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Nobel Peace Prize nominee Volkan to speak at 'Translating Peace' event Thursday at Maxwell School

March 31, 2010

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Vamik Djemal Volkan, emeritus professor of psychiatry at the University of Virginia and a three-time Nobel Peace Prize nominee, will be the keynote speaker for “Translating Peace: Multicultural Responses to Conflict and Disaster,” a panel to be held Thursday, April 1, from 11 a.m.-1 p.m. in the Public Events Room (Room 220) in Eggers Hall.

An internationally renowned political psychologist, Volkan is known for examining conflicts between opposing large groups, carrying out projects in various troubled spots in the world for 30 years, and developing psychopolitical theories.

Volkan is currently the Senior Erik Erikson Scholar at the Austen Riggs Center. He is the author of several books, including “Killing in the Name of Identity: A Study of Bloody Conflicts” (Pitchstone, 2006) and “Richard Nixon: A Psychobiography” (Columbia University Press, 1999).

The panel moderator will be John Mathiason, professor of international relations at the Maxwell School and a research associate for the Program on the Analysis and Resolution of Conflict and the Center for Environmental Policy and Administration. He was a career staff member of the United Nations Secretariat for more than 25 years. His last nine years in the United Nations were as deputy director of the Division for the Advancement of Women.

Other panel members are:

  • Maureen Sieh, former reporter and editor at The Post-Standard; Sieh began her journalism career in her native Liberia, where she covered the civil war; last year, she traveled to Sudan on a World Affairs Journalism Fellowship administered by the International Center for Journalists;
  • Maj. Chris DeMure, who has served in the Republic of Korea, Afghanistan and Iraq; a Combating Terrorism Center fellow, DeMure is currently pursuing an M.P.A.-M.A.I.R. degree at the Maxwell befSchool;
  • David Mwambari, co-founder of Sanejo, a nongovernmental organization that supports communities transitioning from war to peace or facing poverty through promotion of education; originally from Rwanda, Mwambari spent a significant part of his life living and studying in Kenya after surviving the 1994 Rwanda genocide as well as other conflicts in East Africa;
  • Michael J. Willis, instructor in international humanitarian law for the American Red Cross as well as a trainer, professional counselor and management consultant specializing in competency and skill assessment, career management services, career coaching and training;
  • Hari Adhikari, a Bhutanese refugee community leader in Syracuse; Adhikari left Bhutan in 1992 and lived as a refugee in a camp in Nepal for 18 years before being resettled in the United States; Adhikari has represented the refugee population in the United Nations Commissions and Councils in Geneva, Switzerland, since 1994; and
  • Kamal Hassan, a civic education and leadership fellow from Israel and a lecturer on Arab society at The Open University in Israel; his research interests include civic engagement as it relates to Islam, democracy and civil society, especially within Israel.

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