Dr. Susan M. Blaustein is Founder/Director of WomenStrong International (WSI), a consortium of non-governmental organizations in five countries dedicated to eradicating extreme urban poverty by enabling women and girls to live healthy, fulfilling lives. WSI provides support, builds bridges and shares innovative and successful strategies that can make a difference around the world. WSI Consortium members work in impoverished urban settings in Ghana, Haiti, Kenya, India and Washington, D.C.
Prior to starting WSI, Dr. Blaustein co-founded and directed the Millennium Cities Initiative (MCI), a project of the Earth Institute at Columbia University committed to sustainable urban development across sub-Saharan Africa. There, over the course of a decade, Dr. Blaustein repeatedly witnessed the effectiveness of local women and girls in the cities’ poorest communities, as they took the lead in effecting transformative change.
Before her work at the Earth Institute, Dr. Blaustein served as a senior consultant and analyst with the International Crisis Group, a Brussels-based think tank focused on conflict prevention; she worked as well with the Coalition for International Justice, a Washington-based NGO supporting the efforts of international criminal tribunals to prosecute gross human rights abusers in Rwanda, the former Yugoslavia, Cambodia, East Timor and Sierra Leone.
Dr. Blaustein reported on conflict, politics, economics and social injustice from the Balkans, Southeast Asia and Washington, DC, for such publications as The New Yorker, Harper’s, The Wall Street Journal, The Nation, The New Republic and the Los Angeles Times and is completing a book about the Rwanda genocide. Dr. Blaustein served previously as Assistant Professor at Columbia University, where she still teaches. Her doctorate is from Yale University, she was a Harvard Junior Fellow in the Society of Fellows at Harvard University, a Guggenheim Fellow and has been the recipient of multiple awards.