About ATHA

Our Goal

The Advanced Training Program on Humanitarian Action (ATHA) seeks to build operational capacity, facilitate learning across organizations in the humanitarian sector, and to mobilize change through a community of practice.

What We Do

ATHA enhances the capability of professionals in the humanitarian sector to manage and lead teams in multifaceted, remote, and often hazardous missions.  ATHA’s unique set of online and in-person learning tools, trainings, and engagement with the professional community support the expansion and deepening of key legal and policy exchanges within and across agencies in order to create a dynamic and creative space for learning and innovation.

Who We Are

Anaïde Nahikian

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Program Manager

Anaïde Nahikian leads the Advanced Training Program on Humanitarian Action (ATHA) at the Harvard Humanitarian Initiative. Through field-based research and engagement with humanitarian practitioners, Anaïde focuses on developing responsive research and professional tools to enhance the capacity of professionals in humanitarian environments, on issues such as frontline humanitarian negotiation, response to forced migration, and communities of practice. She leads field research and implements projects across the Middle East / North Africa, East Africa, Southeast Asia, and Europe. She also produces and co-hosts the monthly Humanitarian Assistance Podcast.

Anaïde is also Head of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) Collaborative Platform, where she initiates and manages projects and relationships between the ICRC and academic, policy, non-profit, and private organizations in the Boston area around key themes and priorities of the ICRC, in partnership with swissnex Boston.

Anaïde is Associate Instructor in graduate courses at the Harvard School of Public Health and the Kennedy School of Government, leading the case research and curriculum design of an annual intensive, field-based course on strategic planning in humanitarian action, since 2008. She is currently an Adjunct Lecturer at the Heller School for Social Policy and Management at Brandeis University and an Affiliate at the Middle East Initiative at the Harvard Kennedy School of Government. 

Julia Brooks

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Legal Research Associate

Julia Brooks is a Legal Research Associate at Harvard Humanitarian Initiative (HHI), where she focuses on international humanitarian law, policy and education. For the Advanced Training Program on Humanitarian Action (ATHA), she serves as host and producer of the Humanitarian Assistance Podcast series; a researcher focusing on international humanitarian law and humanitarian protection; and a managing editor and contributor to the ATHA blog and paper series. She also contributes as a writer, teaching fellow and consultant to curriculum development for e-learning tools, online and in-person courses developed by the Humanitarian Academy at Harvard.

Previously, Julia worked in Berlin, Germany at the Foundation "Remembrance, Responsibility & Future" (Stiftung EVZ), Adelphi Research & Consult, the German Parliament (Bundestag), and the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) as a Senior Fellow with Humanity in Action. She has also worked at the Office of the High Representative in Bosnia and Herzegovina (OHR) in Sarajevo, and the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) in The Hague, The Netherlands. She holds a Master of Arts in Law and Diplomacy (MALD) from the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University, where she received the Alfred P. Rubin Prize and Leo Gross Prize for excellence in international law, and a Bachelor of Arts (BA) in Public Policy from Brown University, magna cum laude.

Rob Grace

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Senior Associate, Harvard Humanitarian Initiative

Rob is a Senior Associate at the Harvard Humanitarian Initiative (HHI). In this role, he contributes in various capacities to several HHI programs. For the Program on Humanitarian Policy and Conflict Research (HPCR), he leads the research for the Monitoring, Reporting, and Fact-finding project, which has entailed drafting a series of working papers and serving as the lead drafter for the HPCR Advanced Practitioner's Handbook on Commissions of Inquiry. For ATHA, he serves as co-host and associate producer of the Humanitarian Assistance Podcast series; a researcher focusing on humanitarian protection, and in particular, on humanitarian negotiations; and a contributor to the ATHA blog. He also contributes as a writer, as well as a substantive and editorial consultant, to e-learning tools produced by the Humanitarian Academy at Harvard. Rob’s writing on international law and foreign policy has also been published by the Journal of Conflict & Security Law, the European Society of International Law Reflections, Foreign Policy in Focus, the Foreign Policy Association, and Professionals in Humanitarian Assistance and Protection. He holds an MA in Politics from New York University and a BA from Vassar College.

Meredith Blake

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Program Coordinator

Meredith is the Program Coordinator for the Advanced Training Program on Humanitarian Action (ATHA). In this role she manages ATHA’s communications, social media accounts, and dissemination strategy, while serving as executive producer of ATHA’s monthly Humanitarian Assistance podcast and editor of written web content. Additionally, Meredith organizes the global logistics for ATHA's conferences on frontline humanitarian negotiation in cooperation with the ICRC's Humanitarian Negotiation Exchange Platform (HNx) and oversees the supplemental development of practitioner-focused community programming. Before joining ATHA, Meredith worked at Harvard University's John F. Kennedy Jr. Forum, coordinating diplomatic visits for heads of state and thought leaders from the government, business, and media industries. She has also worked for the Internships and Career Services program at the Institute of Politics at Harvard University and the Harvard Kennedy School's Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs.  

Steve Wilkinson

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Senior Legal Researcher

Stephen Wilkinson is a senior legal researcher with the Advanced Training Program on Humanitarian Action, specializing in international humanitarian law (IHL) and human rights in armed conflict. Previously he was a Legal Officer with the United Nations, a Legal Advisor with the Diakonia International Humanitarian Law Resource Center in Jerusalem and researcher with the Geneva Academy of International Humanitarian Law and Human Rights. He has engaged in numerous projects with both the United Nations and academic bodies relating to the monitoring and investigation of international humanitarian law. Other previous work includes time in Cambodia as a legal researcher on child sexual violence and for the United Nationals Relief and Works Agency in Lebanon. He has also engaged in recent consultancies addressing IHL and human rights issues in Syria and Mali. He holds an LL.M (distinction) from the Geneva Academy of International Humanitarian law and Human Rights, as well as an LL.B (hons) from the University of Leeds. In addition he is a PhD candidate at the University of Geneva. He has also previously worked with us on the MRF project.

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