Kiahna Cassell joined the Aspen Institute Communications and Society Program as a Project Manager in March 2008. In July 2015, she assumed the role of Project Director and is currently responsible for various programs, including the Aspen Institute Symposium on the State of Race in America, the Community Dialogue on Healing the Racial Divide and the Dialogue on Diplomacy and Technology. Prior to joining the Aspen Institute, Kiahna served as the U.S. Program Coordinator at Visions in Action, an international development non-profit organization in Washington, D.C. There she managed the international volunteer program and contributed to the development of the organization’s humanitarian and Presidents Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR)-funded projects in Sub-Saharan Africa.
In 2007, Kiahna received a Master of Arts degree in Political Science (International Relations Concentration) from Howard University. She also holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science from The Catholic University of America. She is a fellow of The International Career Advancement Program (ICAP), a program aimed to help bring greater diversity to the staffing of senior management and policy-making positions in international public service, both in the government, private sector and non-profit organizations.
Kiahnas passion for issues facing the developing world enabled her to travel to many regions in the Global South and she has spent time in Cape Town, South Africa researching democracy and development issues surrounding the HIV/AIDS crisis.