Trained as an architect, Ashley Thompson is a Masters in Design Studies Candidate at the Graduate School of Design focused on the dynamics of power, politics, and gender in contested environments, primarily conflict, within the Risk & Resilience Program. Most recently, she led an interdisciplinary design research team to Nepal to conduct fieldwork in earthquake response, framing strategies for innovation and capacity building in a post-disaster context. Prior to attending Harvard, Ashley served in the United States Air Force as a Civil Engineer Officer and Alternate Sexual Assault Response Coordinator at Yokota Air Base, Japan. In 2014, she led a bilateral mission of 40 engineers to execute a humanitarian assistance operation in the Philippines aimed at bolstering security cooperation and regional stability. Over 60 days her team constructed a schoolhouse and delivered additional critical infrastructure projects in support of 1,500 students as well as the broader community. Dedicated to building communities based on mutual respect, she is committed to gender equity and continues to work with and through women’s leadership initiatives. Additionally, she is a nationally certified Sexual Assault Advocate and Crisis Responder. Ashley holds a Bachelor of Arts and a Bachelor of Architecture from Rice University School of Architecture, Houston, Texas. As the daughter of Air Force Officers and a veteran herself, she has extensive personal and professional experience abroad.