Network Staff

Dr. Natoschia Scruggs

– Network Director

Dr. Natoschia Scruggs joins us as the Director of the National Network after having held positions over the years in academia, at NGOs, and in government, including having served for nearly five years as principal advisor on research to Ambassador Susan Rice, Ambassador Samantha Power, and Ambassador Nikki Haley at the U.S. Mission to the United Nations. She has extensive experience working with conflict-affected populations, refugees, asylees, survivors of gender-based violence, human trafficking, forced labor, harmful traditional practices, and forced and child marriage gained while working as a legal advisor to refugees in Egypt, serving as an Asylum and Immigration Officer with the Department of Homeland Security and volunteering with nonprofits, such as the International Rescue Committee.

Natoschia has an interdisciplinary PhD in African Diaspora Studies with a focus on global migration and emphasis on public policy as well as women, gender and sexuality from the University of California, Berkeley. She has authored articles and book chapters addressing family violence, elder abuse, displacement and state violence, and was a Ford Foundation Fellow, Rotary Ambassadorial Fellow, and Fulbright Scholar.

Carey Walovich, MPH

– Partnerships & Operations Manager

Carey Walovich is the Network’s Partnerships & Operations Manager. She manages the day-to-day operations of the Network as well as the vital relationships, collaborations and projects with members and stakeholders. Carey’s previous work has been in maternal and child health. She’s worked internationally with the Fistula Foundation to improve access to obstetric fistula repair surgery in low resource settings and tracked cesarean delivery trends at the International Centre for Diarrhoeal Disease Research, Bangladesh. She also worked domestically to create lactation spaces in public universities with the organization, Creating Space.

She received her Master in Public Health from the Fielding School of Public Health at UCLA and her B.A. in Politics and International Relations from St. Mary’s College of California. In her free time, Carey loves traveling, thrifting and exploring her new neighborhood in Brooklyn.

Steering Committee

Aissata M.B. Camara, Co-Founder

– There Is No Limit Foundation

Aissata Camara

Aissata M. B. Camara is the Co-Founder of There Is No Limit Foundation (TINLF), an international nonprofit organization empowering individuals, especially women and girls. TINLF works in the areas of entrepreneurship, education, WASH, maternal and child health, and the eradication of harmful practices, such as FGM/C. A leading strategic thinker and influencer on issues such as gender equity, youth empowerment, FGM/C, entrepreneurship, and effective local government engagement, she is devoted to fostering cross-sectional partnerships and sustainable impact through shared best practices and holistic community engagement.

Aissata is featured in Digital Warriors a Deutsche Welle (DW) documentary on women leading change through social media. She is also featured in Face of Defiance exhibit which has been shown worldwide. She also was featured in The Guardian’s United States campaign to end female genital cutting (FGM/C). PBS NewsHour interviewed her in their segment about vacation cutting. She has on numerous occasions represented the voice of African women and youth at the United Nations high-level conferences on harmful practices.

She has received numerous awards and recognition for her commitment to promoting the security and dignity of people worldwide including the New York State Assembly Certificate of Merit, and the Jo Ivey Boufford Award for Innovative Solutions To Public Service Challenges. Previously, she worked at The Rockefeller Foundation and Grameen America. She served as a member of the YWCA Fire Council, a board member of CHAPTERS and the African Hope Committee.

Susan Gibbs

– Director, Women’s Rights & Empowerment Program, Wallace Global Fund

Susan Gibbs directs the Women’s Rights & Empowerment Program at the Wallace Global Fund, where she focuses on FGM/C, sexual and reproductive health and rights, gender lens investing, and the links between women’s rights, sustainable energy and climate change.

Previously she has worked with or consulted for the Summit Foundation, the Pew Global Stewardship Initiative, the Pew Charitable Trusts, the David and Lucille Packard Foundation, the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, and the Garfield Foundation. She holds a Master’s degree from Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs and a Bachelor’s degree magna cum laude from Brown University. 

Maryum Saifee

– International Affairs Fellow, The Council on Foreign Relations based at the Human Rights Foundation

Maryum is currently an International Affairs Fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations based at the Human Rights Foundation. Human Rights Foundation is a network of dissidents, journalists, and activists promoting democracy in predominantly authoritarian regimes. She is also a 2019 Presidential Leadership Scholar.  Maryum has written about her experience as a survivor of Female Genital Mutilation in her personal capacity. Prior to her fellowship, Maryum served as a U.S. diplomat in the Middle East and South Asia with postings in Cairo, Baghdad, and Lahore. She also served as a senior policy advisor in the Secretary’s Office of Religion and Global Affairs and the Office of Global Women’s Issues at the U.S. Department of State. Before joining the Foreign Service, Maryum was a Peace Corps Volunteer in Jordan and also worked as an AmeriCorps Volunteer in Seattle. She also consulted for the Ford Foundation, Human Rights Watch, the United Nations Development Program, and Acumen Fund. She has contributed to the Guardian, Al Jazeera, and other media outlets.

Mariya Taher

– Co-Founder, Sahiyo

Mariya Taher

Named one of the six experts to watch by on female genital cutting (FGC), Mariya has worked in the anti-gender violence field for over a decade in research, policy, program development, and direct service. She received her Master of Social Work from San Francisco State University in 2010 where she pursued a qualitative study titled, “Understanding Female Genital Cutting in the United States.” Since then, she has worked on the issue of domestic violence at W.O.M.A.N., Inc., Asian Women’s Shelter, and Saheli, Support and Friendship for South Asian Women and Families, and was part of the Women’s Foundation of California Women’s Policy Institute.

In 2015, she cofounded Sahiyo, an internationally recognized, award-winning organization to empower Asian communities to end female genital cutting. In Massachusetts, Mariya works with the Women’s Bar Association to pass state legislation that would ban FGC and create education and outreach programs for survivors. She also serves as Narrative Liaison at Topos Partnership, a research and communication firm dedicated to understanding the cultural common sense on how to bring about progressive change.

Shelby Quast

– Principal/CEO at Robertson, Quast & Associates

Shelby Quast is a visionary leader and change-maker working internationally, regionally and locally on a broad range of issues intersecting the private and public sectors, academia and civil society, with a strong emphasis on equality and gender justice, especially for adolescent girls; human rights; rule of law and removing barriers to access to justice; justice and security sector reform; women, peace and security; international business transactions; and teaching. Shelby works with international organizations, NGOs, activists and governments to advance human rights for women and girls and inform foreign and domestic policy. She is the former Americas Regional Director for Equality Now, a human rights organization that uses the law to promote and protect the rights of women and girls around the world.Equality Now co-organized the first End Sexual Violence against Girls: US Summit on FGM/C. Prior to joining Equality Now, Shelby worked with the International Legal Assistance Consortium, which she co-founded in 2001, on global post-conflict legal reform.

She also co-founded the Partners for Gender Justice, a network of United Nations (UN) agencies, member states, and civil society organizations. She has worked internationally for over three decades in a broad range of disciplines and, earlier in her career, practiced law at Wilmer, Cutler & Pickering in Washington, D.C. Shelby speaks widely on human rights and has authored numerous reports on Gender Justice for the UN and the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development.

She is a recipient of the Fulbright award and has taught law at the Columbus School of Law at Catholic University of America (CUA), American University, Jagiellonian University in Poland and the Indian Institute of Management in Lucknow. Shelby holds a J.D. from Columbus School of Law at CUA and a B.A. in International Business from the University of Oregon.