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 on trauma, arts, and various aspects of peacebuilding. He recently edited the book Integrated Peacebuilding Innovative Approaches to Transformation Conflict (Westview, 2013) 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 (http://internationalpeaceandconflict.org) an online network connecting 31,000 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, Move This World 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.
MAHA HILAL,Director of Outreach and Member Engagement, 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.
VALERIE OLIPHANT, Community Development Coordinator, holds a BA in International Studies, with a focus on development in Africa, from the University of Arizona. She holds an 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.
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.
NURA SULEIMAN, ASSOCIATE, 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.
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.