Laurie Nathan is director of the Kroc Institute’s new mediation program, which will serve as an international center of excellence for mediation research, training, policy and practice.
Nathan earned his Ph.D. from the University of Cape Town.
He is a Senior Mediation Advisor to the United Nations, serves on the UN Academic Advisory Council on Mediation and is the lead designer and trainer of the UN High Level Mediation Course. He has participated in high-level peacemaking efforts in Africa and helped design the mediation units of the African Union and African sub-regional bodies.
Prior to joining the Kroc Institute, Nathan was professor and director of the Centre for Mediation in Africa at the University of Pretoria in South Africa, and director of the Centre for Conflict Resolution at the University of Cape Town.
He is the author of four books, including Community of Insecurity: SADC’s Struggle for Peace and Security in Southern Africa and No Ownership, No Commitment: A Guide to Local Ownership of Security Sector Reform. He is also co-editor of two books and author of over 50 articles and chapters.
In 2018 Nathan was the lead author of a policy report on successful preventive diplomacy by the UN, entitled Capturing UN Preventive Diplomacy Success: How and Why Does it Work?.
Fiana (Syeda) Arbab is a rising second year Master of Global Affairs student at the Keough School, with a concentration in sustainable development and a graduate minor in peace studies.
As a Bangladeshi-Muslim-American woman, Fiana sits at the intersection of several complex identities. She is the board secretary of Rising Voices of Asian American Families, an organization and network that allows her to engage in authentic conversation and transformative work with people who are directly affected by Asian identity politics and systemic oppression.
She also serves as a board member for the Michigan Student Power Alliance, helping to build progressive student power across the state of Michigan. Formerly, she was the Statewide Youth Organizer for the Michigan Roundtable for Diversity and Inclusion (MRDI) in Detroit.
In 2017, Arbab graduated from the University of Michigan-Dearborn with a double major in women’s and gender studies and psychology, and a minor in sociology. In addition to serving as Student Body President of UM-Dearborn, Arbab was the President and Co-Founder of the Social Justice League, a campus community organization dedicated to educating and mobilizing students around social justice issues.