Visiting researchers join the Kroc Institute for spring 2020

Author: Emilia McManus

The Kroc Institute is pleased to announce that two scholars began their terms as Visiting Research Fellows and one as a Scholar in Residence at the start of the spring 2020 semester. 

Kroc Institute’s Visiting Research Fellows Program brings outstanding scholars focused on peace research to the University of Notre Dame for a semester or a full academic year. Visiting Fellows actively integrate their research with ongoing Kroc Institute research initiatives and participate in events and lectures as part of the Institute’s learning community.

“Visiting Research Fellows and Scholars in Residence play an important role in the intellectual life of the Institute,” said Asher Kaufman, the John M. Regan, Jr., director of the Kroc Institute. “They are selected according to their expertise on themes that are central to Kroc’s research foci, they collaborate with our faculty and graduate students, and they enrich and expand our existing networks.”

The spring 2020 Visiting Fellows are:

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Josefina Echavarría Alvarez earned her Ph.D. in Peace, Conflict and Democracy from the University Jaume I in Spain. She was previously worked as Director of the Research Center for Peace and Conflict (InnPeace) and Senior Lecturer at the Unit for Peace and Conflict Studies at the University of Innsbruck in Austria.

Echavarría has taught in numerous universities around the world on peacebuilding, peace education, gender, conflict analysis and research methods. Her research explores sustainable peacebuilding after violence, methods and facilitation of conflict transformation studies, and practices of reconciliation and memory. She has worked on diverse international projects in the fields of gender, citizenship, and peace and conflict studies curricular development. 

While at the Kroc Institute, she will be writing for the forthcoming entry on the Colombian Peace Agreement in the Palgrave Encyclopedia of Peace and Conflict Studies, edited by Oliver Richmond and Gëzim Visoka, and transitioning into the role as Director of the Peace Accords Matrix Project at the Kroc Institute (beginning July 1).  


Nicole Gerring earned a Master of Arts and a Ph.D. in Political Science from Wayne State University. Gerring uses both quantitative and qualitative methods to study the relationship between women’s political and civic participation and conflict. Her work has appeared in Electoral Studies, in publications for the U.S. Agency for International Development and the U.S. Institute of Peace, and in an edited volume, Understanding New Security Threats (Routledge, 2019).

At the Kroc Institute, she will conduct research for a book, Women’s Civil Society in Peacebuilding, to analyze the work and impact of women’s civil society organizations in implementing peace agreements. She has taught at Oakland University and was a Senior Lecturer in the Honors College at Wayne State University.


Nassim AbiGhanem is a Scholar in Residence at the Kroc Institute during spring 2020. He is a Ph.D. student in International Relations at Central European University in Budapest and Vienna, where he is also a teacher assistant for M.A. courses on ethnic conflict management, nationalism and populism, foreign policy analysis, and macro and micro economics for public policy.

AbiGhanem received his M.A. in International Politics, International Relations from the University of Manchester, focusing on U.S. foreign policy in Lebanon. He worked as the Programs Coordinator for the Samir Kassir Eyes (SKeyes) Center for Media and Cultural Freedom at the Samir Kassir Foundation in Lebanon and as a Research Coordinator at the Arab NGO Network for Development. He also collaborated with the British Academy in Lebanon as an instructor. Nassim's research interests focus on non-governmental political organizations, civil society organizations (CSOs), and informal political social networks.

Applications for 2021-22 Visiting Research Fellowships will open in fall 2020.

For more information, contact: Lisa Gallagher,