Board of IAPSS Global

  • IAPSS President

    IAPSS President

    The IAPSS President leads the organization and the Executive Committee, chairing Executive Committee meetings and ensuring that there is a collaboration between global departments, IAPSS Regions, and other organizational facets. They represent IAPSS externally and directly oversee the International Cooperation Department, which establishes and maintains IAPSS’ collaborations with other organizations, including but not limited to partners, association members, and strategic student government and advocacy allies. The IAPSS President has a pivotal role in IAPSS’ advocacy efforts to improve the lives of political science students and impact relevant policies at all levels of government. They provide an annual report to IAPSS members on the organization’s activities at a General Assembly near the end of each elected mandate.

    Justin Patrick


    Justin has a bachelor’s degree in political science and history from the University of Ottawa and a master’s in political science from the University of Toronto. He is currently in his first year of a Ph.D. at the University of Toronto with the goal of writing a political theory of student government.
    His past experience includes various roles as a public servant for the Government of Canada, as well as about a decade of student activism and advocacy. In the latter half of the 2010s, he helped establish a political movement to challenge corruption in the Student Federation of the University of Ottawa (SFUO), which culminated in University of Ottawa students voting in a referendum in 2019 to abolish the SFUO and establish a new student government, the University of Ottawa Students’ Union (UOSU), an unprecedented event in Canadian politics referred to as the UOSU Revolution.
    In 2014, he founded Campus Vibez uOttawa (CVUO), an organization that provides communication services to extracurricular groups on the University of Ottawa campus. Today, CVUO not only promotes over 300 extracurricular groups but administers the entire UOSU club registration system.
    Justin has also served as Internal Commissioner of the University of Toronto Graduate Students Union (UTGSU’s), during which he revived the UTGSU Policy and Operations Committee to a functional capacity and helped bring about a number of changes to update UTGSU’s guiding documents. He served as IAPSS Events Social Media Coordinator during the 2018-19 academic year and then Secretary-General in 2019-2020.
    As IAPSS President, Justin’s priorities include ensuring all political science students have easy access to participate in IAPSS’ democratic processes and make their voices heard at all levels of government, as well as expanding IAPSS’ networks of partners and working with other student governments from around the world to establish a Global Student Government to represent all students of all subjects and develop regular student collaboration across national and continental borders.

  • IAPSS International Cooperation Department

    IAPSS International Cooperation Department

    The IAPSS oversees the organization’s external relations and is directly headed by the IAPSS President. The international cooperation department facilitates IAPSS’ global advocacy initiatives, as well as partnerships, sponsorships, and collaborations with other organizations.

    For general inquiries please feel free to contact the IAPSS President at


    Patricia Kumbakisaka

    Strategic Communications and Partnerships Coordinator

    Patricia is a Canadian rising voice for global advocacy, International relations, youth in diplomacy, & foreign policy. She was recently named 2020 Most Accomplished Black-Canadian woman; where her story will be published among a collection of recipients in the book 100 Accomplished Black Canadian Women – 2020.

    Patricia is the IAPSS Strategic Partnerships and Communications Coordinator & also the President of the Canadian Political Science Students’ Association. Pat comes from a diplomatic family – her family is originally from the Democratic Republic of Congo however she’s never been there, she was born in Bucharest, Romania and moved to Athens, Greece at the age of 3 and lived there for 7 years. After that she and her family moved to Canada when she was 10 years. Patricia is fluent in five languages: Belgian-French, English, Greek, Swahili and Romanian. The global citizen now resides in the National capital region of Canada; in Ottawa.

    Patricia studied Political Science, with a specialization in international relations, at the University of Manitoba and she also undertook extended research at the Department of Peace Studies and Conflict Resolution at the University of Ottawa, and is now finishing a cultural diplomacy & International relations research course with the Institute for Cultural Diplomacy.

    In addition to that she has conducted research work with UNITAR on a general introduction to the relationship between human rights, International Legal and Foreign Policy Framework and the work that the United Nation does. Accordingly, her academic training was specifically focused on the analysis of state-level policies regarding human rights and security, including analysis of the global political system, its key actors as well as the Canadian state and society. In 2016 she was a successful nominee and was accepted as Chair of Human Rights Council for the UN Youth Association of Romania; she worked with foreign officials on projects related to Canadian and foreign local laws, cultural, economic and political conditions.

    In 2018 she was the Canadian Youth delegate at the UN Headquarters for the UN Youth Assembly in New York where she got a chance to elevate her voice in international dialogues, empowered youth to advocate for future generations, and mobilise youth as agents of impact change. She continues to advocate for the youths and see that the voice of the youth is heard loud and clear. She designed a project called Canada’s Diversity advantage with the United Nations Association
    of Canada – in which she engaged various youth in Canada in an interactive sharing of multi-generational lived-experiences that will cultivate a deeper understanding of the historic journey of different individuals who have contributed to building Canada as a nation, and shaping its shared heritage. The program rolled out in schools and community centres led by her and raised awareness on the migration patterns of Canadians It also enhanced youth appreciation of their country’s diverse population and the contribution of this diversity to Canada’s identity.

    What she hopes to bring in IAPSS International Cooperation department is a strong collaboration of youth around the world understanding how the International relations world function and having the opportunities to participate, engage and have their voices heard.

  • IAPSS Secretariat

    IAPSS Secretariat

    The IAPSS Secretariat oversees IAPSS’ internal communications and democratic processes. The Secretary-General leads the Secretariat, which looks after the website, email accounts, and project management applications. They take minutes at Executive Committee meetings, organize General Assemblies and elections, ensure the IAPSS Legal Framework is followed, and oversee all matters pertaining to memberships.

    Oleksii Zahreba


    Oleksii is currently studying in the last year of his undergraduate International Studies program at Burman University in the province of Alberta, Canada. He joined IAPSS in 2019, and his first involvement with the organization was in the position of Speakers Coordinator Assistant on the team organizing the World Congress in Vienna. After the event was canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Oleksii ran for an election for the chair of the USA and Canada chapter of IAPSS. He served as a chair of the USA and Canada region for the 2020/21 mandate. In the past Oleksii organized international Model United Nations conferences and served on the executive committee of the International Studies Club at his university.

    Reon van der Merwe

    Deputy Secretary-General

    Reon is a Development Studies graduate of the University of Cape Town, South Africa. He is currently completing his Master’s degree in International Relations with a specific focus on African Union peacekeeping and peacebuilding operations. Born in the years following the fall of the Apartheid regime in South Africa, Reon took a keen interest in matters of politics, history, and development at an early age. Since 2015 he has been actively involved with several national and international youth development platforms, including the UN Association of South Africa, the World Federation of UN Associations, and more recently the South African BRICS Youth Association, working to close the gap between youth and international politics. Reon joined IAPSS at the end of 2019 taking on the role as the first Chair of the organization’s Africa & MENA Student Research Committee. Along with his team, the committee has contributed to a number of IAPSS projects including the organization’s global UN75 Conculatation campaign in 2020. In the coming years, Reon envisions that IAPSS will be one avenue through which youth from the Global South, and particularly from Africa, can become better represented in international discourses and forums.

  • IAPSS Financial Administration Department

    IAPSS Financial Administration Department

    The Financial Administration Department of IAPSS maintains the financial infrastructure of the association and manages the annual budget. Fundraising is also situated in the Financial Administration Department.

    Shobhendra Srivastava


    Shobhendra has 12+ years of experience in leading and supporting global organizations in the areas of leadership, strategy, finance & transformation. Over the years, contributing to the field of education has given him the most joy. He is continuously engaged in managing educational events, teaching as a volunteer, and an advisory board member at his university. This is the key reason for him to be a part of the International Association for Political Science Students (IAPSS).

  • IAPSS Advisory Board

    IAPSS Advisory Board

    The Advisory Board offers guidance to the current Global Board and reviews various IAPSS reports and processes for quality assurance.

    Giulia Zampedri

    Advisory Board Member

    Giulia has a bachelor’s degree in political science from the University of Salzburg
    (Austria). She is currently in her last year of an Erasmus Mundus Joint Degree Master
    in digital communication and Policy in Europe at the University of Salzburg and Vrije
    Universiteit Brussel. She joined IAPSS in 2018 as a student ambassador and was from 2018 to 2020 the Regional Chair for Europe. In 2020, Giulia was elected as a member of the Advisory Board. As a member of the Advisory Board, she is committed to making sure IAPSS remains a great place for inspiring students to network and that their voice is heard and well represented.

    Jim Jimeno

    Advisory Board Member

    Jim Jimeno is an acting director at the Philippine Department of Foreign Affairs. He currently supervises the consular assistance operations in the Asia-Pacific covering 19 embassies and 11 consulates general. He is a Pacific Forum Young Leader and a World Economic Forum Global Shaper. He is also the co-chair of the Western Pacific regional hub of the Nursing Now Challenge. He has published peer-reviewed articles about health, migration, and sustainable development. He is an incoming MBA student at the Quantic School of Business and Technology and a recipient of the Strada Scholarship for Emerging Leaders.

    María Paula Jijón Andrade

    Advisory Board Member

    Maria Paula has two bachelor’s degrees in Law and International Relations from IE University (Spain). She is currently enrolled in a master’s degree to Access the Legal Profession with a specialization in Public Policy from Pontificia Universidad Comillas (ICADE) in Spain. María Paula will be barred to practice law in Spain by 2022. She was a part of the IAPSS 2021 Virtual World Congress as a Chair, Discussant, and Panelist presenting her research on populism and judicial independence. Her interests include international relations, political science, constitutionalism, and government studies, as well as alternative dispute resolution mechanisms.

  • IAPSS Programs Department

    IAPSS Programs Department

    The IAPSS Programs Department oversees IAPSS partnerships and communication with external organizations.

    Crystal Staebell

    Vice-President for Programs

    Crystal Staebell joined IAPSS as an administrative coordinator for World Congress 2020 in Vienna. When the conference was canceled due to Covid-19, she did not despair and became a co-head of the virtual World Congress in 2021. As someone with 4+ years of event experience working in the policy scene in Washington, DC, she plans to work on bringing another dimension to the IAPSS academic events and expanding IAPSS’s presence.

  • IAPSS Academic Department

    IAPSS Academic Department

    The Academic Department of IAPSS constitutes the academic pillar of the Association. It is designed to offer a number of unique opportunities for students of political science and related disciplines to develop their skills in academic research, writing, and presentation at conferences and other events.

    The work of the Academic Department offers multifold ways for students to get involved and further develop academic experiences such as publishing in different formats and other important skills. We operate two journals (Politikon and Encuentro Latinoamericano), one blog (A Different View), Student Research Committees, and Delegations. For each branch, one IAPSS Board member (a Coordinator or an Editor-in-Chief) is responsible, together with the Head of the Department.

    The two IAPSS journals (the flagship journal Politikon with a general focus and Encuentro Latinoamericano, which focuses on Latin American Studies) run a double-blind peer review process, as any professional journal. This, together with the expertise of the Editorial Boards, the Advisory Committee members, and the Paper Submission Guidelines ensures that each issue includes a number of high-quality articles, written predominantly by students and junior researchers.

    Those who are interested in contributing with shorter reflection pieces can apply to join the Authorial Board of our blog ‘A Different View’ or submit a guest contribution to it.  Each year, a competitive Call for Applications is launched to select a small group of graduate or postgraduate students or more experienced junior researchers who will work together on a prescribed general theme, helped by the Academic Coordinator. The Student Research Committees offer another range of opportunities to IAPSS members. After a successful application process, students and junior researchers can become members of an IAPSS SRC focused on a particular subfield in political science and related disciplines. Within the SRC, they interact with other individuals with similar interests, work together with the other members on papers and other forms of research outputs, and form panels for the IAPSS conferences as well as conferences held by IAPSS’ partner organizations.

    Last but not least, IAPSS Delegations are a prime outcome of the partnership of IAPSS with renowned academic and professional associations, such as IPSA (International Political Science Association), ECPR (European Consortium for Political Research), ISA (International Studies Association), or UACES (Academic Association for Contemporary European Studies). IAPSS panels at the conferences of these organizations feature selected work of the Academic Department affiliates and if capacity allows, separate Calls for Applications are launched for applicants who wish to submit abstracts for these panels.

    For general inquiries please feel free to contact the Head of the Academic Department Team at

    Melis Kirtilli

    Vice-President for Academic Affairs

    Zinnia Aurora

    Deputy Head of the Department for Academic Affairs

    Jesslene Lee

    Co-Editor-in-Chief of Politikon

    Rafael Plancarte

    Co-Editor-in-Chief of Politikon

  • IAPSS Public Relations Department

    IAPSS Public Relations Department

    The Public Relations Department of IAPSS is mainly in charge of developing PR strategies and promoting IAPSS events and our academic publications.

    Paola Navarro Villa
    Vice President for Public Relations

    Paola was born and raised in Mexico City, she moved to Germany in 2012 to study Political Science and English Philology at the University of Göttingen. She is finishing her master’s studies in Political Science, where she focused on nationalism, populism, extremism, and the use of language in nationalist movements, and is currently working on her master’s thesis on the influence of Christian nationalism on contemporary politics.

    She has been a part of IAPSS since 2018 and is currently the Vice President for Public Relations. In the mornings, she works at a language school where she teaches German. Her areas of interest include nationalism, populism, religion, language, communication, media, literature, and pop culture.

    Maheen Shafeeq
    Deputy Head of the Public Relations Department

    Maheen Shafeeq is a graduate of The University of Sheffield, United Kingdom. She holds a master’s degree in International Relations and a bachelor’s degree in Social Sciences with majors in International Relations from Bahria University Islamabad.

    She is serving in the capacity of Deputy Head at International Association for Political Science Students IAPSS. She has one and a half years of teaching experience at the Department of Humanities and Social Sciences Bahria University and School of Politics and International Relations Quaid-e-Azam University Islamabad. Previously she has worked with the Ministry of Reforms and Development, and Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Pakistan.

    Her research area includes International Relations, Ethics of Warfare, Politics of International Migration, Political Economy of Globalization, Nationalism, Diplomacy, Future Technology and Aviation Industry.

    She is a professional photographer and has worked with football clubs in the UK such as Manchester United, Sheffield United and Sheffield Wednesday.

    Lucy O’Connell
    Media Coordinator

    Lucy is a Bachelor of Science student at University College Dublin, studying Politics and International Relations. Throughout high school she was heavily involved in events surrounding international affairs and youth political engagement programmes, which has helped her gain much experience and interest in the field of international relations upon entering university. Her interest areas include global development and globalisation and she is excited for what opportunities she can access on the global political stage after she attains her first university degree. She speaks fluent Irish and English as well as French, and has a basic knowledge of Spanish. Lucy is a member of IAPSS’s Global Media Team and is looking forward to continuing her journey with IAPSS.

    Ginisha Dewani
    Partnerships Liaison Coordinator

    Ginisha Dewani is a doctoral student at National Institute of Technology, Jaipur. With her ongoing research, she is working to support the Government of India led urban governance project at Lal Bahadur National Academy of Administration, India. Academically driven towards public policy, local governance, development studies and international relations, she has been a merit holder during her Master’s study and gold medalist for excelling her graduation studies. Presently, she is shouldering the responsibility to facilitate the EU-India Policy Dialogue Support Facility in India.

    Ginisha is also serving as an expert at Asia Europe Foundation-ARC8, for supporting and designing policy briefs on internalisation of higher education in Asia and Europe. Previously, she had worked with British Council as Arts Manager for ensuring smooth cultural collaboration between India and the UK. She is currently associated with UN SDSN as Local pathways Fellow 2021.