Meet the Team


Picture of Mary Ellsberg

Mary Ellsberg, PhD

Program Director

Dr. Mary Ellsberg is the Executive Director and Founding Director of the Global Women's Institute at the George Washington University.  Dr. Ellsberg has more than 30 years of experience in international research and programs on gender and development. Before joining the university in August 2012, Dr. Ellsberg served as Vice President for Research and Programs at the International Center for Research on Women. Dr. Ellsberg’s deep connection to global gender issues stems not only from her academic work, but also from living in Nicaragua for nearly 20 years, leading public health and women’s rights advocacy. She was a member of the core research team of the World Health Organization’s Multi-Country Study on Domestic Violence and Women’s Heath, and she has authored more than 40 books and articles on violence against women and girls. Dr. Ellsberg earned a doctorate in epidemiology and public health from Umea University in Sweden and a bachelor's degree in Latin American studies from Yale University.



Chelsea Ullman

Chelsea Ullman, PhD

Program Manager

Dr. Chelsea Ullman is a Research Scientist at the Global Women’s Institute (GWI). She joined GWI at its founding while serving as a Presidential Fellow at the George Washington University (a selective program that offers high-achieving students the opportunity for professional development while completing a Masters degree).

Chelsea has contributed to the strategic growth of GWI by developing key policy initiatives, communications & outreach programs, and participating in research on violence against women and girls globally. Chelsea holds a PhD in Public Policy and Public Administration, focused in Gender and Social Policy, from the George Washington University. Her doctoral work explored theories of justice for survivors of campus sexual assault in the United States, with a goal of improved policymaking on the issue. Chelsea is committed to amplifying the voices of survivors of violence in research and policy.



Photo of Amal Hassan

Amal Hassan

Research Assistant

Amal Hassan is a Research Assistant at the Global Women’s Institute (GWI), primarily
supporting the Building GBV Evidence Program and the Empowered Aid Project. Before
transitioning to a full-time Research Assistant, Amal supported the Empowered Aid Project as an
Undergraduate Research Intern. She provides specialized research support and leads in the
management of both the Empowered Aid and Building GBV Evidence Capacity Building

Amal’s unique experiences as a first-generation Somali American have guided her interests in
the intersection between health equity, social justice, maternal & child health, and gender-based
violence (GBV). She hopes to work in GBV research and to be able to address the maternal &
child health gap in African immigrant communities utilizing culturally sensitive and trauma-
informed approaches in her post-graduate career.

Amal holds a Bachelor of Science in Public Health from the George Washington University. She
is currently pursuing a Master in Public Health (MPH) concentrating in Maternal & Child Health
at the Milken Institute of Public Health at the George Washington University.


Photo of Andrea Koris

Andrea Koris

Senior Research Associate

Andrea Koris is a Senior Research Associate with the Global Women's Institute at George Washington University. As a practitioner, she brings over a decade of experience supporting community-based and transnational initiatives responding to gender-based violence and supporting the health and bodily integrity of women and girls across the U.S. border-Mexico border, Central America and East Africa.  As a mixed methods researcher she is specialized in trauma-informed, participatory qualitative methods and facilitating participatory data analysis. She is a published author on various topics including novel methods of gender-based violence prevention; adolescent sexual and reproductive health; and decolonizing aid and donor governance.

Andrea holds a MSc in Global Health from Duke University. In addition to focusing on GBV research she works as a full spectrum doula, and is interested in the impacts of climate change on preventing sexual exploitation and abuse in humanitarian aid, on GBV risk mitigation and response, and on maternal, sexual, and reproductive health access writ large. 


Marianne Makar

Marianne Makar

Program Administrator

Marianne Makar is the Operations Manager of the Global Women’s Institute at the George Washington University.  She brings to GWI extensive grants, finance and project management experience from more than ten years at The Brookings Institution.

She has an educational background in political science and peace studies, including a master’s degrees from Syracuse University and the University of Bradford.