Dr. Susan M. Blaustein is Founder/Director of WomenStrong International, a consortium of local non-profits dedicated to empowering women and girls in five impoverished urban settings in India, Kenya, Ghana, Haiti and Washington, DC, and to sharing best practices worldwide. Prior to establishing WomenStrong, Dr. Blaustein was Co-Founder/Director of the Millennium Cities Initiative (MCI), a 12-year project of the Earth Institute at Columbia University committed to sustainable urban development across sub-Saharan Africa, where the most effective and durable accomplishments were carried out within the poorest communities themselves, often under the initiative and leadership of local women and girls.
Before her work at the Earth Institute, Dr. Blaustein was a senior consultant and analyst with the International Crisis Group, a Brussels-based think tank focused on conflict prevention, and 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. She also reported on conflict, politics and economics from the Balkans and Southeast Asia 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 now teaches in the Earth Institute’s Sustainability Management Program. Her doctorate is from Yale University, she was a Harvard Junior Fellow in the Society of Fellows at Harvard University, a Guggenheim Fellow and the recipient of multiple awards.