Dr. Steven E. Sokol, President and CEO
Steven E. Sokol joined the World Affairs Council of Pittsburgh in July 2010 as President and Chief Executive Officer. Before coming to the Council, he served as Vice President and Director of Programs at the American Council on Germany (ACG) from October 2002 until June 2010. Prior to joining the ACG, Dr. Sokol served as Deputy Director of the Aspen Institute Berlin. He has also worked as the Head of the Project Management Department at the Bonn International Center for Conversion GmbH (BICC) and as a Program Officer at the German Marshall Fund of the United States. Earlier in his career he worked at a law firm in Washington, DC (Fulbright & Jaworski) and later at a membership organization for local government officials (International City/County Management Association, ICMA).
Dr. Sokol has spent roughly half his life in the United States and the other half in Europe (in England and Germany). He is a frequent commentator on transatlantic relations and European and American political affairs in the U.S. and European media. He holds a Doctorate in Law and Policy from Northeastern University as well as an M.A. in International Relations and International Economics from the Johns Hopkins University’s Paul Nitze School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS) and a B.A. from Wesleyan University. He has also studied at the Ruprecht-Karls-Universität in Heidelberg and as a Fulbright Scholar at the Freie Universität in Berlin.
Elizabeth Cook, Program Associate (412.281.4339) Elizabeth joined the Council staff in December 2012 and provides support for grant writing, marketing, and general administration, as well as for our events and programming. She finished her undergraduate education at the University of Pittsburgh in Slavic Studies and Music; while there she received the Alfred d’Auberge Scholarship for achievement in music performance, the Critical Language Scholarship (CLS) for the study of the Russian language in the city of Kazan in the Autonomous Republic of Tatarstan in the Russian Federation from the U.S. Department of State. She also received a year-long Foreign Language and Area Studies (FLAS) Fellowship through the U.S. Department of Education for a research project on the post-Soviet folk music culture in Kazan. She has previously worked as the Assistant to the Director at the Renaissance and Baroque Society of Pittsburgh.
Melanie Gulasy, Operations Manager (412.281.7055) Melanie is responsible for managing the everyday operations of the Council. She is highly experienced in office management and event coordination, previously serving as a Major Campaign Coordinator for the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra and Special Events Development Office at the Pittsburgh Public Theater. Melanie earned her Associate's Degree in Multimedia Communications from the Community College of Allegheny County. She joined the Council staff in March 2010.
Amiena Mahsoob, Deputy Director, Education Programs (412.281.7973) Amiena joined the Council in December, 2008 shortly after she returned to Pittsburgh after three years of teaching in Japan. Prior to that, she taught tenth grade English in the Pittsburgh area. As part of the Council's education team, she has used her international education experiences to design and organize large-scale student programs such as the Student Ambassador Program for middle school students as well as several International Student Summits. She is a graduate of the University of Pittsburgh’s Master of Arts in Teaching program. As an undergraduate, she studied English at the Pennsylvania State University and studied abroad in Cairo, Egypt. Her personal accomplishments include the completion of the Pittsburgh Marathon as well as the annual BEE Japan Ride, a two month, 2,500 mile eco-cycling tour of Japan. She is a graduate of Leadership Pittsburgh, Inc.’s Leadership Development Initiative class XVII.