Dr. Catherine Barnes has worked for conflict transformation and social change for more than thirty years. She is an affiliate faculty member of the Center for Justice and Peacebuilding at Eastern Mennonite University and is a freelance practitioner. With a doctorate in Conflict Analysis and Resolution from George Mason University, her focus has been on war-to-peace transitions.
As teacher, trainer, researcher, policy advocate, and consultant, she has worked with civil society activists, diplomats and politicians, and armed groups to build their capacities for preventing violence and using conflict as an opportunity for addressing the underlying causes giving rise to grievance. She has worked with numerous peacebuilding and human rights organizations, including Conciliation Resources and Minority Rights Group International.
She has written widely on civil society roles in peacebuilding, on issues related to statebuilding, conflict prevention, genocide and minority rights, as well as several training manuals on leadership, conflict resolution, negotiation, and advocacy skills. She is editor of Owning the process: public participation in peacemaking; Powers of persuasion: incentives, sanctions and conditionality in peace processes; and The politics of compromise: the Tajikistan peace process in Conciliation Resources’ Accord series.
Catherine has extensive experience facilitating conversations on challenging topics, in locations ranging from the UN General Assembly Hall to village gathering places. She is increasingly focused on designing whole-of-system deliberative dialogue processes and training other practitioners in these skills.
She has worked and lived in more than 30 countries and, for the past seven years, has been working in support of transitional processes in Burma/Myanmar. She now lives in Staunton, Virginia with her husband and son, with whom she loves to retreat into the wilds, to garden and cook, and to make music.