Participant Biographies: Reflections Symposium (6 November 2015)


Mohamed Alsiadi
Project Chair, US-MidEast Program, CGHR, Rutgers University

Mohamed Alsiadi was born in Syria and lived and worked in the Middle East before moving to NYC. He received his B.A. from Syria’s most prestigious Institute of Music. As a gifted composer and artist he collaborated with some of the most renowned artists and musicians of the Damascus Spring. His research interests include Arab-American relations; the impact of Mideast-West relations on contemporary Arabic music and literature; and the diaspora of the Aleppian Waslah in the West. Alsiadi has co-authored an Arabic language and culture book and articles on music and music theory. In addition, he has translated key works of important social and political figures of the Arab Spring and the Syrian revolution. He is currently working with the Syrian opposition groups in the USA, Europe, and the Middle East providing research, analysis, and logistical support as they negotiate and discuss supporting fellow Syrians so that they can arrive at peaceful and meaningful solutions to the violence in Syria. 

Joyce Apsel
Professor, Liberal Studies Program, New York University / President, Institute for the Study of Genocide
Joyce Apsel is a professor in the Liberal Studies Program at New York University and was a recipient of the NYU Distinguished Teaching Award. She is currently President of the Institute for the Study of Genocide and served as President of the International Association of Genocide Scholars (2003-­2005). Her publications include: Introducing Peace Museums (tbp 2016); Genocide Matters: Ongoing Issues and Challenges co-edited with Ernesto Verdeja (2013); Peace Museums: Past, Present and Future co-edited with Anzai and Sikander (2008) and articles on "Darfur: Historical Processes and Regional Dynamics" and "Darfur and the Genocide Convention" in the Spring 2009 issue of Rutgers Law Review. She is also the editor of Darfur: Genocide Before Our Eyes (2007 3nd ed.) as well as two volumes for the American Sociological Association: Teaching about Human Rights (2005) and Teaching about Genocide (3rd ed. 2003, co-edited with Helen Fein). She is a member of the Board of Human Rights Review, NGO-DPI representative at the UN for the International Network of Museums for Peace, and a juror for the biennial Lemkin Award for outstanding work on genocide.

Jennie E. Burnet
Associate Professor, Global Studies Institute, Georgia State University
Jennie E. Burnet is an associate professor in the Global Studies Institute at Georgia State University. Professor Burnet received her Ph.D. and M.A. in anthropology from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Her research explores the social, cultural and psychological aspects of war, genocide, and mass violence and the micro-level impact of social change in the context of conflict. Her book, Genocide Lives in Us: Women, Memory & Silence in Rwanda, won the 2013 Elliot Skinner Award from the Association for Africanist Anthropology. Her research has appeared in Politics & Gender, African Affairs, African Studies Review, and Women’s Studies International Forum. Before joining Georgia State University in 2015, Professor Burnet was an associate professor of anthropology at the University of Louisville in Kentucky.

Mychelle Balthazard
Consultant, Transitional Justice Processes & International Development / Research Fellow, Human Rights Center, University of California, Berkeley School of Law
Mychelle Balthazard received her Ph.D. from Tulane University, School of Law. She is a practitioner and researcher in international development with emphasis on transitional justice processes in post-conflict societies. She has done research on these issues in Sri Lanka, Cambodia, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Ivory Coast and Uganda. Her research interests include victims’ and perpetrators’ resilience and engagement in transitional justice processes.

Laura B. Cohen
Ph.D. Candidate, Division of Global Affairs, Rutgers University
Laura Cohen is a Ph.D. Candidate in the Division of Global Affairs and a graduate student assistant at the Center for the Study of Genocide and Human Rights at Rutgers-Newark. Her research focuses upon the role of sites of atrocity as centers of public memory, space, and healing in contemporary post-conflict societies. She received her M.S. from New York University’s Center of Global Affairs in Human Rights in 2012 and has presented her research about the memorialization of the Srebrenica genocide at numerous national and international conferences. A long-time consultant with the International Coalition of Sites of Conscience, Ms. Cohen’s professional background also includes fifteen years in the branding/marketing sectors, including stints at Ogilvy and Mather and MTV: Music Television as well as a separate M.A. in Media Studies/Media Management from the New School for Social Research in 1999. 

Leora Kahn
Founder and President, PROOF, Media in Action for Social Justice
Leora Kahn is founder and president of PROOF: Media for Social Justice. She works on global projects with Amnesty International and the United Nations. Her 2007 book, Darfur: 20 years of War and Genocide, has won several awards and an exhibition of this work is traveling in the US under the auspices of the Holocaust Museum of Houston. Leora curated an exhibition on child soldiers in collaboration with the UN’s Office on Children and Armed Conflict. Leora’s film credits include Rene and I, an award-winning documentary about the life an extraordinary woman who was experimented on by Josef Mengele during the Holocaust. She also co-produced Original Intent, a documentary that explores the judicial philosophy promoted by President George W. Bush. Leora has been a fellow in the Genocide Studies Program at Yale University where she conducts research on rescuers and rescuing behavior and this year was the Cathy Cohen Lasry Visiting Lecturer at Clark University’s Holocaust and Genocide Center.

Dennis Klein
Director, Master of Arts in Holocaust and Genocide Studies, Kean University
Dennis Klein is the author and/or editor of four books, including Jewish Origins of the Psychoanalytic Movement (University of Chicago Press, 1985) and Hidden History of the Kovno Ghetto (Little, Brown, 1997). He is the founding editor in chief of Dimensions: A Journal of Holocaust Studies and founding director of the Anti-Defamation League’s Braun Center for Holocaust Studies. His current research explores post-atrocity testimonies and forgiveness theory.

Roy Licklider
Professor of Political Science, Rutgers University / Senior Research Scholar, Saltzman Institute for War and Peace Studies, Columbia University
Roy Licklider’s research focuses on how civil wars end, how people who have been killing one another with considerable skill and enthusiasm are able to form working political communities, a process sometimes called state formation. His most recent book is on how competing military forces can be merged after civil wars and his current project is on how different collective memories/narratives make resumption of civil war more or less likely.

Bernardita Llanos
Professor and Department Chairperson, Modern Languages & Literatures, Brooklyn College, CUNY
Bernardita Llanos M. is Chair of the Department of Modern Languages and Literatures at Brooklyn College, CUNY and Professor of Spanish, specializing in Latin American women writers and film directors. She received her Ph.D. in Hispanic and Luso-Brasilian Literatures and Linguistics from the University of Minnesota. Her books include Passionate Subjects/Split Subjects in Twentieth Century Narrative in Chile (Brunet, Bombal and Eltit, 2009), and Redescubrimiento y Reconquista de América en la Ilustración española (1994). Many of her articles on Latin American culture and women writers have appeared in well-known American, Latin American and European journals and she has co-authored and edited several books.  She is currently working on a book manuscript on testimony, chronicle and documentary that analyzes gender memory in a post-revolutionary Latin American context. She is the former president of the International Association of Literature and Culture of Hispanic Women in the US.

Dan McMillan
Ph.D., J.D.
Dan McMillan holds a Ph.D. in German history from Columbia University and a J.D. from Fordham University School of Law, and has worked as a prosecuting attorney and as a history professor. He is the author of How Could This Happen: Explaining The Holocaust (Basic Books, 2014). 

Friederike Mieth
Independent Researcher
Friederike Mieth completed her doctoral dissertation in Social and Cultural Anthropology at the Philipps University Marburg in 2014. Her research interests include dealing with the past, post-conflict transformation, transitional justice, and resilience; in her work she focused on Kenya, Sierra Leone and Germany. She is the co-editor of Transitional Justice Theories (Routledge 2014) and currently works as an independent researcher on transitional justice issues.

Toni Shapiro-Phim
Ph.D. Director of Programs, Philadelphia Folklore Project / Adjunct Professor of Anthropology and Dance, Bryn Mawr College
Toni Shapiro-Phim is a cultural anthropologist with a special focus on the arts, human rights and social justice issues. She has written extensively about the relationship between dance, war, genocide, migration and gender issues, particularly in the context of 20th and 21st century Cambodia. Currently, she works with diverse communities in Philadelphia, including Liberians and Tibetans, for example, who are addressing cultural and political crises through engagement with traditional arts. She is an affiliate of Brandeis University’s Peacebuilding and the Arts initiative, and teaches courses in the dance and anthropology departments at Bryn Mawr College.

Nurana Rajabova
M.A., University of San Diego / Intern, New York Intern Program
Nurana Rajabova was born and raised in Azerbaijan. After her completing her M.A. degree in Peace and Justice Studies from Joan B. Kroc Institute of Peace Studies at the University of San Diego, Rajabova left for New York to join the New York Intern Program, a year-long program of social justice service and intentional living. She currently works as an Intern at the Mission and Social Justice (MSJ) Commission at the Riverside Church. Rajabova has extensive academic background in the field of Peace and Conflict Resolution area. She has earned certificates of various online courses in Peace Studies from United States Institute of Peace. She has also been a participant of various academic, international training, and fellowship programs, such as the Summer Peacebuilding Institute at Eastern Mennonite University and the International Fellowship of Reconciliation School comprised of young adults working for peace and justice all over the world. Rajabova has also more than five years of work experience working at various international organizations, including U.S. Peace Corps, the International Development Group, and the British Council. Rajabova is currently pursuing her future professional goals in Religious Extremism and Terrorism Studies. 

Martha Stroud
Ph.D. / Independent Scholar
Martha Stroud, Ph.D. in Medical Anthropology from UC Berkeley/UCSF, is an anthropologist with special interests in the anthropology of genocide, psychological anthropology, and Indonesia. Her research has focused on how Indonesians perceive and describe the relationship between the past and the present when it comes to the mass killings and detentions of 1965-1966 and their aftermath. In Ripples, Echoes, and Reverberations: 1965 and Now in Indonesia, which is based on over two years of fieldwork in Java, Stroud illuminates the ways in which the events of 1965­-1966 continue to emerge in daily life in Indonesia today, powerfully shaping the subjectivities, social worlds, experiences, and identities of people nearly 50 years after the killings first began.

Benny Widyono
Former Representative of the United Nations Secretary General in Cambodia 1994-97 / Professor of Economics, University of Connecticut at Stamford
Dr. Benny Widyono is an Indonesian national and holds an MA and Ph.D. in Economics. He served as a United Nations diplomat in Bangkok, Santiago, New York, and Cambodia from 1963 to 1997. In Cambodia he was a peacekeeper with the United Nations Transitional Authority in Cambodia (UNTAC) from 1992 to 1993, then returned to Cambodia as the United Nations Secretary­General’s Political Representative from 1994-1997. His book, Dancing in Shadows: Sihanouk, the Khmer Rouge, and the United Nations in Cambodia (Rowman Littlefield, Lanham, USA, 2008) has been translated into Khmer and Chinese. He is currently a professor of Economics at the University of Connecticut in Stamford, CT and a Board member of two NGOs in Cambodia: The Center for Khmer Studies and the People Improvement Organization.


Laura McGrew
Independent Consultant, Peacebuilding & Conflict Transformation

Laura McGrew has a Ph.D. in Peace Studies from Coventry University, and a Masters in Public Policy from Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies. Her doctoral dissertation was “An Analysis of Reconciliation in Cambodia: Victims and Perpetrators Living Together, Apart.” She is the author of several articles on transitional justice, governance and peacebuilding, primarily related to Cambodia. She is a consultant for various organizations and has worked with the United Nations and NGOs in Cambodia, the Thai-Cambodian border, Afghanistan, Bosnia, Maldives, Nepal, Rwanda, Sri Lanka, West Africa and the U.S., in the fields of conflict analysis, development, human rights, rule of law, transitional justice, peacebuilding, and coexistence. She was a Visiting Scholar at CGHR, Rutgers University from 2012 to 2014.

Kosal Path
Assistant Professor of Political Science, Brooklyn College, CUNY
Kosal Path is Assistant Professor of Political Science at Brooklyn College. He teaches human rights and international relations. He was researcher for Yale University’s Cambodian Genocide Program from 1995-1997 and served as deputy director of the Documentation Center of Cambodia from 1997 to 2000. His current research focuses on political indoctrination and thought reform during the Khmer Rouge regime and former Khmer Rouge cadres’ narratives and adaptation in post-genocide Cambodia. Kosal is a survivor of the Cambodian genocide. 

Eve Zucker
Sociocultural Anthropologist / Visiting Scholar, CGHR, Rutgers University
Eve Zucker is a Visiting Scholar at the Center for the Study of Genocide and Human Rights at Rutgers University. She received a Ph.D. in anthropology from the London School of Economics and an M.A. in cultural anthropology from the University of Wisconsin at Madison. Her research focuses on how people respond to and recover from mass violence and trauma. To this end, she has conducted extensive research in Cambodia (2001-2003, 2010) on the topics of memory, morality, and recovery from war and genocide. Her book, Forest of Struggle: Moralities of Remembrance in Upland Cambodia tracks the recovery of a village community in Cambodia’s southwest, a site that was a Khmer Rouge base and battleground for nearly thirty years. At present, she is interested in the role of imagination, empathy, and resilience in survival and recovery from mass violence and trauma. A particular focus for her is the role and impacts of the rescuer in healing, the imagination, and world views of victim survivors and others. This interest arose in part from her identity as a second generation holocaust survivor. Dr. Zucker has taught at several colleges and universities in the US and abroad, held visiting scholarships at UCSD and the LSE and is a former researcher for the Cambodian Genocide Program.


Jacqueline Finkelstein
Masters Student, Division of Global Affairs & Peace and Conflict Studies Program, Rutgers University
Research Interests: Philosophy and psychology of mass atrocity and genocide perpetrators; Relationships between colonization and conflict; Creating sustainable social frameworks for mass atrocity refugees 

Edwin Daniel Jacob
Ph.D. Candidate, Division of Global Affairs, Rutgers University
Research Interests: Political theory, history and international relations, focusing on critical security studies

Kelsey Lizotte
Ph.D. Student, Division of Global Affairs, Rutgers University
Research Interests: Comparative Law and Criminal Justice; Conflict Resolution; Critical Theory; Ethnicity and Nationalism; Ethics; Critical Genocide Studies; Human Rights; International Law and Institutions; Social Justice; Transitional Justice 

Hudson McFann
Ph.D. Student, Department of Geography, Rutgers University
Research Interest: Refugee Camps at the Thai-Cambodian Border 

Sreyneath Poole
Masters Student, Division of Global Affairs, Rutgers University
Research Interests: ASEAN; Post-conflict development; Good governance, transparency, and accountability; Interaction and implementation of global policy at global and local levels

Lynette Sieger
Ph.D. Candidate, Division of Global Affairs, Rutgers University / Ethics Fellow for the Future, Carnegie Council for Ethics in International Affairs 
Research Interests: Global Political Theory; Legal Theory; Legitimacy; Global Public Policy; Global Governance; Peacebuilding


Daniel Fernández
Rotary Peace Fellow, Class XIII, 2014-16, ICU University–Tokyo, Japan