MS in Global Affairs
Alumna, Class of 2011
I developed an interest in peacebuilding as an undergraduate student studying international relations. I was drawn to the multidisciplinary nature of peacebuilding and what it stood for as an approach to political and social dilemmas. I realized conflict is not only natural to human societies, but also a means of driving innovation and finding nonviolent and constructive means to work through complex issues.
I work for Interpeace, an international peacebuilding organization that operates in over 20 post-conflict countries. My role consists of coordinating projects that look at resilience to violent conflict, or the attributes that individuals, communities, and institutions possess, which enable them to transform conflicts for constructive social change. I work with local researchers who conduct surveys, interviews, and focus groups to try and understand and identify these capacities. I help to provide support for the documentation and dissemination of these findings, which constitute the basis of a national working group that is mandated with developing recommendations for strengthening these abilities.
The peacebuilding concentration complimented traditional learning with a practical approach to education, which motivated me in my approach to and application of this information. This can range from setting up a commission on civic education under the president’s office to supporting arts and recreational clubs for at-risk youth. Additionally, I support the dissemination of our findings and lessons learned to an international audience, with a view toward influencing how donors and multilateral organizations formulate their own understanding of and policies on peacebuilding.