Staff Bios

Karin Landgren

(Sweden) joined Security Council Report in May 2018 as its Executive Director. Ms. Landgren served with the United Nations for over 35 years, and is the first woman to have headed three UN peace operations mandated by the Security Council. She was until 2015 a UN under-secretary-general and head of the UN Mission in Liberia (UNMIL), a peacekeeping operation, and led UNMIL’s response to Ebola through the height of the epidemic. Prior to this, she led two political missions, the UN Office in Burundi (BNUB) and the UN Mission in Nepal (UNMIN). She was UNICEF’s first chief of child protection, in 1998- 2008.  While with UNHCR from 1980 to 1998, Ms. Landgren served in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Eritrea, Singapore, the Philippines, India, and at its headquarters in Geneva. She is a founding member of the Nordic Women Mediators’ Network, and has taught at Columbia University and Central European University.

Joanna Weschler

(Poland) joined Security Council Report in 2005.  As a Deputy Executive Director, she works on all aspects of the organisation with a particular focus on editorial aspects of all print publications, SCR research and its capacity development activities. She is responsible for covering the Security Council’s approach to human rights as well as the working methods of the Security Council. 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. 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 Spanish and has a working knowledge of Portuguese.

Shamala Kandiah Thompson

(Singapore) has been with Security Council Report since 2006. As a Deputy Executive Director, she works on all aspects of the organisation with a particular responsibility for fundraising and donor relations, and management of the organisation’s finances and human resources. Her research portfolio includes Asian issues, as well as the thematic issue of children and armed conflict which she has covered for SCR since 2007. She has also  worked on a range of other topics over the years, including 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.

Paul Romita

(United States) joined Security Council Report in September 2011. As a Senior Policy Analyst he serves as editor of What’s in Blue and is responsible for covering protection of civilians, conflict prevention, climate change and emerging issues. He previously worked as a policy analyst in the State Fragility and Peacebuilding program at the International Peace Institute. Mr. Romita also has several years of experience in the communications and fundraising field. He holds a bachelor’s degree from Trinity College (Connecticut), a Master of International Affairs from Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs, and PhD in International Affairs from CUNY Graduate Center.

Victor Casanova Abos

(Spain) joined Security Council Report as a Policy Analyst in February 2013. He is responsible for covering Colombia, Libya, Syria and Mali, as well as peace operations. 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 and French and has a working knowledge of Arabic.

Lindiwe Knutson

(South Africa) joined Security Council Report in 2013. As a Policy Analyst she is responsible for covering South Sudan, Darfur and Sudan/South Sudan, as well as Bosnia and Herzegovina. She also covers human rights-related developments and the Human Rights Council, across all country-specific issues on the Security Council’s agenda. She has worked as an attorney in South Africa and as Program Coordinator at Columbia University’s Institute for the Study of Human Rights. She is an admitted attorney in South Africa and holds a Master of Laws (LLM) in international and human rights law from Columbia University Law School as well as Bachelor of Social Sciences and Bachelor of Laws (LLB) degrees from the University of Cape Town.

Vladimir Sesar

(Bosnia and Herzegovina) joined SCR in October 2013. As a Policy Analyst he is responsible for covering Afghanistan, Central Asia (UNRCCA), Côte d’Ivoire, Cyprus, Iraq, Kosovo, Lebanon and Ukraine, as well as non-proliferation. 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 has a working knowledge of Spanish.

Eran Sthoeger

(Israel) joined Security Council Report in September 2010. As a Policy Analyst he is responsible for covering Burundi, the CAR, the DRC, Somalia, UNOCA and LRA-affected areas, and a range of legal issues including counter-terrorism, ICC, the rule of law, and small arms. 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 a member of the New York bar and fluent in Hebrew.

Vanessa Tiede

(Germany) joined Security Council Report as a Policy Analyst in May 2018. Her portfolio includes Afghanistan; Central Asia (UNRCCA); Iraq; Libya; UNDOF, Women, Peace and Security; and Youth, Peace and Security. Prior to joining SCR, she worked as an Advisor at the Permanent Mission of Austria to the UN. Ms. Tiede holds a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science and Public Law and a Master of Arts in International Relations and International Law.

Benjamin Villanti

(United States) joined Security Council Report as a Policy Analyst in September 2013. He is responsible for covering Guinea-Bissau, Liberia, Yemen, UNOWAS, Sahel, the Lake Chad Basin, 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. He is fluent in Spanish.

Robbin VanNewkirk 

(United States) joined SCR in August of 2007. As Website Manager, she is responsible for the quality control, typesetting and distribution of SCR’s Monthly Forecasts and Research Reports. She supervises posting content onto SCR’s website, and analyses website traffic for the organisation. 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.

Audrey Waysse

(United States) joined Security Council Report in January 2016 as Operations Manager after providing consulting services since October 2012. She is responsible for the organisation’s finance and budget operations, office administration, human resources, and IT and site management. In her prior career in the affordable housing sector, she was involved in all facets of housing development from finance and construction to management. She holds a bachelor’s degree in Consumer Sciences from Colorado State University and a master’s in Management and Urban Policy from The New School.

Maritza Lopez

(United States) joined Security Council Report in November of 2010 as the office Administrative Assistant. Prior to SCR, Ms. Lopez 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. She speaks Spanish fluently.

Joëlle Santos

(United States/Philippines) joined Security Council Report in September 2018. As a Research Assistant, she is responsible for fact-checking SCR’s Monthly ForecastsResearch Reports and What’s in Blue articles. As both a researcher and a visualisation designer, her portfolio focuses on the Women, Peace and Security agenda. Prior to SCR, she completed an internship with UN Women in their Peace and Security section. She also served as a consultant for Watchlist on Children and Armed Conflict. Ms. Santos holds a Master of Arts in international affairs from The New School, where she concentrated on gender, conflict and security. She holds a Bachelor of Science in political science and a minor in French and Francophone studies from Santa Clara University. She has a working knowledge of French.