Julia Schiwal is a senior program specialist with the religion and inclusive societies program at USIP.
Before joining USIP in 2019, she worked at George Washington University, volunteered with local transgender organizations and supported the Xinjiang Victims Database.
Schiwal is a historian, researcher and writer. Her writing has touched on peace and conflict, the complicated legacies of colonialism, the idea of winning “hearts and minds,” transgender and gay history, and Afghanistan’s rich legal and Islamic past.
She is leading USIP’s Religious Women Negotiating on the Frontlines project and building a pragmatic approach to gender and sexual minority advocacy in collaboration with partners and friends around Washington.
She has a bachelor’s in humanities and religion from the University of Montana and a master’s in Central Asian studies from George Washington University. She was awarded a 2021 John. F Richards Research Fellowship by the American Institute of Afghanistan Studies to study gender and sexual minorities in Afghan history.