Speaker & Facilitator Bios

Keynote Speakers

Aldo Civico, Ph.D.

Civico2For the past 20 years, Dr. Aldo Civico has been on the frontline of conflict resolution. He has worked with victims and perpetrators of deadly conflicts. In Colombia, he has facilitated talks with the guerrilla. He has conducted research among members of death squads, gangs, and drug cartels. He shares the unique insights he has gained through his research and work in seminars, workshops, and lectures to executives. He is an anthropology professor at Rutgers University in Newark, where in 2011 he founded the International Institute for Peace, which is a Category 2 UNESCO center. From 2007 to 2010, he was the director of the Center for International Conflict Resolution at Columbia University. Aldo Civico is a columnist of the prestigious Colombian newspaper El Espectador. He holds a Ph.D in anthropology from Columbia University.

Peter T. Coleman, Ph.D.

Coleman2Dr. Peter T. Coleman holds a Ph.D. in Social/Organizational Psychology from Columbia University. He is Professor of Psychology and Education at Columbia University where he holds a joint-appointment at Teachers College and The Earth Institute and teaches courses in Conflict Resolution, Social Psychology, and Social Science Research. Dr. Coleman is Director of the Morton Deutsch International Center for Cooperation and Conflict Resolution (MD-ICCCR) at Teachers College, Columbia University and Executive Co-Chair of Columbia University’s Advanced Consortium on Cooperation, Conflict, and Complexity (AC4). He currently conducts research on optimality of motivational dynamics in conflict, power asymmetries and conflict, intractable conflict, multicultural conflict, justice and conflict, environmental conflict, mediation dynamics, and sustainable peace.

Glenda Eoyang, Ph.D.

Eoyang2Dr. Glenda Eoyang works with public and private organizations to help them thrive in the face of overwhelming complexity and uncertainty. She is a pioneer in the field of human systems dynamics (HSD), which she founded. As executive director of the HSD Institute, Glenda uses her models and methods to help others see patterns in the chaos that surrounds them, understand the patterns in simple and powerful ways, and take practical steps to shift chaos into order. Glenda’s newest book, with co-author Royce Holladay, is Adaptive Action: Leveraging Uncertainty in Your Organization (Stanford University Press, 2013). She received her PhD in Human Systems Dynamics from Union Institute and University in 2001, and she is currently associated with Queen’s University in Kingston, Ontario; The University of St. Thomas in St. Paul, Minnesota; and Temple University in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

Joshua Fisher, Ph.D.

Fisher2Josh Fisher received his PhD in Conflict Analysis and Resolution from George Mason University, where he studied the ecological drivers of armed conflict. His work coupled geospatial statistics, remote sensing, and econometric modeling to develop spatially explicit forecast models of the likelihood of armed conflict. He received his MS from Utah State University in Political Science and his BS in International Law and Environmental Policy. In addition to his academic work, Dr. Fisher has worked in sub-Saharan Africa and Latin America on environmental management and poverty reduction. He has worked with conservation organizations, private sector firms, and the U.S. Bureau of Land Management on natural resource governance and biodiversity conservation issues. Dr. Fisher’s current work focuses on natural resource management and governance as tools for conflict prevention.

Beth Fisher-Yoshida, Ph.D.

FisherYoshida2Beth Fisher-Yoshida is a faculty member and the academic director of the Negotiation and Conflict Resolution program. She is also a lecturer in the Social and Organizational Psychology Program at Teachers College, Columbia University. Dr. Fisher-Yoshida teaches classes in conflict resolution and related fields and conducts participatory action research. She is the founder of FYI Fisher Yoshida International, LLC, a firm that partners with clients to develop customized interventions aimed at improving organizational performance. Dr. Fisher-Yoshida is the author of numerous articles, chapters, edited books, and authored a book on transnational leadership. She received her Ph.D. in Human and Organizational Systems and M.A. in Organization Development from Fielding Graduate University in Santa Barbara, California. She received her M.A., with honors, from Teachers College, Columbia University, and received both a B.A. and a B.S. from Buffalo State College.

Orit Gal, Ph.D.

Gal2Dr Orit Gal is a political economist specializing in the practical applications of complexity theories. Currently a senior lecturer for Strategy and Complexity at Regent’s University London, her fields of interest include – innovation and systemic change, complexity economics, and social entrepreneurship. She served as a project director for the Economic Cooperation Foundation, leading peace-building projects and developing policy recommendations through track-two negotiations between Israelis and Palestinians; an innovation strategist at the Operational Theory Research Institute, advancing the incorporation of the civilian and economic dimensions into military operational design; was an Associate Fellow at the Royal Institute of International Affairs (Chatham House); and a member of IPPR’s New Era Economics panel. Orit is now focusing her practical work on adaptive design, exploring innovative methods for maximizing impact within complex environments.

Armando Geller, Ph.D.

Geller2Dr. Armando Geller is a computational social scientist and co-founder of Scensei, a decision support and analytics enterprise. He is also affiliated with the School of Conflict Analysis and Resolution at George Mason University. Dr. Geller specializes in information elicitation in challenging circumstances and evidence-driven model design. He lectures in computational social science and contemporary conflict.


Stephen Gray, M.A.

Gray2Stephen is a practitioner and researcher in the field of international conflict resolution. His studies at Columbia University introduced him to Dynamical Systems Theory, which he later applied as a method of conflict assessment in South Sudan. Most of Stephen’s work today involves applied research and advice, where possible incorporating systemic theories and methods. For the past two years Stephen has lived and worked in Myanmar, where he has conducted multiple systemic conflict assessments and is now country representative for Envisage, a social enterprise combining big data, systems mapping and thinking, and dialog tools to support organizations working for peaceful reform and resolution of Myanmar’s civil war.

Larry Liebovitch, Ph.D.

Liebovitch2Dr. Larry S. Liebovitch is currently Professor of Physics and Psychology and previously the Dean of the Division of Mathematics and Natural Sciences at Queens College of the City University of New York, and serves as Adjunct Senior Research Scientist for AC4. He was a Postdoctoral Fellow at the Mt. Sinai School of Medicine in New York and an Assistant Professor at the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Columbia University. At Florida Atlantic University he served as the interim director of the Center for Complex Systems and Brain Sciences and as the Associate Dean for Graduate Programs and Studies in the Charles E. Schmidt College of Science. He has used nonlinear methods to analyze and understand molecular, cellular, psychological, and social systems. He is the author or coauthor of four books including: Fractals and Chaos: Simplified for the Life Sciences by Larry S. Liebovitch (Oxford University Press, 1998) and Fractal Analysis in the Social Sciences, Quantitative Applications in the Social Sciences, Volume 165, by Clifford T. Brown and Larry S. Liebovitch (SAGE Publications, 2010). For more about Dr. Liebovitch, his publications, research interests and courses, please click here.

Robert Ricigliano, J.D.


Robert Ricigliano is a systems and complexity coach at The Omidyar Group where he supports and guides teams within organizations and initiatives in efforts to better understand and effectively engage with dynamic systems. The systems practice at The Omidyar Group is built on Robert’s pioneering work using systems and complexity tools in peacebuilding and social change. This foundational work is captured in his recently published book, Making Peace Last: a systemic approach to sustainable peacebuilding (2012).  Prior to joining The Omidyar Group, Robert served as an adjunct professor and co-founder of the master of sustainable peacebuilding degree program at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee (UWM), a non-resident fellow at the Foreign Policy Institute of Johns Hopkins University, and consulted on peacebuilding in complex environments. He has worked with the U.S. Agency for International Development, the Department of Defense, and the Department of State, as well as with non-governmental organizations, foundations, leaders of armed groups, and political parties in the U.S. and in conflict zones around the world.  Today he serves as chair of the board of directors for the Alliance for Peacebuilding.

Josefine Roos, M.A.

Roos2Josefine is an international affairs practitioner,co-director of Adapt Research and Consulting, focusing currently on systemic conflict resolution and conflict sensitivity methodologies in Myanmar. Josefine’s interest in system methodologies was sparked studying Dynamical Systems Theory at Columbia University. She traveled to South Sudan to use Dynamical Systems Theory to inform conflict assessment methodologies. For the past two years Josefine has been living in Myanmar, working as a consultant to the Myanmar Peace Support Initiative, as well as a range of international NGOs and the United Nations. She has conducted several systemic conflict assessments as well as trainings in conflict sensitivity and is also involved in a Systemic Action Research project working with enhancing community voices into the Myanmar Peace Process.



Workshop Presenters

Lukasz Jochemczyk, Ph.D.

Dr. Lukasz Jochemczyk is an assistant professor with the Faculty of Psychology at the University of Warsaw.  His personal and professional interests lie in negotiation and complex systems and his research focuses on communication processes in negotiation.  Through these interests, he has created and is currently testing the Dynamical Negotiation Networks model.  He has worked with community conflicts as a consultant, mediator and facilitator for participatory public space planning (including NIMBY (“Not in my backyard”)) and deliberative opinion polls. He teaches negotiation, conflict resolution, environmental conflict resolution, environmental negotiation, assertiveness, and time management. He collaborates with the Morton Deutsch International Center for Cooperation and Conflict (ICCCR), Teachers College, Columbia University. He is a New York State certified mediator. In his spare time, he enjoys flying gliders.
 He can be contacted at: ljochemczyk(at)gmail.com.


Cynthia Malone, M.A. Candidate

cynthia m

Cynthia Malone is a 2014 AC4 Graduate Fellow and second year Masters candidate in Conservation Biology with the Department of Ecology, Evolution, and Environmental Biology. Cynthia conducts applied conservation research on large-scale industrial agricultural expansion, a significant driver of biodiversity loss and substantial livelihood disruption for communities in tropical ecosystems. Her Master’s thesis employs a socio-ecological systems approach to examine human-wildlife encounters that have escalated into conflict in the Ndian Division of southwest Cameroon, home to a number of protected areas alongside extensive smallholder and industrial oil palm plantations. With stakeholder interviews, fine-scale spatial surveys of farms, and participatory maps of villages, her study provides insight into how conservation practitioners might use a more inter-disciplinary approach towards achieving multi-functional agro-forest mosaic landscapes in Cameroon and similar tropical landscapes.


Katherine Orrick, M.A. Candidate

kaggieAs an AC4 fellow and part of the E3B graduate program, Kaggie has worked to determine the impact vehicle noise has on African elephants in small protected areas. Vehicle traffic affects acoustic communication and causes deleterious physiological responses in both humans and wildlife but has not been widely examined in large terrestrial mammals. Wildlife in small protected areas which are surrounded by roads have less space to utilize within the reserve and have constant, forced exposure to chronic noise from commuting vehicles. Kaggie worked and lived on a game reserve in South Africa for three years before attending the Columbia graduate program and hopes her research will provide vital information about the future of small, protected areas, quantify the true role human development has on elephants and find solutions for this human-wildlife conflict.

Ryszard Praszkier, Ph.D.

Praskier2Dr. Ryszard Praszkier is a researcher at the Center for Complex Systems, University of Warsaw. He is also a professor at the International Institute for Social & European Studies (ISES) based in Hungary and a lecturer at the Academy of Leadership. His areas of research include the properties of social networks that support profound, peaceful social transitions; the dynamics of social change facilitated by social entrepreneurs; and building alternative attractors for sustainable peace. He is also interested in social SYNC: how brains, individuals, groups and societies synchronize; the neuroscience of creativity; and “Empowering Leadership” as demonstrated by Social Entrepreneurs.  In addition to research, Dr. Praszkier is a consultant for Ashoka, Innovators for the Public (www.ashoka.org), an organization he has been associated with for more than 20 years. As Country Director, he launched Ashoka, Poland in 1995, and since 2000 has been an international staff training director and chaired selection processes for Ashoka Fellows. During the 1980s he participated in the Polish non-violent underground Solidarity Movement. Please click here for Dr. Praszkier’s Bio.

Jill Strauss, Ph.D.

Strauss2Dr. Jill Strauss teaches Conflict Resolution and Communications at Borough of Manhattan Community College. Prior to this, she was an adjunct professor at John Jay College of Criminal Justice in the Dispute Resolution and Interdisciplinary Studies Programs. Professor Strauss was the 2012-2013 Fulbright Research Chair in North American Society and Culture at Concordia University, Montreal. Her research involves Restorative Practices and the visual interpretation of narrative and difficult histories. Professor Strauss completed her Ph.D. at the University of Ulster in Northern Ireland in 2010, where she designed an innovative fieldwork project integrating storytelling and visual art for empathy and validation as one way to address a history of mutual humiliation and historical conflict with an intergenerational group of Catholics and Protestants.

Hakim Mohandas Amani Williams, Ed.D.

Williams2Dr. Hakim Mohandas Amani Williams, a native of Trinidad & Tobago, is Assistant Professor of Africana Studies and Education at Gettysburg College, where he’s also a member of their Globalization Studies and Public Policy programs. He received his BA (Hons) in Psychology from St. Francis College (NY) and his MA, M.Ed., and Ed.D. in the fields of comparative and international education, and international educational development from Columbia University. He was a member of the inaugural cohort of AC4 Research Fellows (2009); this funding helped him conduct his qualitative research in Trinidad on school violence. Some of his teaching and research interests include: school violence, educational inequity, youth empowerment, participatory action research, social change, human rights, peace education, Caribbean Studies, and postcolonial theory. Recent publications include: “Postcolonial structural violence: a study of school violence in Trinidad & Tobago.” (2013). International Journal of Peace Studies, 18.2: 39-64. and “Peaceableness as Raison d’être, Process, and Evaluation”. In A. Karako, C. Del Felice, & A. Wisler (Eds.). (forthcoming). Peace education evaluation: Learning from experience and exploring prospects. North Carolina: Information Age Press.


Alumni Panelists

Karishma Desai, Ph.D. Candidate

KarishmaKarishma Desai offers new ways of thinking with theoretical tools from curriculum theory and her work highlights the significance of investigating knowledge politics in the quest for peace and sustainability. As an AC4 fellow in 2012, she conducted fieldwork at Adharshila Shikshan Kendra, a unique independent school birthed out of an Adivasi1 social movement. Her dissertation project continues her investment in the significance of knowledge politics in educational spaces. Her research draws on transnational feminisms and theories in globalization to investigate the epistemologies enmeshed in educational interventions seeking to empower adolescent girls.

Sarah Flatto, M.A.

happiSarah Flatto builds community for violence prevention through intersectional civil rights, interfaith, immigrant, health & wellness, feminist organizing. She is currently the Director of Programs & Outreach at the NYC Family Justice Center, overseeing community outreach and professional development. During her career in public service, she has received the U.S. Dept. of State Critical Language Scholarship, the AmeriCorps Education Award, and the AC4 Fellowship in 2010 for research in India and Pakistan focusing on crisis response, humanitarian education, and community-based peacebuilding. She holds a rape crisis advocate certificate from Bellevue Hospital, a B.A. in Political Science from McGill University and an M.A. in Education from Columbia University. To learn more about Sarah Flatto, click here.

Diana Rodriguez-Gomez, Ph.D. Candidate

dianaDiana Rodriguez-Gomez shares the potential and challenges of qualitative educational research in contexts of armed conflict. She recently conducted thirteen months of dissertation fieldwork in Ecuador – in Quito and on the Ecuadorian/Colombian border. She holds a M.A. in International Education and Development from the University of Sussex and has worked in the Early Childhood Department at the National Ministry of Education in Colombia. Her research interests span the areas of: South-South migration; education and conflict; youth studies; qualitative research methods, especially visual methodologies; and she has a regional focus in Latin America and the Caribbean.

Danielle Coon, M.S.

danielleDanielle Coon offers perspective on the wide array of professional experience within the field of conflict resolution and different points of support and advocacy for current students. She is an alum of Columbia’s Masters in Negotiation and Conflict Resolution program and is currently the Director of Programs for project COMMON BOND at Tuesday’s Children. Previously, she has been the Resettlement Manager in the International Rescue Committee’s New York office, led volunteer groups in Ecuador with Habitat for Humanity, and worked with a non-profit social service agency in New York where she managed apartment buildings for low-income senior citizens.

Get our newsletter

I'd like to get more stories like this.
Email address
Secure and Spam free...