International Advisory Board
Ambassador Akbar Ahmed is Ibn Khaldun Chair of Islamic Studies at American University in Washington D.C. and former Pakistan High Commissioner to the UK and Ireland.
He is author of more than a dozen award-winning books including Journey into Islam: The Crisis of Globalization (2007), Journey into America: The Challenge of Islam (2010), and The Thistle and the Drone: How America's War on Terror Became a Global War on Tribal Islam (2013), all published by Brookings.
His Journey into Europe: Islam, Immigration and Identity was published in 2018 and, like the other books in the Journeys series, has been made into a documentary film.
Ahmed has taught at Harvard and Princeton and was Senior Fellow at Brookings. Named by the BBC as ‘the world’s leading authority on contemporary Islam’, his work as playwright and poet has been broadcast and performed around the globe.
Jeffrey C. Alexander is the Lillian Chavenson Saden Professor of Sociology at Yale University and co-director of the Center for Cultural Sociology.
A theorist working in the areas of politics, culture and aesthetics, he has devoted himself to problems of democracy, solidarity and incorporation. In Trauma: A Social Theory (2012), Alexander conceptualises performances of reconciliation and alienation as responses to cataclysmic events.
Currently, he is engaged in a series of conference and book projects that aim to globalise the sociological approach to democracy developed in his The Civil Sphere (2006). The first volume, The Civil Sphere in Latin America, is now in press. Alexander's most recent work is The Drama of Social Life (2017).
Pumla Gobodo-Madikizela is Professor and Research Chair in Historical Trauma and Transformation at Stellenbosch University, South Africa.
Pumla is also an Honorary Professor in the Senator George J. Mitchell Institute.
She served on the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) of South Africa managing the public hearings process of the TRC’s Human Rights Violations Committee in the Western Cape.
Her critically acclaimed book, A Human Being Died that Night: A South African Story of Forgiveness won the Christopher Award in the United States and the Alan Paton Award in South Africa. The book has been published seven times, including translations in Dutch, German, Italian and Korean.
Her other books include Narrating our Healing: Perspectives on Healing Trauma, as co-author, Memory, Narrative and Forgiveness: Perspectives on the Unfinished Journeys of the Past, as co-editor Breaking Intergenerational Cycles of Repetition: A Global Dialogue on Historical Trauma and Memory, as editor, What Does It Mean to Be Human in the Aftermath of Historical Trauma? Re-Envisioning the Sunflower and Why Hannah Arendt Was Wrong (Claude Ake Memorial Papers).
Michael Ignatieff was born in Canada and educated at the universities of Toronto and Harvard. He is a university professor, writer and former politician.
His major publications are The Needs of Strangers (1984), Scar Tissue (1992), Isaiah Berlin (1998), The Rights Revolution (2000), Human Rights as Politics and Idolatry (2001), The Lesser Evil: Political Ethics in an Age of Terror (2004), Fire and Ashes: Success and Failure in Politics (2013), and The Ordinary Virtues: Moral Order in a Divided World (2017).
Between 2006 and 2011, he served as an MP in the Parliament of Canada and then as Leader of the Liberal Party of Canada and Leader of the Official Opposition. He is a member of the Queen’s Privy Council for Canada and holds eleven honorary degrees. Between 2012 and 2015 he served as Centennial Chair at the Carnegie Council for Ethics in International Affairs in New York.
Between 2014 and 2016 he was Edward R. Murrow Professor of the Practice of the Press, Politics and Public Policy at the Harvard Kennedy School.
Michael Ignatieff is currently the Rector and President of Central European University in Budapest.
John McGarry is Professor and Canada Research Chair in the Department of Political Studies, Queen’s University, Kingston, Ontario, a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada and an Officer of the Order of Canada.
His research focuses on conflict resolution in deeply divided societies, such as Northern Ireland, Iraq and Cyprus. He has written and co-written many books, chapters and articles on these subjects.
McGarry is the Senior Advisor on Governance and Power-Sharing to the UN-sponsored talks in Cyprus.
Paula M. Rayman is Founding Director of the Peace and Conflict Studies Program at the University of Massachusetts Lowell, Senior Fellow at the UMass Boston Center for Peace, Democracy and Development and Research Professor of the UMB Department of Conflict Resolution, Human Security and Global Governance.
She is Chair of the Advisory Board for the SEA (STEM Equity Awards) Change Project of the American Association for the Advancement of Science.
Her numerous research publications focus on issues of gender justice in conflict arenas and nonviolent social change movements especially in the Middle East region. She is co-editor of the forthcoming book, Recognition as Key for Reconciliation: Israel/Palestine and Beyond (Brill).
Richard Ashby Wilson is the Gladstein Distinguished Chair of Human Rights and Professor of Anthropology and Law at the University of Connecticut.
Wilson is the author or editor of eleven books on anthropology, international human rights, truth and reconciliation commissions and international criminal tribunals. His latest book, Incitement On Trial: Prosecuting International Speech Crimes (Cambridge University Press 2017), evaluates international efforts to prosecute political leaders and media figures accused of inciting their followers to commit ethnic and racial violence and genocide.
He has consulted for international policy agencies and served as Chair of the Connecticut State Advisory Committee of the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights from 2009-2013.