Chairman & President
Nadia Murad, co-recipient of the 2018 Nobel Peace Prize is a leading advocate for survivors of genocide and sexual violence. Nadia’s peaceful life was savagely interrupted in 2014 when Daesh attacked her homeland in Sinjar -- with the intention of ethnically cleansing Iraq of all Yazidis. Like many minority groups, the Yazidis, have carried the weight of historical persecution. Women in particular have suffered greatly, as they have been, and continue to be victims of sexual violence.
Much of Murad’s advocacy work is focused on meeting with global leaders to raise awareness about Daesh and its genocidal campaign against the Yazidi people. Nadia’s Initiative actively works to persuade governments and other organizations to financially support efforts to rebuild the Yazidi homeland.
Kerry Propper is the co-founder and non-executive Chairman of Chardan Capital Markets, a boutique New York-based investment bank, as well as a Founder and Managing Partner of ATW Partners, a Private Equity fund based in NY. He was the producer of the Sundance award winning film, Watchers of the Sky - a documentary chronicling the life of Raphael Lemkin, the man who created the word “genocide” and believed the law could protect the word from mass atrocities. Kerry was also part of the original team that intitiated the campaign to bring ISIS before the International Criminal Court on charges of genocide and crimes against humanity. He initiated Yazda’s Genocide Documentation Project which has been collecting evidence of Human Rights violations committed against the Yazidis. Evidence gathered through this documentation project will support the international legal case against perpetrators, be they individual ISIS fighters or ISIS as a whole. He is a co-founder of Nadia’s Initiative.
Shamdeen is a global development specialist. Born and raised in Sinjar, Iraq, Shamden co-founded Yazada, a leading Yazidi non-profit organization formed to assist victims of the Yazidi genocide. He was responsible for managing, implementing and evaluating large-scale redevelopment projects in Sinjar. He was a key member of the Yazada management team that established strategic priorities and determined emergency response initiatives. Shamaden worked previously for the US Army in Iraq as a cultural advisor and translator. He has a BA in Political Science from the University of Nebraska, Lincoln. Shamden is a co-founder of Nadia’s Initiative.
Elizabeth Schaeffer Brown
Co-executive Director & Executive Board Member
Elizabeth is an entrepreneur with expertise in multimedia communications and strategic partnerships. Her work focuses on raising the profile of issues that counter violent extremism as it pertains to protecting the rights of women and children. Elizabeth has been working with the Yazidi community since 2015. She was part of the original team that intitiated the campaign to bring ISIS before the International Criminal Court on charges of genocide and crimes against humanity. She also helped launch Yazda’s Genocide Documentation Project which has been collecting evidence of Human Rights violations committed against the Yazidis. She is a co-founder of Nadia’s Initiative and Uncommon Union.
Executive Board Member
Elizabeth Bohart is a social impact strategist and founder of the Antelope Foundation. Bohart works internationally with start-up organizations and organizations in transition to build community driven initiatives that focus on addressing the critical needs of highly vulnerable communities. She was Executive Producer and Director of Outreach for the Sundance award winning film – Watchers of the Sky – where she developed genocide education, community engagement and advocacy programs for high school and middle school students. Bohart is a co-founder of Nadia’s Initiative. She was a 2016 Nantucket Project Scholar.
Executive Board Member
Grégoire Théry is the co-founder and executive director of CAP international, a coalition of 23 frontline NGOs providing assistance to victims of prostitution and trafficking in human beings in 18 countries. In 2013, he was appointed as member of the French High Council for Equality between Women and Men (HCEFH), an advisory body working under the authority of the Prime Minister. He is a permanent member of its “violence against women” committee. Prior to this, Grégoire has worked six years as Permanent Representative to the EU of the International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH). Grégoire Théry is also a former Secretary general of Mouvement du Nid – France. He graduated from the Institut d’Etudes Politiques de Strasbourg and holds a Master 2 in “Politics and Public Affairs in Europe”.