2019-2020 Practitioners in Residence

Fall 2019

Braema Mathi (Mathiaparanam)

Image: Braema Mathi
Braema Mathi
Braema Mathi (Mathiaparanam) is currently the Global Fellow on the Keene State College-Auschwitz Institute for Prevention and Reconciliation Programme on Genocide and Atrocity Crimes. She is also a Visiting Senior Research Fellow at Penang Institute in Malaysia.

Braema has been directly involved in issues related to women, migrant workers, HIV, social protection and human rights. She has: led a women’s group, AWARE, where the key initiative was CEDAW; founded a migrant worker’s rights group called Transient Workers Count Too, where the work was organizational development and evidence-based research and advocacy; was the Vice-President of Action for Aids, focusing on access to health for women; and also founded and led MARUAH (Singapore Working Group for ASEAN Human Rights Mechanism) whereby played key role on human rights as a civil society organization. She was also the Regional President (Southeast Asia and Pacific) of the International Council of Social Welfare where the work was on social protection.

Braema has worked as a teacher, a journalist, a researcher, programme coordinator on Gender Studies at a think-tank, a Research and Advocacy Director, Head of Corporate Communications in Healthcare, a Programme Director at a regional organization and now works as a consultant. Braema was a two-term Nominated Member of Parliament and has been on Ministerial Committees on specific issues to be part of the process of putting up recommendations to the Singapore Government.

Braema has received training on many of these issues including Responsibility to Protect, Business and Human Rights, Migrant Workers’ Rights, Human Rights, Role of Parliamentarians and human rights. She has published book chapters, articles and also written reports to and for organisations that include think-tanks in Southeast Asia and to the United Nations.

Braema Mathi is at the Institute from October 16 until October 20. She will give a public presentation on Thursday, October 19. Consult with our Calendar page for more details.

Dr. Vigny Sixte Nimuraba

Image: Vigny Nimuraba
Vigny Nimuraba
Dr. Vigny Sixte Nimuraba is Chair of the Burundian Independent National Commission on Human Rights (CNIDH). He earned his Ph.D from George Mason University's School for Conflict Analysis and Resolution, and has been a consultant to the United Nations and the U.S. Congress. Dr. Nimuraba, born and raised in Burundi, has more than 10 years of experience working with different ethnic groups and community stakeholders and has established local contacts with the University of Ngozi, the National University of Burundi, and several civil society organizations as well as nongovernment organizations like Burundi Peacebuilding and Nonviolence Network, the United Nations High Commission for Refugees. He has been a lecturer at the University of Burundi, Bujumbura International university and Universite Espoir d'Afrique. In the past he taught at George Mason University (Virginia) and the Aushwitz Institute for Peace and Reconciliation (New York).

Dr. Nirumaba is on campus the week of October 21-25. He will present "Burundi: Preventing mass atrocities and genocide through mechanisms of social identity" on Thursday, October 24, 4:30 – 6:00 pm in Fine Arts Building, room 212. Follow our calendar to keep up-to-date with our events.

Rachel Brown

Image: Rachel Brown
Rachel Brown
Rachel Brown is the Executive Director of Project Over Zero and former CEO of Sisi ni Amani. She has extensively examined the effects of mobile phones and related technologies on political violence. Rachel moved to Kenya in 2010 to research the causes of the country’s frequently violent election process, revealing the extent to which cell phones were changing how violence was organized and how misinformation was spread. Local peacebuilders themselves were struggling to keep up, and needed their own tools to counteract the intensity and scope of these waves of violence that were being facilitated by technology. Sisi ni Amani was born as a result.

Rachel Brown is at the Institute from November 4 to 8. She will give her public presentation on Thursday, November 7. Please consult our Calendar page for more details.

Spring 2020

Andrew Boyle

Andrew Boyle is an American attorney and currently Counsel in the Liberty and National Security Program of the Brennan Center for Justice at NYU School of Law, where among other matters he focuses on emergency powers. Prior to joining the Brennan Center, he served as a United Nations prosecutor for seven years at the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia--more commonly known as the Khmer Rouge Trials--where he prosecuted senior Khmer Rouge leaders for war crimes, genocide, and crimes against humanity. He also previously served as an attorney in the trial chambers of the UN International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda, and was a law clerk to a US federal appellate judge. He has held fellowships with the Truman National Security Project, the National Endowment for Democracy, and the Carnegie Council for Ethics in International Affairs, and he is also co-chair of the American Society for International Law’s International Criminal Law Interest Group. He graduated from UCLA School of Law and its Epstein Program in Public Interest Law and Policy, where he was an articles editor for the Journal of International Law and Foreign Affairs.

Andrew Boyle will be at Binghamton University for the week of February 10-14, 2020.

Vahidin Omanovic

Vahidin Omanovic, Co-Founder and Co-Director: Vahidin is a professional trainer in nonviolent communication and conflict resolution. For years he believed that revenge would relieve him of his anger and heal the scars he carried from the war. However, from 1997-2002, Vahidin experienced a personal transformation while participating in interethnic dialogue and trauma healing sessions sponsored by an American organization; he found that reconciliation was the only way forward for his community and country. Before founding the Center for Peacebuilding in 2004, Vahidin received a Master’s degree at the School for International Training (SIT) in Brattleboro, Vermont in International Relations with a concentration in Conflict Transformation. Additionally, Vahidin served as a teaching assistant in SIT’s Conflict Transformation Across Cultures (CONTACT) program, where he taught classes on forgiveness and conflict transformation. He has attended peace workshops and trainings throughout the world, including in Switzerland, the Philippines, and Nepal, where he helped to found a peacebuilding organization. In 2011, the Threshold Foundation honored Vahidin with the 5th International Bremen Peace Award, naming him the year’s “Unknown Peace Worker.” He is also a regular instructor at the AIPR Lemkin Seminars.

Sebastian Schonfeld

Sebastian Schonfeld is Director of Institutional Relations for the Navy Mechanics School Memory Site Museum in Buenos Aires, Argentina (Museo Sitio de Memoria ESMA). Former torture center turned into a memorial museum to promote and defend human rights. He is a cultural manager, producer and musician. He studied arts at the University of Buenos Aires and has built a career in the field of culture and social communication both in the private and public sector. His specialisations include the design and implementation of public policy for cultural sector development as well as strategic communication. He has taught at the University of Palermo. In recent years, he has held the position of PR Manager for the state-run telecommunications company ARSAT and has worked as Secretary of Cultural Management at Argentina’s Ministry of Culture.

Yasmin Ullah

Yasmin Ullah is a Rohingya social justice activist born in Northern Rakhine state of Myanmar at the time that genocide has been brewing in the region. She fled to Thailand in 1995 along with parents and remained a stateless refugee in Thailand until 2011. She currently serves as the President of the Rohingya Human Right Network, a non-profit group led by activists across Canada in advocacy and raising public awareness of the Rohingya genocide. Yasmin is also a research coordinator at Free Rohingya Coalition; a global network of Rohingya activists and friends of Rohingyas who share common concerns about Myanmar’s on-going genocide and the need for Rohingya survivors to play an active role in seeking a viable future.