School of Peace Studies

Contact: Don Trinh
Phone: (619) 260-7795
Fax: (619) 849-8109

Location: KIPJ Room 113
Joan B. Kroc School of Peace Studies
5998 Alcala Park
San Diego, CA 92110

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Students and Alumni

2003 Alumni

Ryan L. Dempsey – U.S.
Eugene Nyirigira Gatari – Rwanda
Peter Mumo Gathuru – Kenya
Judy Ann Kamanyi – Uganda
Diana Kutlow – U.S.
Heather A. Lima – U.S.
Sandra P. Medina – U.S.
Susi Menazza – U.S./Italy
Saba T. Tesfayohannes Kidane – Eritrea
Kevin Turner – U.S.
Nazanin Wahid – U.S./Afghanistan
Timothy S. Walsh – U.S.
Christopher Yanov – U.S.

Ryan L. Dempsey
Ryan is from Rockville, Maryland. She graduated from the University of Maryland, College Park in May 2002 where she studied political science, journalism, and leadership studies. Most recently, Ryan worked with the Center for International Development and Conflict Management (CIDCM) on the White House initiated Genocide Reports and the Partners in Conflict Project in Lesotho. Ryan is looking forward to establishing relationships with her colleagues and the faculty to build the foundation of shared knowledge and understanding that will define the Institute for Peace and Justice well into the future. She is the recipient of a USD Gandhi Fellowship. (updated 2003)

Eugene Nyirigira Gatari
Eugene is from Rwanda. He was born in Rukungiri, Uganda in 1969 and graduated from Makerere University in 1994 where he received a B.A. in Political Science and History. Eugene was a United Nations Development Program visiting Lecturer in Public Administration and Social Science Research Methods at the National University of Rwanda, Butare before working as an Advocacy Program Officer for Oxfam GB in Rwanda in 1998. He later became the Country Program Officer in 2000. He has also worked in emergency preparedness training and planning in East and Central Africa. As a program officer for Conflict Management and Governance in Rwanda, Eugene has had extensive training in leadership and grassroots democracy; negotiation skills; conflict analysis; and communication. He is currently pursuing the M.A. program in Peace and Justice Studies as a Fulbright and USD Gandhi Fellowship Scholar. His areas of interest are international negotiations, conflict analysis, leadership and peace building. (updated 2003)

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Peter Mumo Gathuru

A native of Kenya, Peter received a B.S. degree with honors in agriculture from Nairobi University. During the early part of his career, Peter focused on disaster (natural and man-made) mitigation and preparedness. He spent seven years addressing the problem of migratory pests and intervening in drought and famine situations and nine years focusing on ethnic clashes. Peter’s work also included crisis intervention in refugee camps, humanitarian relief delivery and distribution logistics, and disaster escalation monitoring and rehabilitation work. While at the Joan B. Kroc School of Peace Studies, Peter was a Rotary Ambassadorial Scholar and had a Fulbright Fellowship. His emphasis in graduate school included enhancing skills in peace building, attaining mediation and diplomacy skills and integrating justice in peace building work.  Following his graduation in 2003, Peter briefly worked as the National Peace Coordinator in National Council of Churches of Kenya.  He later joined the African Union Bureau for Animal Resources in Nairobi and, for a year and a half, served as the Program Manager for an African Union Conflict Management Program dealing with pastoralist communities living along the Kenyan borders.  From June 2005 to December 2006, Peter worked for the Danish Refugee Council in Zallingei (west Darfur) as a Project Coordinator for Conflict Management and Livelihood.

In the spring of 2007, Peter consulted with the American Refugee Committee in Gulu, Uganda to develop a conflict prevention program: Preventive Activities That Work for At-risk Youth (PATHWAY). In the summer of 2007, Peter worked for IKV/Pax Christi Netherlands as a consultant in Southern Sudan to develop peacebuilding strategies and establish the operations of the organization.  After attempting a foray into politics in the December 2007 parliamentary and presidential elections in Kenya, Peter joined CARE in southern Sudan as the Project Coordinator.  Since December 2008, Peter has served as a Community Security Specialist with the United Nations Development Program’s  Demobilisation and Reintegration department in Kassala, Sudan. (updated 04/2009)

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Judy Ann Kamanyi

Judy Kamanyi has worked in the public and the private sector over a period of 20 years and has been engaged in social development work at national, regional and international level for more than 10 years. She led one of the pioneer women development organizations in Uganda, Action for Development and also headed The East African Center for Constitutional Development, a regional organization, working on issues of democratic development, good governance, and human rights.

Judy received her B.A. from Makerere University, Uganda in 1973 and completed post-graduate studies at the London School of Economics and Political Science, in the United Kingdom in 1980. In 2003, after graduating from the Joan B. Kroc School of Peace Studies, with an M.A. in Peace & Justice Studies she returned to Uganda and worked closely with local and international civil society organizations, the government, and development partners, including bilateral and multilateral agencies, on poverty reduction, good governance, peace and conflict resolution and transitional justice. Judy is passionate about equity and gender equality and has interacted with movers and drivers of change in numerous regional and international conferences at which issues of human rights and gender equality have been deliberated.

Currently Judy Kamanyi is working as an Advisor and Consultant. She is active in civic service, volunteering her time, knowledge and expertise as a member of the Board of Directors of the African Center for Treatment and Rehabilitation of Torture Victims, the Trans-cultural Psychosocial Organization, and the Nnabagereka Development Foundation. She is the Chairperson of the Policy Advisory Council to MS-Uganda (the Danish Association for International Co-operation in Uganda) and a member of the Global Policy Advisory Council of MS-Demark (Mellemfokeligt Samvirke). She is also a member of the Program Steering Committee for the Deepening Democracy Program in Uganda and has served as a member of the Policy Advisory Board for the Government of Uganda and the European Union funded Civil Society Capacity Building Program.

Judy and her husband live in Uganda, and have three children and two grandchildren.

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Saba Tesfayohannes Kidane

Born and raised in southern Ethiopia, Saba moved to Eritrea with her parents in the early 1990s. She received a B.A. in Political Science with minor in Management and Public Administration with distinction from the University of Asmara. While in college, Saba was actively involved in the Student Union of the University of Asmara and served as a member of its Student Council. She was also one of the founders of the first Female Student Association at the University of Asmara. A participant at national and international conferences, Saba attended leadership training programs in Kenya and the “Peace Summer School on the Horn of Africa” in Italy organized by the Italian government. Saba’s interest in the area of peace and conflict studies has its roots in her background as a citizen of Eritrea. She has personally witnessed conflicts and their consequences throughout her life, which has contributed to her commitment to work for sustainable peace in the “Horn of Africa.” Her research interest includes peace and conflict resolution, ethnic conflicts, human rights, democratic institutions, sustainability and development studies. Saba earned her M.A. in Peace & Justice Studies as a Rotary Ambassadorial Scholar and a recipient of a USD Provost’s Scholarship. Following her graduation from USD, Saba earned a second M.A. in African Area Studies from UCLA in 2006. She now lives in Los Angeles. (updated 04/2009)

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Diana Kutlow (Cardiff, California) – Diana Kutlow, M.A., is a Senior Program Officer at the Joan B. Kroc Institute for Peace & Justice (IPJ) at the University of San Diego's Joan B. Kroc School of Peace Studies. Kutlow manages the Joan B. Kroc Distinguished Lecture Series and assists with other education, research and peacebuilding projects at the IPJ.  She has represented the IPJ at United Nations and Alliance for Peacebuilding conferences, has interviewed leading diplomats and peacebuilders for Distinguished Lecture Series booklets, and has spoken on conflict prevention and resolution to numerous groups in San Diego. Kutlow received her B.A. in History with a Russian language minor at Barnard College of Columbia University in New York and her Master's degree in the inaugural class of the Master's Program in Peace and Justice Studies at USD in 2003. Prior to her studies in peace and justice, Kutlow’s career focused on public relations and sports television including the production of “Up Close and Personal” features for ABC television’s coverage of the Olympic Games. Email: (Updated 29/12/2008)

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Heather Andrea Lima

Heather came to the Joan B. Kroc School of Peace Studies via Washington, D.C. where she had worked at the Citizens Network for Foreign Affairs, a non-profit organization promoting economic and agricultural development in Africa and the former Soviet Union. Born in Recife, Brazil, but raised on a diary and crop farm in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, Heather has returned to Brazil several times to learn Portuguese, work, and study.  After graduating from George Washington University with a B.A. in International Business, she served with the Mennonite Central Committee in the Democratic Republic of Congo during the war in that country. In the Congo, she taught business skills to handicraft artists, farmers, and women’s groups and started an English school. During her graduate work at USD, Heather focused on land titling and finding effective ways to link economic and private sector development to peace and prosperity in the developing world. She held a USD Gandhi Fellowship and an Inamori Assistantship. Following her graduation in 2003, Heather worked for World Vision in Gurue, Mozambique, as a Group Development Specialist helping subsistence farmers to become commercial farmers. In March 2005, Heather became an International Trade Specialist with the U.S.& Foreign Commercial Service (part of the U.S. Department of Commerce), where she assists companies to expand their products and services internationally. (updated 04/2009)

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Sandra P. MedinaAlthough she has lived in the United States for the past 20 years, Sandra was born in Mexico City and resided there for a several years. Due to her bicultural roots, Sandra’s love for culture, foreign languages, and travel has grown immensely throughout her life and has influenced the decisions and activities she has undertaken. After receiving a B.A. in Sociology, with minors in International Relations and Mathematics from the University of San Diego in 2002, Sandra continued at USD as one of the thirteen students of the inaugural class of the Joan B. Kroc School of Peace Studies.  Following her graduation, Sandra served as a Peace Corps Volunteer in the village of Timbo, Guinea, where she taught mathematics at a secondary school and served as a mentor and role model for her students. While in Guinea, Sandra participated in the annual boys’ and girls’ conferences, which emphasized the importance of girls’ education in AIDS awareness, the protection of the environment, and the ability of women to pursue professional careers. After the Peace Corps, Sandra attended the Thunderbird School of Global Management and graduated in January 2007 with an M.B.A. in Global Management. Since September 2007, Sandra has worked with Deloitte Consulting Overseas Projects L.L.C. as a bicultural and trilingual consultant with the Human Capital practice in Organization and Change.  Sandra focuses her work at Deloitte on leadership development, change management, culture assessment, employee engagement, organizational change and transformation, instructional design, and training delivery.  Currently, she has an international project working with a global retailer that takes her to Mexico City on a weekly basis as well as trips to Argentina.  (updated 04/2009)

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Susi Menazza (Italy)   B.A. in Political Science from the University of Padoa (Italy), post-graduate degrees in International Trade and Rural Development and Cooperation in Developing Countries, University of Padoa (Italy). She started her international career by volunteering for NGOs in Italy, Senegal and Algeria. With a EU scholarship in peace-keeping operations she went to Kenya as an intern for the International Organization for Migration (IOM).

From there, work brought her to the ethnically divided city of Mitrovica as an OSCE officer with the UN Mission in Kosovo. Susi then moved first to the US -- where she received her M.A. in Peace and Justice at USD, holding a Gandhi Fellowship – then to the UK, the  Pacific nation of the Federated States of Micronesia, and Moldova. She currently lives in The Hague, Netherlands, and for the last four years has worked as Senior Policy Advisor for The Nature Conservancy (TNC), one of the world's largest environmental organizations, based in Washington, DC. (Updated Jan 2009). Email:

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Kevin Turner - P&J M.A. 2003. LLM, International Human Rights Law, University of Nottingham School of Law. Turner is a Human Rights Officer with the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights. At present he works in the Field Operations and Technical Cooperation Division, where he leads the desk covering Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territory. Turner earned a Masters in Peace and Justice from the University of San Diego. (Updated August, 2010)

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Nazanin Wahid
Nazanin was born in Kabul, Afghanistan. Shortly after the Soviet invasion, Nazanin fled Afghanistan with her family and settled first in Pakistan and then India. At the age of eight, Nazanin moved to the U.S. where her family settled in the San Diego area. She has a Bachelor’s Degree from UCSD in Anthropology and Comparative Religion. After graduation, Nazanin lived in southern Spain and traveled to more than thirteen countries. She is very active in human rights issues, cultural awareness, and foreign policy, This past year, Nazanin has been involved in humanitarian efforts for Afghanistan as well as bringing peoples of various background to understand the plight of the Afghans. She hopes that this year in the Peace and Justice Program will enable her to learn to apply the many ideas for peace and conflict resolution and bring more consciousness to regions in war or devastation so that somehow we may become critical instruments in serving to achieve peace and justice in such areas. Nazanin holds a USD Gandhi Fellowship. (updated 2003)

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Timothy S. Walsh

Tim Walsh is a 2003 graduate of the Joan B. Kroc School of Peace Studies. Tim has thirteen years of experience in local, state and federal government that includes effective leadership, communication and advocacy skills; campaign management; intergovernmental relations; public policy consultation; and extensive experience with large development projects and complex municipal finance. Tim is currently Chief-of-Staff to Congressman (and previously, State Senator) Juan Vargas where he manages district and legislative offices in San Diego County, Imperial County and in Washington, DC. In this position, Tim is responsible for media relations, crisis communications, legislative negotiations, and political maneuvering. Additionally, he has extensive experience with candidate and non-profit fundraising, public speaking and effective management. 

Tim also has extensive experience in the private sector as a founding member of two companies. He has held a variety of positions working on behalf of municipalities, representing private sector companies, and assisting large nonprofits with major public benefit development projects. Tim is also an Adjunct Professor of Political Science and he teaches several classes with topics ranging from political theory to its practical applications in the United States and California Governments. In addition to his MA in Peace and Justice Studies, he holds a BA (Magna Cum Laude) from the University of San Diego, and a Masters of Public Administration from the University of Southern California. Tim is a graduate of LEAD San Diego and a former Board Member of the City of San Diego Redevelopment Agency City Heights' Project Area Committee. He is also a member of several civic organizations. (Updated 02/2013).

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Christopher Yanov (Los Angeles, California) – P&J M.A. 2003. M.A. international relations, University of San Diego. B.A. in political science and Spanish literature, University of California, San Diego. Yanov has worked with high school-aged youths at the Hispanic Presbyterian Church since 1996. For the first five years, the primary focus of his work involved reaching out to gang members who had fallen down a self-destructive path that was punctuated by drugs and violence. Seeking to find students that lived in these same tough neighborhoods yet had a strong desire to change these realities, "Reality Changers: Agentes de Cambio" was born in May 2001. In the organization's first five years, Reality Changers' 75 current students and 25 program graduates have earned over $2,500,000 in scholarships. Yanov is a graduate of LEAD San Diego and serves on the board of directors for various scholarship-focused organizations. In October 2006, Mayor Jerry Sanders appointed Yanov to the newly-created San Diego Commission on Gang Prevention and Intervention. (updated 5/2007)

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