Derek Johnson (he/him) is a Managing Partner at Global Zero, an international initiative for nuclear disarmament powered by hundreds of former heads of state, political leaders, senior military commanders, national security experts, and business, civic, and faith leaders from around the world. A values-driven leader working at the crossroads of catalytic advocacy, foreign policy, and social change, Derek has spent the last decade positioning Global Zero as a highly credible source of policy analysis and thought leadership, a trusted intermediary among nuclear-armed governments, and a provocative advocacy operation in key regions. He has a knack for identifying strategic opportunities and the right tactics that can push the message into the mainstream in order to shine a spotlight or apply pressure. In addition to developing organizational strategy and overseeing day-to-day operations, Derek also spearheads special projects — from coordinating track-1.5 dialogues to producing viral and award-winning creative content.
Derek is a Gender Champion in Nuclear Policy and deeply committed to breaking down gender and racial barriers in the nuclear field; a member of the Munich Young Leaders group of rising experts in foreign and security policy, organized jointly by Körber Foundation and the Munich Security Conference; a member of the European Young Leaders group, organized by Friends of Europe to tackle the tackle the increasing disconnects between citizens and political elites and rebuild trust in democratic institutions; and a Nuclear Innovation Fellow with N Square Collaborative. In 2016, he co-founded and launched Beyond the Bomb, a U.S.-based grassroots advocacy organization focused on organizing the Rising American Electorate against nuclear weapons. In 2021, the National Iranian American Council named him one of "40 Under 40" Iranian Americans who have inspired, trail-blazed, and made a lasting impact in the world.
Before taking the helm at Global Zero, Derek worked to advance interfaith dialogue and cooperation at the Parliament of the World’s Religions in Chicago, and focused on access to justice, human rights, and rule of law at JUSTICE, the British section of the International Commission of Jurists in London. He is a graduate of Cornell College and Boston College Law School.
Derek has been quoted or published in The New York Times, The Washington Post, USA Today, Newsweek, CNN, NBC, BBC News, The Nation, Politico, Los Angeles Times, The Guardian, Vox, Kommersant, Time Magazine, Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, Mother Jones, Pacific Standard, The Hill, The Independent, Mic, and more.
Follow him on Twitter at @derekjGZ.
Cecili Thompson Williams
Senior Partner, Strategy and Innovation
Cecili Thompson Williams (she/her) is Senior Partner for Strategy and Innovation at Global Zero.
Previously the Executive Director of Beyond the Bomb, she has two decades of experience leading mission-driven campaigns with organizations including Amnesty International USA, RESULTS Educational Fund, and the National Partnership for Women & Families. Most recently she founded and served as the Chief Strategist for We Divine Water, a consulting group helping smart and passionate change-makers build strategic and effective campaigns.
Cecili is a Gender Champion on Nuclear Policy and serves as a board member for the Power Shift Network and the Scoville Peace Fellowship. She is a 2020 Nuclear Innovation Fellow with the N Square Collaborative and a member of the Rockwood Leadership Institute’s Art of Navigating Change Summer 2021 cohort.
A strong believer in continually building power and capacity, Cecili has trained thousands of campaigners on how to maximize their impact within their organizations and in the world at large. She also serves as a faculty member at the Center for Social Design at the Maryland Institute College of Arts where she teaches a graduate seminar on campaign strategy.
Senior Partner, Narratives
Deepika Choudhary (she/her) is Senior Partner for Narratives at Global Zero. As head of thought leadership, she is responsible for creating and implementing storytelling strategies that build power and get us closer to a world without nuclear weapons. She is also responsible for Global Zero’s public presence, co-leading the organization along with a central governance team, and supporting the development of her colleagues.
Previously, Deepika was a Communications Director at the Nuclear Threat Initiative responsible for providing dedicated communications support to three of NTI’s nuclear policy program teams– Science and Technical Affairs, Nuclear Materials Security, and the Global Nuclear Policy Program. Prior to that, she spent five years at ReThink Media, departing as the Managing Director of the Peace and Security Collaborative.
Highly experienced in providing strategic communications counsel, guidance during rapid response crises, media training, and messaging on national security issues, she has also worked throughout her career to advance equity, diversity, and inclusion by centering voices of experts traditionally excluded from the DC-centered national security conversation, with a particular focus on women and women of color.
Deepika, who also goes by Dee for short, is an N Square Innovation Fellow where she explored new approaches for tackling nuclear challenges. She’s also a fluent Hindi speaker.
Follow her on Twitter at @MsDeeChoudhary.
Partner, Strategy, Policy & Partnerships
Jessica Sleight (she/her) is the Partner for Strategy, Policy, & Partnerships at Global Zero. In this capacity, she provides research and analysis on issues relating to nuclear nonproliferation, risk reduction and disarmament; coordinates track-1.5 and track-2 diplomatic efforts, including commission-level meetings and government consultations; and liaises with Global Zero leaders and experts in connection with policy initiatives.
She is also a member of the 2020 Center for Strategic and International Studies Project on Nuclear Issues (PONI) Mid-Career Cadre. Prior to joining Global Zero, Jessica worked as a research intern with Ploughshares Fund, a research associate for the Japan Policy Research Institute, and a graduate fellow at the Nautilus Institute for Security and Sustainability. She has a master’s degree in Asia-Pacific studies from the University of San Francisco.
Follow her on Twitter at @jmsleight.
Mari Faines (she/her) is the Partner for Mobilization at Global Zero. In this role, she oversees movement building strategies for the organization, helping the organization navigate the intersection of nuclear disarmament and social justice through tactics such as grassroots organizing, policy engagement, and coalition building. Mari joins Global Zero having served a Director of Communications and Outreach at Physicians for Social Responsibility (PSR); as well as a five-year tenure at TransPerfect, a global solutions firm where she held Project Manager & Team Lead positions in New York and London respectively.
As a podcast host and diversity & equity activist, Mari remains active with a variety of advocacy organizations with her work as a Steering Committee Member for Women of Color Advancing Peace, Security, and Conflict Transformation’s (WCAPS) global DEI initiative ‘Organisations in Solidarity’. In addition, she is also a member of Foreign Policy 4 America (FP4A) NextGen Initiative, serving as the co-lead for the DEI working group. Other roles also include a Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) Spring 2022 AILA International Fellow.
Mari formerly served on the Board of WCAPS-UK; and was founder and host of the WCAPS-UK Podcast ‘Got Melanin’. She has worked with Democrats Abroad, African Development Forum, the London Conversations, and as a UNITE 2030 Youth Delegate Lead for the 2021 program with a primary focus on UN Sustainable Development Goals.
She holds a Master of Science (MSc) in the Politics of Conflict, Rights, and Justice from SOAS University of London, and Bachelor of Arts (BA) from Colgate University. Her research specialized in nuclear intersectionality, conflict resolution, transitional justice, and racial disparities in the United States, sub-Saharan Africa, and the African diaspora.
Mari has a passionate belief that only through unselfish commitment, and authentic innovative collaboration can we, as a society, ever hope to achieve equity, justice, and peace, for all populations.
Follow her on Twitter @DiasporaDiva_
Partner, Strategy & Mobilization
Tristan Guyette (they/them) is the Partner for Strategy and Mobilization at Global Zero. In this role, they leverage the combination of on-the-ground and digital activism to drive change. Tristan was previously at Beyond the Bomb, where they first started mobilizing activists to end the threat of nuclear war in 2018. In 2019 they led the creation of the #FutureFirst Fellowship, a program that provides activists with an accelerated on-ramp to becoming leaders for nonproliferation in their communities.
Tristan attended college in Ohio and is still based out of Toledo. In the past, they’ve worked with the Campus Election Engagement Project to educate voters on Ohio’s changing registration laws, with Unite for Reproductive and Gender Equity to protect abortion access, and on electoral campaigns. Previously, Tristan has sat on the board of the Nuclear Fusion Project and Planned Parenthood Ohio's Digital Organizing Committee. Their writing can be found in outlets such as The Nation, The Hill, National Interest, Inkstick, The Progressive and more.
When they’re not organizing for change you can find them surrounded by a pack of German Shepherds, probably looking for a tennis ball.
Partner, HR, Culture & Project Management
Aaron Manzo (he/him) is the Partner for HR, Culture & Project Management at Global Zero. In this role, Manzo oversees daily operational and administrative duties for the entire organization, including finance, HR and benefits administration, compliance with federal and state regulatory agencies, as well as legal and tax obligations. Manzo works behind the scenes to identify big-picture HR and organizational needs to keep Global Zero running effortlessly and efficiently.
Prior to joining Global Zero, he served as a deputy clerk at the District of Columbia Superior Court. He obtained his master's degree in Administration of Justice & Security at the University of Phoenix.
Associate Partner, Mobilization & Partnerships
Raeghn Draper (they/them) is the Associate Partner for Mobilization and Partnerships at Global Zero. Bringing their experience in labor organizing and community storytelling to their current work, Raeghn holds steady in their belief that collective action and imagination have the key to realizing a more equitable future for everyone. In their day-to-day, they focus on building relationships with organizations and individuals intent on eliminating the threat of nuclear war and incorporating a grassroots and community lens into the many intersections of nuclear violence.
Their passion for community organizing came from an effort to rally their workspace, promoting them to co-found Chicago, Hospitality, Accountable, Advocacy, Database (CHAAD) in 2020. CHAAD focuses on nurturing an equitable future in the hospitality industry by providing a resource hub for and by workers. No matter the project, they focus on uplifting the voices and stories of those most impacted by harmful systemic problems through community engagement, curiosity, imagination, and pushing a positive narrative forward.
Their work is featured in Outrider and Inkstick. Raeghn holds a Bachelor's in communication, media, and theater from Northeastern Illinois University and an Associate's Degree.
Emma Claire Foley
Associate Partner, Policy & Research
Emma Claire Foley (she/her) is the Associate Partner for Policy and Research at Global Zero. In this role, she works on research relating to nuclear nonproliferation, risk reduction, and disarmament advocacy efforts, and monitoring domestic and international policy developments.
Emma Claire received her Master’s degree from Harvard University’s Davis Center for Russian and Eurasian Studies, and her Bachelor’s degree in Russian, East European and Eurasian Studies and History from the University of Michigan.
Follow her on Twitter @emmaclairefoley.
Associate Partner, Strategy & Innovation
Ellen Leonard (she/her) is the Associate Partner for Strategy and Innovation at Global Zero. Deeply embedded in the organization's justice work, Ellen uses her advocacy and policy experience to support frontline and impacted community members and in making the fight against nuclear injustice more accessible. She is currently engaged in an innovative, multi-organizational project to create an advocacy tool that centers the stories and voices of frontline community members and maps nuclear impacted sites across the U.S.
Ellen is an NSquare Fellow, a graduate of Social Media Technology's digital apprenticeship, and a collector of mugs. You can find some of her work published in Responsible Statecraft. She attended college at the University of New Hampshire studying political science and Italian.
Associate Partner, HR & Culture
Enrico Orr (he/him) is the Associate Partner for HR & Culture. In this role, he assists the Operations Director with day-to-day operations and administrative work for Global Zero.
Enrico obtained his Master’s Degree in International Affairs from The Catholic University of America. He received his Bachelor’s Degree at the College of Charleston, double majoring in Political Science and Studio Art.
Senior Advisor, Policy & Advocacy
Jon Wolfsthal (he/him) is a Senior Advisor for Policy & Advocacy at Global Zero. From 2014 to 2017, he served as special assistant to former U.S. President Barack Obama and as senior director for arms control and nonproliferation at the National Security Council. In that post, he was the most senior White House official, setting and implementing U.S. government policy on all aspects of arms control, nonproliferation, and nuclear policy. Prior to that, he served as the deputy director of the James Martin Center for Nonproliferation Studies at the Monterey Institute for International Studies.
From 2009 to 2012, Wolfsthal served as the special adviser to U.S. Vice President Joe Biden for nuclear security and nonproliferation and as director for nonproliferation on the National Security Council. He supported the Obama administration’s negotiation and ratification of the New START arms reduction agreement with the Russian Federation and helped support the development of nuclear policy, including the 2010 Nuclear Posture Review.
Follow him on Twitter @JBWolfsthal.
Junior Partner for Narratives and Partnerships
Samantha Miller (she/her) is the Junior Partner for Narratives and Partnerships at Global Zero. In this role, she supports movement building strategies that focus on fostering authentic partnerships with other intersectional movements and assisting in managing Global Zero’s public presence.
She was previously a volunteer copyeditor for an organization that worked with persecuted journalists in Myanmar who were reporting on the February 2021 coup d’etat, as well as a researcher examining the impacts of the Covid-19 pandemic on Hawaii’s tourist industry with the aim of better informing local public policy. She was also a 2022 Ignite Change Fellow at EMILY’s List, where she gained experience in campaign planning. Formerly a #FutureFirst Fellow at Beyond the Bomb, she is thrilled to continue to work towards nuclear weapons abolition while centering intersectionality.
Sam got her BA from the University of Hawaii at Mānoa where she studied political science with an emphasis on Southeast Asian/Pacific studies, and her AA from Green River College where she studied chemistry. She is currently based in the Pacific Northwest.
Follow her on Twitter @ MsSamanthaMae.