The faculty/staff team shown on this page is a sample of the individuals who may lead your specific program. Faculty and coordinators are subject to change to accommodate each program’s unique schedule and locations.
Kathryn Ledebur, Interim Program Director
Kathryn Ledebur studied Andean history at FLACSO in Quito, Ecuador, and is a graduate of Oberlin College. She has collaborated with a series of human rights and drug policy organizations in the United States and Latin America. Since 1997, she has worked at the Andean Information Network (AIN), which promotes human rights and socioeconomic justice in Bolivia and more humane and effective illicit drug control policies. AIN provides information and analysis to NGO colleagues, the media, and international policymakers on developments in Bolivia and the impact of the US government and European policies. Working closely with civil society organizations in Latin America and the United States, AIN promotes policy dialogue and the development of pragmatic alternatives that address the underlying economic, social, political, and cultural needs of Bolivia. Kathryn lives in Cochabamba, Bolivia, and has been AIN’s director since 1999. She is the author of numerous articles as well as the chapter on Bolivia in the book Drugs and Democracy in Latin America (2003).
Chris Westcott, MA, Program Manager
Chris is a social justice educator, and changemaker based in Brooklyn, New York. Chris’s professional background combines experience working with social change–oriented study abroad programs, along with on-the-ground experience with grassroots US-based and international NGOs. Before becoming program manager of the Human Rights and Climate Change programs, Chris was a traveling faculty member, then country coordinator with the Cities program. Additionally, Chris was a program facilitator for two years on CIEE Thailand’s study abroad program focusing on globalization and development. Through his work experience with NGOs, Chris has coordinated NYC-based campaigns for worker’s rights and the right to housing and international campaigns for trade justice and sustainable agriculture. For three years, Chris worked in San Francisco as a founding staff member of ENGAGE, a network that organizes returned study abroad students to effect local and global change. Chris has a BA in environmental studies from Bates College, and an MA in international educational development from Columbia University. While at Columbia, Chris was a teaching assistant for courses on social identity, social change, and human rights education.
Jawad Moustakbal, Country Coordinator, Morocco
Jawad Moustakbal graduated in 2000 with a degree in civil engineering from the EHTP engineering school in Casablanca. He worked as project manager in several companies including OCP, the Moroccan phosphates state company. He is working as consultant in construction management services (CMS). He worked also as a temporary professor in Bouchaib Doukali University. Jawad is also an active member of ATTAC/CADTM Morocco and ACME: Moroccan association for an international water agreement.
Michael Shanks, Country Coordinator, Bolivia
Michael Shanks first came to Bolivia in 1996 as an undergraduate student in SIT’s study abroad program. The experience sparked a passion and love of Bolivian culture and history that continues to this day. After completing the semester, Michael stayed in Bolivia to work as a research assistant with the Andean Information Network (AIN) and later produced a documentary video with AIN on human rights, coca production, and alternative development. Since 2013 Michael has lived and worked in Cochabamba, Bolivia: raising a family, building a house, and fundraising for a local equine therapy program that serves at-risk youth.
Michael’s professional experience also includes many years employed as a field examiner with the National Labor Relations Board. During that time he investigated unfair labor practices, administered formal hearings on union representation issues, and held elections on the question of union representation in the workplace.
Michael received his bachelor’s degree in international relations at San Francisco State University and his master’s degree in Latin American studies at U.C. Berkeley. His master’s thesis focused on the emergence of indigenous political parties, the reaction of traditional elites, and how concepts of “race” influence society, politics, and governance. While at Berkeley, Michael was a teaching assistant for courses on international political economy and economic history.
Phuong Hoang, Country Coordinator, Vietnam
Phuong earned a master’s degree in sustainable development from SIT Graduate Institute in 2010 and a bachelor of science in international relations from Edgewood College, Madison, Wisconsin, in 2007. After ten years studying and living in the US, Phuong moved back to Vietnam in late 2010 and worked for UN-REDD Programme Vietnam as a communication and network officer, and now she is a coordinator for Participatory Governance Assessment for REDD+ with UNDP Vietnam.
Ayesha Siddiqi, Traveling Faculty
Ayesha Siddiqi is an idealist. It is what brought her to the world of international development and climate change. After completing an MA at the Institute of Development Studies (IDS) at the University of Sussex, she worked for a while as a climate change consultant for a large energy and environment consulting company. As part of her job she provided technical assistance to the government of Tajikistan on a large donor-funded project on climate resilience and also provided policy advice to governments in Europe. She promptly returned to academia to pursue a PhD in war studies and geography at King’s College London. Ayesha’s research examines the impact of climatic disasters on local politics in vulnerable communities and is based on months of anthropological fieldwork conducted in one region of southern Pakistan that was affected by large scale flooding in 2010 and 2011. Spending time with regular people facing extraordinary challenges in the face of environmental and political change renewed her belief that attempting to understand, study, and make sense of dynamic social and political processes as academics is a noble intellectual and academic pursuit. Her idealism restored, she has published her research on climate change and development issues in leading journals and publications and will soon be defending her PhD thesis on this subject as well. Ayesha particularly enjoys teaching and takes pride in her reputation for challenging students to think outside the box. Besides idealism, she has also successfully taught courses in theories of war studies and postcolonial and development theory.
Niels Hahn, Traveling Faculty
Before joining the Climate Change program, Dr. Niels Hahn convened and taught courses on the political economy of war, conflict, and development at the University of London. His research interests include issues such as political economy of industrial development, labor, energy, environment and climate change, neoliberalism, international relations, power, knowledge, propaganda, war, and conflict. His research and teaching is partly based on his professional experience with Médecins Sans Frontières. Niels has worked in countries such as Afghanistan, China, Ethiopia/Ogaden, Liberia, Tanzania, Somalia, and Sudan/Darfur.
Mae Quilty, Trustees Fellow, Fall
Mae Quilty is a native of Boston, MA, with a passion for the environment. She graduated from Saint Michael's College in 2011 with a degree in political science and a minor in English. During her junior year, Mae had the opportunity to study abroad in South Africa where she focused on HIV/AIDS prevention and deepened her passion for community engagement. After college, Mae worked in Grand Teton National Park for two summers before returning home to Massachusetts to complete a year of service with AmeriCorps at United Teen Equality Center. Most recently, Mae began the pursuit of her master’s degree in sustainable development at SIT Graduate Institute in Brattleboro, Vermont. During her first year, Mae helped launch a divestment campaign on campus and focused her coursework on environmental policy both in the United States and abroad. She also did an independent study in Costa Rica where she completed a permaculture design course on an off-the-grid farm on the Caribbean Coast. She is passionate about alternative food systems and solutions to the climate crisis and looks forward to an exciting fall with IHP.
Caitlyn Clark, Trustees Fellow, Spring
Caitlyn Clark is pursuing her degree in sustainable development at SIT Graduate Institute in Brattleboro, VT. She received her BA in cultural anthropology from Bryn Mawr College in 2007 and spent the following summer studying Maya archaeology in Mexico. Caitlyn then moved to Philadelphia where she served under Americorps for two years, working in public high schools. She also rehabbed an abandoned elementary school garden, taught summer school, coached soccer, and frequented many farmer’s markets. But it was a humanitarian trip to Cuba in 2006 that fostered Caitlyn’s passion for traveling, more specifically, traveling with the purpose of engaging with people in different countries, while studying the cultural, socioeconomic, and political factors within a specific context. Before moving to Vermont, she returned to Cuba and then backpacked through Latin America for eight months, setting up volunteer gigs along the way. She started in Peru, where she served as the coordinator for undergraduate students in an archaeological field school, and ended in Guatemala, at a health and nutrition nonprofit serving youth in the Tz’utujil community. Caitlyn’s studies at SIT have merged her interests in Latin America, sustainable food systems, climate change, and community development.