Staff Bios

Joanna Weschler

(Poland) joined Security Council Report in 2005 as Director of Research and since 2010 has also served as Deputy Executive Director. From 1994 until 2005 Ms. Weschler was the UN Representative for Human Rights Watch, and before that, a researcher for Human Rights Watch, a capacity in which she conducted human rights investigations in countries on five continents and wrote numerous reports and articles, published in newspapers and journals in different countries. A native of Poland, she started her professional career in Solidarity Union press agency, covering meetings between Union President Lech Walesa and the communist government, and the work of the executive leadership of the union. Ms. Weschler holds a master’s degree in Spanish and Latin American Studies from the University of Warsaw and a master’s in journalism from Columbia University’s Graduate School of Journalism. In addition to Polish, she is fluent in English and Spanish and has a working knowledge of Portuguese.

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Amanda Roberts

(United States) joined Security Council Report in August 2005.  As a Senior Research Analyst and Coordinating Editor, she works on all aspects of the organisation with a particular responsibility for planning, production and quality control of the organisation’s publications and website. Her research portfolio includes women, peace and security in addition to Middle Eastern issues, including Iraq, Syria and UNDOF (Golan Heights). Her management duties include serving as one of the focal points in the organisation for its Board of Directors, International Advisory Group and donors. Before joining Security Council Report, Ms. Roberts worked for nine years in non-profit management positions at Columbia University and the World Policy Institute at the New School University. Previously, she worked in the Occupied Palestinian Territories as an educator and a human rights advocate. Ms. Roberts holds a BA from Hampshire College and a Master of International Affairs from Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs with a concentration in human rights and Middle Eastern history. She also received an Advanced Certificate from the Middle East Institute at Columbia University. She speaks English and has a strong working knowledge of Arabic.

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Shamala Kandiah Thompson

(Singapore) has been with Security Council Report since 2006. As a Senior Research Analyst and Editor of What’s in Blue she is responsible for supervising the production of high-quality and timely material for the on-line service. She has also covered the thematic issue of  children and armed conflict for SCR since 2007 and has worked on Asian and European issues as well as peacekeeping,  peacebuilding and conflict prevention related topics. Ms. Kandiah Thompson has over 25 years of experience in media and public policy making. She worked with the Singapore Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the ASEAN Secretariat in Jakarta covering ASEAN and UN issues. She has also worked as a journalist: in television in Singapore, as a newspaper foreign correspondent in New York, and as a communications trainer. Ms. Kandiah Thompson holds a Bachelor of Social Sciences and Bachelor of Arts degrees from the National University of Singapore and a Master of International Affairs from Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs. A native of Singapore, she speaks English, Malay and Indonesian.

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Astrid Forberg Ryan

(Norway) joined Security Council Report in October of 2008. As a Senior Research Analyst and Development Officer she is responsible for thematic issues such as disarmament and non-proliferation, as well as country-specific issues including DPRK, Haiti and Iran. She also serves as the main point of contact for the organisation’s donors and International Advisory Group. Before joining Security Council Report she worked for eleven years in the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs as Vice Consul for the Norwegian Consulate in San Francisco and more recently as First Secretary for the Mission of Norway to the United Nations in New York. Ms. Ryan holds a Master of Science Degree in Business from the Norwegian School of Economics and Business Administration and a Diplôme International d’Administration Publique from Ecole Nationale d’Administration in Paris and Strasbourg, France. In addition to her native Norwegian, she is fluent in English and French and has working knowledge of Spanish.

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Victor Casanova Abos

(Spain) joined Security Council Report as a Research Analyst in February 2013. He is responsible for covering Libya and Mali. Among the thematic issues in his portfolio are peacekeeping, conflict prevention and mediation, counter-terrorism and Security Council elections. He previously worked as a researcher for the Bureau for Crisis Prevention and Recovery at UNDP providing support to the Inter-Agency Task Force on Syria. Mr. Casanova holds a bachelor’s degree in political science from the Complutense University of Madrid and earned a dual master’s in international affairs from Sciences Po and Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs with specialisations in conflict resolution, international security and the Middle East. He is fluent in Spanish, English, French and has a working knowledge of Arabic.

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Charles Cater

(United States) joined Security Council Report as a Research Analyst in February 2013. He is responsible for covering Côte d’Ivoire, Liberia and Somalia, as well as the thematic issues of sanctions and piracy. Previously, he has worked for the International Development Research Centre, International Peace Institute, the International Rescue Committee, Zimbabwe Human Rights Association and US Senator Patty Murray (D-WA). Recent publications include a chapter on anti-corruption law and the extractive industries in Harman and Williams (eds.) Governing the World?: Cases in Global Governance (Routledge, 2013) and a chapter on transparency-based policies responding to natural resource-related conflict and corruption in Currie-Alder, Kanbur, Malone and Medhora (eds.) International Development: Ideas, Experience, and Prospects (Oxford University Press, 2014). He holds a Master of International Affairs from Columbia University and a Doctor of Philosophy in International Relations from the University of Oxford.

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Dahlia Morched

(Canada) joined Security Council Report in May 2010. As Research Analyst and Communications Coordinator she contributes to writing and editing What’s in Blue stories and providing support to What’s in Blue, including compiling news reports, undertaking fact-checking, proof-reading and posting content to the SCR websites. Her research portfolio includes Israel/Palestine, Lebanon and Western Sahara. She also manages Security Council Report’s social media activities and conducts readership analysis for the organisation. She holds a Master of International Affairs from Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs, where she concentrated on human rights and humanitarian affairs and a Bachelor of Arts dual-degree in Political Science and International Development Studies from the University of Toronto. She is fluent in English, speaks Arabic and has a working knowledge of Spanish and French.

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Paul Romita

(United States) joined Security Council Report as a Research Analyst in September 2011. He is Deputy Editor of What’s in Blue and is responsible for covering Afghanistan, Sudan, South Sudan and Darfur, as well as emerging threats. He previously worked as a policy analyst in the State Fragility and Peacebuilding program at the International Peace Institute. Before that, he had worked for a year at SCR as an intern and then as a consultant, focusing on production and quality control aspects of the organisation’s  publications. Mr. Romita also has several years of experience in the communications and fundraising field. He holds a bachelor’s degree from Trinity College (Connecticut), and Master of International Affairs from Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs and is currently pursuing a Ph.D. at CUNY’s Graduate Center. In addition to fluency in his native English, he has a working knowledge of Spanish.

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Eran Sthoeger

(Israel) joined Security Council Report in September 2010 and is responsible for covering the working methods of the Security Council as well as the Great Lakes region, the CAR, the DRC, LRA-affected areas, Burundi and a range of legal issues including ICC, ICTY/ICTR and the rule of law. Previously, he was a legal clerk at the Supreme Court of Israel and a policy consultant for the Israel Ministry of Foreign Affairs. He has also been a member of legal teams in several inter-state disputes. Mr. Sthoeger holds a Bachelor of Law and a Bachelor of Arts in history and Jewish history from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and a Master of Law in International Legal Studies from New York University. Mr. Sthoeger is fluent in English and Hebrew.

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Benjamin Villanti

(United States) joined Security Council Report as a Research Analyst in September 2013. He is responsible for covering Bosnia and Herzegovina, Guinea-Bissau, UNOWA, Yemen and peacebuilding. Prior to joining SCR, Mr. Villanti was a staff reporter, covering the UN for the Japanese newspaper, The Asahi Shimbun. He has also worked as an adviser at the Japanese Mission to the UN and as a public information assistant at the UN. He holds a bachelor’s degree in International Affairs from George Washington University and a Master in Public Administration from Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs. In addition to his native English, he is fluent in Spanish.

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Robbin VanNewkirk 

(United States) joined Security Council Report in August of 2007. As Publications Coordinator she is responsible for the quality control, copy-editing, typesetting and layout, and distribution of SCR’s Monthly Forecasts, Special Research Reports and Cross-Cutting Reports. She also manages posting content onto SCR’s website and contributes to the quality control of What’s in Blue. Prior to joining SCR, Ms. VanNewkirk worked as a writing tutor and a graduate research assistant. She holds a BA in Anthropology and Interdisciplinary Studies from Appalachian State University in North Carolina and an MA in Women’s Studies from Georgia State University.

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Vladimir Sesar

(Bosnia and Herzegovina) joined SCR as a Research Associate in October 2013. He is responsible for covering Cyprus, Kosovo and Ukraine, as well as the EU and OSCE. He is also responsible for fact-checking the Monthly Forecast and Special Research Reports. Prior to joining SCR Mr. Sesar served as a Policy Advisor at the Permanent Mission of Bosnia and Herzegovina to the UN. Mr. Sesar holds a Master of International Affairs from Pennsylvania State University and a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from Drake University. In addition to his Bosnian/Serbo Croatian native language proficiency, he speaks English and has working knowledge of Spanish.

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Lindiwe Knutson

(South Africa and the United States) joined Security Council Report as a Research Assistant in August 2014. She is responsible for covering the ICTY/ICTR and the Informal Working Group on International Tribunals, as well as for tracking human rights-related developments relevant to the work of the Security Council—particularly the work of the Human Rights Council. She is also responsible for contributing toward compiling and editing stories for the What’s in Blue daily news feed, as well as fact-checking and assisting with quality control of What’s in Blue and SCR publications. Ms. Knutson holds a Master of Laws degree from Columbia University Law School, where she concentrated on human rights and international law and development, as well as Bachelor of Laws and Bachelor of Social Sciences degrees from the University of Cape Town, South Africa. She is an admitted attorney of the High Court of South Africa and practiced law in Johannesburg. She is fluent in English and Afrikaans.

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Maritza Tenerelli

(United States) joined Security Council Report in November of 2010 as the office Administrative Assistant. (She had previously worked with the organisation when it was first created in 2005 until 2006 as a temporary office assistant). Prior to SCR, she had worked in the private sector as an Assistant for several different organisations including Saks Fifth Avenue, Bivona & Cohen Law Firm, and Touro College’s Graduate Program in Oriental Medicine in New York City.  She attended Staten Island University. In addition to her native English, she speaks Spanish fluently.

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Stevenson Swanson

(United States) joined Security Council Report as editorial consultant in 2010. Previously, he was a longtime national correspondent in the Chicago Tribune’s New York bureau, where his responsibilities included covering the United Nations, the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks and subsequent counterterrorism efforts in the United States and abroad. He holds a bachelor’s degree in journalism from the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University and a master’s degree from Columbia University’s Graduate School of Journalism. In addition to his native English, he is proficient in German.

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