DEI&B Council

The mission of the Jackson DEI&B Council is to improve diversity, equity, inclusion and global understanding for the entire Jackson community. The council is made up of students, staff, faculty and alumni.

Each year, the council will be focused on addressing at least one of the following DEI&B aspirations:

  • Increasing the demographic diversity of the Jackson community and visitors
  • Creating an inclusive student, faculty, staff and alumni culture and developing programs to deepen the sense of belonging felt by all members of the community
  • Fostering opportunities to amplify the experiences of regions of the world, with a particular focus on regions of the world underrepresented in the curriculum and co-curricular experiences
Current Members

Global Affairs Majors
Victoria Kipngetich ’23
Bharathi Subbiah ’23

Jackson Graduate Students
Nia Kamau MPP ’24
Praachi Khera MPP ’24

Jackson Alumni
Michele Dash-Pauls MA ’96
Anirudh (Ani) Krishnan MA ’21

Faculty and Staff
Professor Catherine Panter-Brick
Justin Thomas (chair)
Sara Wilhelm (co-chair)

Member Bios

Michele Dash-Pauls

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Deputy Director

My name is Michele Dash-Pauls and I work on national security issues for the federal government. I have spent several years overseas, serving at U.S. embassies in Europe and Asia.  Prior to my federal service, I worked for the Ford Foundation as a program assistant in the Human Rights & International Security Division in Ford’s New York and Moscow offices. I have a B.A. in Soviet Studies/Russian History from Cornell University and master’s degrees in Environmental Management and International Relations from Yale University.  My long-lasting interest in international affairs stems from my undergraduate study abroad experience in Russia and international summer internships I undertook while at Yale, including an internship at the United Nations in Geneva.

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Victoria Kipngetich

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Global Affairs Major

My name is Victoria Kipngetich, and I’m a senior majoring in Global Affairs and African Studies. I am passionate about African representation in international relations and am a native Swahili and French speaker. Having been born and raised in Nairobi, Kenya, a stone’s throw away from the United Nations headquarters in Nairobi, my life has been shaped by the spirit of multiculturalism and the language of international relations. Throughout my time at Yale, I have always been led by a sense of duty to represent my country, my people and my culture, providing insight into my little corner of the world. Seeing my Yale education as a form of ambassadorship, I’m grateful to have the Jackson community as a welcoming hub for cross-cultural academic and personal exchanges.

The Jackson community is made great by its commitment to making the world a better place. Yet, as an institution of higher learning in the United States, we are inherently detached from the communities we hope to help through policy and research. As part of Jackson’s DEI Council, I hope to ensure that as many of these global voices are heard as possible, ensuring the Jackson School better reflects its international mission, both in student and faculty representation. It is my hope that my peers — the diplomats and policy shapers of tomorrow — can leave Yale with an education enhanced by cultural exchange on a global level, enabling them to be better, more grounded leaders.

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Catherine Panter-Brick

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Bruce A. and Davi-Ellen Chabner Professor of Anthropology, Health, and Global Affairs

My name is Catherine Panter-Brick. I was raised by a French mother and an English father and grew up as a French speaker in London.  I first went to school, for two years, in Zaria, Nigeria; looking back, this was a formative experience for me. After high school at a Lycée and a semester at a university in Zimbabwe, I switched my education to the UK because I was given the chance to study at Oxford University. I became an anthropologist, and learnt to speak Arabic, Nepali, Spanish, and basic Tamang for my fieldwork.  My brain is attuned to diverse languages, cultures, and social connections.

I work on global health, especially mental health, with communities who live in humanitarian crises, especially those who live in the wake of war.  At Jackson, I think of all the ways we can connect people with policy.  This means conducting research in ways that will actively recognize human dignity and social inclusion, as well as informing humanitarian practice and policy in ways that will generate new insights and transformational change.

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Bharathi Subbiah

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Global Affairs Major

My name is Bharathi Subbiah, and I’m a senior majoring in Global Affairs. I was born and raised in Boston, Massachusetts. As a first-generation Indian-American, I grew up in a bilingual household, primarily speaking Tamil, a South Indian language. My parents have been a significant influence on my life; witnessing their tireless efforts to provide for my brother and me will always be a source of inspiration.

At the Jackson School, I’ve acquired the skills to view the world through both a quantitative and qualitative lens. The program places a strong emphasis on applying theoretical knowledge to real-world situations, and I’ve had the privilege of learning from professors with extensive field experience. My coursework as a Global Affairs major has equipped me with the skills to be a lifelong agent of change for the issues I am passionate about. My upcoming adventure takes me to Bosnia in October through the Jackson School as part of my capstone project.

As a member of the DEI council, my goal is to promote representation not only among students but also within the staff and guest speakers. During my time at Yale, I had the opportunity to study Tamil, which was particularly meaningful as my professor integrated cultural aspects from my upbringing into the curriculum. I also aspire to help foster an environment at Jackson where students feel empowered to instigate positive change within the school community

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Sara Wilhelm

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Assistant Director of Finance and Administration

I’m Sara Wilhelm, and I serve as assistant director of finance and administration at the Jackson School. I am a musician, a visual artist, a martial artist, I’m queer, I am married to a green card holder from Germany, and am a mother of one human, two dogs, and two cats. I come from a blue-collar family of Italian immigrants who struggled to make a life for themselves in Connecticut. When my parents divorced when I was 10, we frequently had to move between small apartments while my mom struggled to make ends meet to take care of my brother and me. She is my inspiration, because no matter how much she struggled, she always treated everyone she met with love, compassion, and respect.

I am a first-generation college student; I exhausted myself to pay my own way, working full time while going to school full time. When I received my acceptance letter to Yale for graduate school, I cried for a full week because I was so relieved that they would cover all tuition expenses. I had deep impostor syndrome as a grad student at Yale because I thought I didn’t belong at a university where I was surrounded by talented, affluent, white men. I was the only female student in my graduate program my first year, and the only one who didn’t come from money. It was a definite culture shock, and I very much felt out of place.

After graduation, and subsequently teaching for a few years at a few universities in Connecticut and New York, I settled down to work in higher education administration at Yale. Yale has given me so much; it is at Yale that I did my graduate study, a vehicle through which I was able to make connections to climb to an economic status above the poverty line, where I have been working now for nearly a decade, and also where I met my husband. However, I am acutely aware that we at Yale still have much work to do. I firmly believe that Yale has the resources and the people to make deep and meaningful change, which is why I’m delighted to be a part of Jackson’s DEI Council to create these changes together. I’m excited to follow in my mother’s footsteps towards building an ethos and a practice of universal empathy and community and to work with the Jackson DEI Council to make it so — in our corner of Yale and beyond.