Laurie Nathan is director of the Kroc Institute’s mediation program, which serves 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 has been a Senior Mediation Advisor to the United Nations, served on the UN Academic Advisory Council on Mediation in 2012-18 and since 2013 has been 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. He has been a consultant on mediation and related issues to the African Union, the Economic Community of West African States, the European Union, the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD), the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), the Southern African Development Community (SADC), and the United Nations, as well as with the governments of Germany, Mozambique, South Africa, Swaziland, Switzerland, The Netherlands and the United Kingdom.
He has served on the Carter Centre’s International Council for Conflict Resolution and the Board of Directors of Conciliation Resources. He has also been a member of the international advisory boards of the Centre for Resolution of International Conflict, University of Copenhagen; the Masters in Security Sector Management, Cranfield University; the Africa Peace Fellows Initiative of the Center for African Peace and Conflict Resolution, California State University, Sacramento; and the Oxford Research Group.
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.
Justin de Leon is a Senior Advisor with the Mediation Program.
He earned his Ph.D. in international relations with a focus on gender and women’s studies and Native American Studies at the University of Delaware. He was previously a Visiting Research Professor at the Kroc Institute for International Peace Studies.
His praxis-based research explores engagements of tradition and culture of the Lakota Sioux of South Dakota and their continued challenging and navigation of settler colonial orders. As a visual artist and documentary filmmaker, Justin's most recent film collaboration on Native mascots in professional sports, entitled More Than a Word (Media Education Foundation, 2018), has been screened at over 250 universities across North America. It was nominated for a Backstory Public History Award and Best Documentary at the San Francisco American Indian Film Festival.
Francisco Diez is a Senior Advisor with the Mediation Program.
Diez is currently a member of the United Nations Standby Team of Senior Mediation Advisors, and previously served as the Chief of Staff of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Argentina. He is the founder of the Mediator´s Network in Argentina, and served as the Carter Center's representative in Latin America before joining the Kroc Institute in 2014. From 2014 to 2019, Diez was the representative in Latin America of the Kroc Institute’s Peace Accords Matrix (PAM) program.
Joã Honwana is a Senior Advisor with the Mediation Program.
He was the 2017 Sérgio Vieira de Mello Chair at Seaton Hall University. He is a retired senior official of the United Nations, having served as Representative of the UN Secretary General in Guinea Bissau (2004-2006); Director of the Africa Divisions 1 & 2 in the Department of Political Affairs (2007-2016); Chief of Staff of UNMIS in Sudan (2007); Head of the UN Office in Mali (2012); and Chief of the Conventional Arms Branch at the Department of Disarmament (2000-2004). He was also part of the UN team in the Havana talks between the Colombian government and the FARC (2015). He was Chief of Staff of Kofi Annan in his capacity as the Special Envoy of the African Union to the Kenyan electoral conflict in 2008.
Prior to joining the UN, Honwana was a Member of Parliament and Commander of the Air Force in Mozambique (1986-1993).