NESA-AFRICOM 2023 Workshop Series and NESA Center Women, Peace, and Security E-Book Release

From 29 April – 6 May 2023, the Near East South Asia (NESA) Center for Strategic Studies, in partnership with U.S. Africa Command, held three back-to-back workshop series in Bangkok, Thailand, for senior government and civilian security experts and a “whole of society” approach from 24 countries with a total of 53 female participants. The 61 from 24 countries in attendance came from various countries across the globe: Latin America, Africa, The Levant, Central Asia, the Gulf, and South Asia. This was the first-ever program of this type conducted by the NESA Center.

NESA-AFRICOM Workshop Series from 29 April–7 May 2023 in Bangkok, Thailand.


Under the leadership of Course Director Professor Anne Moisan and Deputy Course Director Fahad Malaikah, the three back-to-back workshops, which topically built on each other, covered: “The Changing Nature of Security” followed by “Transnational Threats Know No Boundaries” and culminated with a two-day Women’s ONLY session entitled “The Women’s Revolution: Life, Liberty, and Freedom.”

During the workshop series, the first workshop, “The Changing Nature of Security,” examined topics including Global Dynamics and What Should Leaders be Looking at; Climate and Climate Diplomacy, Food, Water, and Energy Insecurity; Human Security Now Trumps Hard Security; and Technology, Social Media, and Disinformation.

NESA Alumna Aashiyana Adhikari, Dr. Noha Bakr, and Dr. Jasmin Lilian Diab speaking during the session titled “The Marginalized Majority;” moderated by the Course Director, Prof Anne Moisan.


The second workshop, “Transnational Threats Know No Boundaries,” which embodies a 7-year collaboration between Latin Americans and Africans, continued the analysis with sessions on Transnational Threats: Organized Crime and Criminal Insurgency; Migration and Trafficking Nexus; Digitalization & Financing Illicit Commons, Maritime Security Cooperation Countering Smuggling Trends; and Maritime Capacity Building and Cooperation.

The last women-only workshop, “The Women’s Revolution; Life, Liberty, and Freedom,” took a deeper dive and refined the security issues embracing the unique female perspectives and insights women bring to the discussion. They expanded the conversation to specifically address: Is the Women’s Revolution Real?; When and How Do Women Protests Succeed?; The Marginalized Majority; How Do Women Define Security and What are THEIR Priorities?; Weaponizing Violence Against Women in Conflict; More than Your Eyes Can See Dealing with Domestic Violence; How Can Women Take Back Control?; and ending with a look at the critical need for Mentoring and Leadership Development.

Professor Celina Realuyo during the 3rd day during an insightful presentation on Digitation and Financing Illicit Commons moderated by Deputy Course Director Fahad Malaikah.

The men who attended the first two workshops were truly amazed by the depth of experience and keen insights and perspectives these women added to the security-focused discussion. As one of the men noted: “I didn’t realize such talented security women experts existed in our region… and I am embarrassed that my country doesn’t support their greater participation, not only in other NESA and AFRICOM programs but in any and all serious security discussions.”

NESA Center Course Director Anne Moisan moderated the speaker sessions along with NESA Center Deputy Course Director Fahad Malaikah and William J. Perry Center for Hemispheric Defense Studies Professor Celina Realuyo. In between sessions were opportunities for open discussion, networking, and side-bar meetings. Several breakout sessions were also built into the series for more focused guided discussions within smaller groups.

Click on the image above to access the E-Book.

Read the “Women, Peace, and Security, On the 23rd Anniversary of UN Resolution 1325 and NESA’s Formation: 22 Countries and 33 Women’s Voices” E-Book [PDF].

The venue also allowed for the release of the first-ever NESA Center Women, Peace and Security (WPS) E-Book, a great collaboration among 33 women from 22 countries entitled “Women, Peace, and Security, On the 23rd Anniversary of UN Resolution 1325 and NESA’s Formation: 22 Countries and 33 Women’s Voices.” In addition, the venue also provided an introduction to the NESA Center library of Online, On-Demand Security Courses developed by Professor Moisan along with Fahad Malaikah with assistance from the technical NESA Center support staff and interns. Most of the videos by security experts were originally funded and used in support of AFRICOM as NESA pivoted from the established NESA-AFRICOM in-person workshops to online programs as a result of the COVID-19 lockdown.

Feedback from participants and speakers, after the workshop concluded, supports the program’s success with the dynamic exchange that is continuing between the various participants from Latin America, Africa, and South Asia on their shared security issues.


The views presented in this article are those of the speaker or author and do not necessarily represent the views of DoD or its components.

27 thoughts on “NESA-AFRICOM 2023 Workshop Series and NESA Center Women, Peace, and Security E-Book Release

  1. I know you were going to travel again, but was preparing an email to you about different things. One is certainly about my appreciation for all what you do to organize the most fruitful and important events connecting people, knowledge and cultures I have been to in the past few years.

    You have an amazing vision and you do not know how much I appreciate all the work that you do. It will be my pleasure to send the email to express how important your work is for the country and for the participants in these wonderful workshops around the world. I cannot thank you enough for the work you do.

  2. I don’t have words enough to thank you for the absolutely brilliant conference that you organised and for the impeccable arrangements that were made; your looking into each aspect yourself was so amazing. I learnt so much from all of the really high powered women I met and heard and feel so privileged to have been a part of it. THANK YOU from the bottom of my heart. I sincerely hope to get the opportunity again. The book looks so amazing. I am thrilled to see it and once again, thank you for putting it together.

  3. I too would love to thank you for a great opportunity. You are a role model and I feel honored to have known you. A friendship to last inshallah!

  4. You did an amazing job bringing together exceptional women in this great work. This book is the outcome of trust on both ends and the work you (and your team) put into properly presenting our views in this book justifies the time of its’ production. Thank you for including me, I am honored to be part of it.

  5. You did a great job bringing voices from women from different backgrounds together. I hope we can continue to cooperate, all of us, to publish the second edition. Thank you for your support. I am honored to be a part of this book.

  6. Words are not enough to express to you how I am pleased to be part of this important project, and to see the output published ! 😍. The e-Book is an outstanding achievement and a unique contribution to the discussions related to women , peace and security. Thank you again for your effort and your team’s dedication to get this book published.

  7. I’m grateful to you for organizing such an important event and providing the opportunity to interact and engage with such a dynamic and talented group of women. The workshop was incredibly well planned and thoughtfully executed, allowing us to share insights, passion, and stories. It was a great learning experience for me. And you truly deserve all the praise for making that happen. I take great pride in being affiliated with such an extraordinary group of strong women.

  8. I am sincerely grateful to you for inviting me to the workshop, and also for granting me the opportunity to be present with such outstanding and talented people on the same platform. Your enthusiasm, positive energy, and experience were precious and decisive for this project to come to life. Again, I’d like to extend my heartfelt gratitude to work with you on the E-Book and express my eagerness for future projects or cooperation on the peace and security agenda. Greetings to you dear ladies and warm wishes.

  9. I hope you are doing well. Following our interesting workshop in Bangkok empowering women in security matters, I thought it is useful to write a piece on the strategic challenges of Azerbaidjan-Armenia crises and the dynamic of outside players taking the opportunity of the discussions the two parties got in DC under the auspices of US SoS Blinken.

  10. I wrote to Anne separately but wanted to reach out to everyone of you .
    It was truly an unforgettable experience. You are all such powerhouses and I feel really privileged to have met you all, heard some of you and interacted with you all. I warmly welcome you all to India, please do come to New Delhi where i am located. I look forward to connecting with all of you in the future. Anne has been fantastic and i second every word spoken about her remarkable leadership.

  11. I hope you are well and have safely reached back home. I just wanted to send a mail of my sincere thanks for arranging the NESA WPS workshop series in Bangkok. My compliments on the way that you and Fahad had arranged a program of such magnitude, and brought together a powerhouse room full of women (and men). I truly enjoyed, and have learned, from our conversations during the course of the workshop series. The agenda itself, really resonated with many of the courses I teach here in ___ and I can very confidently say I benefitted from the broader discussion of security’s evolving nature and the role that women play in peace and security around the world. Moreover, it was a treat to have finally met you. You, and Fahad, were excellent organizers. I also formed friendships with remarkable ladies who I hope to remain in touch with!

    My sincere thanks again for the opportunity.

  12. Thank you so much for compiling so nicely our various contributions. you did a great Job, an amazing one. I am so grateful. Thank you for the opportunity given to us to path the way for the future generation.

  13. Thank you for all the efforts you made to produce this book, and the fact that I feel honored to be involved with all this distinguished elite, and I hope that there will be other opportunities for cooperation with your esteemed institution.

  14. I join everybody on the list in thanking you and saluting your initiative. It is a book that gives hope and energy to continue.
    Thank you great lady!

  15. Thank you for your efforts in editing the WPS E-book, It is a wonderful and unique experience for me, as this is the first time that I have participated in a work of this kind ( thank you). I also want to thank you for encouraging me to participate in the previous NESA course. Also for the first time.

  16. I also wish to thank you for the publication and for giving me the opportunity to take part in it. There is still so much to do to improve the situation of women worldwide, as well as to increase the involvement of women in decision making which would benefit the world.

  17. Thank you very much for your e-mail. It is a great pleasure to hear from you. Also, I cannot express the happiness I felt when I saw the book. I hope it will have good results and be an effective work. I am very happy to take part in this project. I am very pleased to be involved in the same project with beautiful people like you.

  18. Since we said goodbye in Bangkok, I’ve been thinking a lot in the workshop and how fruitful it was for every one of us. I’ve been in constant touch with some of the ladies and the guys through Whatsapp ever since. The workshop was the kickoff for us to exchange ideas, views, etc. beyond the days we were together in Bangkok. And as we spoke before, the same happened in the previous editions.

    You can surely count on me to sing your praises on how these dynamics have been happening and also how working together “hard” and “soft” approaches have been beneficial to us all and therefore to our countries and the international community. This edition was especially interesting for the number of women involved and also for their diverse background. From my part, What I have observed is that the presentation you asked me to bring to NESA workshop this time has had a mostly interesting outcome in terms of feedback I got from the ladies. Their perceptions and comments were so rich and made me think even more about other types of solutions involving not only the “Soft” approach, but also thoughtful insights from professionals other than the usual Law Enforcement and Military guys that I’m used to deal with routinely.

    So, Anne, I deeply appreciate your groundbreaking and bold approach in involving so many women from different countries and diverse backgrounds to discuss issues that – as you know very well – have been dwelling mostly in “only men” workshops. That was fantastic!!! Congratulations!

    The more I come to your NESA workshops the more enthusiastic about your work I become! Take care… and I do expect our paths to cross even more often again and again! Thank you so much for the opportunity!

  19. Once again thank you for organising a very fruitful and rich workshop. It was comprehensive and a greater benchmark for issues affecting women in peace and security and of course beyond.
    Will surely do the courses on demand to widen the horizon in various areas.
    Once again thank you and remain blessed.

  20. I am writing to express my sincerest gratitude and congratulations for the amazing programs NESA organizes through the leadership of Professor Anne Moisan. I feel extremely lucky for having the opportunity to know Anne through these spectacular programs and to have participated in the events she has personally led and organized. I want to express how much admiration I have for her work and commitment with the mission of NESA and the US Department of Defense overall. She does a lot for her institution and for the United States in general, and I thought it is important to communicate this to you.

    I have had the opportunity to attend and participate as presenter in three NESA workshops in the past couple of years. I was a presenter at the NESA-AFRICOM IEMED–SSN SAHEL workshop on Transnational and Transoceanic Threats (“Future Trends and International Players”) that took place from June 14-23, 2022 in Casablanca, Morocco. Later that same year, on October 8th, I presented on the topics of “trafficking and migration” at the NESA-AFRICOM North Africa Senior Leaders Workshop in Washington, DC. And just very recently, on April 29-May 3, 2023, I had the pleasure to attend—and present my work at—the NESA-AFRICOM Workshop Series on the Changing Nature of Security (“Transnational Threats Know No Boundaries”) and the Workshop for Women Only: “The Women’s Revolution-Life, Liberty, and Freedom” (May 4 and 5).

    I consider that these events are very important for our nation due to the dynamics and synergy they generate, when bringing various experts together with very different perspectives and voices across the globe. I also really appreciate that these programs consider the non-traditional aspects of security, which are extremely relevant in our times. The programs I have attended have been so well organized, extremely well structured and the themes we have discussed are so timely and appropriate. Anne Moisan, and her Associate Fahad Malaikah, work tirelessly to make all the events they organize, a huge success. In my opinion, the benefits brought by these programs to our country are enormous because they create tight and relevant networks of key people that work on defense and security matters around the world. It is in the interest of our country—particularly in the current geopolitical era—to host this kind of events.

    I would like to praise, in particular, Anne’s vision when structuring her workshops so well along the key topics that need attention today. I especially appreciated the workshop “only for women.” This event has been the best one I have attended in several years due to its importance, topics discussed and quality of the participants. I had never been with such an amazing group of brilliant, professional, successful, and humane women from all over the globe. Many of them came from regions of the world undergoing conflict and very complex processes related to defense and security matters, and they were leaders in their professions. To organize an event like that is so relevant for our country overall and for NESA especially because of the key role of women are playing in the areas of security and defense in our times.

    As I mentioned before, I feel very lucky that I was able to participate in these workshops. Knowing Anne Moisan has been a big opportunity for me. I was able to share with amazing people my experience and knowledge in the topics of (im)migration and trafficking in persons. I have benefited from amazing feedback provided by a wonderful group of decisionmakers and professionals in my areas of interest. I learned a lot and want to express my sincerest gratitude to NESA and Anne for all what you do. I am also thankful for what you do for our country. You are accomplishing a key mission in challenging times. Thank you.

  21. Thank you very much for creating a great platform for us to gain a wide knowledge and experience through all the conducted sessions. This workshop helped to make many contacts with many experienced and educated people in different fields in foreign countries. Unfortunately, we couldn’t complete the workshop series as expected due to the sudden fire in the hotel. However, that experience also was a memorable one and your quality of looking out for others is greatly appreciated there. Thank you very much for taking good care of everyone and updating everyone about the situation without missing anyone at the time of fire. I really saw a good woman leader there in you.

    Actually, I was going to write this message earlier. but, due to being busy, I couldn’t do it. This workshop series will be a memorable one in my life because it was my first flight. Thank you again professor for everything and look forward to see you again.

  22. Please accept my belated appreciations to what you accomplished as one of the NESA- AFRICOM workshops. I took pride in taking part in it and having met all scholars and policy makers from different continents sharing same or similar concerns. Global and regional maritime security issues, financial aspects of different trafficking subjects and venues as well as well as the agriculture and food security matters made me realise once more how much more cooperation we need to have to tackle or help our respective governments tackle with common problems. For “violence against women“ words are not enough to describe what a terrible thing it is. No matter how civilized we think the world has become since the Middle ages, there is still the traces of the primitiveness in men, who we women give birth, raise and see as grown ups. Combining all those highly tricky issues in a 5 day- workshop required your competence and you did a wonderful job. The fire at the 63 rd floor of the Lebua hotel also contributed to the charm of the conference whether you have a share in it or not. It was a flamboyant ending and It certainly proved how organized, calm and prudent we all were evacuating and getting back to our pleasant luncheon after the fire was extinguished. Unexpected incidents always make events more memorable. So did the Lebua fire to our NESA Bangkok meeting. Thanks to you and to all those women and men you gathered with a mission for a harmonious future together. Let us keep in touch for other global, regional or local projects.

  23. Thank you indeed for your kind message. I was delighted to attend this unusal gathering (Men in minority) and was very impressed with the outstanding of participation. It was both exciting and very informative particularly because it was not a topic dedicated to gender but to women empowerment in such a sensitive area as security and low intensity conflicts. The networking with Central Asia participants during this workshop was useful. I returned with many key ideas and messages regarding enhancing cooperation and bridging the two regions. With my warm regards to all friends and colleagues.

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