Research Affiliates

Post-Doctoral Researchers 

Margarita Tadevosyan, Interim Director of the Better Evidence Project

Margarita Tadevosyan, Ph.D.

Biography

Dr. Margarita Tadevosyan is a post-doctoral researcher with the Better Evidence Project and research assistant professor at George Mason University’s Jimmy and Rosalynn Carter School for Peace and Conflict Resolution. She served as BEP’s interim executive director from July-September 2021. She is a scholar-practitioner of conflict resolution with over a decade of experience of convening and facilitating Track II dialogue projects in the South Caucasus. Her primary area of research interest is locally-led peacemaking and peacebuilding work, with an emphasis on relationships between local actors and international organizations. Prior to assuming this role, she was a post-doctoral researcher at the Carter School where she was leading a research project that will provide a wide range community of stakeholders with a better understanding of local conflict prevention and violence reduction practices and will generate updated and new evidence on the local perspective of the effectiveness of peace practices. Her research, teaching, and professional experience include identity and narrative development, costs of conflict, the value of peacebuilding and dialogue, program evaluation and learning, and peace work ethics. Dr. Tadevosyan has worked in the post-Soviet space, in particular in the South Caucasus, engaging with Armenian-Azerbaijani, Armenian-Turkish, and Georgian-South Ossetian conflict contexts. She received her Ph.D. from George Mason University’s Carter School for Peace and Conflict Resolution in 2019. She also holds Masters Degrees in Peace Operations Policy (2010) and conflict resolution (2008) from Schar School of Policy and Government (GMU) and Yerevan State University respectively. She also has a certificate in Peace Research from the University of Oslo and Peace Research Institute of Oslo (PRIO). She holds a BS with honors in Sociology from Yerevan State University.

PhD Students

Ziad Al Achkar, PhD Student

Ziad Al Achkar

Biography

Ziad Al Achkar is a Ph.D. Candidate at the Jimmy and Rosalynn Carter School for Peace and Conflict Resolution at George Mason University. His research focuses on the use of digital technologies in support of peacebuilding and humanitarian action, and the evolving relationship with the private technology sector. In particular, Ziad researches how the pursuit of Legibility shapes and influences the behavior of humanitarian organizations. Before starting his Ph.D., he co-founded the Signal Program on Human Security and Technology at the Harvard Humanitarian Initiative to focus on the use of Information Communication Technologies in conflict analysis and support of humanitarian operations. At BEP, Ziad will be gathering evidence of effective war prevention strategies, developing related BEP partnerships, and building the BEP resource library for practitioners, donors, policy makers, and scholars.

Charles O. Kwuelum, PhD Student

Charles Kwuelum

Biography

Charles Kwuelum is a Ph.D. student at the Jimmy and Rosalynn Carter School for Peace and Conflict Resolution at George Mason University. His research interest is on indigenous or local faith-based approach and response to violent extremism while dissecting identity and state-domination dynamics and transformation of the mind and world viewing of adherents who are actors in the conflict/violence. He explores the various indigenous tools for peacemaking and peacebuilding to ‘deconstruct’ the culture of conflict in northeastern Nigeria.

He serves as a senior legislative associate for international affairs for Mennonite Central Committee U.S. at the Washington DC Office, leading workshops, writing, and speaking on U.S. policy toward Africa and foreign assistance (including food security and food justice). He regularly meets with congressional offices and Administration officials, including State Department, USAID, and DoD, to convey MCC’s perspective on public policy.

Before joining MCC, Washington Office, Charles engaged in interfaith peacebuilding and participated in community-based organizations’ start-ups in Nigeria; And became a Fellow (Africa Team) at Search for Common Ground DC and a Graduate Intern coalition builder at the Africa Faith & Justice Network in Washington, DC.

He holds a Master’s in International Affairs & Diplomacy (ABU Zaria, Nigeria) and a Master’s in Conflict Transformation and Peacebuilding (Eastern Mennonite University’s Center for Justice & Peacebuilding); and Professional Certifications (Summer Peacebuilding Institute) in Harrisonburg, VA. Also, a Bachelor’s in Philosophy and Theology from Pontifical Urbaniana University in Rome, Italy. 

 

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