Introducing New and Old Members of the PCDN Team

Dear PCDN Community

We are please to reintroduce older and newer members of the PCDN Team. It takes a tremendous amount of time, resources and creativity to maintain and provide the many services of PCDN (your support is critical). Nura Sulemain and Kira Kern, two wonderful interns from Fall 2011, will continue into the spring. We are please to announce three new interns, Fatima Ahmed, Heather Donaldson and Kristen Hecht who are starting this week.

Mr. Zohar Rom (who produced the interview with Emmanuel Jal) has joined PCDN as the Social Media Producer and Dr. Catalina Rojas, has joined as Director of Innovation.

Please take a moment to welcome new and old members of the PCDN TEAM.

We will also be recruiting for Summer 2012 PCDN Interns in March.


Dr. Zelizer

The PCDN Team

Dr. Craig Zelizer, CHIEF CREATIVE VISIONARY, is Associate Director of the Conflict Resolution MA Program in 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, working on conflict sensitivity and mainstreaming across development sectors, the connection between trauma and conflict, the role of the private sector in peacebuilding, and arts and peacebuilding.

To date he has worked in over 15 countries and helped train hundreds of individuals in conflict resolution skills and processes. He was one of the co-founders in the Alliance for Conflict Transformation (www.conflicttransformation), a leading non-profit organization dedicated to building peace through innovative research and practice. In addition he has worked for several international organizations including the International Research & Exchanges Board and the United States Institute of Peace. He regularly serves as a consultant to leading organizations in the field. He has received several fellowships including, serving as Fulbright Junior Scholar in Hungary for two years and a National Security Education Program Fellow in Bosnia-Herzegovina. Mr. Zelizer received his B.A. from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst, M.A. from the Central European University and Ph.D. from George Mason University.


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.  


Mr. 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.


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.


Fatima Ahmed, OUTREACH INTERN, is completing her BA in Peace and Conflict Studies at the University of Waterloo. During her academic career, she has been fortunate enough to work in places like the Canadian Arctic and Vanuatu, South Pacific and do academic exchange in Sweden. Her community involvement has varied from volunteering and organizing at the grassroots level to  serving as steering committee members for regional and national committees.


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.

Kristen Hecht, OUTREACH INTERN, holds a BA in International Studies with a minor in French. She is currently working towards her MA in International Politics with concentrations in Human Rights and International Development at American University. Her academic interests include women’s human rights; gender analysis; gender mainstreaming; international development; refugees; and organizational development. She currently works at Quota International, an international service organization that assists disadvantaged women and children and people who are deaf, hard of hearing, and speech-impaired. She previously worked in France as an English teacher and has held internships at Women & Politics Institute, European Institute, and Institute of International Education. Kristen recently came back from a trip to the Thailand/Burma border, where she explored challenges facing people from Burma while visiting a number of grassroots-level organizations that promote human rights and democracy in Burma.


Kira Kern,  OUTREACH INTERN , holds a BA in Political Science, with minors in Psychology and Peace and Conflict Studies from Swarthmore College.  She is currently working towards her MA in Security Studies with a concentration in International Security at Georgetown University.  Her academic interests include foreign aid; development; microfinance; environmental conflict; and how aid can be used to promote peace.  She previously worked for the Foreign Policy Research Institute on its Think Tanks and Civil Societies project.  She spent the last 6 months coordinating a symposium that promoted women's increased involvement in sports.


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 Washington, D.C. where she is consulting with a forensic accounting firm specializing in development fraud. 


Views: 358

Tags: Interns, PCDN, Social Media, Team


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Comment by S-CAR at GMU on February 1, 2012 at 4:06pm

Thank you all for your incredible contributions!

Comment by Tony Karbo on January 31, 2012 at 12:59am
I join thousands in welcoming all of you to this great innovative enterprise.
Comment by Julius Atanawhemera on January 30, 2012 at 9:10am

Good combination of team! Bravo!!! dear colleagues and long live PCDN.

Comment by Zeru Fantaw on January 30, 2012 at 7:58am

I wish all the best for old and new PCDN team!

Comment by tahir wadood malik on January 30, 2012 at 7:44am
bravo to the continuing team, and welcome to the new members. your work and efforts make PCDN what it is, and our stay here fruitful

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