Faculty and Research

The majority of our core faculty share responsibility for the core courses with faculty from other departments. They are also designated as faculty advisors to students during their time in the program. In addition to their core coursework, they teach electives within the program based on their individual areas of focus. 

Desha Girod, PhD.

Program Director

Desha Girod is the Director of the M.A. in Conflict Resolution and an Associate Professor in the Department of Government at Georgetown University. She is also affiliated with the African Studies Program and the Center for Latin American Studies in Georgetown’s School of Foreign Service.

Dr. Girod is the author of Explaining Post-Conflict Reconstruction (Oxford University Press, 2015), and has published on international and comparative political economy in the American Journal of Political Science, International OrganizationComparative Political Studies, the Quarterly Journal of Political ScienceConflict Management and Peace Science, the Journal of North African Studies, and the Oxford Research Encyclopedia of Politics.

Her research has received support from the Political Instability Task Force, the Intelligence Advanced Research Projects Activity, Georgetown University’s College of Arts and Sciences and Office of the Provost, and Stanford University’s Center on Democracy, Development and the Rule of Law.

Dr. Girod received her Ph.D. from Stanford University in 2008.


Brian Kritz, J.D.

Brian KritzProgram Associate Director and Research Fellow

Brian Kritz is the Associate Director of the Conflict Resolution MA Program and Research Fellow at Georgetown University, where he also teaches in the MA Program in Conflict Resolution and the Department of Government. He was previously a Senior Fellow in the Institute for International Law, Technology, and Global Security at Georgetown University. He is a former Democracy Fellow and Senior Human Rights and Rule of Law Advisor at USAID, a pro bono legal advisor to the Prosecutor General’s Office for the Republic of Rwanda, and criminal prosecutor in California. His recent publications include articles on the intentional spread of HIV/AIDS and the International Criminal Court, justice and reconciliation in Darfur, and international legal protections for women and female children in Rwanda, and a textbook chapter on integrated peacebuilding and the rule of law.



Laia Balcells, PhD.

Dr. Laia Balcells of the Government DepartmentAssociate Professor 

Laia Balcells (Yale PhD, 2010) is Associate Professor of Government and professor in Georgetown University's Conflict Resolution MA program. Before joining Georgetown, she was Assistant Professor at Duke University, and during the academic year 2015-2016 she was a fellow at the Niehaus Center for Globalization and Governance at Princeton University. Her research explores the determinants of political violence and civil wars, warfare dynamics during conflict, and nationalism and ethnic conflict. Her first book, entitled Rivalry and Revenge: the Politics of Violence during Civil War has been published by Cambridge University Press in 2017. She has also published in the American Political Science Review, Comparative Political Studies, Journal of Conflict Resolution, International Studies Quarterly, Politics & Society, and Nationalism and Ethnic Politics, among other journals. She has been recipient of the APSA Luebbert Prize for Best Article in Comparative Politics and the Harry Frank Guggenheim Research grant.

View Dr. Balcells' Website


Lise Howard, PhD. 

Associate Professor

Lise Morjé Howard is Associate Professor in the Department of Government at Georgetown University. She earned her M.A. and Ph.D. in Political Science from the University of California, Berkeley, and her A.B. in Soviet Studies magna cum laude from Barnard College of Columbia University. She held pre- and post-doctoral fellowships at Stanford University (Center for International Security and Cooperation), Harvard University (Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs), and the University of Maryland (Center for International Development and Conflict Management). She was the founding director of the Master of Arts Program in Conflict Resolution at Georgetown, and has served as a Jennings Randolph Senior Fellow at the U.S. Institute of Peace.

Dr. Howard's research and teaching interests span the fields of international relations, comparative politics, and conflict resolution. Her work focuses on civil wars, peacekeeping, U.S. foreign policy, and area studies of sub-Saharan Africa, the Balkans, and the Middle East. She has published articles and book chapters on these topics in such journals as International Organization, International Security, International Studies Quarterly, International Peacekeeping, Foreign Affairs, and with Oxford University Press. Her book, UN Peacekeeping in Civil Wars, was published by Cambridge University Press (2008), and it won the 2010 Book Award from the Academic Council on the UN System for the best book on the UN system published in the previous three years. She is currently working on a book about how UN peacekeepers exercise power (under contract with Cambridge University Press).

Howard recently served as scholarly adviser for a one-hour documentary film about UN peacekeeping entitled "The UN: Last Station before Hell" (ARTE, available on Amazon); she presented a TEDx talk about her forthcoming book; and she serves as a member of the editorial board of the journal International Peacekeeping. Dr. Howard has received awards for her work on peacekeeping from the Soroptimist International, the Barnard College Alumnae Association, and the James D. Kline Fund. She has also received support from the MacArthur Foundation, the Institute for the Study of World Politics, the National Security Education Program, the Institute on Global Conflict and Cooperation, and Georgetown University. Dr. Howard is fluent in French and Russian, and speaks some Bosnian/Croatian/Serbian, Spanish, and German. Prior to beginning graduate school, she served as Acting Director of UN Affairs for the New York City Commission for the United Nations.

Fathali Moghaddam, PhD.

Professor, Department of Pyschology

Professor Moghaddam's research explores the cognitive and cultural foundations of political behavior, with specific focus on democracy and democratization, rights and duties, conflict, terrorism, and minority-integration.

S. Ayse Kadayifci, PhD.

Assistant Teaching Professor

Dr. S. Ayse Kadayifci is a assistant teaching professor within the Conflict Resolution Program and directs the CR Program’s summer field internship program. Before coming to Georgetown University, she served as a consultant for the Religion and Peacebuilding Program at United States Institute of Peace and as an assistant professor American University. She is also one of the founding members and a fellow at Salam Institute for Peace and Justice, a non-profit organization for research, education, and practice on issues related to conflict resolution, nonviolence, and development.

Dr Kadayifci has taught, lectured and published extensively in the fields of peacebuilding and development, the evaluation of peacebuilding and development programs, conflict resolution and peacebuilding in Muslim communities, gender and peacebuilding in Muslim communities, cross-cultural conflict resolution and mediation, and interfaith and intra-faith dialogues among others. As a scholar-practitioner, Dr. Kadayifci has also facilitated dialogues and training workshops, and worked on conflict resolution curriculum development in various countries including Turkey, Israel, Palestine, Iraq, Chad, Niger, Kenya, Guatemala, Iran, and Saudi Arabia.

Dr. Kadayifci has authored Standing On an Isthmus: Islamic Narratives of War and Peace in the Palestinian Territories and co-authored the edited the volume, Anthology on Islam and Peace and Conflict Resolution in Islam: Precept and Practice. She has also written various book chapters and journal articles on Muslim women’s peacebuilding initiatives, mediation and peace building, religion and conflict resolution, interfaith dialogue, Islamic approaches to war and peace, and Islam and nonviolence. She has also served as a consultant to US and Canadian governmental and nonprofit development agencies.


Molly Inman, PhD.

 Assistant Teaching Professor

Molly Inman is currently an assistant teaching professor in Georgetown University’s Conflict Resolution MA program. She received her Ph.D. in comparative politics and international relations from the Government and Politics Department at the University of Maryland in 2013. Her previous research focused on federalism, ethnic politics and violent conflict though which she developed a theory of subnational ethnic outbidding in federal systems. Her current research extends this work and focuses on the impact of ethnic political parties on rebellion and choice of target group in ethnic outbidding. She prefers to use mixed method approaches to research when feasible, harnessing the advantages of both quantitative and qualitative techniques. She has published articles in the Journal of Conflict Resolution, Terrorism and Political Violence, and Journal of Organizational Behavior among others. 

Prior to returning to graduate school, Dr. Inman worked on international development programs in Southeastern Europe, primarily related to rule of law reform, human rights and conflict resolution. Additionally, she has worked on research projects with the US Institute of Peace, Social Science Research Council and the University of Maryland’s Center for International Development and Conflict Management related to the documentation and/or prevention of violence and mass atrocities. Dr. Inman also has a M.A. in Democracy and Human Rights from the Universities of Sarajevo and Bologna and a B.A. in German and Foreign Affairs from the University of Virginia.


Jessica Kritz, J.D., M.A.

Jessica Kritz, J.D., M.A.Assistant Research Professor

Jessica Kritz studies the theory of cross-sector collaboration development, and her research responds to the urgent need to work more creatively and efficiently across sectors to resolve complex challenges. In Accra, Ghana, she is the Principal Investigator on a three-year research project funded by the Conrad N. Hilton Foundation to build a health-focused strategic, cross-sector collaboration among national government, city government, non-governmental and community organizations focused on the Old Fadama informal settlement. Jessica has worked for twenty years in dispute and conflict resolution, with over a decade of experience focused on strategic and cross-sector collaboration in development, health and conflict. Her career in cross-sector collaboration began with dispute resolution in law, and has transformed to include broader work in conflict resolution and health, with a focus on policy change in developing countries.

Professor Kritz is an Assistant Research Professor in the Conflict Resolution Program at Georgetown University, and serves as the Director of the Georgetown Initiative on Health and Peace. Jessica received her B.A. in Political Science from Duke University, and both her J.D. and M.A. from Pepperdine University. She has supported and served on numerous university committees and advisory groups related to global engagement, including Palestine, health disparities, India, China, the university’s response to the HIV/AIDS pandemic, and the university licensing committee on the rights of workers who produce college apparel. In addition to Ghana, she has conducted projects in Rwanda, Palestine and South Africa. 


Charles Villa-Vicencio, PhD.

Visiting Associate Professor