Strassler Center for Holocaust and Genocide Studies

Uncertain Futures

Speaker Biographies

Saleem Ali

Dubbed "The Alchemist" by Forbes magazine for offering practical solutions to the riddle of natural resource consumption vs. conservation, and named one of eight "Revolutionary Minds in the World" by Seed magazine for his work using environmental factors as a means of conflict resolution, Dr. Saleem H. Ali is a leading advocate for cross-cultural environmental pragmatism. He is a professor of environmental planning and conflict resolution at the University of Vermont and Director of the Institute for Environmental Diplomacy and Security at UVM's James Jeffords Center for Policy Research. Featured in National Geographic as an "emerging explorer" for his critically important work examining the causes and consequences of environmental conflicts on six continents, Dr. Ali is internationally recognized as an advocate for practical approaches to environmental conservation. Ali's most recent book, Treasures of the Earth: Need, Greed and a Sustainable Future, was published in 2009 by Yale University Press.

Tatiana Carayannis

An expert field researcher, Tatiana Carayannis has published widely on the Congo wars, United Nations (UN) peacekeeping; local, national, and global war networks in the Great Lakes region; the recruitment and demobilization of minors in irregular armed forces; and the agenda-setting role of UN humanitarian and development ideas. She has also consulted for a variety of UN agencies and NGOs, including the UN Department of Peacekeeping Operations, UNICEF, the Ford Foundation, and International Peace. Ms. Carayannis currently serves as the Deputy Director of the Conflict Prevention and Peace Forum at the Social Science Research Council, a post she has held since 2006. Before joining the SSRC, she directed a research and publication program on the intellectual history of the UN at the City University of New York's Ralph Bunche Institute for International Studies. In 1998, she served as rapporteur for the UN Secretary-General's Resource Group on DRC. She is a regular contributor to the African Arguments blog and a founding member of the Central Africa Policy Forum. Ms. Carayannis co-authored UN Voices: The Struggle for Development and Social Justice (Indiana University Press, 2005) and is currently completing her second book, Pioneers of Peacekeeping: ONUC 1960-1964 (Lynne Rienner Press). A co-edited volume, Cinquante ans de mobilisation politique au Congo is scheduled to be published later this year by L'Harmattan.

Carol Cohn

Director and founding member of the Consortium on Gender, Security and Human Rights, Dr. Carol Cohn is a cutting-edge scholar of questions of gender in global politics, armed conflict, and security. An activist as well as researcher, Dr. Cohn conducts training and workshops on the United Nations Security Council Resolution 1325 and monitors all four of the UN Security Council's historic resolutions on wartime violence against women. This charge includes leading a series of workshops at the UN Department of Peacekeeping Operations, designed to help UN headquarters staff develop an action plan for implementing Resolution 1325 and mainstreaming gender-related questions in peacekeeping operations. Dr. Cohn is currently working with the Social Science Research Council to design a Global Center for Research on Gender, Crisis Prevention and Recovery for the United Nations Development Program.

Aaron Hall

Enough Project policy analyst focusing on the Democratic Republic of Congo, Aaron Hall is a seasoned policy expert. The Enough Project supports policies and actions to promote deep and lasting change in the most war-torn regions of Africa. In framing its policy prescriptions, Enough utilizes a "3P" approach: promoting peace, protecting civilians, and punishing perpetrators. Prior to joining Enough, Mr. Hall was an analyst for the Foundation for Environmental Security and Sustainability, focusing on the socio-economic and environmental impacts of small-scale mining in Sierra Leone and the Great Lakes region of Africa. Mr. Hall has worked in various capacities in international conflict management, development, and natural resource management, including with the U.S. Institute of Peace, the U.S. Department of State, and as a U.S. Peace Corps Volunteer in Zambia.

Rebecca Hardin

Internationally renowned for her work on the equatorial forests of Central Africa, Dr. Rebecca Hardin examines how social relations affect forest use in the Sangha River region, where Cameroon, Central African Republic, and Congo meet. She is an associate professor at the University of Michigan in the School of Natural Resources and Environment, and in the Department of Anthropology. Her work focuses on large-scale extractive industry, such as logging and mining companies, and changes in ecosystem and human health. Her latest book, Concessionary Politics: Rivalry, Territory, and Identity in the Use of Africa's Natural Resources, was published by University of California Press, Berkley in 2009.

Naama Haviv

Assistant Director at Jewish World Watch, Naama Haviv develops and implements youth initiatives and researches current world conflicts to assess the risk of genocide. Jewish World Watch (JWW) is a hands-on leader in the fight against genocide and mass atrocities, engaging individuals and communities to take local actions that produce powerful global results. JWW has raised more than five million dollars for relief and development projects that have an impact on tens of thousands of people in Sudan and Congo. Before joining Jewish World Watch, Ms. Haviv created and managed educational programs for Relief International, connecting students from the US to students in Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Tajikistan, and the West Bank, and she held research positions with the Institute for the Study of Genocide, the Middle East Media Research Institute, and the American Anti-Slavery Group. Ms. Haviv holds an MA in Comparative Genocide from Clark University.

Kambale Musavuli

Kambale Musavuli is Student Coordinator and National Spokesperson for Friends of the Congo (FOTC). FOTC was established in 2004 to work in partnership with Congolese institutions to bring about peaceful and lasting change in the Democratic Republic of Congo. Mr. Musavuli speaks to university students, religious groups, global leaders, and community organizers throughout the United States, Canada, and Africa in order to educate the global community about the challenges of the Congo and to mobilize support for Congolese organizations. He has written for The Washington Post, Pambazuka News, The Huffington Post and numerous other academic and news publications. He has been interviewed on radio and television programs and documentaries produced around the globe, including National Public Radio, Democracy Now, ABC News, Al Jazeera English Television, and Radio France International. As a research consultant to film projects, socially responsible investor groups, and government agencies, Mr. Musavuli is striving to build lasting peace and stability in the heart of Africa.

Chouchou Namegabe

Acclaimed Knights International Journalism Award recipient Chouchou Namegabe is a Congolese activist, radio journalist, and founder and director of the organization South Kivu Association of Women Journalists. Ms. Namegabe trains rural and urban Congolese women as journalists specifically to report about sexual violence and human rights abuses. Awarded one of the "top 100 most inspiring people delivering for girls and women" by the advocacy organization Women Deliver, Ms. Namegabe's work has been "helping Congo's women broadcast to the world." Ms. Namegabe has testified at the Hague to urge the International Court of Justice to classify rape as a political weapon in the DRC, and in Washington, before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, on violence against women. Ms. Namegabe met with U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to press the need for a non-partisan security force to end sexual violence in the conflict-torn region.

Ian Smillie

Serving on the UN Security Council Expert Panel to examine the relationship between diamonds and weapons in West Africa, Ian Smillie became a leading participant and architect of the 49-government Kimberley Process, a global certification system to halt the traffic in conflict diamonds. He resigned from the Kimberly Process in 2009: "when regulators fail to regulate, the systems they were designed to protect collapse." Recognized world-wide as a leading expert in the subject of blood diamonds, he was called as the first witness by the prosecution for the war crimes trial of Charles Taylor at The Hague. Founder of the Canadian social justice NGO, Inter Pares, and former Executive Director of Canadian University Service Overseas, Mr. Smillie is a prominent foreign aid watcher and critic. He is currently the Co-Chair of the advisory panel to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Trade, Canada. He is the author of several books, including his most recent Blood on the Stone: Greed, Corruption and War in the Global Diamond Trade published in 2010. Mr. Smillie was appointed to the Order of Canada in 2003, Canada's highest civilian honor.