Print This Page

Our Staff


Peter Van Praagh, President

Peter Van Praagh is the founding President of Halifax International Security Forum. Peter has served as Senior Director for Foreign Policy at the Washington, DC-based German Marshall Fund of the United States, as Deputy Vice President of Programs at the National Endowment for Democracy in Washington, DC, and as Chief of Party for the National Democratic Institute both in the former Soviet Union and in Turkey. In 2006-07, Peter served as Senior Policy Advisor to the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Canada. Peter is a graduate of University College, the University of Toronto and the London School of Economics. He is married to Lena Van Praagh and has three children, Yasha, Sophia Joy and Elizabeth.

Joseph Hall, Vice President

Joseph Hall is the founding Vice President of Halifax International Security Forum. Based overseas for 15 years, he returned to the US in 2011 to join the leadership of the Forum. Joe has more than 30 years experience in nonprofit management and fundraising and has served on the boards of directors of national advocacy organizations and philanthropic institutions in the US and abroad. Joe previously served as senior advisor for the Middle East and North Africa and senior director for Lebanon for the National Democratic Institute in Beirut. Since 1997, he has provided strategic advice to political parties and civic organizations throughout the Middle East, West Africa, and the former Soviet Union and has directed election observation and civic programs in the West Bank and Gaza, Azerbaijan, Sierra Leone, Jordan, Egypt, and Lebanon. Joe is also a visual artist with a studio in NE Washington, DC. His abstract work hangs in private and corporate collections in Washington, New York, Palm Beach and Miami.

Christina Chilcote, Program Officer

Christina Chilcote is a Program Officer at Halifax International Security Forum. She holds a doctorate from the New School for Social Research in Anthropology. Her PhD thesis is an ethnography of economic activities along the border of China and North Korea. Prior to joining Halifax, she was a Jennings Randolph Peace Scholar at the United States Institute of Peace. 

Julianna Gouss, Event Manager

Julianna Gouss is the Event Manager at Halifax International Security Forum and is responsible for the management of the annual flagship conference. Prior to joining Halifax, Julianna served as Event Manager with Chris Wayne & Associates (CWA), managing a diverse client portfolio including The Wall Street Journal, the Peter G. Peterson Foundation, the Recording Industry Association of America, and the Center for American Progress, among others. She previously served as the Director of Development for Securing America’s Future Energy (SAFE) and a Legislative Assistant for Congressman John J. Hall. Julianna received her BA from The George Washington University. 

Beth Wojciechowicz, Finance Officer

Beth Wojciechowicz is the Finance Officer at Halifax International Security Forum and is responsible for day to day financial and operating activities. Before joining HISF, Beth worked as an administrator for an accounting firm in Vienna, VA. She holds a BS in Accounting from George Mason University.

Lior Azariya, Program Assistant

Lior Azariya is a Program Assistant at Halifax International Security Forum, reporting to the Vice President and assisting in coordination efforts for the organization’s annual Forum. She graduated magna cum laude from Trinity College (Hartford, CT) in 2016 with a BA in Political Science with a concentration in International Relations and a minor in Religion. She also spent a semester abroad at the School for Oriental and African Studies (SOAS) in London.

Sam Peterson, Program Assistant

Sam Peterson is a Program Assistant at Halifax International Security Forum where he reports to the President and works along side senior staff to help develop and coordinate the annual Forum. In 2016, Sam received his BA in Political Science with a concentration in comparative social movements from Hobart and William Smith Colleges.

Press Releases

Canada Unveils New Defence Policy

WASHINGTON, DC – Canadian Minister of National Defence Harjit S. Sajjan released Canada’s new defence policy yesterday, entitled Strong, Secure, Engaged. This policy announcement is the…

Read More »
  1. Hong Kong court jails democracy activists over 2014 protests https://t.co/MV4WzktFJn

  2. Number of S. Sudanese refugees fleeing to Uganda tops a million https://t.co/ZxjBXNAq3Y

  3. UN observers conclude FARC-EP arms removal process in Colombia https://t.co/8uKVO1gMJm