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New SPI Director Named

Posted on July 9th, 2008

Sue Williams, SPI Director at EMU
Sue Williams

EMU has named a new director of the Summer Peacebuilding Institute, which is part of the Center for Justice and Peacebuilding (CJP).

Lynn Roth, CJP executive director, announced that Sue Williams will succeed Pat Hostetter Martin, who is retiring after giving 10 years of leadership to the program. The Summer Peacebuilding Institute (SPI) draws upwards to 200 persons from more than 50 countries to campus every year during May and June for intensive courses taught by CJP faculty and guest instructors in areas of peacebuilding, trauma healing and restorative justice. More than 2,200 participants have attended SPI since the program began in 1996.

"Sue brings 25 years of experience to the SPI and to the Center for Justice and Peacebuilding," said Lynn Roth, CJP executive director. "We’re pleased to have Sue join us to lead the SPI program to the next stage of development and leadership in peacebuilding training around the world."

Since 2000, Ms. Williams has worked as an independent consultant, assisting and training in conflict analysis, management, prevention of escalation of violence, program design, strategic reviews and evaluation of projects in countries including Rwanda, Northern Ireland, Cambodia, Guatemala, Sri Lanka, Kenya and Myanmar.

Since 2005, she has also served as special consultant to Folke Bernadotte Academy in Stockholm, Sweden, providing training for the new Mediation Support Unit of the UN Department of Political Affairs.

From 1998 to 2000 Williams directed the Policy and Evaluation Unit of INCORE at the University of Ulster/United Nations University where she helped in the development of "best practice" and evaluation approaches for conflict resolution as a field.

From 1994 to 1998 she worked with Responding to Conflict, where she served as director for Policy and Process Skills and course organizer and tutor.

From 1984 to 1994 she worked for Quaker Peace and Service (British and Irish Quakers). Williams and her late husband, Steve, were representatives in East Africa and in Northern Ireland. They provided support for a variety of reconciliation and peace initiatives, including political mediation and dialog, and lived in Northern Ireland for nearly 20 years.

Williams’s publications include joint authorship of "Working with Conflict: Skills and Strategies for Action" (Zed Books, London, 2000) and "Being in the Middle by Being at the Edge: Quaker Experience of Non-Official Political Mediation" (York, Sessions, 1994).

She holds BA and MA degrees in French and politics from Brown University.

"I am especially interested in helping SPI to explore its vision and role with colleagues in a rapidly-changing world of conflict and conflict transformation and supporting practitioners to strengthen and systematize their work and to draw, test and share hypotheses from it," Williams said in applying for the position.

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