoc
Since 2013, Iulia Motoc has been Judge at the European Court of Human Rights and Professor of European and International law at the University of Bucharest. Previously she served as Judge at the Constitutional Court of Romania (2010-2013).


Professor Jennifer Welsh
Jennifer Welsh is Professor and Chair in International Relations at the European University Institute, Florence and a Senior Research Fellow at Somerville College, University of Oxford. Professor Welsh is the former UN Special Advisor on the Responsibility to Protect.


Professor Jacqui True
Jacqui True is Professor of Politics & International Relations and an Australian Research Council Future Fellow at Monash University, Australia. Professor True’s current research is focused on understanding the political economy of post-conflict violence against women and the patterns of systemic sexual and gender-based violence in Asia Pacific conflict-affected countries.


Ambassador Blanka Jamnišek
Ambassador Blanka Jamnišek currently operates as the Slovenian National Focal Point for the Responsibility to Protect and as the Deputy Head of the Slovenian Delegation to the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA).


Dr Florence Gaub
Dr Florence Gaub is Deputy Director of the European Institute of Security Studies (EUISS), with a special responsibility as EUISS Research coordinator. Previously, Dr Gaub was Senior Analyst and Head of the Middle East and North Africa Programme at the EUISS. She works on the Arab world with a focus on conflict and security, with particular emphasis on Iraq, Lebanon and Libya.


Professor Karen Smith
Karen Smith is Professor of International Relations and director of the European Foreign Policy Unit at the London School of Economics and Political Science. Professor Smith’s main area of research is the international relations of the European Union and more recently has included trying to explain policy-making within European states regarding genocide.


Dr Nathalie Tocci
Dr Nathalie Tocci is Director of the Istituto Affari Internazionali, Honorary Professor at the University of Tübingen, and Special Adviser to EU HRVP Federica Mogherini, on behalf of whom she wrote the European Global Strategy and is now working on its implementation, notably in the field of security and defence.


Dr Sara Davies
Dr Sara Davies is a QUT Vice-Chancellor Research Fellow at the Australian Centre for Health Law Research and an Australian Research Council Future Fellow. One of Dr Davies’s current projects is on Preventing Mass Sexual and Gender-Based Violence in Asia Pacific, which seeks to identify the factors associated with heightened risk of sexual and gender based violence.


Naomi Kikoler
Naomi Kikoler is the deputy director of the Simon-Skjodt Center for the Prevention of Genocide. For six years, she developed and implemented the Global Centre for the Responsibility to Protect’s work on populations at risk and efforts to advance R2P globally, and led the Centre’s advocacy, including targeting the UN Security Council.


Ambassador Simona Miculescu
Ambassador Simona Miculescu serves as Representative of the UN Secretary-General and Head of the UN Office in Belgrade. Prior to this, Ambassador Miculescu was the Permanent Representative of Romania to the United Nations between 2008-2015.



Professor Rosa Freedman
Professor Rosa Freedman is Professor of Law, Conflict and Global Development at the University of Reading. Professor Freedman researches on the UN, and has several interests within that area, including human rights bodies, accountability for human rights abuses committed by UN actors, and the intersection between international law and international relations.


Dr Chiara de Franco
Dr Chiara de Franco is an associate professor and affiliate to the Center for War Studies in the University of Southern Denmark. Dr de Franco’s current research includes the role of narratives and practices in IR, organisational learning and norm diffusion, and mass atrocity prevention (R2P).


Savita Pawnday
Savita Pawnday is the Deputy Executive Director of the Global Centre for the R2P. The Global Centre is the world’s leading NGO established to promote the norm of Responsibility to Protect populations from genocide, ethnic cleansing, war crimes and crimes against humanity. Savita oversees all Global Centre programs and activities, including its work in Geneva.


Dr Katarina Månsson
Dr Katarina Månsson is the UN Coordination Officer in The Office of the UN Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process (UNSCO). Dr Månsson’s previous work for the UN includes roles such as Associate Political Affairs Officer in the Executive Office of the Secretary-General and Human Rights Officer at the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights.


Dr Kate Ferguson
Dr Kate Ferguson is Director of Research and Policy at Protection Approaches, London. Dr Ferguson leads the Research and Analysis programme at Protection Approaches, in addition to being responsible for its Political Engagement Strategy. Dr Ferguson’s research interests lie broadly within genocide studies and atrocity prevention.


Dr Linnéa Gelot
Dr Gelot is senior researcher at the Folke Bernadotte Academy, Sweden. Dr Gelot’s areas of interest include African politics, specifically in Somalia, Ethiopia and Sudan, the African Union, peace operations, conflict management in Africa and the protection of civilians.


Professor Roberta Guerrina
Roberta Guerrina is a Reader in Politics and the Head of the Department of Politics at the University of Surrey. She is a European policy analyst with a particular interest in European social policy, citizenship policy and gender equality.


Dr Vasilka Sancin
Dr Vasilka Sancin is associate professor and head of Department of International Law at the University of Ljubljana, Slovenia. Dr Sancin is director of the Institute for International Law and International Relations.



Dr Toni Haastrup
Dr Toni Haastrup is a Lecturer in International Security and a Deputy Director of the Global Europe Centre (GEC) at the University of Kent. Dr Haastrup’s current research interests concern the gender dynamics and processes of institutional transformation within regional security institutions.


Dr Polly Wilding
Dr Polly Wilding is a Lecturer in Gender and International Development at the University of Leeds. Dr Wilding’s main research interests are the gendered intersections between different forms of violence that affect urban communities, in particular the linkages between urban and private violence, in the context of Latin America.


Sarah Brockmeier
Sarah Brockmeier is a project manager at the Global Public Policy Institute in Berlin. Sarah works on German foreign policy as well as on mass atrocity prevention and UN peacekeeping. Sarah’s recent projects covered mass atrocities and support to local conflict management by UN peace operations.


Maria Gotsi
Maria Gotsi is a Policy Officer for Multilateral Relations at the European External Action Service, where she provides support to the EU’s focal point for the Responsibility to Protect, Christian Leffler. Previously she has worked on the Women, Peace and Security agenda and on the EU’s relations with Latin America. MG holds a degree in political science and a masters in international relations from the University of Panthéon-Sorbonne.


Dr Anastasia Shestarinina
Dr Anastasia Shesterinina is a Lecturer in Politics/International at the University of Sheffield. Dr Shesterinina’s interests lie at the intersection of international relations, comparative politics, and qualitative methodology. Her field-intensive research explores the internal dynamics of international intervention in contemporary armed conflict.


Dr Kaisa Hinkkainen
Dr Kaisa Hinkkainen is a University Academic Fellow in Security Studies at the University of Leeds. Her research interests include terrorism, conflict processes and resolution, particularly through using quantitative and geographical methods. Her previous research has focused on child soldiers and peacekeeping, economic sanctions and terrorism.


Laurel Hart
Laurel Hart is an Outreach & Campaigns Officer for UNA-UK. Laurel leads on UNA-UK’s outreach, working with UNA-UK’s members, supporters and local UN Associations to ensure that UNA-UK’s movement is equipped with the resources and support they need to campaign for UK action and a stronger UN.


Dr Eglantine Staunton
Dr Eglantine Staunton is a Research Fellow at the University of Leeds. Dr Staunton’s research interests lie broadly in human protection (in particular, humanitarian intervention and the responsibility to protect), France’s foreign policy, the EU’s approach to human protection, and International Relations theory.


Nadira Khudayberdieva
Nadira Khudayberdieva is Program Manager at the Global Centre for the Responsibility to Protect. Nadira’s current research focuses on populations at risk with a present emphasis on the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Myanmar, Nigeria and Pakistan.



Isabel Tamoj
Isabel Tamoj is a research associate at Genocide Alert. Previously she has worked as a youth fellow for the Montreal Institute for Genocide and Human Rights Studies (MIGS) and for the European Grassroots Antiracist Movement (EGAM) mostly in the fields of advocacy and civil society involvement to prevent mass atrocities and violent extremism. Isabel is based in Paris, where she is a Carlo-Schmid Fellow within the Education Sector at UNESCO.


Georgiana Epure
Georgiana Epure is an ESRC funded-scholar studying for an MA in Social Sciences and Research Methods at the University of Leeds in preparation for her doctoral research on the politics of international criminal justice. She holds an MPhil degree in International Relations from The University of Cambridge, Christ’s College, where her research was funded by the Gates Trust. She is the founder and editor-in-chief of the R2P Student Journal.