As the Program Director for ICAN’s Better Peace Initiative (BPI), Helena coordinates the development and dissemination of guidance tools for gender responsive and inclusive mediation and the inclusion of women peacebuilders in peace processes. Tools include animations on gendered thematic topics that are commonly addressed in peace processes, tailored seminars, trainings, and capacity building for a range of actors.

In 2009, Helena co-founded the Global Network of Women Peacebuilders (GNWP) where she managed the network’s various advocacy, capacity building, media, and research programs. She was part of the core team who carried out GNWP’s groundbreaking localization of UNSCR1325 program, and regularly facilitated localization trainings in a variety of countries. Helena was also part of the global coordination team overseeing yearly monitoring of the implementation of UNSCR 1325 in 20+ countries, and responsible for outreach and communication.

Helena holds an M.S in International Affairs focused on conflict and security, from the Milano School of International Affairs, Management and Urban Policy (the New School), a postgraduate certificate in conflict resolution from Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS), and a BA in American Studies from Columbia University.

Helena previously served on the board of the Kota Alliance and on the Junior board of the New York Center for Children and is still engaged in both causes. She is a founding volunteer for Dare2B, a NY-based organization committed to making transitional living for homeless children less traumatic. A Finnish transplant in Brooklyn, she can often be found exploring the borough on her bike, in search of new murals.

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