Bio and Basics

How I got here:

I have spent 7 years working with post-conflict and displaced communities in Latin America and the Middle East, particularly with young people at risk of violence and conflict with the law. I’m a graduate of Tufts University and University College London and hold degrees in International Relations and Social Cognition. Since my time as an undergraduate, working with former guerrilla combatants in Guatemala, I have known that my passion lies at the intersection of conflict and cognition, in the space where the violent realities of international politics meet with our deeply held beliefs, schemas, and psychological profiles.

After a brief stint at the World Economic Forum,  I worked for three years as an Emergency Response Coordinator in Za’atri Refugee Camp in Jordan, leading various projects on violence reduction, youth leadership, and alternative education with some of the strongest people I’ll ever know. Following my time in Za’atri, I pursued my graduate education as a Fulbright Scholar at University College London,  and continued to work with Syrian refugees across various stages of their migration journey—from Greece, to Germany, to Canada, and the United States—conducting research on the links between forced displacement, belonging, psychology, and social behavior, and assisting in the design of programs that promote trauma-informed approaches to inclusion, participation, and violence prevention.

What I do now:

I’m a researcher, technical consultant, and program designer, and currently wear several hats, including as an Innovation Fellow for Beyond Conflict and as a Head Researcher for Between Borders. As an independent consultant, I leverage my technical expertise in social cognition, social neuroscience, mental health, and participatory community development to more deeply understand and engage the links between brain, mind, and behavior in contexts of forced displacement, trauma, and violence, especially among young people. You can explore some current and past projects.

For a bit more about my work in Za’atri Camp and before, please refer to my LinkedIn profile here

**The front cover photo is of a story handwritten by a young Syrian refugee in Za’atri Refugee Camp. The story chronicles the journey of a young king who reigns over a village with high walls, surrounded by a desert filled with wolves and monsters. The king spends his time, each night, sneaking outside the walls, planting trees and digging wells, trying to find a way to engage the “hostile” territory and create a garden for the city residents to finally leave the gates and explore the world beyond.**