Board Members

Our executive committee is made of the following people who regularly keep in touch with administration officials, class reps, and the students overall. It consists of permanent members as mandated by the GISA constitution, and ad-hoc members composed of the presidents of the GISA Specialized Committees that have been formally recognized by the General Assembly.  This is your GISA Family! 🙂

Alexa-Rae Barnes

Alexa-Rae Barnes President

Since, May 2020

Alexa-Rae 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).

E-Mail: gisa.president@graduateinstitute.ch
Office Hours: Tuesday and Thursday: 13h-15h

Massimiliano Massini

Massimiliano Massini Vice President for Masters

Since, May 2020

Massimiliano (he/him-il) (Max or Massi if it’s easier to pronounce), was born in Rome and holds a Bachelor’s degree in Development and International Cooperation from the University of Bologna. He is currently enrolled in the interdisciplinary Master’s in Development Studies at the Graduate Institute, with a specialisation in Power, Conflict and Development. His main academic interests concern the intersection between violence and social marginalisation and the role played by state institutions in the emergence of conflict. When he is not reading or jabbering about this, he loves climbing and cooking. Reach out to him in the Cité Universitaire, the library or around Maison de la Paix, in Picciotto Common Room during GISA office hours or by email at gisa.vp.master@graduateinstitute.ch, or massimiliano.masini@graduateinstitute.ch.

E-Mail: gisa.vp.master@graduateinstitute.ch
Office Hours: Upon request
Bram Barnes

Bram Barnes VP for PhD

Since October, 2019

Bram (he/him-il) grew up in the United States, and is here with his wife and daughter. He graduated from Seattle Pacific University with a Double BA in history and sociology, and continued on to receive his MA in Global and International History from Aarhus University in Denmark. Currently in his second year, Bram is pursuing his PhD in International History with a focus on international education development programs. His research and activism have always focused on the practices of liberation and democracy in education, from the learning content to the institutions.

E-mail: gisa.vp.phd@graduateinstitute.ch
Office Hours: upon request

Mukta Dhere

Mukta Dhere Communications Director

Since, October 2019

Mukta (she/her- elle) is a Marketing and Communications graduate, a French trainer and translator and an ex language assistant. She loves to converse, meet new people, travel and write poetry. With her previous experiences in social media management, editorial for magazines, soft-skills training and cross-cultural communication, this role stays at the heart of what she loves to do. She is currently a first-year candidate of Masters of International Affairs, interested in Social Innovation, Design Thinking and Communication for Advocacy.

E-mail: gisa@graduateinstitute.ch
Office Hours: Upon Request

Luise Garleff

Luise Garleff Treasurer

Since, May 2020

Luise (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.

E-mail: gisa.treasurer@graduateinstitute.ch
Office Hours: Upon Request

Romina Pezzot

Romina Pezzot Events Coordinator

Since, May 2020

Romina (she/her-elle) was born in Patagonia Region in Argentina and obtained her law degree from the University in Buenos Aires’ School of Law. She is specialized in International Public Law, International Criminal Law and International Humanitarian Law. Before starting her studies at the Graduate Institute, she worked in education and justice sector in Argentina. While she was an IHEID Master Student in International Law (2018-2020) she was class rep of her cohort (second year), she co-coordinated the Salsa Fever Initiative, and was member of LANI. She has been admitted as PhD Student in International Law (2020-2024). She loves to converse and spend time with her family and friends; to help and connect people; to dance tango and salsa, to travel, and to discover tea shops. As GISA Events Coordinator she plans, coordinates, and organizes the social GISA events held each semester together with the Initiatives and Committees; and she assists in planning additional academic events.

E-mail: gisa.events@graduateinstitute.ch
Office Hours: Upon request

Antonio Garcia

Antonio Garcia Administrative Coordinator

Since October, 2019

Antonio (he/hi-il) is originally from Mexico and holds a BA in International Relations from the University of Monterrey. He is now pursuing his Master in International Law at The Graduate Institute, Geneva. After interning in the private sector and being involved in several projects with vulnerable communities, he is mostly interested in the social impact of International Law at the domestic level, as well as in Mexican foreign policy. At GISA, he is charge of the administrative aspect, such as the archives and institutional memory, as well as of transparency from the association to the Student Community.

E-mail: gisa.admin@graduateinstitute.ch
Office Hours: upon request

Specialised Committees 

Zaninka Mariane Ntagungira

Zaninka Mariane Ntagungira President, Environmental Committee

Since December, 2019

Zaninka (she/her-elle) was born and raised in Kigali, Rwanda and later lived in Togo and Guinée. She holds a Bachelor’s degree in Political Science from the University of Tampa in Florida. Currently, she is pursuing a Master’s Degree in Development Studies, in the Environment, Resources and Sustainability track. Her research interests include environmental policy in Africa, including the plastics economy and renewable energy on the continent. Her hobbies include any fun in the sun, cooking and baking, and discovering coffee shops.

E-mail: gisa.ec@graduateinstitute.ch
Office Hours: upon request

Elizabeth Nakielny

Elizabeth Nakielny President, Welfare Committee

Since, November 2019

Elizabeth (she/her-elle) graduated from St. Joseph’s College of Arts and Sciences and comes from a professional background in sport and communications. Currently pursuing a Master’s degree in International Affairs, her research interests lie in gender, education, training, and sport.

Email: gisa.welfare@graduateinstitute.ch
Office hours: On request

Shubhangi Priya

Shubhangi Priya President, Welfare Committee

Since, May 2020

Shubhangi (she/her-elle) is a second-year MDEV student with a wealth of previous work experience in India. In his last job at an education-based non-profit, Karun mentored numerous students in making successful career choices.

E-mail: gisa.pdc@graduateinstitute.ch
Office Hours: upon request

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