Through the generous support of the Charles E. Scheidt Family Foundation, the Charles E. Scheidt Resident Practitioner Fellowship Program will bring up to two genocide and mass atrocity practitioners to Binghamton University for a residential stay of one academic semester (mid-August through mid-December, or mid-January to mid-May). The program offers practitioners an opportunity to pause and reflect on their work, share their experience and expertise with faculty, academic staff and students at the Institute, instruct and learn from their academic colleagues, and collaborate on new projects with both academic and non-academic partners. Resident Practitioners may take full advantage of the welcoming and vibrant intellectual atmosphere of the institute to try out new ideas and initiatives, explore the scholarly literature associated with their work, attend regular lectures, visits from academic and non-academic peers, visit classes, and take part in the full range of informal intellectual interaction of the Institute and of Binghamton University.
Resident Practitioners are expected to offer at least one public presentation at Binghamton University during their residency; additional presentations in the broader community or on other campuses are encouraged. In addition, Resident Practitioners will make periodic visits to I-GMAP courses for more informal presentations and discussions of their work. Resident Practitioners will participate in regularly scheduled Institute events, including the annual Atrocity Intervention Simulation Exercise (normally every Fall semester) and the annual Frontiers of Prevention international conference (normally every Spring semester). Depending on qualifications and interest, Resident Practitioners may also explore the option of teaching (either independently or in partnership with an I-GMAP affiliated faculty) an academic course during their residency.
The Fellowship covers travel costs to and from Binghamton, NY, and provides a stipend to cover the costs of local housing, board, and related expenses. Fellows are provided with a workspace in the I-GMAP offices, administrative support, library and computing privileges, and a small stipend to offset the costs of professional travel during the residency.
Waheed Ahmad joins I-GMAP as the first Charles E. Scheidt Resident Practitioner for the period of November 2021 through December 2022. Early in his career, he worked in the Ministry of Interior and in a Directorate of Local Governance in Afghanistan. He came to Binghamton University as a Fulbright Scholar in 2016, and graduated with a Master of Public Administration (MPA) degree in 2018. After graduation, he returned to Afghanistan and obtained a position in the Office of the National Security Council (ONSC). He started as a senior National Security staff in 2018 and served in different capacities within the ONSC until the Taliban forcibly took control in August 2021. During his time at ONSC, he worked closely with the U.S. Army, U.S. Department of Defense and U.S. Department of State officials. He was responsible for a number of important national security projects, managing them within the Afghanistan government and in coordination with United States government officials. He managed to evacuate in August, only days before the final U.S. withdrawal, and two months later was able to come to the United States. Waheed brings a wealth of new expertise to the Institute. He intends to use his time at I-GMAP to reflect and write about lessons that can be drawn from the Afghan experience and how an atrocity prevention lens might inform traditional national intelligence frameworks. I-GMAP also hopes to provide him with time and space to explore his personal and professional options.
Ruki Fernando is a human rights activist from Sri Lanka, where he has devoted more than two decades documenting atrocity crimes during and after the civil war. Working directly with affected Tamil communities in North and East Sri Lanka, Mr. Fernando has brought local, national, and international attention to the rights violations of minority populations in the country, including cases of enforced disappearances and land occupation. In addition to lobbying and advocacy work, Mr. Fernando has also published numerous reports and articles documenting human rights abuses, based largely on first-hand experiences of victims and their families. He has also engaged with state-initiated processes related to transitional justice and has helped train students and other human rights activists in Sri Lanka and throughout Asia on the different mechanisms of transitional justice. Because many in the Tamil community continue to face threats, harassment, and intimidation, Mr. Fernando has increasingly become a target of state repression, including the illegal arrest and detention in 2014. Mr. Fernando was named a Human Rights Defender fellow at the Centre for Applied Human Rights at the University of York in 2012 and a research fellow at St. Augustine College in Johannesburg, South Africa in 2013.
Future Resident Practitioners (Dates TBD)
Dr. Sella King'oro
Dr. Sella King’oro is currently assistant director of the Research, Policy and Planning Department at Kenya’s National Cohesion and Integration Commission (NCIC). Dr. King’oro joins us with over 12 years of experience working for both local and national Kenyan NGOs in the study and implementation of policies and programs aimed at measuring social resiliency, ethnic relations, and the effectiveness of atrocity prevention mechanisms. She holds a Doctor of Philosophy in Peace and Conflict from Kisii University as well as a master’s degree in International Studies from the University of Nairobi. During her stay, Dr. King’oro will be able to supplement her extensive practical experience in atrocity prevention with a comprehensive, comparative academic grounding: “This fellowship will help me dig deeper by interrogating theories and exploring experiences of different countries, with a keen interest in developing countries, and establishing a conceptual understanding of the Mass Atrocity Prevention field,” King’oro says. “In addition, the fellowship will provide an opportunity for me to share my experiences on the work I have been engaged in for the past ten years in atrocity prevention.”
The Resident Practitioner Fellowship program is open to all those individuals actively engaged in the practice of genocide and mass atrocity prevention who have at least five years of work experience related to atrocity prevention (broadly defined) in a government or civil society organization.
I-GMAP adopts a broad conception of prevention. Therefore, applications are welcomed from practitioners from both state and civil society organizations, whether local, national, regional or global working to predict and interrupt the processes leading to genocides and mass atrocities. This broad conception includes:
- "upstream" educational programs and diplomatic initiatives designed to assess and strengthen the resilience of at-risk societies and to build early-warning networks;
- "midstream" programs designed to assess and operationalize effective interventions in imminent or ongoing atrocities;
- and "downstream" efforts to reduce the risk of recurrence of atrocity crimes, such as transitional justice initiatives, museums and other sites of memory and conscience, and public art.
A Bachelor's degree is preferred.
The Fellowship program does not normally accept applications from those employees in academic institutions; exceptions for those whose work straddles both academic and non-academic work will be considered on a case-by-case basis.
Applications from practitioners from the Global South are particularly encouraged.
When we re-open the next application round, please visit Binghamton University's Human Resources website for the complete job description, requirements, and application.
In the meantime, please be in touch with I-GMAP if you would like explore options to get more involved with our work.