Dear Colleagues

We are delighted to welcome our new team of interns and associates to PCDN as outlined below. In addition, we are very pleased that several of our past interns will be continuing their activities with PCDN. For the first team, we also have several doctoral students and one who has completed her Ph.D. degree. The PCDN team now spans several continents including Nepal, Tunisia, Canada and the US. We had almost 60 applications from around the world for five positions.

Special thanks to previous Intern Kira Kern, who did outstanding work in helping to select and train the new team members.

A reminder is we will be recruiting for new interns (to start in fall 2012) in late July.

The bios and links to each PCDN TEAM member is below. We would encourage everyone to take a moment to thank them for their incredible service to the community.

The PCDN Team

DR. CRAIG ZELIZER, FOUNDER AND CEO, is the Associate Director of the MA in Conflict Resolution within the Department of Government at Georgetown University. His areas of expertise include working with youth from violent conflict regions, civil society development and capacity building in transitional societies, program evaluation and design, conflict sensitivity and conflict mainstreaming, the connection between trauma and conflict, the role of the private sector in peacebuilding, and arts and peacebuilding. He has published several articles, and co-edited the book Building Peace, Practical Reflections from the Field (Kumarian Press, 2009).

He was one of the co-founders and a senior partner in the Alliance for Conflict Transformation, a leading non-profit organization dedicated to building peace through innovative research and practice. He has worked for or served as a consultant with many leading development and peacebuilding organizations including the United States Institute of Peace, Rotary International, and USAID. He has received a number of fellowships and awards, including serving as a Fulbright Junior Scholar in Hungary for two years and as a National Security Education Program Fellow in Bosnia-Herzegovina.

He currently serves on the Editorial Boards of the African Peace and Conflict Journal, Journal of Conflictology and the Journal of Peacebuilding and Developmentand is the founder of the Peace and Collaborative Development Network ( an online network connecting 25,000 professionals in the fields of peacebuilding and development.

He also serves on the boards/advisory boards of several organizations including: Masterpeace, TechChange, International Peace and Security Institute, Dance4Peace and the Inzone Project at the University of Geneva.


DR. CATALINA ROJAS, DIRECTOR OF INNOVATION,  is an expert in gender, development and conflict resolution. Previously, as director of Global Partnerships at Women Thrive Worldwide, she created a worldwide women’s network and led training and consultation processes to increase the advocacy capacity of women’s NGOs and CBOs in Central America and West Africa. She also directed the Global Survey and Women in Muslim Majority Countries research project, which included over 200 women's NGOs in 13 countries, gathering input on their views on development and foreign assistance.  

Prior to joining Women Thrive, Dr. Rojas worked as a consultant on gender, conflict and development issues with various international organizations including the Institute for Inclusive Security, OAS, USAID, and UNIFEM. 

Dr. Rojas has a Ph.D. in Conflict Analysis and Resolution.  Originally from Colombia, she has over 15 years experience working with southern civil society organizations, including working in the peace movement in her home country.

Dr. Rojas has taught, trained and conducted research in Latin America, South East Asia and West Africa.  


DR. SALLY CARLTON, ASSOCIATE, studied foreign languages and History at university, completing a PhD in French History in 2011 which looked at French veterans’ commemoration of World War One. Whilst writing her PhD, she was actively engaged in the university lifestyle, taking French and History lectures and tutorials, working as a Research Assistant, participating in committees and taking on various leadership roles including Humanities Postgraduate Representative. Sally has travelled and worked in countries across four continents, giving her a sound appreciation for a variety of cultures and allowing her to pick up six languages.She has long been involved in the volunteering sector in Australia, completing a six-month part-time internship at Amnesty International and having for many years taught English as a Second Language to migrants and refugees. She is currently volunteering for a year as a Research Fellow at a think tank based in Kathmandu. In Nepal, her role is to support research into democracy, foreign policy, security and the country's ongoing peace process. In addition to her interest in peacebuilding, particularly in conflict resolution and DDR, Sally’s academic interests include the cultural legacy of conflict and the interaction between language, culture and translation.


HEATHER DONALD, OUTREACH INTERN,  holds a Bachelor of Public Affairs and Policy Management, with a concentration in Development Studies from Carleton University in Ottawa, Canada. In the past years, she has studied community development in India and in Tanzania, and she has worked with NGOs, CBOs and international organizations in Canada, the Caribbean, Rwanda and Malawi on capacity building, media relations and communications. Heather will be starting an MA in Development Studies in September, and her academic interests include migration, environment and development; Diasporas and peace building; and protracted refugee solutions.

MAHA HILAL, ASSOCIATE, is currently pursuing a PhD in Justice, Law & Society at American University in Washington, D.C. Her area of research interest is in the field of human rights, with a focus on survivors of human rights abuses and the adverse consequences they face post-abuse. Maha received her Master's Degree in Counseling and her Bachelor's Degree in Sociology from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Maha has worked and volunteered at a number of human rights organizations including the Center for Victims of Torture and the Torture Abolition and Survivor Support Coalition, in addition to serving as a dialogue facilitator at American University. Maha was also previously a Christine Mirayan Fellow at the National Academy of Sciences as well as a recipient of the Department of State's Critical Language Scholarship for Arabic study in Morocco. Upon completing her doctoral degree, she plans to pursue a career as a scholar-practitioner in the fields of human rights and conflict resolution.


MICHELLE MACMILLAN, OUTREACH INTERN,  holds a BA in Political Science with a minor in Anthropology from the University of Arizona. Her academic interests include post-conflict peacebuilding in East Africa, youth education, reconciliation processes, human rights and development. During her time in school she has enjoyed worked with youth through bi-national cooperation between Mexican and American high school students while mentoring refugee youth in Tucson. She has had the opportunity to collaborate on a project that examines reparation processes in South Africa and serve as a health educator in Tanzania.

VALERIE OLIPHANT, COMMUNICATIONS OFFICER, holds a BA in International Studies, with a focus on development in Africa, from the University of Arizona. She is currently working towards her MA in Conflict Resolution and a certificate in Refugees and Humanitarian Emergencies at Georgetown University. Her academic interests include interstate conflict in Africa; resource wars; post-conflict effects on health and psychology, particularly among women and children; refugees; and religion. She previously worked with the Somali Bantu Association of Tucson, Arizona to help Somali Refugees work towards obtaining their US citizenship.


KYLE O'ROURKE, OUTREACH INTERN,  is currently working towards his BA in Political Science with a Peace Studies & Spanish Minor at Illinois State University.  O’Rourke’s academic interests include food justice, fair elections in southern countries, environment and its intersection with development, peace building, and gender mainstreaming. He has experience working with two different non-profits that offer food resources to underprivileged regions. Currently on an outreach committee to establish a co-op grocery store bringing quality, local food to areas of Central Illinois that lack healthy options. O’Rourke is part of Illinois State’s Model UN and also assists with a weekly lecture series where experts in their fields discuss various global issues and activities.


ZOHAR ROM, SOCIAL MEDIA PRODUCER,  is an award-winning filmmaker who is increasingly involved with videos involving peace, social justice and social entrepreneurs. He produced the U.S./Israeli documentary Where Heaven & Earth Touch which tells the stories of 10 heroes across the U.S., and he’s extending the reach of the Alliance for Middle East Peace (ALLMEP) by creating an online video campaign that promotes its mission, influences legislators and attracts funders. Mr. Rom is also writing and producing a pair of videos about Afghan, Iraqi and American teenagers who learn about each other's cultures.


ANGEL STORM, ASSOCIATE, is currently working as a data analyst contractor for the US government. She has an M.A. in International Security, a B.S. in Human Development, and is currently pursuing a doctorate in Conflict Analysis and Resolution, focusing on International Peace. Prior to her graduate schooling, she was a sergeant in the US Army for six years, working as a Civil Affairs Specialist. Her current areas of interest are food sovereignty and cultural identities. She has a black lab, Gracie, and lives in Alexandria, VA with her fiancé.


NURA SULEIMAN, OUTREACH INTERN, holds a BA in International Studies, with a concentration on the Middle East, History and Arabic, from Middlebury College. She is currently working towards an MA in International Law and the Settlement of Disputes at the United Nations-Mandated University for Peace in Costa Rica.  Her academic interests include the development of the rule of law; Palestinian civil society; refugee rights; and cultural based concepts of justice.  She has been fortunate to live and work in eight countries on four continents.  She currently resides in Tunisia.


Tags: Associates, Interns, PCDN TEAM

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Welcome all team members by heart.

Thanks Would appreciate if you could let others know about PCDN

Congratulations and welcome all of you to the PCDN Network. Hope to have an exciting year with your contributions to the network.

Thanks Would appreciate if you could let others know about PCDN

I wish them all the best!


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