AC4 Team

Joshua Fisher


Dr. Fisher is responsible for the strategic and operational leadership of AC4. He is a research scientist at The Earth Institute, focused on applied work into the environmental drivers of social conflict and exploring opportunities to use resource management as a tool for conflict prevention. He has particular expertise in conservation, natural resource management, and extractive industry related issues. Dr. Fisher provides analytical and consultation services to NGOs, governmental and international organizations, with ongoing applied projects in countries in South America, Asia-Pacific, Sub-Saharan Africa and Europe. In addition, he is adjunct faculty teaching environmental conflict resolution and environmental impact assessment at Columbia University.

Azin2Azin Aliabadi
Associate Director

Azin is responsible for the daily management of AC4, including finance, budgets, human resource management, and event planning. She graduated Magna Cum Laude with Distinction from Boston University. She received her Master’s degree from Columbia University’s Department of Economics and School of International and Public Affairs.  Previously she worked as a Consultant at UNDP and as an Associate at Morgan Stanley in New York. She is passionate about economics, sustainability and peacekeeping.


Mikaela Luttrell-Rowland
Director of the Women, Peace and Security Program

Dr. Mikaela Luttrell-Rowland leads the Women, Peace and Security Program, bringing expertise in feminist political economy, with a focus on human rights, gender, and disparity. She is the recipient of numerous fellowships and the author of several works on the politics of women’s rights and children’s rights. Dr. Luttrell-Rowland received her MSc from the University of Oxford in Comparative Social Policy, and her PhD from the University of Bath in International Development. She completed a post-doctoral fellowship at Harvard University and the University of Manchester, and has lived and conducted field research in Peru, the United Kingdom, the United States, and South Korea. Her current teachings and scholarship focuses on global inequality, women’s mobilizations, and social movements.

Padini Nirmal
Learning and Evaluation Program Manager

Dr. Padini Nirmal is the Learning and Evaluation Manager at the Women, Peace and Security Program. She has an extensive background in decolonial, feminist, and resistance studies, critical pedagogy and media studies, and in liberatory and participatory methodologies. She brings expertise in participatory action research methods as well as in participatory monitoring, learning and evaluation techniques. She holds a doctorate in Geography and a Masters in International Development and Social Change, both from Clark University, as well as a Masters in Communication, with a focus on documentary photography and filmmaking from Madras Christian College in India. Prior to joining AC4, Dr. Nirmal engaged in activist-scholar work with indigenous communities in India through her research focus in decolonial feminist political ecology and critical development studies. She has received several awards and grants and has written widely about the intersections between gender, indigeneity, development and the environment.

Allegra Chen-Carrel
Program Manager

Allegra facilitates the Sustainable Peace Project at AC4, bringing her passion for bridging differences across identity groups. She is currently pursuing a PhD in Social Organizational Psychology at Columbia University Teachers College where her research focuses on the intersection of social justice and conflict resolution. She holds a M.A. in Global Thought From Columbia University, and a M.A. in Immigration Management from the Universitat Pompeu Fabra in Spain. Previously, she worked for community organizations in New York City and in the Dominican Republic.

Meredith Smith
Program Manager

Meredith facilitates the graduate student fellowship programs and works with AC4 team on communications and public programs. She is a capacity development specialist and cultural producer, bringing writing and research experience, design skills, and over six years’ experience developing, facilitating and managing programs for youth and adult learners in diverse settings, primarily focused on resource-limited settings both inside and outside the United States. Prior to joining AC4, she received her M.P.A. in Development Practice from Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs, with a culminating project on the intersection of disaster relief and public health in post-hurricane NYC.

Kristen Rucki
Program Coordinator

Kristen facilitates the Youth, Peace and Security Program’s evaluation of the Nurturing Inclusive Community Environment (NICE) Program in New York high schools. Kristen has held several different roles at AC4, including Women, Peace, and Security Program Coordinator, coordinator of the Sustainable Human Development (SHD) project, and a core team member of the Sustainable Peace Mapping initiative. A researcher and educator, she holds an M.A. in International and Comparative Education from Teachers College, Columbia University, where her work focused on issues of peace and human rights and educational inequality.

Joán Lopez 
Project Coordinator

Joán Camilo Lopez coordinates the Youth, Peace, and Security Program. He previously coordinated the Urban Violence Prevention project in Medellin, Colombia. He is currently doing his graduate work at the City University of New York–Graduate Center, where he seeks to write a thesis drawing on his ethnographic work among youth leaders in Medellin. Joan is particularly interested in understanding the role of art in youth resistance movements and its relation to the production of historical memory in Colombia. Through a materialistic perspective, he seeks to suggest an analysis of how the memory of violence and conflict is being remembered and represented by some of the youth that have experienced violence in all its expressions in the past 30 years in the northwest region of Colombia.

Kobi Skolnick
Project Special Advisor

Kobi serves as the Special Adviser to the Youth, Peace and Security Program. He concurrently serves as a consultant to the United Nations on issues of leadership and conflict resolution, and he is currently leading capacity development and coaching for the UNFPA Youth Innovation Programme. He is a member of the UN Inter Agency Network on Youth Development Working Group on Youth Participation in Peacebuilding, and the Steering Committee of the Progress Study on Youth, Peace and Security mandated by UN Security Council Resolution 2250, where he represents AC4. He has trained hundreds of people worldwide in transformative leadership development, facilitation, advocacy for social change, peacebuilding, cultural empathy, and conflict resolution. Kobi received his Masters in Negotiation and Conflict Resolution program at Columbia University, studying Syrian youth in refugee camps and peacebuilding.

Sultan White
Communications Coordinator Intern

Sultan assists the communication team, helping establish the AC4 Hub as a place for the peace and conflict community at Columbia University to collaborate and exchange ideas. He plays a significant role in maintaining existing and establishing new outreach efforts for AC4. Sultan is currently pursuing a Master’s degree in Anthropology and Education from Teachers College, Columbia University and an Advanced Certificate in Cooperation and Conflict Resolution from Morton Deutsch-ICCCR. He is also the Founder of Civil Impact, a public benefit corporation focussed on socially responsible investing and addressing campaign finance corruption in the US.

Sophia Rhee
Program A

Sophia supports the Environment, Peace, and Sustainability initiative at AC4 in both research and administrative capacities. She is interested in the intersections between environment and conflict, and has worked in policy institutions across New York, Brussels, and Washington, D.C. She holds a dual bachelor’s degree in Social Sciences from Sciences Po Paris and in Sustainable Development from Columbia University with honors.

Hannah Yore
Program Coordinator

Hannah coordinates the Women, Peace, and Security Program at AC4. She is an international development practitioner and researcher who specializes in the intersections of gender and sexuality, public health and feminist grassroots mobilizations. Hannah has worked with both international non-government organizations and domestic non-profits to support programs related to HIV/AIDS, gender-based violence and reproductive health. She received her Master’s degree from Clark University’s Department of International Development and Social Change program.

Rachel Kirk
Communications Coordinator Intern

Rachel is part of the communications team, assisting with publicity of AC4‘s research and programs to Columbia University and the broader peace and conflict community. She is pursuing an MA in International Education Development at Teachers College and was a 2018 AC4 graduate fellow. Through her fellowship, she was conducting evaluation research on a non-profit that she co-founded, the Women’s Global Empowerment Initiative (WGEI), an organization that promotes social justice-oriented study abroad for high school women of color from the Southeast U.S. She has over six years of experience in education through teaching, curriculum development, and non-profits between the U.S., France, Morocco, and Spain.

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