Kristian Herbolzheimer is Director of the Catalan Institute of Peace, an institution of research, outreach, and action whose goal is promoting peace in Catalan society and internationally.
As director, Kristian helps to set the strategic vision for the Institute and explores collaborative efforts with other peacebuilding partners around the world.
"There is no peace process in the world that has delivered the expected results, and there is thus a need for continued innovation and to revisit assumptions and practices related to peacebuilding," said Kristian. "I also believe there is a need to shift the power imbalance between the global North and South...I aim to create a platform that allows dialogue and innovation between policymakers, practitioners, and academics addressing both local and global concerns."
Prior to stepping into this role in 2018, Kristian served as Director of the Philippines and Colombia Transitions to Peace Programmes for Conciliation Resources, a London-based organization that supports individuals, organizations, and governments seeking to end violent conflict.
At Conciliation Resources, as part of a team of NGOs and individuals, Kristian observed and advised on peace negotiations between warring parties from the island of Mindanao, the Philippines. He also conducted comparative research on peace processes for Mindanao's peace negotiators. Kristian's research also supported conflict transformation in Colombia, where armed conflict and human rights violations have spanned five decades.
Kristian, who is from Barcelona, learned about conflict and peacebuilding in Mindanao firsthand as a master's student and Kroc intern at Initiatives for International Dialogue, an organization in Mindanao that promotes human security and democratization through policy advocacy.
"My Kroc internship provided me with invaluable experiences that I draw on each day," he said. "Interning for six months in the Philippines was an essential step in my career."
Before pursuing a master's degree in international peace studies at the Kroc Institute, Kristian worked as an environmental activist and later as a scholar-practitioner at the University of Barcelona's School of Peace.
"Before coming to Notre Dame I had practical peacebuilding experience but lacked scholarly perspective," Kristian said. "My peace studies education gave me the time and the opportunity to dig deeper into particular issues that interest me: violence, conflict termination, and women in peace."