Visiting Research Fellows
Roddy Brett (Academic Year 2022-23) is an Associate Professor of Peace and Conflict Studies at the University of Bristol. His research focuses on the causes, consequences, and legacies of political violence (particularly mass collective violence), and how states, societies, and international actors move on from protracted episodes of egregious violence. His research addresses when, how, why, and to what effect peace negotiations and transitional justice mechanisms are instituted and whether, if at all, said processes and mechanisms shape the path of protracted mass violence towards intergroup coexistence and reconciliation. He has extensive experience as a practitioner and policymaker, having worked for the United Nations and other governmental and non-governmental bodies.
During his time at the Kroc Institute, he will work on two projects: conducting original research with the Peace Accords Matrix on the place of reconciliation in peace agreements, and completing his monograph, The Path Towards Reconciliation after Colombia’s War: Understanding the Roles of Victims and Perpetrators, based on an investigation he led for the United Nations in 2015 on the role of the so-called victims’ delegations in the Santos-FARC-EP peace talks in Colombia.
Erica Dávila (Academic Year 2022-23) is Professor of Educational Leadership at Lewis University. She has been teaching and writing curriculum for over 20 years in Chicago and Urbana, Illinois, and Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Currently she works with aspiring and practicing school and community leaders working towards their doctorate in education in ways that cultivate justice-centered policies and practices in the field of education.
During her time at Kroc, Dávila aims to amplify the work of women of color activists within the Chicago Young Lords and other activist groups who held educational justice at the forefront. This book project is an interdisciplinary work of critical educational scholarship that resides at the nexus of critical race feminism, historical memory, and political education.
Jenna Knapp (Fall 2022) is the 2022 Alumni Visiting Fellow. She is a peacebuilding practitioner who has been working in El Salvador for the past decade on various trauma healing and community organizing initiatives. Much of her work has centered on supporting youth experiencing incarceration in processing and sharing their stories, in an effort to shift toward restorative responses to violence in an otherwise highly punitive setting.
She graduated from the Kroc Institute Master's in International Peace Studies in 2016 and has since been working to expand and sustain the community peacebuilding organization Nueva Esperanza, which she founded and co-coordinates in El Salvador.
She will spend her time at the Institute writing a narrative storytelling book designed to translate her twelve years of experiences in close proximity to ongoing violence in El Salvador into a tool that will serve peacebuilding pedagogy and practice.
Norbert Koppensteiner (Academic Year 2022-23) is a peace researcher and freelance facilitator. Having previously served as a Senior Lecturer at the Unit for Peace and Conflict Studies, University of Innsbruck, his facilitation especially focuses on breath, voice, and movement. He has extensive experience in teaching peace studies internationally.Koppensteiner is the author of Transrational Peace Research and Elicitive Facilitation (2020) and co-editor of the Palgrave International Handbook of Peace Studies: A Cultural Perspective (2014). He obtained his Ph.D. from the European Graduate School in Switzerland.
As visiting research fellow, Koppensteiner will be advancing two lines of research. He will explore the art of facilitation for peace and transforming conflicts, with a special focus on embodied approaches. This will be combined with methodological and epistemological research into comprehensive ways of knowing. He will seek to develop corresponding teaching formats to fit these topics.
Isis Nusair (Fall 2022) is Associate Professor of Women’s and Gender Studies and International Studies at Denison University. She is the co-editor, with Rhoda Kanaaneh, of Displaced at Home: Ethnicity and Gender Among Palestinians in Israel, and translator of Ever Since I Did Not Die by Ramy Al-Asheq. Isis is the co-writer and co-director, with Laila Farah, of Weaving the Maps: Tales of Survival and Resistance. Her research focuses on Palestinians in Israel, Iraqi women refugees in Jordan and the United States; Palestinian and Syrian refugees in Germany; and Syrian television drama post-2011.
She serves on the editorial committee of the International Feminist Journal of Politics, and previously served on the editorial committee of Middle East Research and Information Project (MERIP) and as a researcher on women’s human rights in the Middle East and North Africa at Human Rights Watch and the Euro-Mediterranean Human Rights Network. She is a contributor to the Encyclopedia of Women and Islamic Cultures and the Encyclopedia of the Modern Middle East and North Africa. Isis is a member of the Palestinians and Transnational Feminist Collectives. She is a 1994 graduate of the Kroc Institute's Master's in International Peace Studies Program.
During her time at the Kroc Institute, Nusair will focus on completing her upcoming book, Permanent Transients: Iraqi Women Refugees in Jordan and the USA.
Nilofar Sakhi (Fall 2022) is a senior fellow at the Atlantic Council and has been teaching courses as a Professorial Lecturer of International Affairs at the Elliott School of International Affairs at George Washington University. She has also served as course coordinator and instructor at the U.S. Department of State’s Foreign Service Institute and as Director of Policy and Diplomacy at McColm & Company. Sakhi also taught at George Mason University and American University of Afghanistan.
Sakhi has been widely involved in assisting peace, development, and counterinsurgency policy formulation. She has served as a Country Director of the Open Society Foundation-Afghanistan office and an Executive Director at the American University of Afghanistan. A former Fulbright fellow, Sakhi has written extensively on various aspects of traditional and nontraditional security, geopolitics of peace, peacemaking and peacebuilding processes, and human security. Her recent book is Human Security and Agency: Reframing Productive Power in Afghanistan.
As a visiting research fellow at the Kroc, Sakhi will be advancing two research areas: focusing on regional security with a case study of Afghanistan and the South and Central Asia region, and exploring the domestic and external incongruencies that impact regional peace diplomacy.
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