I am a UK Research and Innovation Future Leaders Fellow at the Latin America and Caribbean Centre (LACC) in the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE), a Scholar in Residence at the Carter School for Peace and Conflict Resolution at George Mason University, the Deputy Director for the Irregular Warfare Initiative, and the Lead Researcher for the Office for Military Affiliated Communities (OMAC) at The University of Chicago. I have also consulted regularly for the International Organization for Migration | U.N. Agency for Migration in the Latin America, Africa, and Middle Eastern regions and am on their roster of experts in Disarmament, Demobilization, and Reintegration (DDR). I hold a doctorate in Human Development from The University of Chicago, as well as an M.A. from the same institution and an MBA from Simmons University in Boston.
My research sits at the intersection of anthropology, organizational studies, and public policy. I focus on individuals who decide to take up and lay down arms in the context of war and other forms of organized violence, the interventions that target these individuals, and the topic of trust in societies and communities that have experienced mass atrocities. My work additionally draws from and contributes to the fields of international relations, peace and conflict, area, and global development studies.
I maintain three strands of research: first, I look at interpersonal (mis)trust in communities of violence-affected actors (e.g., former combatants and conflict victims) in societies working to transition out of protracted organized violence. Second, I examine the way in which organizational cultures and practices shape the intervention encounter between organization professionals and the populations with whom they work. And third, I consider the intersection of gender, education, and family role identity in transitions out violent contexts.
I have conducted extensive field work in Colombia since 2010 both in an informal housing settlement of conflict victims and former combatants, as well as in the non-governmental, religious, and international organisations that design interventions for such communities. I also have project sites in Mexico, El Salvador, Somalia, Syria, Sudan, Libya, and among veterans of the United States Armed Forces.
Currently, I am working on my book manuscript, Trust After Betrayal: Society-Building After Mass Atrocity, which draws on my extensive fieldwork among formerly armed actors (FAAs) in contexts of war and organized violence.
My research has been funded by UKRI, Fulbright-Hays DDRA, the Society for the Study of Peace, Conflict, and Violence, the Pozen Family Center for Human Rights, and the Pearson Institute for the Study and Resolution of Global Conflicts.