Susanne E. Jalbert, PhD
Director, Syria, Iraq, Yemen, and Afghanistan Regional Business Unit at Chemonics International
READ THE POLICY BRIEF: Gender & Politics: Maintaining Women's Meaningful Participation in Afghanistan
Susanne E. Jalbert, PhD is a gender equity advocate, economic development activist, and a women’s rights political strategist with more than 25 years of experience. She currently serves as a director in Chemonics’ Syria, Iraq, Yemen, and Afghanistan region, and previously served as chief of party on the USAID Promote: Women in Government (WIG) project. As a veteran global activist, Dr. Jalbert has employed economic development as an essential tool towards a more equitable and safe life. Living at the nexus of conflict and development by working with USAID, she has served as a diplomat in Afghanistan, Herat Consulate, business services director in Iraq, and senior advisor in developing, transitioning, and conflicting economies. Dr. Jalbert also determines, directs, and designs strategic policy models at the national, regional, and international level for economic escalation for the equitable inclusion of women into growing economies. To date, she has assisted on more than 90 assignments in 50 countries across four continents. Dr. Jalbert holds a master’s and Ph.D. in education and human resources from Colorado State University and a B.A. in management from St. Mary’s College in Moraga, California.
David Cortright is the director of the Global Policy Initiative, special advisor for policy studies, and professor emeritus of the practice at the Keough School of Global Affairs at the University of Notre Dame. He also is chair of the Board of the Fourth Freedom Forum. Previously, Cortright was the director of policy studies at the Kroc Institute for International Peace Studies and director of the institute’s Peace Accords Matrix project, the largest existing collection of implementation data on intrastate peace agreements.
Aimal Hakim is a policy and research professional with 16 years of work experience in a variety of program management, policy and research, human resource, public administrative reforms and change management roles for both government and international agencies. He previously served as a Government Liaison and Policy & Research Team Lead on USAID’s Women in Government program in Afghanistan. Mr. Hakim holds a master’s in public administration from Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy and another master’s in business administration from the American University of Afghanistan.
Robert Lord-Biggers is an international development practitioner who works largely in post-conflict and transitional states spanning across Africa, the Middle East, and Asia. His work focuses on conflict prevention and resolution, transitional justice, and gender inclusion. Mr. Lord-Biggers holds a bachelor’s in international relations from Hendrix College and a master’s in international peace and conflict resolution from the American University’s School of International Service.
Publications, Presentations and Other Work
Project Dates: April 2015 - June 2020
Historically, women have been extremely underrepresented in the Afghan government, and as a result, they have had limited ability to shape policies and programs that directly affect them. Afghan women face a number of obstacles to working in the government, including widely held beliefs that women should stay at home and out of public workspaces. To counter these views, the USAID Promote: Women in Government project focused on increasing women’s participation in decision-making roles in Afghanistan’s government. One-year internship programs for female high school and university graduates helped women obtain government jobs. The project also worked with government ministries to assess human resource policies and recommend changes that provided a better working environment for women. Additionally, the project increased local community support for women working in government through innovative nationwide communications campaigns.
Primary Reports connected to this effort that informed the evidence base for the policy brief include:
- USAID PROMOTE: Women in Government Policy Reform Report
- Workplace Obstacles for Women in Government in Afghanistan Workplace Obstacles: Analysis and Recommendations (2016) – Part 1
- Workplace Obstacles for Women in Government in Afghanistan: Analysis and Recommendations – Part 2
Other Relevant Sources:
- Jamille Bigio and Rachel Vogelstein, "How Women’s Participation in Conflict Prevention and Resolution Advances U.S. Interests," Discussion Paper, New York: Council on Foreign Relations, 2016
- Desiree Nilsson, "Anchoring the Peace: Civil Society Actors in Peace Accords and Durable Peace," International Interactions 38, No. 2, (April 2012)
- Mary Caprioli and Mark A. Boyer, “Gender, Violence, and International Crisis,” The Journal of Conflict Resolution 45 no. 4 (August 2001)
- Regan, Patrick M., and Aida Paskeviciute, “Women’s Access to Politics and Peaceful States,” Journal of Peace Research 40 no. 3 (2003
- Jana Krause, Werner Krause, Piia Branfors, "Women’s Participation in Peace Negotiations and the Durability of Peace," International Interactions 24, No. 6 (2018)