Visiting Research Fellows


Justin de Leon (2019-2020) earned a Ph.D. in international relations with a focus on gender and women’s studies and Native American studies at the University of Delaware. De Leon was previously a Lecturer at the University of California, San Diego, teaching courses on race, class, gender, and Native studies and was a member of Vanderbilt University’s Global Feminism Research Collaborative. De Leon’s research explores engagements of tradition and culture of the Lakota Sioux of South Dakota and their continued challenging and navigation of settler colonial orders. They are currently researching and writing a book manuscript on creative approaches to sovereignty and, more specifically, on traditional Native American storytelling expressed through contemporary modes of film and media.

De Leon is also an award-winning documentary filmmaker. While at the Kroc Institute, de Leon will be writing a book manuscript, entitled Resurgent Visual Sovereignty: Indigenous Representation and Praxis, that explores Indigenous traditional and creative approaches to sovereignty.

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Josefina Echavarría Alvarez (Spring 2020) earned her PhD in Peace, Conflict and Democracy from the University Jaume I (Spain). She was previously 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 (Austria). Echavarría has taught in numerous universities around the world on peace building, peace education, gender, conflict analysis and research methods. Her research explores sustainable peace building after violence, methods and facilitation of conflict transformation, studies and practices of reconciliation and memory and in/security and migration. She has further worked on diverse international cooperation projects in the fields of gender, citizenship, and curricular development for peace and conflict studies. 

While at Kroc, she will be writing on the Colombian Peace Agreement (Palgrave Encyclopedia of Peace and Conflict Studies, eds. Oliver Richmond and Gëzim Visoka) and transitioning as Director of the PAM (Peace Accords Matrix) at the Kroc Institute/ Keough School of Global Affairs at the University of Notre Dame.


Nicole Gerring (Spring 2020) earned a Master of Arts and a Ph.D. in Political Science from Wayne State University. Dr. 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.

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Catriona Standfield (2019-2020) earned her PhD in Political Science from Syracuse University in August, 2019. Her research agenda centers on the interdisciplinary study of gender in diplomacy and mediation. While at the Kroc Institute, Standfield will work on a book project examining the implementation of gender equality reforms in United Nations-brokered peace processes. 

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