Dr. Pushpa Iyer, Director
Pushpa Iyer has over 20 years of experience in the field of conflict studies. She specializes in identity conflicts, non-state armed groups, civil wars, peace processes, and peacebuilding in post-war societies. Her current research interests are: non-state armed groups, challenges to peacebuilding, and gendered security in the US military. Pushpa is a long-term activist and advocate for the poor and marginalised communities in Gujarat, India. She has consulted and conducted research in several countries in South and Southeast Asia as well as in Africa.
Currently, Pushpa is an Assistant Professor in the Graduate School of Policy and Management at the Monterey Institute of International Studies. She received her Ph.D. from the Institute of Conflict Analysis and Resolution at George Mason University. Pushpa also has a degree in law from Gujarat University, India and an MBA in International Management from the University of East London, UK.
Pushpa is the founding Director of the Centre for Conflict Studies and is the Editor-in-Chief for the centre’s publications.
Dr. Kevin Avruch
Kevin Avruch is a Professor of Conflict Resolution and Anthropology in the Institute for Conflict Analysis and Resolution (ICAR), and faculty and senior fellow in the Peace Operations Policy Program at George Mason University. He received his B.A. from the University of Chicago and M.A. and Ph.D. from the University of California at San Diego. He has taught at three universities and served as Coordinator of the Anthropology Program at GMU. In 2005, he became Associate Director of ICAR.
Dr. Avruch has published extensively on a wide variety of subjects in conflict analysis and resolution. He served as book review editor of Anthropological Quarterly and is currently on the editorial boards of three esteemed publications. He has lectured widely in the U.S. and abroad, and his work has been recognized by the International Association of Conflict Management and the United States Institute of Peace, where he was senior fellow in the Jennings Randolph Program for International Peace.
Dr. Avruch is currently working on projects investigating sources of political violence in protracted conflicts, the role of human rights and truth and reconciliation commissions in postconflict peacebuilding, and cultural aspects of humanitarian and peacekeeping operations.
Dr. Joseph Bock
Joe Bock directs the Master’s in Science for Global Health program at the Eck Institute for Global Health at the University of Notre Dame. He is the liaison to Catholic Relief Services for Notre Dame and an editorial adviser to Development in Practice, founded by Oxfam GB.
He received his Ph.D. in International Relations from the School of International Service of American University and an MSW and BSW from the University of Missouri-Columbia. Dr. Bock has twelve years of humanitarian relief and development experience with Catholic Relief Services and the American Refugee Committee. He was a Fellow with the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, Executive Director of the Center for Peace and Global Citizenship at Haverford College and the Secure World Foundation, and a member of the Working Group on Reconciliation of Caritas Internationalis. He served six years in the Missouri House of Representatives, with various leadership positions.
Dr. Bock has taught at four prestigious universities and published numerous works. He is currently completing a manuscript based on his consulting work with The Asia Foundation in Sri Lanka.
Mr. Hamdan Goumma
Hamdan Goumma graduated from Khartoum University in Sudan with a Bachelor’s degree in Economics and Political Science, and a Master’s from Monterey Institute of International Studies (MIIS) in International Negotiation and Conflict Resolution.
Mr. Goumma has more than 20 years of experience in the field of development management. He worked for both international NGOs and the United Nations (UN) in Africa and Southeast Asia. His area of focus and a guiding principle in his work has been community-based solutions for poverty, conflict, and development challenges.
He has also extensive experience in translation and teaching language and culture, such as providing training on critical intercultural relations with reference to Islamic and Middle Eastern culture.
Ms. Karen Osborne
Karen Osborne has been active in the non-profit world of the San Francisco Bay Area for many years. She was a member of the Salvation Army Board and a founding member of two multi-cultural organizations for seniors, Senior Action Network and Planning for Elders in the Central City. She currently hosts a monthly lecture series, Conversations, in Carmel, California. Ms. Osborne had a career in health care administration and education and is the parent of four children. She was the first public member of the Ethics Committee of the California State Bar and founder of the San Francisco Long Term Care Committee, which developed the plan for long term care in San Francisco County. She lives in Carmel and San Francisco, California.
Prof. Richard Rubenstein
Richard E. Rubenstein is Professor of Conflict Resolution and Public Affairs at George Mason University. He is a faculty member of the School of Conflict Analysis and Resolution (formerly known as the Institute of Conflict Analysis and Resolution).
Professor Rubenstein was educated at Harvard College (B.A. 1959, magna cum laude), Oxford University, where he was a Rhodes Scholar (M.A. 1961), and Harvard Law School (J.D. 1963). He practiced law in Washington, DC, taught political science at Roosevelt University in Chicago, and was professor of law at the Antioch School of Law.
Professor Rubenstein is the author of eight books, the most recent of which is Reasons to Kill: Why Americans Choose War. He is an expert on popular narratives of war and peace, religious conflict, terrorism, and methods of resolving serious international and domestic disputes. He has lectured throughout the US and abroad and has appeared on numerous radio and television shows and film documentaries discussing these issues.
Ms. Kyrstie Lane, Managing Editor
Kyrstie Lane is currently a student at Monterey Institute of International Studies, working toward her Master's in International Policy Studies with a concentration in Conflict Resolution. She graduated from the University of Puget Sound in 2010 with a B.A. in International Affairs and French, and a certificate in advanced language study from the University of Burgundy in Dijon, France.
Kyrstie's areas of concentration for study include immigration and post-war peacebuilding. She has previously worked as the editor of Crosscurrents magazine in Tacoma, WA, and is looking forward to serving as managing editor for all of the centre's publications.
Ms. Emily McLaughlin, Associate Editor
Emily McLaughlin is currently a student at the Monterey Institute for International Studies, working toward a Master’s in International Policy Studies with a concentration in Conflict Resolution. She graduated from Santa Clara University in 2009 with a B.S. in Political Science and a minor in Arabic, Islamic, and Middle Eastern Studies. She studied abroad at the American University in Bulgaria.
She has a broad range of interests, within the discipline of Conflict Resolution she is interested in the role that business plays in developing communities and societies.
Her prior work experience includes working at the Centre for Global Learning at Carlow University, in Pittsburgh, PA, as Assistant to the Coordinator.
Ms. Natalie Singer, Research Editor
Natalie Singer graduated from the Monterey Institute of International Studies in the spring of 2011 with a Master of Arts in International Policy Studies and a concentration in Conflict Resolution. She completed her undergraduate education in Skidmore College in Saratoga Springs, New York, receiving a Bachelor of Arts in Spanish and International Affairs. Her academic area of interest is migration, specifically regarding refugees in Asia and Latin America.
Originally from Park City, Utah, Natalie worked and studied in Spain; taught English in China; and traveled extensively in Europe, North America, the Caribbean, South America and the South Pacific. She currently lives in Monterey, CA, and volunteers as a mediator for the Monterey Small Claims Court.
Ms. Rebecca Walters, Communications and Grants Coordinator
Rebecca came to Monterey, California in 2007 to pursue a graduate degree in conflict resolution and to perfect her Arabic speaking skills at the Monterey Institute. Since then, she's become thoroughly distracted (alarmingly so) by her life-long passion for writing and digital media. After graduating in May 2009, she is currently the New Media Development Specialist at the Monterey Institute, a fancy way of saying that she manages www.miis.edu, and helps with social media marketing efforts. As Communications and Grants Coordinator at the Centre for Conflict Studies, she will finally be able to merge her passions for conflict resolution and web communications.
Ms. Quinn Van Valer-Campbell, Administrator
Quinn Van Valer-Campbell graduated from the Monterey Institute of International Studies in December with a Master’s in International Policy Studies and a concentration in Conflict Resolution. She graduated from Fordham University in 2009 with degrees in Political Science and Theology.
Quinn’s interests are religious and ethnic conflicts, with special emphasis on the former Yugoslavia. She has worked, lived, and studied in Croatia, Serbia, and Bosnia-Herzegovina.
Ms. Amy Schwartzott (2011-2012)
Amy Schwartzott is a Ph.D. candidate in African art history at the University of Florida where she holds an Alumni Fellowship. She received her B.A. from Drew University and her M.A. from the University at Buffalo. Amy’s dissertation investigates the diverse materiality and meaning of recyclia used by contemporary urban Mozambican artists. She particularly focuses on artists involved with the Transforming Arms into Plowshares/Transformação de Armas em Enxadas (TAE) project, an artists’ group who transform decommissioned weapons from Mozambican wars into art. Amy is currently completing a year of Fulbright-Hays funded research in Mozambique.
Mr. Kyle Lopez (2011-2012)
Kyle Lopez recently completed his Master's in International Policy Studies with a concentration in Conflict Resolution from the Monterey Institute of International Studies. In 2005 he received a Bachelor of Arts in Sociology from the University of California, Davis. He became interested in learning a foreign language in 2006 when he lived in Madrid, Spain. From 2007 to 2008 he worked in Bolivia as a Peace Corps volunteer where he trained beekeepers, managed a community water project, taught classes on English and the environment, and initiated the creation of an environmental committee.
Kyle is interested in a wide-range of issues specific to Latin America such as migration and challenges to peace building, but is also passionate about global health and social and economic justice. Currently he lives in Monterey, CA where he works as a volunteer mediator with Restorative Justice Partners Inc. Kyle is excited to join as a Research Fellow at the Centre for Conflict Studies.
Ms. Abhilasha Sharma, 2011-2012 Intern
Abhilasha Sharma is from Kathmandu, Nepal currently pursuing her Master’s Degree in Public Administration with a focus in gender and development at the Monterey Institute of International Studies. She graduated from Minnesota State University Moorhead in 2009 with a B.S. in International Studies and a minor in Women Studies.
Her interests include a variety of issues related with gender such as gender – based violence and discrimination, and implementation of gender mainstreaming in the local, national, and international development activities to promote gender equality. She is currently working on her master’s thesis on Nepalese women’s meaningful participation in the governance.
Ms. Emperatriz Guevara, 2011-2012 Intern
Emperatriz Guevara is currently a graduate student at the Monterey Institute of International Studies pursuing a Master's Degree in International Policy Studies with a concentration in Conflict Resolution. She completed her Bachelor's degree in International Studies and Business Administration in 2011 at the Dominican University of California.
Her interests include issues related to women in international security and peace building, with special interest in Latin America
Ms. Jasmine Wolf, 2011-2012 Intern
Jasmine Wolf is a Master's candidate of International Policy Studies at the Monterey Institute of International Studies focusing on cross-cultural cooperation and gender rights. She received her B.A. in Criminal Justice with a minor in American Indian Studies from San Francisco State University.
Jasmine has worked as an advocate regarding America Indian rights focusing on gender equality, sovereignty, cultural revitalization, and repatriation policies. She also has an extensive background working with gang and foster youth in California. Additionally, Jasmine studied abroad in Oaxaca, Mexico and lived briefly in New Zealand.
Ms. Lauren Renda, 2011-2012 Intern
Lauren Renda is currently a student at the Monterey Institute of International Studies where she is working toward Master's Degree in International Policy with a concentration in Conflict Resolution and Human Rights. Lauren received her Bachelor's degree from the University of Nevada, Reno in International Affairs/Middle Eastern Studies.
Her prior work experience includes working at the Northern Nevada International Center as Assistant Program Coordinator. She has lived and studied in Cyprus and Chile, and has traveled extensively throughout Europe and South America.
Ms. Sasha Sleiman, 2011-2012 Intern
Sasha Sleiman is pursuing her Master's Degree in International Policy Studies with a concentration in Human Security and Development at the Monterey Institute of International Studies. Her specific interests lie in conflict resolution and gender issues. She graduated from Western Washington University in 2009 with a B.A. in Comparative Politics.
Her interests include a variety of issues related to gender and conflict including women's roles in conflict, conflict resolution, post-war reconstruction and peacebuilding.
Mr. RJ Aycock, 2011-2012 Intern
RJ Aycock is currently a Master's candidate at the Monterey Institute of International Studies focusing on the study of conflict resolution. He graduated with a B.A. in Arabic Studies from National University in 2011.
His interests are focused on the development of sexual and gender identities within the context of religion, and is particularly interested in how these play out in societies that have undergone periods of sustained violent conflict.
Mr. Alex Free, 2011-2012 Intern
Alex Free is currently a student at the Monterey Institute of International Studies working toward a Master's Degree in International Policy Studies with a focus on Conflict Resolution. He completed his undergraduate education at the University of Colorado, Boulder in 2009, receiving his Bachelor's in International Affairs with a focus on the Middle East.
After studying post-conflict reconstruction in the former Yugoslavia in 2009, Alex's focus has turned toward post-war reconstruction and conflict transformation particularly with regards to ethnic and religious-based conflict.