Kristian Herbolzheimer is 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.
As part of a team of NGOs and individuals, Kristian observes and advises on peace negotiations between warring parties from the island of Mindanao, the Philippines. He also conducts comparative research on peace processes for Mindanao's peace negotiators. Kristian's research also supports conflict transformation in Colombia, where armed conflict and human rights violations have spanned five decades.
"The goal is to empower peacebuilders in Mindanao and Colombia with lessons from peace processes elsewhere," Kristian said. "We also highlight contributions from local peacebuilders, which enriches existing peacebuilding theory and policy."
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."