Hardwired’s team of full-time staff and professional volunteers are committed to advancing the human right to freedom of thought, conscience, religion or belief for all people worldwide.
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Founder and President
Tina Ramirez serves as the President/Executive Director and brings to Hardwired 20 years of experience as a teacher, foreign policy expert and authority on international human rights law and religious freedom. Previously, she served as a policy advisor for the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom, a foreign policy advisor for the U.S. Congress, where she founded the bi-partisan International Religious Freedom Caucus, and former Director of Government Relations and International Programs at Becket Law.
Tina has published extensively and is the author of Iraq: Hope in the Midst of Darkness (2017), a contributing author, and editor of Human Rights in the United States: A Dictionary and Documents (2010 and 2017) and author/editor of Human Rights: Great Events From History (2019). She holds a certificate from the International Institute for Human Rights in Strasbourg, France, a MA in Education from Vanguard University, and a MA in International Human Rights from the University of Essex, UK.
Tina has spoken before the United Nations and the African Union and testified before the U.S. Congress. In 2012, she was awarded the Second Annual Ahmadiyya Muslim Humanitarian Award for her congressional work defending their community worldwide. She serves as Secretary of the UN NGO Committee on Freedom of Religion or Belief in New York, and is a former board member for the First Freedom Center in Richmond, VA.
Outreach and Development Officer
Victoria Tiggas is the Outreach and Development Program Officer at Hardwired Global. With a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science, she comes to Hardwired with years of experience serving local, state and national nonprofits in a program, event, and outreach capacity. While she is grateful to have worked for organizations focused on homelessness and youth, she looks forward to turning her talents to the field of freedom of religion or belief and human rights. Victoria’s deep appreciation and respect for diversity and culture is a result of her family’s rich ethnic history and her upbringing in a vibrant Albanian-Greek family. Through Hardwired, Victoria will continue to dedicate her life to alleviating suffering and protecting the fundamental human rights of all people.
Gina Vellani is the Program Manager at Hardwired Global. She has been in the field of education for 18 years in various contexts and has over 10 years of program management experience. Her experience includes teaching ESL in public schools, working immigrant communities in New York City, and developing an educational program in Poland for kids from disadvantaged families. She received an MA in Education and Development and wrote her
dissertation on ethnic and religious beliefs towards HIV positive women in West Bengal, India with the aim of highlighting how belief systems play a key role in a country’s efforts in handling challenging issues. Gina is passionate about how education can help mitigate ethnic and religious tensions and looks forward to utilizing her skills and experiences at Hardwired Global.
Samantha Howell serves as a Trainer for Hardwired Global where she helps facilitate training programs and supports research and reporting on the impact of our programs. She holds a Master of Arts in Anthropology from San Diego State University and a Bachelor of Arts from James Madison University. Before joining Hardwired, Samantha served with the United States Peace Corps in Paraguay as a Crop Extension Volunteer from 2010-2012. Her academic research has focused on social-ecological poverty traps among rural Paraguayan farmers and she has contributed to other research projects in the realms of food justice and advocacy, cybernetic usage and interactions, and aging populations in Latin America and the Caribbean.
Zeuna Dbouk supports the organization’s international training programs and leads our on-line training program. She brings to the organization two decades of diverse experience that spans teaching, training, and curriculum development in multiple countries. She is specialized in cross- cultural education and in the pedagogy of conceptual change. Zeina has led Hardwired trainings in Iraq and Lebanon and contributes regularly to the organization’s research and publications.
Mary Anne Ramirez
Dr. Rea-Ramirez supports the development of curriculum, training teachers, and conducting evaluation research. She comes with a doctorate in Education from the University of Massachusetts, specializing in conceptual change research and theory. Dr. Rea-Ramirez has conducted both professional development and research for over 30 years and is well published, most recently with several articles on using conceptual change theory in social sciences.
H. Victor Conde
Victor Condé is an international human rights lawyer, author and educator based in California and Europe. He holds a J.D. from UC Davis and an LLM in Human Rights and Humanitarian Law from the Univ. of Essex, UK. He has served as a legal consultant to Hardwired since 2013 and participated in several training programs. He has also been a consultant to the O.S.C.E and to the Holy See (Vatican) at the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva.
Cecilia Blankenship, M.S. comes to Hardwired as an administrator after 49 years in public and private education as a classroom teacher, assistant principal and principal. Her background is in science education but has worked with students from pre-school through high school. Her last position was as principal of a public charter school with an emphasis on the arts.
You Can Create a Culture of Freedom and Help Change the World
P.O. Box 14743
Richmond, Virginia 23221
1901 Huguenot Road
North Chesterfield, Virginia 23235
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Hardwired is a registered 501(c)3 non-profit organization. EIN: 46–2801344