Nicole Widdersheim is the Deputy Washington Director at Human Rights Watch. She recently was the Senior Policy Advisor for the Center for the Prevention of Genocide at the US Holocaust Memorial Museum. Prior, she was the Director for African Affairs at the National Security Council covering the Sudans and Central Africa. Before that, Nicole was the Atrocity Prevention Focal Point and Senior Human Rights Advisor at USAID where she managed the multimillion dollar Human Rights Grants Program and provided technical guidance to USAID field missions worldwide. From 2010 to 2013, Nicole served as the USAID Office of Transition Initiative (OTI) Country Representative in Cote d’Ivoire, Mali, and Haiti. As the head of the OTI Haiti program after the earthquake, Nicole managed a $153+ million dollar recovery and stability program. She was also with USAID in Darfur, Sudan in 2005 as a Protection Officer to combat violence against women and develop USG policy on the genocide.
Outside of government, Nicole was Head of Office for Oxfam International in New York, and Deputy Director of the IRC’s Washington office. She has also worked for IRC in South Sudan, managing emergency programs from 1998-2001. Short assignments have included work in Ethiopia, Bangladesh, Burundi, Rwanda, Bosnia and Afghanistan. She has a M.A. in Human Rights and Political Theory from University of Essex, UK and BA in International Relations and African Studies from Kent State University, Ohio, with study at University of Nairobi, Kenya. She also completed the certificated summer program at the Oxford Refugees Study Centre.