Meet our team
NGO Management Team
Founding Executive Director
Dr. Pamina Firchow is an Associate Professor in the Conflict Resolution and Coexistence program within the Heller School for Social Policy and Management at Brandeis University. Her research interests include political violence, transitional justice (especially victim reparations), reconciliation and peacebuilding. In particular, she is interested in the study of the ‘local turn’ in peacebuilding and the international accompaniment of communities affected by mass violence. Before entering academia, Firchow worked on the worldwide campaign to stop the spread of illicit small arms and light weapons. She can be contacted at Pamina.Firchow@gmail.com. More can be found on her website at paminafirchow.org.
Roger Mac Ginty
Chairman of the Board
Dr. Roger Mac Ginty is a Professor at the School of Government and International Affairs at Durham University. He is the Director of the Durham Global Security Institute (DGSi). With Professor Pamina Firchow, he founded Everyday Peace Indicators. Mac Ginty edits the journal Peacebuilding (with Oliver Richmond) and edits the book series ‘Rethinking Political Violence’. His main academic interest is in the interfaces between top-down and bottom-up approaches to peace. His latest book is "Everyday Peace: How so-called ordinary people can disrupt violent conflict" (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2021). More can be found on his website at rogermacginty.com.
Fernanda has a degree in political science with a minor in economics conferred by the Catholic University of Chile and a master's degree in Peacebuilding and Conflict Resolution at the Heller School. She has specialized in qualitative research methods such as surveying and process tracing. She has worked on conflict and violence topics in Latin American organizations, including the Chilean Ministry of Environment, The International Studies Center (INTE), J-PAL Latin America, and the IMFD, assisting with program evaluations focused on reducing tensions between host communities and state industries in environmental degradation zones, city-port conflicts, and Latin American organized crime.
Miranda is a researcher and data analyst with dual master's degrees in Conflict Resolution and Coexistence and Health Economics and Data Analytics from Brandeis University. Her research centers around the measurement strategies used to monitor and evaluate responses to mass violence. She is specifically interested in the role of participatory numbers in fostering greater inclusivity and efficacy in peacebuilding processes. Before joining EPI's operations team, Miranda worked on EPI's research projects in Mostar and Sri Lanka. Additionally, she has spearheaded and collaborated on numerous grassroots initiatives in Central and Eastern Europe, such as Free Radio Budapest and Ogólnopolski Strajk Kobiet (OSK), to track and combat government censorship and human rights abuses.
Board Member and Research Coordinator
Dr. Naomi Levy is an Associate Professor of Political Science at Santa Clara University. She specializes in post-conflict statebuilding and is particularly interested in the relationship between ordinary citizens and the state. Her work asks how individuals’ understandings of their various political identities are shaped by the state’s delivery of public services, and, in turn, how these understandings affect inter-group dynamics and state legitimacy. She also includes methodological questions as part of her scholarly pursuits. Levy received her PhD from the Department of Political Science at the University of California, Berkeley, and also holds an MA in Social Sciences of Education from Stanford University School of Education.
Lindsay McClain Opiyo
Lindsay McClain Opiyo is the Development and Partnerships Director and US Representative of Generations for Peace (GFP). She served as EPI’s first coordinator from 2013-2015. She has more than a decade of experience working with NGOs, universities and conflict-affected communities in Uganda, Jordan, South Africa and the United States in programmatic, research, communications and fundraising roles. Her thematic expertise includes music and peacebuilding, community-centered transitional justice, gender justice, children born of war/conflict sexual violence, and youth-led peacebuilding. She holds a Master’s degree in Peace Studies from the Kroc Institute for International Peace Studies at the University of Notre Dame, USA, and a Bachelor’s degree from the University of Tennessee, USA.
Danielle M. Reiff
Danielle Reiff has two decades of professional experience advancing democratic governance and peacebuilding around the world with the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID). Since 2000, Ms. Reiff has served on the Concealed Pistol Licensing Review Board for the city of Washington, D.C., a quasi-judicial body that reviews appeals when the Metropolitan Police Department denies or revokes a concealed carry license. She also serves on the Boards for Grannies Respond, which provides humanitarian support to asylum seekers in the U.S., and Everyday Peace Indicators, which leads communities in dialogue about peace. Ms. Reiff earned her master’s degree in international relations and Peace Studies from the Institute of Political Studies (Sciences Po) in Paris, France. She completed her undergraduate degree at the University of Wisconsin in Madison. She lives in Washington D.C
Board Member and Research Coordinator
Dr. Peter Dixon is a Research Scientist at the Conflict Resolution and Coexistence (COEX) program at Brandeis University’s Heller School for Social Policy and Management and Co-Principal Investigator on the Everyday Justice project. His main research interests are in transitional justice, peacebuilding, peacekeeping and political violence, particularly in how people’s everyday experiences during and after conflict enable or limit transformative solutions. Previously, he worked at the UN and International Criminal Court. He holds a PhD in Sociology from the University of California. More can be found on his website at peterdixon.org.
Research and Communications Advisor
Dr. Yvette Selim is a Senior Research Associate at the Institute for Public Policy and Governance at the University of Technology Sydney. Her research interests include transitional justice, victims' rights, participation, development, and peacebuilding. Yvette has worked with numerous rights-based NGOs and development agencies, including the International Development Law Organization, the Australian Human Rights Centre, Anti-Slavery Australia, The Asia Foundation, and the Centre for International Cooperation and Security. She was a Visiting Fellow at the University of Oxford and the Australian National University. She holds a Ph.D. in International Studies from the University of New South Wales (UNSW), an MA in Conflict Resolution (University of Bradford), an MA in Bioethics (Monash), a Bachelor of Laws (UNSW), and a Bachelor of Medical Science (UNSW).
Khaled Sakr is an educator with over 15 years of experience in different educational contexts. As a corporate Learning and Development Manager, he led teams of facilitators in designing and delivering training programs focused on cross-cultural communication and emotional intelligence. After the 2011 revolution in Egypt, Khaled left the corporate world to focus on peace education with NGOs that specialize in implementing training and development programs that tackle cultural, social, and political issues in Egypt. His work with cultural minorities and exposure to their struggles brought up questions about identity-based conflict. These led Khaled to Brandeis University, where he worked as a research and teaching assistant while completing an MA in Conflict Resolution and Coexistence and an MA in Sustainable International Development. Khaled is working towards his goal of obtaining a Ph.D. to help make an impact on the lives of cultural minorities.
Research Management Team
Abida Pehlic is a human rights activist specialized in the prevention of human trafficking and gender-based violence. She holds a Master's Degree in Sociology and a Master's Degree in German Language and Literature. She is co-founder and President of the Association „Novi put“ based in Bosnia and Herzegovina. She is also the GMMP (Global Media Monitoring Program) National Coordinator for Bosnia and Herzegovina. Abida has more than 25 years of work experience, mostly in international teams. She has developed and managed comprehensive programs and projects focused on the protection of human rights in Bosnia and Herzegovina, involving multiple governmental, non-governmental, and private sector stakeholders. Her research interests include human trafficking, gender-based violence, and gender portrayal in the media.
Daniel Ortega is a Sociologist who holds a Master's in Political Science from the Universidad Nacional de Colombia. His research interests are armed conflict, peacebuilding, historical memory, and social movements. He has worked with a variety of civil society groups to strengthen social organizations and assist with the implementation of the Colombian Peace Accords.
Edwin Cubillos is a human rights activist, photographer and cultural manager. He was professionally trained as a social worker and holds a master's degree in Cultural Studies from the Universidad Nacional. He has also taught courses on human rights in the Department of Social Work at the Universidad Nacional. Edwin was a researcher in the Communication, Culture and Citizenship Group and a member of the Communication Thinking Center of the Institute of Political Studies and International Relations (IEPRI), where he produced several publications and exhibitions related to photography, memory and human rights. He has worked as a National Project Advisor for the Ministry of Culture, Culture Manager for the Secretary of Culture of Bogota and Coordinator of Education and Culture of the National Museum of Memory (CNMH), directing projects of symbolic reparation from art throughout the country.
Eliza Urwin is a PhD candidate at the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies in Geneva, where her research focuses on forms of cooperation and resistance in areas of conflict and contested authority. From 2013 until 2017 Eliza lived in Afghanistan, working as a Senior Program Officer for the United States Institute of Peace. There, she managed a portfolio of peacebuilding research and programming, piloting projects and exploring research methods for evaluating peacebuilding effectiveness. Eliza holds an MA in Political Science from the University of Paris, and a BA from Concordia University in Montreal and the American University in Cairo.
Fiorella Vera-Adrianzén is a doctoral candidate in the Department of Political Science at the University of New Mexico and a Research Associate at Brandeis University’s Heller School for Social Policy and Management. Her research examines how local politics and victim participation affect the implementation and effectiveness of post-conflict reparative justice. As an Inter-American Foundation and Fulbright-Hays Fellow, she has conducted participatory research within conflict-afflicted Quechua communities in Peru. She received a M.A. and a B.A. in Political Science from UNM and attended law school at the Peruvian Universidad Católica. She has worked with the National Hispanic Cultural Center, the NM Immigrant Law Center, and Catholic Charities, supporting immigrant communities.
Dr. Jessica Smith is the Research and Policy Manager at the Georgetown Institute for Women, Peace and Security. Her research focuses on women’s experiences of agency in conflict-affected contexts, specifically how the principles of the Women, Peace and Security (WPS) agenda translate and become meaningful to local actors. She is interested in how EPI can be used to strengthen efforts to localize the WPS agenda. Jessica completed her PhD at the School for Conflict Analysis and Resolution at George Mason University and has a decade of research experience working on gender-related issues with women in Bosnia-Herzegovina, Indonesia, Jordan and the United States. She has worked in various capacities for the International Rescue Committee, Catholic Charities, the United Nations, the US Institute of Peace, and USAID.
Dr. Julianne Funk is a Research Fellow at the South-East Europe Programme of the Hellenic Foundation for European and Foreign Policy (ELIAMEP) in Greece. She has a PhD in Social Sciences and an MA in Conflict and Sustainable Peace from the Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, in Belgium. Bringing together peace research and peacebuilding praxis, Julianne has worked extensively with local organizations and projects in Yugoslavia’s successor states, writing, speaking and publishing about the successes of less visible initiatives. Her peace research and praxis is focuses on religions in conflict and peacebuilding (e.g. Balkan Islam, engaged Buddhism and various Christian traditions) and trauma-sensitive peace practices.
Kate Lonergan is a PhD Candidate with the Department of Peace and Conflict Research and the Hugo Valentin Centre at Uppsala University, and conducts research focused on reconciliation and peacebuilding after conflict and mass violence. Kate has a Master’s degree from the Department of Peace and Conflict Research at Uppsala University, where she was a Rotary Peace Fellow. Kate has previously worked with the World Bank on justice and development issues, and conducted research on community reintegration of ex-combatants in northern Uganda. She has also worked with community conflict resolution and restorative justice initiatives in the Washington, DC area.
Dr. Leslie MacColman earned a PhD in Sociology & Peace Studies from the University of Notre Dame in 2020 and is currently a post-doctoral scholar at the Ohio State University. Her research focuses on violence, policing, public sector corruption, and local dynamics of conflict and social change, particularly in Latin America. Leslie holds a B.A. in Anthropology and Spanish from the University of Montana - Missoula and an M.A. in International Relations, Peace, and Conflict Studies from the Universidad del Salvador - Argentina, where she was a Rotary Peace Fellow. She has also worked with numerous rights-based NGOs and development agencies, including ACIJ, FARN, ActionAid, FAO, and World Learning.
Luisa Moreno Ome
Luisa Moreno Ome is a social worker with a community focus from the Colegio Mayor de Cundinamarca University. She has training in Memories of Resistance, Communication for Social Change, and community filmmaking. She has more than 9 years of experience as an organizer and trainer in different processes of popular education, popular and community communication, and the creation of community and audiovisual cinema based on research, production and art direction. She is co-founder of the Narrar es Narrarse Memory Collective and is interested in the use of audiovisual art and creative writing to advance memory processes and psychosocial accompaniment of grief as forms of repair, healing and transformation.
Oscar Vargas is a researcher who works on memorialization, land conflicts and rural processes of land related issues. He has worked with state and private entities linked to transitional processes (Land Restitution Unit, Historical Memory Center), clarification of rural land issues (National Land Agency) and university education (Universidad de la Sabana). He holds a Master's degree in Anthropology and a Bachelor's degree in History from the Universidad Nacional de Colombia.
Rosario Arias Callejas is a historian from the Universidad Nacional de Colombia. She has accompanied projects and research in collective memory, oral history, life histories and social movement archives. She has worked on projects related to peacebuilding, land and development, culture, human rights and knowledge management. She holds a Master's degree in Social Studies from the Universidad Pedagógica Nacional and a Master's degree in Historical Archiving and Memory from the Universidad Javeriana in Bogotá. She has been accompanying EPI's projects in Colombia since 2016.
Shruthi De Visser
Shruthi De Visser has worked in both the government and non-profit sector as a researcher, activist and consultant, focusing on reconciliation, gender and politics. Shruthi has a Bachelor's in Political Science from Gordon College in the United States and a Master's in Gender and Women’s Studies from the University of Colombo, Sri Lanka. Shruthi‘s research is focused on peacebuilding and transitional justice, specifically reparations. Her more recent research work has centered on the formal political experiences of Tamil women in Northern Sri Lanka. Shruthi is especially interested in using an intersectional lens with a focus on gender in all her research work.
Sol Rivera is a sociologist from the Universidad Nacional de Colombia with expertise in gender and feminist studies. She has been a researcher at various institutions, such as the National Center for Historical Memory, the Truth Commission, and a variety of other civil society organizations. Sol has conducted research on the history of Colombian guerrillas, paramilitarism, the relationship between art and politics, and human rights in Colombia. She has experience in projects related to historical memory, political participation, and the implementation of the Peace Accords in Colombia. Sol is interested in the construction of historical memory through art and culture, research on the Colombian armed conflict, and peacebuilding.
Dr. Tiffany Fairey is a visual sociologist and Leverhulme Trust Early Career Fellow based in the Department of War Studies at King’s College London. Co-Founder of the award-winning charity PhotoVoice, Fairey has over 20 years of experience working on participatory photography and photovoice projects around the world. She is a specialist in participatory visual methods and community photography histories, pedagogies, ethics and impact. Her current research, Imaging Peace, focuses on the role of images and image-making in building peace and dialogue. In recent years she has worked on the major interdisciplinary research project Art & Reconciliation and Izazov, a Changing the Story project with young Bosnian film-makers. In 2019 she co-edited a Special Issue of the journal Photography & Culture, Photography As Dialogue. Her work has been recognized with various awards including the Royal Photographic Society’s Hood Medal for outstanding advance in photography for public service (2010).
Zahrah Rizwan is a feminist researcher with a background in advocacy and communications in the non-profit sector of Sri Lanka. She functions as an Advisor at FRIDA, the Feminist Fund; and is a part of local youth activist groups such as Hashtag Generation and Sisterhood Initiative. Zahrah holds a B.A. (Hons) at the University of Colombo and a Bachelors in Business, Australia; and is currently pursuing her Master's in Gender and Women’s Studies at the University of Colombo. Her research focuses on using an intersectional lens to explore sex work, night economies, violence and mental health in Sri Lanka.