Faculty & Fellows
Visiting Scholars Biographies
Jennifer Schirmer with a PhD in Anthropology, is Research Professor and Projects Director, Conflict Analysis and Peace Dialogues at the University of Oslo’s Centre for Development and the Environment. Since 2000, she has been serving as organizer and facilitator of Dialogues/Conversatorios among Colombian military and police officers, political elites (parliamentarians across the political spectrum), economic elites (members of the private sector), representatives of the media and guerrilla ex-combatants. The Dialogues/Conversatorios are part of a long-term project to engage and prepare the armed actors for a peace process together with members of Colombian civil society.
She also conducted interviews with military officers regarding their mentalité in regard to the massacre campaign in Guatemala between 1984-1994. Her book, The Guatemalan Military Project: A Violence Called Democracy, was awarded the PIOOM Netherlands-based Program on Root Causes of Human Rights Violations Human Rights Book Award, Recently, Dr. Schirmer was interviewed by National Public Radio regarding the trial of General Rios Montt.
Dr. Schirmer's academic interests include peacebuilding and conflict resolution; methods of democratic dialogue; the anthropology of insurgency; the mentalities of armed actors in conflicts; human rights; gender and social movements in Latin America; and social justice and welfare rights for women.
Mary B. Anderson
Mary B. Anderson was most recently Executive Director of CDA Collaborative Learning Projects and President of the Collaborative for Development Action, Inc., a small consulting firm based in Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA.
An economist, Mary Anderson has specialized in: rural development strategies that build on local capacities; gender analysis in development programming; the relationships between emergency relief assistance and long-term development; and educational policies as these affect access to primary education in developing countries.
Since 1995, she has launched and directed the Local Capacities for Peace Project to learn more about the relationships between humanitarian and development assistance and conflict. The Project is a collaborative effort of a number of donor governments, international and indigenous NGOs, and multilateral aid agencies. Its purpose is to learn from past experience how aid may be provided in conflict settings so that, rather than feeding into and exacerbating the conflicts, it helps local people disengage from the violence that surrounds them and begin to develop alternatives for addressing the problems that underlie their conflict.
Mary B. Anderson has written extensively on the subjects described above. In 1999, she authored a book entitled Do No Harm: How Aid Can Support Peace--Or War which sets out the lessons learned from the Local Capacities for Peace Project.
Bernardo Arévalo de León
A native of Guatemala, Bernardo Arévalo de León has served with the United Nations/Interpeace joint unit in Geneva, Switzerland, which oversees programs in Israel, Liberia and Cyprus. He has published on civil-military relations, security sector reform and democratization.
Paul Arthur is a Professor of Politics and former Director of the Graduate Programme in Peace and Conflict Studies at the University of Ulster. He holds a BA and MSSC from Queen’s University Belfast and a D.Litt. from the National University of Ireland. He is the author of five books –the latest being Special Relationships: Britain, Ireland and the Northern Ireland problem (2001) – and numerous peer-reviewed articles. He has lectured extensively in Europe and the United States. In 1997-98 he held a Senior Fellowship at the United States Institute of Peace (USIP) in Washington DC where his research was in Track Two Diplomacy. He has also held the Jefferson Smurfit Distinguished Fellowship in Irish Studies at the University of Missouri (2000). He was awarded a Fulbright Scholarship to Stanford University for six months in 2007. He has acted in a consultancy capacity for the United Nations Research Institute in Social Development (UNRISD) on political violence, and the Northern Ireland Affairs Committee at the House of Commons on an enquiry on “Dealing with the Past”. He has been involved in a series of problem-solving workshops in Colombia, Guatemala, Sri Lanka, Palestine and Macedonia. In the past two years he has been involved in background discussions with the Prime Minister of Sri Lanka and delegations from Georgia, Iraq and Israel/Palestine when they have visited Northern Ireland.
Kevin Avruch, Ph.D., is professor of Conflict Resolution and Anthropology in the Institute for Conflict Analysis and Resolution, and faculty and senior fellow in the Peace Operations Policy Program ( School of Public Policy), at George Mason University. He received his A.B. from the University of Chicago and M.A. and Ph.D. from the University of California at San Diego. He has taught at UCSD, the University of Illinois at Chicago and, since 1980, at GMU, where he served as coordinator of the Anthropology program in the department of Sociology and Anthropology from 1990-1996. He was associate director of ICAR from 2005-2008, and the Joan B. Kroc Peace Scholar at the University of San Diego in Spring 2009.
John Prendergast is Co-founder of the Enough Project, an initiative to end genocide and crimes against humanity. During the Clinton administration, John was involved in a number of peace processes in Africa while he was director of African Affairs at the National Security Council and special advisor at the Department of State. John has also worked for members of Congress, the United Nations, humanitarian aid agencies, human rights organizations, and think tanks, as well as having been a youth counselor and basketball coach.
He has authored eight books on Africa, including Not on Our Watch, a New York Times bestseller and NAACP non-fiction book of the year that he co-authored with actor Don Cheadle. John is currently working on two new books for publication by Random House, one that focuses on his 25 years in the Big Brother program, and the other on human rights and peace activism.
John travels regularly to Africa's war zones on fact-finding missions, peace-making initiatives, and awareness-raising trips. He is part of a fellowship program at St. Mary's College in Maryland, a is also a visiting professor at Eckerd College and the American University in Cairo.
- Founding Dean Headley Interviews Africa Policy Expert John Prendergast
- Optimism regarding Africa today, and hope for its future
- Deciding which global issues to support
- The role of women
- Preparing to become future peacebuilders
- The need for academic education and practical training
- The role of the media
- Athletics promoting peace building
Miguel Sarre holds a law degree from Escuela Libre de Derecho in Mexico City and a LLM from Notre Dame Law School. After practicing law and working for an NGO for several years, Sarre developed Mexico’s first ombudsman experience, which took place in the State of Aguascalientes from 1988 to 1990. Once Mexico’s National Ombudsman Office was created, he joined it and served on its directive posts from 1991 to 1996. In 2003 he was one of the four selected consultants who drafted the Diagnostic on the Human Rights Situation in Mexico on behalf of the Representative for the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights. Starting in 1977, he has been a professor at Instituto Tecnológico Autónomo de México (ITAM ) in Mexico City, where he teaches Civil and Human Rights as well as Criminal Law. At ITAM he also conducts a watchdog program on the National Ombudsman Office with a grant from MacArthur Foundation. He is currently a member of the United Nations Subcommittee on Prevention of Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment. His main fields of research and commitment are Human Rights, law and order issues, performance of local courts, and the development of a fair and efficient criminal justice system in Mexico.