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2015 Women's Initiative Fellow

Emna is leading an organization focused on promoting a multiparty dialogue about counter-radicalism. The organization engages private sector participation and encourages creative cultural and educational approaches.   Since October 2012, she has served as an Independent Advisor for a government body tasked with Civil Society and Multiparty Democratic Dialogue.  In this role, she develops different scenarios for mediation and confidence building between parties. 

Emna serves as professor, part of her research focuses on efforts to counter violent radicalism.

A recognized expert on Tunisian civil society and human rights, she sits on the advisory board different NGO’s and is a founding member of several organizations working on issues related to Tunisia’s transition into democracy.


Emna knew exactly what she wanted to accomplish with the Women’s Initiative Fellowship before she even arrived to the United States in March, 2015. By creating a network of women who stand together against extremism through peace and security initiatives, Emna sought to facilitate change in Tunisia through her personal leadership project.

Emna credits three aspects of the Fellowship as having the greatest impact on her professional career. First, the training sessions at Southern Methodist University that prepared her to be an effective leader. Second, the site visits to successful American institutions, which taught her more about American innovation. Third, the advice of her mentor challenged her to dig deeper and push harder to achieve her goals. The combination of new skills and advice empowered Emna to create the Women for Peace and Security (WPS) project.

Upon her return to her country in March, 2015, Emna arranged a conference and networking coalition comprising twenty fund raisers from national institutions and embassies, and 75 leaders who will sign her WPS charter. She took part in a Joint Task Force meeting organized by the Near East South Asia Center for Strategic Studies-African Command (NESA-AFRICOM), which included senior military officials and transnational security experts working to address radicalism, terrorism, trafficking, and crime.

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