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Rift Valley Institute

Making local knowledge work

Fellows of the RVI are specialists in the Eastern and Central African region, drawn from Africa, Europe, Asia and the Americas. They include practitioners, activists and academic experts in the fields of human rights, history, anthropology, political science, economics, aid and development, conservation, media, diplomacy and law. Fellows are elected by the body of existing Fellows, proposed and seconded by two existing Fellows.

Abdel Monim el-Gak

Abdel Monim el-Gak

Abdel Monim el-Gak is an anthropologist and human rights activist currently working in Juba as an independent researcher. He has worked with the US Agency for International Development (USAID) in Juba and other organizations on democratization, peace, human rights, and civic engagement in the political processes.

Ahmed Esa

Ahmed Esa

Dr Ahmed Hussein Esa is trained as biomedical scientist. He was an assistant professor at John Hopkins School of Medicine, and served on the International Advisory Board of the Arms Division of Human Rights Watch. In Somaliland he founded and directed the Institute for Practical Research and Training, Abaarso Tech University and Daryeel Hospital, the only medical center dedicated to COVID-19 treatment and research in Somaliland.

Alan Lamb

Alan Lamb

Alan Lamb was RVI company director and company secretary from 2003-2009. A London- and Nottingham-based tax adviser, he is also a specialist legal writer, concentrating on the business of law in a number of overseas jurisdictions and offshore financial centres.

Alex de Waal

Alex de Waal

Alex de Waal is Executive Director of the World Peace Foundation and a research professor at the Fletcher School, Tufts University. He was previously regional advisor on the Horn of Africa to the Conflict Prevention and Peace Forum of the Social Science Research Council (SSRC) and Adviser to the AU High-Level Panel on Sudan. Alex de Waal received a DPhil from Oxford in 1988. Recent publications include Darfur: A New History of a Long War (London: African Arguments, 2008, with Julie Flint), War in Darfur and the Search for Peace (Boston: Harvard University Press, 2007) and AIDS and Power: Why There is no Political Crisis— yet (London: African Arguments, 2006).

Alfred Lokuji

Alfred Lokuji

Alfred Lokuji is Deputy Vice-Chancellor of Juba University, South Sudan. He gained his PhD at the University of Georgia (USA) and has taught at Dar es Salaam University, and at Moi University in Kenya and served as member of the policy advisory board at the Tanzania Centre for Development Cooperation, Arusha. He is a member of Centre for Peace and Development Studies at the University of Juba.

Ali Hersi

Ali Hersi

RVI Trustee

Ali Hersi has over fifteen years experience working in Kenya, Ethiopia, South Sudan and Somalia with national and international development organizations. He was Regional Director with the Society for International Development in Kenya between 2011 and 2018 and is currently Somalia Country Director with Saferworld. He joined RVI’s Board of Trustees in January 2018.

Aly Verjee

Aly Verjee

Aly Verjee is a political analyst and RVI Senior Researcher, author of numerous RVI reports and research papers. He was formerly deputy and then acting chief of staff of the Joint Monitoring and Evaluation Commission (JMEC), senior political advisor to the chief mediator of the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD)-led peace process for South Sudan, and chief political analyst for the European Union observation mission for the South Sudan independence referendum.

Andy Carl

Andy Carl

Andy Carl is an independent consultant with a career of leadership in the NGO sector. He helped establish International Alert in 1989 and in 1994, he co-founded Conciliation Resources where he was Executive Director for twenty-two years. There he established the Accord publication series and led the organization to become one of the leading non-profit organisations in the peacebuilding field. He is currently an Honorary Fellow of Practice at the School of Law at the University of Edinburgh and is also a Fellow at the University of Coventry, Centre for Trust, Peace and Social Relations. He is also a Senior Research Associate, Politics and Governance at the Overseas Development Institute in London. He acts as a Senior Advisor to the Inclusive Peace and Transition Initiative at the Graduate Institute in Geneva, and he is a Member of the Council of Experts at the Democratic Progress Institute in London. He is from Northern California where he studied at the University of California at Berkeley. He also holds an MPhil from (in Anglo-Irish Literature) from Trinity College, University of Dublin. Andy became a Trustee of RVI in 2018.

Asnake Kefale

Asnake Kefale

Asnake Kefale is Assistant Professor, Department of Political Science and International Relations, Addis Ababa University. He holds a PhD from Leiden University. His specialist interests are governance and federalism.

Atta el-Battahani

Atta el-Battahani

Atta el-Battahani is Associate Professor of Political Science at the University of Khartoum and Senior Adviser to the International Institute for Democracy and Electoral Assistance (IDEA) in Sudan. He received his PhD from Sussex University, UK. His research covers the Nuba Mountains and western Sudan. Among his numerous publications is Nationalism and Peasant Politics in the Nuba Mountain Region of Sudan (Arabic 2002, English 2009). He is co-author, with Justin Willis and Peter Woodward, of the RVI report ‘Elections in Sudan: Learning from Experience’ (2010).

Bahru Zewde

Bahru Zewde

Bahru Zewde is Emeritus Professor of History at Addis Ababa University. He has authored several books and articles, most notably A History of Modern Ethiopia 1855-1991 (2001) and Pioneers of Change in Ethiopia: The reformist intellectuals of the early twentieth century (2002). He has served as Chair of the Department of History at Addis Ababa University (1982-1986) and Director of the Institute of Ethiopian Studies (1993-1996). He is currently the Executive Director of the FSS, Member of the Board of Trustees of Trust Africa and Editor of the Africa Review of Books.

Ben Parker

Ben Parker

Ben Parker is Director of IRIN news, a humanitarian news and analysis service.

Catherine Newbury

Catherine Newbury

Catherine Newbury is Professor of Government at Smith College, Massachusetts. Research interests include ethnicity and the state in Africa, democratisation, the politics of peasants and women, and the politics of violence in francophone central Africa. Author of The Cohesion of Oppression: Clientship and ethnicity in Rwanda, 1860–1960 (1993).

Cherry Leonardi

Cherry Leonardi

Cherry Leonardi is a Lecturer in African History at Durham University. Her research and publications since 2001 have focused on the historical and contemporary role of chiefs in Southern Sudan and related issues of governance, state-society relations and political and judicial cultures. She was lead researcher and author of Local Justice in Southern Sudan (2010), a report for the Rift Valley Institute and the US Institute of Peace.

Chris Maynard

Chris Maynard

RVI Trustee & Treasurer

Chris was the RVI Finance Director from July 2016 to February 2017 and a Trustee since February 2017. He is a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants (FCMA). His experience of finance was largely developed in the commercial sector, working in retail and wholesale companies, followed by the Co-operative movement and the charity sector. His time in the charity sector took him initially to a small sight-loss charity based near London, then into Amnesty International and Merlin (Medical Relief International). Merlin merged with Save the Children in 2014, and Chris helped to see the merger through.

Christopher Clapham

Christopher Clapham

Christopher Clapham is at the Centre of African Studies, University of Cambridge, where he has been a co-opted member since 2002. He teaches on the RVI’s Horn Course. Prior to his retirement he was editor of the Journal of Modern African Studies between 1998 and 2012, and Professor of Politics and International Relations at the University of Lancaster. He is the author of numerous publications including War and State Formation in Ethiopia and Eritrea (2000) and Transformation and Continuity in Revolutionary Ethiopia (1998). He is the editor of the Journal of Modern African Studies.

Christopher Kidner

Christopher Kidner

Christopher Kidner holds an MA from the School of Oriental and African Studies and a BA from the University of Durham. He taught English as a second language in Khartoum, Atbara, and El-Obeid universities from 2006 to 2008. He specialises in contemporary Sudanese history and speaks Sudanese colloquial Arabic and Modern Standard Arabic. He is a trustee of the Sudan Volunteer Program. Christopher joined RVI in 2008, and served as Programme Director from 2009 to 2014. He currently works in Darfur, Sudan.

Comfort Ero

Comfort Ero

RVI Trustee

Comfort Ero works for the International Crisis Group (ICG) as its Africa Program Director. She first joined the organisation in 2001 as West Africa Project Director, before serving for three years as the Political Affairs Officer and Policy Advisor to the United Nations Special Representative of the Secretary General in Liberia. Prior to ICG, she was Deputy Director of the Africa Program at the International Center for Transitional Justice. Previously, she was Research Fellow at the Conflict, Security and Development Group, King’s College, and Research Associate for the International Institute for Strategic Studies.

Conradin Perner

Conradin Perner

Conradin Perner (Kwacakworo) is an ethnographer of South Sudan and a founder of the Gurtong Trust. He is author of an eight-volume account of Anyuak culture. In 2011 he was awarded the Yellow Star medal in recognition of his contribution to knowledge about South Sudan.

Daniel Large

Daniel Large

Daniel (Dan) Large is an Associate Professor at Central European University, Vienna.

David Keen

David Keen

David Keen is the author of The Benefits of Famine (1994), The Economic Functions of Violence in Civil Wars (1998) and Conflict and Collusion in Sierra Leone (2005). He formerly worked as a researcher, consultant and journalist.

David Newbury

David Newbury

David Newbury is Gwendolen Carter Professor of African Studies at Smith College, Massachusetts. His work has focused on pre-colonial societal transformation in the Kivus, the Rift Valley, the Rwandan famine of the late 1920s, and the transformation of a hunter-gatherer society in the eastern DRC into an agricultural economy. He is author of Land Beyond the Mists: Essays in identity and authority in precolonial Congo and Rwanda (2009).

Deborah Manzolillo Nightingale

Deborah Manzolillo Nightingale

Deborah Nightingale is a primatologist and ecologist based in Nairobi, Kenya.

Dereje Feyissa

Dereje Feyissa

Dereje Feyissa is a Humboldt Fellow at the University of Bayreuth. He completed his PhD at the Max Planck Institute for Social Anthropology/Martin Luther University in 2003. He was a Fellow in the Department of Anthropology, Osaka University, Japan between 2003 and 2005, and a Research Fellow at the Max Planck Institute for Social Anthropology from 2005 to 2007. He has lectured on Ethiopian history at the Alemaya University in Ethiopia and on social anthropology at the Martin Luther University and the University of Bayreuth in Germany. He is the author of Playing Different Games: Paradoxes of Anywaa and Nuer Identification Strategies in Gambella, Ethiopia (2011) and co-editor (with Markus Virgil Hoehne) of Borders and Borderlands as Resources in the Horn of Africa (2010).

Douglas H. Johnson

Douglas H. Johnson

Douglas Johnson first visited the Sudan in 1969 after meeting Sudanese students at Makerere University College, Uganda, where he was studying. He has done historical research in the Southern Sudan, served as Assistant Director for Archives in the former Southern Regional Government, and worked in various relief programmes during the recent civil war. He was appointed an international expert on the Abyei Boundaries Commission, and is the author, editor or co-editor of ten books on Sudanese topics.

Edward Thomas

Edward Thomas

Edward Thomas worked in Sudan and Egypt for twelve years as a teacher, human rights worker and researcher. He completed a PhD at Edinburgh University in 1998 on the history of the Republican movement, a Sufi-inspired group that called for the reform of Islamic law and civil rights for all Sudanese. He is the author of Islam’s Perfect Stranger: The Life of Mahmud Muhammad Taha (2010).

Eisei Kurimoto

Eisei Kurimoto

Eisei Kurimoto is Professor of Anthropology at the Graduate School of Human Sciences, Osaka University, and Vice President of the same University in charge of student affairs. He is also current President of the Japan Association for African Studies (2020-2022).

Elizabeth Hodgkin

Elizabeth Hodgkin

Elizabeth Hodgkin holds a PhD in History. She worked as a human rights researcher with Amnesty International from the late 1980s and is the author of numerous human rights reports for Amnesty and others. An Arabic speaker, she taught Medieval History at the University of Khartoum in the 1970s, and was one of the founders of the newsletter Sudan Update in the late 1980s.

Emily Paddon

Emily Paddon

Emily Paddon Rhoads is Assistant Professor of Political Science at Swarthmore College. Her research focuses on civilian agency and protection in armed conflict; humanitarianism and peacekeeping; and international normative theory. She is the author of Taking Sides in Peacekeeping: Impartiality and the Future of the United Nations (Oxford University Press, 2016).

Eric Reeves

Eric Reeves

Eric Reeves has written extensively about the Sudans—particularly Darfur—in three books and scores of academic and news media articles. He is founder and co-chair of a project in Zamzam IDP camp (North Darfur) focusing on the acute needs of girls and women who have been victims of sexual violence. He was formerly a Senior Fellow at Harvard University’s François-Xavier Bagnoud Center for Health and Human Rights.

Fana Gebresenbet

Fana Gebresenbet

Fana Gebresenbet is an Associate Professor at the Institute for Peace and Security Studies of Addis Ababa University. He has published on pastoralism and land issues, politics of development, security, regional integration, conflict and peacebuilding. 

Fergus Boyle

Fergus Boyle

Fergus Boyle worked in the Sudans as a Programme Manager for Save the Children Fund and as Civil Affairs officer and state-level coordinator for the UN Mission in Sudan and the UN Mission in South Sudan over a period of twenty years and is author of Under Shading Trees and Chum – A Memoir.

Fergus Nicoll

Fergus Nicoll

Fergus Nicoll is an independent researcher specialising in the Mahdia. His 2004 biography of Muhammad Ahmad al-Mahdi, The Sword of the Prophet, has been followed by several books and articles on the period, focusing on Sudanese and British primary sources. After teaching in Sudan in 1987-1988, he has returned frequently in his capacity as a BBC World Service journalist.

Fiona O’Reilly

Fiona O’Reilly

Francis M. Mburu

Francis M. Mburu

Freddie Carver

Freddie Carver

Freddie Carver is a researcher and analyst based in Addis Ababa. He has worked on South Sudan since 2003, including with Operation Lifeline Sudan between 2003 and 2005, and as DFID’s governance and conflict advisor from 2008. He is currently an independent researcher on a range of issues relating to the political economy and conflict sensitivity of aid in the Sudans and the Horn of Africa, working on RVI’s Diaspora Impacts Project and the X-Border Local Research Network project.

Gaim Kibreab

Gaim Kibreab

Gaim Kibreab has published on forced migration (refugees, development-induced displacement, internally displaced persons, and environmentally-induced population displacement), development and governance in post-conflict societies. He is a professor and Course Director of Refugee Studies at London South Bank University.

Gavin Olney

Gavin Olney

Gérard Prunier

Gérard Prunier

Gérard Prunier is a historian of Eastern and Central Africa and former Director of the French Centre for Ethiopian Studies in Addis Ababa. He has published over 120 articles and five books, including Africa’s World War: Congo, the Rwandan Genocide and the making of a continental catastrophe (2008), The Rwanda Crisis (1998) and Darfur: The Ambiguous Genocide (2005).

Godefroid Muzalia

Godefroid Muzalia

Dr Godefroid Muzalia is a Professor at the Department of History-Social Sciences at the Institut Supérieur Pédagogique (ISP) in Bukavu and Director of the Groupe d’Etudes sur les Conflits et la Sécurité Humaine (GEC-SH). As Director of GEC-SH, Godefroid has worked with RVI on the Usalama and Research Collaboration projects in the DRC. He taught on the RVI Great Lakes Field Course in 2018 and 2019. His expertise is conflict analysis, security sector governance and human security in the DRC.

Guma Kunda Komey

Guma Kunda Komey

Guma Kunda Komey is an associate professor of Human Geography, Faculty of Arts and Humanities, and senior lecturer at the Centre for Peace and Development, the University of Bahri, Khartoum, Sudan. He has published extensively on the questions of land, governance and identity politics in Sudan with focus on the war-torn region of the Nuba Mountains. His publication includes, among others, Land, Governance, Conflict and the Nuba of Sudan (2011), and ‘The Nuba Plight: An Account of People Facing Perpetual Violence and Institutionalized Insecurity’ in Conflict in the Nuba Mountains From Genocide-by-Attrition to the Contemporary Crisis in Sudan (2014).

Haile Menkerios

Haile Menkerios

Haile Menkerios is the former Eritrean ambassador to Ethiopia and has worked for the UN for many years. He is currently Special Envoy for Sudan and South Sudan.

Hala Al Karib

Hala Al Karib

RVI Trustee

Hala Al Karib is the Regional Director of the Strategic Initiative for Women in the Horn of Africa (SIHA). Born and raised in Sudan and later Canada, she currently lives in Uganda. Versed in human rights, women studies and psychology, Hala’s work specifically focuses on women and girls’ rights activism, social movement, as well as refugees, displaced persons and minority community’s challenges. She is the Editorial chief of SIHA’s Journal—Women in Islam in the Horn of Africa. In addition to SIHA, Hala has worked with numerous international organisations in Sudan, East Africa and the Horn of Africa.

Helen Epstein

Helen Epstein

Helen Epstein is Visiting Professor of Global Public Health and Human Rights at Bard College in Annandale, New York. Her book The Invisible Cure: Why we are Losing the Fight against AIDS in Africa (Picador 2008) was a New York Times Notable Book and Amazon’s best science book of the year. Her articles have appeared in The New York Review of Books, The New York Times Magazine, The Lancet and other publications and she has worked as a consultant for such organizations as the World Bank, UNICEF, UNAIDS and Human Rights Watch.

Hussein Abdullahi Mahmoud

Hussein Abdullahi Mahmoud

Hussein Abdullahi Mahmoud is a Senior Lecturer in the Department of Social Sciences at the Technical University of Mombasa. His research interests include pastoral livelihoods, conflicts, citizenship, natural resource management and land degradation processes in the Horn of Africa. He has consulted on pastoral/livestock/conflict related projects for the Government of Kenya/African Development Bank, the FAO, Mercy Corps and CARE International in Kenya and in Somalia.

Isabel Fonseca

Isabel Fonseca

Isabel Fonseca was educated at Barnard College and Oxford University. She worked in publishing and then as an editor at the Times Literary Supplement. Her writing has appeared in the Guardian and The Wall Street Journal, The New Yorker and Vogue. She is the author of Bury Me Standing and Attachment, a novel.

Jabril Ibrahim Abdulle

Jabril Ibrahim Abdulle

Jabril Ibrahim Abdulle is Director of the Center for Research and Dialogue (CRD) and a leading civil society figure in Mogadishu. In his work at CPD he has overseen numerous studies on peacebuilding, governance, economic recovery, civil society, and the Somali diaspora.

Jacob Akol

Jacob Akol

Jacob Akol is a veteran Sudanese journalist and director of the Gurtong Trust (www.gurtong.net). He is author of I Will Go the Distance: The story of a ‘lost’ Sudanese boy of the sixties (2007) and Burden of Nationality: Memoirs of an African aidworker/journalist 1970s-1990s (2006).

Jama Musse Jama

Jama Musse Jama

Dr Jama Musse Jama is an ethno-mathematician. He holds a PhD in African Studies specialising in Computational Linguistics of African Languages and has authored several books, including on traditional African games and education. A cultural activist, Jama is the founder of Hargeysa Cultural Centre, a long-term partner of RVI, and the annual Hargeysa International Book Fair. He was the host of the 13th International Congress of Somali Studies International Association in Hargeysa in 2018 and is currently President of the Somali Studies International Association.

Jason Stearns

Jason Stearns

Jason Stearns is Director of Studies of the RVI Great Lakes Course. He is author of Dancing in the Glory of Monsters: the collapse of the Congo and the great war of Africa (2011). He is the former Coordinator of the UN Group of Experts on the DRC. He has also worked for United Nations Organization Mission in the Democratic Republic of Congo (MONUC), the International Crisis Group and Héritiers de la Justice.

Jean Omasombo Tshonda

Jean Omasombo Tshonda

Jean Omasombo Tshonda is a professor at the University of Kinshasa and researcher in the contemporary history section of the Royal Museum for Central Africa in Tervuren. He is also Director of the Centre for Political Studies (CEP) in Kinshasa. At the Royal Museum, he directs the project ‘Provinces-Decentralization’ which deals with the decentralization process and the study of the new provinces of the Democratic Republic of the Congo as promulgated by the 2006 Constitution. Jean holds a PhD in political sciences from the Free University of Brussels.

Jean-Francois Darcq

Jean-Francois Darcq

Jean-Francois Darcq has worked for the United Nations in Southern Sudan for many years. He lives in Kenya.

Jean-Paul Kimonyo

Jean-Paul Kimonyo

Jean-Paul Kimonyo is policy advisor in the Rwandan presidency. He is the author of Rwanda, un génocide populaire (2008), based on his research on the genocide in Butare and Kibuye. He has a PhD from the University of Quebec.

Jérôme Tubiana

Jérôme Tubiana

Jérôme Tubiana is a researcher specializing in conflicts and migration across the Sahara and Horn of Africa contexts. Over the past 20 years, he has worked in conflict areas of Sudan, Chad, Niger, Libya, South Sudan and the Central African Republic, including for the United States Institute of Peace, the Small Arms Survey, the International Crisis Group, the Clingendael Institute, Médecins Sans Frontières and other humanitarian NGOs as well as the UN Security Council Panel of Experts on the Sudan, the African Union–United Nations Joint Mediation Support Team and the US Agency for International Development. In addition to various reports, he is the author of several books including Chroniques du Darfour (Glénat, 2010) and the award-winning graphic novel Guantánamo Kid (SelfMadeHero/Abrams, 2019). His articles have appeared in Foreign PolicyForeign AffairsThe Baffler, The Nation, the London Review of BooksLe Monde diplomatique and XXI.

Jillian Luff

Jillian Luff

Jillian Luff is a cartographer who runs her own business, MAPgrafix. As well as being responsible for maps in RVI publications and websites, she has provided maps and graphics for academic publications, universities, NGOs and other bodies including the Small Arms Survey, PAX, IISS, Saferworld, Zed Books, the UN and DFID.

Joanna Oyediran

Joanna Oyediran

Joanna Oyediran is an independent researcher with extensive experience in human rights and philanthropy in Eastern Africa. In 2004/2005 she designed and led an initiative at the Ford Foundation to respond to the Darfur crisis. Between 2005 and 2009, as a UN Human Rights Officer, she led a team of human rights officers responsible for monitoring and report on human rights violations in the West Darfur. Between 2009 and 2016 she worked as Sudan Program Manager in the Open Society Initiative for Eastern Africa (OSIEA), setting up two programs supporting civil society organizations in the fields of human rights, democracy and media in Sudan and South Sudan. She worked at the Open Society Foundations between 2017 and September 2022.  Joanna speaks Arabic and French at an advanced level. She is a committee member of the Gordon Memorial College Trust Fund which works to promote education for the people of Sudan and South Sudan by giving small grants to individuals and organizations.

Johan Pottier

Johan Pottier

Johan Pottier is Professor of African Anthropology at the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS), University of London. He specialises in the social dynamics of food security, media representations of conflict, and the politics of humanitarian intervention. His publications include Anthropology of Food: the social dynamics of food security (1999) and Re-Imagining Rwanda: conflict, survival and disinformation in the late 20th century (2002). His current research focuses on the conflict in Ituri District, north-eastern DRC.

John Ashworth

John Ashworth

John Ashworth has worked in Sudan, South Sudan and the Eastern and Southern African regions for more than 30 years in various fields including humanitarian aid and development, education, justice and peace, and advocacy. He currently acts as an advisor to the Sudanese and South Sudanese churches, and to agencies involved in the region.

John Moore

John Moore

John Moore was RVI’s Director of Programmes for Sudan, South Sudan and the Great Lakes from 2015-2016. He has also been responsible for reconfiguration of many of RVI’s management procedures. He is an experienced development professional, political economist and programme manager with more than 10 years’ experience of working and living in Southern and East Africa. He has designed and delivered complex programmes on behalf of governments, donor agencies, NGOs and communities, specializing in public service reform—specifically at the centre of government—and institutional development.

John Olander

John Olander

John Olander is a master leather-worker and teacher, founder of JB Art & Craft, with thirty years living and working in Southern Sudan and East Africa. He is the designer and maker of the official RVI belt.

John Reader

John Reader

John Reader is a writer and photojournalist with more than forty years’ professional experience, much of it in Africa. He holds a Honorary Research Fellowship in the Department of Anthropology at University College London and is a fellow of the Royal Geographical Society. His work has included contributions to major international publications, consultancies for the United Nations Environment Programme scripts for television and numerous books including Pyramids of Life (1977) and Kilimanjaro (1982).

John Ryle

John Ryle

John Ryle is co-founder and former Executive Director of the Rift Valley Institute and Legrand Ramsey Professor of Anthropology at Bard College, NY. He has worked as a long-term social researcher in Sudan and in Brazil, as a regional analyst for aid and human rights organizations in Africa and the Middle East, and as a writer, editor and broadcaster worldwide. He is author of Warriors of the White Nile (1984), an account of the Dinka of Southern Sudan, coeditor of The Sudan Handbook (2011) and a contributor to publications including the New York Review of Books and The Guardian, where he was a weekly columnist from 1995 to 1999. He is a Research Associate of the School of Oriental and African Studies, London, and a board member of the Media Development Investment Fund and the Human Rights Watch Africa Division.

Jok Madut Jok

Jok Madut Jok

Jok Madut Jok is a professor of African studies in the department of History at Loyola Marymount University. He is a cofounder of the Sudd Institute. He is the author of three books and numerous articles covering gender, sexuality and reproductive health, humanitarian aid, ethnography of political violence, gender based violence, war and slavery, and the politics of identity in Sudan.

Jonathan Kingdon

Jonathan Kingdon

Jonathan Kingdon is an artist and biologist. His research interests include evolutionary biology and biogeography of African mammals, especially primates and humans. He is currently editing a six volume handbook on the Mammals of Africa. He is a research associate in the Department of Zoology, University of Oxford.

Judith Gardner

Judith Gardner

Judith Gardner is a specialist in gendered, qualitative research in violent conflict-affected contexts. She has worked for over twenty years as a development practitioner in Africa and Yemen. She was the lead research and author of the RVI study on the Impact of War on Somali Men, and co-authored the book Somalia, The Untold Story: the war through the eyes of Somali women. She has taught gender and conflict studies at Sciences Po, Paris, and has been a teacher on the RVI Horn of Africa course.

Judith Verweijen

Judith Verweijen

Judith Verweijen is a Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the Conflict Research Group at Ghent University, Belgium. She is the Lead Researcher of the ‘Usalama Project: Governance in Conflict’.

Justin Willis

Justin Willis

Justin Willis is Professor in History and Head of the Department at the University of Durham. He was formerly Director of the British Institute in Eastern Africa (BIEA) in Nairobi. He specializes in the modern history of eastern Africa and Sudan. He is the author of Mombasa, the Swahili and the Making of the Mijikenda (1993) and Potent Brews: A social history of alcohol in East Africa (2002), co-author of the Rift Valley Institute report, ‘Elections in Sudan: Learning from experience‘ (2009) and coeditor of The Sudan Handbook (2010). He was academic director or co-director of the RVI Sudan course, variously between 2005 and 2013, a trustee of the Rift Valley Institute from 2011 to 2015 and Chair of the Board of Trustees from 2015 to 2016.

Kenneth Anderson

Kenneth Anderson

Kenneth Anderson is a professor of Law at American University in Washington DC, and a research fellow of the Hoover Institution at Stanford University. His research interests include international human rights, war and armed conflict, terrorism and state terrorism, nonprofit and charitable organizations, development finance and international business. Formerly General Counsel at the Open Society Institute, he was founding director of the Human Rights Watch Arms Project. From 1997-2009 he was Chair of the board of the Media Development Loan Fund (www.mdlf.org). Kenneth Anderson became an RVI US board member in 2006.

Kenneth Menkhaus

Kenneth Menkhaus

Kenneth Menkhaus is Professor of Political Science at Davidson College, where he has taught since 1991. His specialisation in the Horn of Africa has focused primarily on development, conflict analysis, peacebuilding and political Islam, involving both academic research and policy work. In 1993–94, he served as special political advisor in the UN Operation in Somalia. He is author ofThe crisis in Somalia: tragedy in five acts in African Affairs (2007) and Somalia: A Country in Peril, A Policy Nightmare (2008). He has been the Director of Studies of the RVI Horn of Africa Course since 2008.

Khalif Abdirahman

Khalif Abdirahman

Khalif Abdirahman is a Senior Field Researcher on the LSE Conflict Research Programme, Somalia. He has been a community worker with the Somali community in the UK, and has conducted research across the Somali regions in the Horn of Africa for Tufts University, Transparency International, the Overseas Development Institute, the International Crisis Group, and with the Rift Valley Institute on livelihoods, taxation and maritime trade with Yemen.

Kjetil Tronvoll

Kjetil Tronvoll

Kjetil Tronvoll is Professor of Human Rights and Peace and Conflict Studies at the University of Oslo, and Managing Partner of the International Law and Policy Group. Holding a PhD in Social Anthropology, he has undertaken fieldwork in Eritrea, Ethiopia and Zanzibar, among other African countries, focusing on democratisation/elections, conflict and identities, peace and reconciliation, and human rights. His publications on the Horn of Africa include: War and the Politics of Identity in Ethiopia: Making enemies and allies in the Horn of Africa (2009), Eritrea’s Lasting Struggle for Freedom and Human Rights (2009) and Brothers at War: making sense of the Eritrean–Ethiopian war (2000).

Koen Vlassenroot

Koen Vlassenroot

Koen Vlassenroot is Professor of Political Sciences and Director of the Conflict Research Group at the University of Ghent. He is also the Director of the Observatoire de l’Afrique, an associate senior researcher at the Egmont Institute and a member of the Congo Affinity Group. He specializes in conflict dynamics in Central Africa, with a particular interest in eastern DRC. He has written numerous book chapters and articles on militias, land access, rebel governance and state-building. He co-authored Conflict and Social Transformation in Eastern DR Congo (2004) and co-edited The Lord’s Resistance Army: Myth or reality? (2010). He is a consultant researcher on the RVI Usalama Project and teaches on the RVI Great Lakes Course. His current research projects focus on artisanal mining and land conflicts in eastern DRC and on public authority, justice and security in DRC and CAR.

Kuyang Harriet Logo

Kuyang Harriet Logo is a PhD Fellow at the Institute for Peace, Development and Security Studies, University of Juba, where she also teaches graduate courses in International law and International Human Rights Law. She has a law degree from Makerere University in Uganda and a Masters in Democratic Governance and the Rule of Law from Ohio Northern University in the USA. She has worked as a Rule of Law Analyst with UNDP in Sudan, South Sudan and Timor Leste. Kuyang has taught on RVI’s Sudans course and has worked on RVI’s South Sudan Customary Authorities project and X-Border Local Research Network project.

Kwame Anthony Appiah

Kwame Anthony Appiah

Kwame Anthony Appiah is a philosopher, cultural theorist and novelist. He is Laurance S. Rockefeller University Professor of Philosophy at Princeton and president of the PEN American Center. His most recent book is The Honor Code: How moral revolutions happen (2011). 

Laura Hammond

Laura Hammond

Laura Hammond is Head of the Department of Development Studies at the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS) at the University of London. She has worked on the Somali territories since 1998 and has written widely about migration, displacement and diasporas. She is the author of This Place Will Become Home: Refugee Repatriation to Ethiopia (2004) and co-editor with Christopher Cramer and Johan Pottier of Researching Violence in Africa: Methodological and Ethical Considerations (2011). She is an Associate Fellow of the Geneva Centre for Security Policy and a Fellow in Development Policy at the Heritage Institute for Policy Studies in Mogadishu.

Laura James

Laura James

Laura M. James is Senior Middle East analyst at Oxford Analytica, a global political risk advisory firm. She was previously an affiliated lecturer in the Department of Politics and International Studies at the University of Cambridge, an expert working with the African Union High Level Implementation Panel and Senior Economic Adviser with DFID Sudan.

Lealem Mersha

Lealem Mersha

Lealem Mersha is a research consultant based in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. She holds an MPhil in Development Studies from the University of Oxford, an MA in Human Rights and a BA in Political Science and International Relations from Addis Ababa University, where she has lectured in the Department of Political Science and International Relations and served as Head of the Gender Office for the Faculty of Social Sciences. She has worked with Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung and Colombia University and taught on the RVI Horn of Africa course. Her research interests include civil-military relations, political economy, migration, human rights and governance, and gender.

Leben Nelson Moro

Leben Nelson Moro

RVI Trustee

Leben Nelson Moro is head of the Directorate of External Relations at the University of Juba, and teaches at the University’s Center of Peace and Development Studies. His research is on displacement and resettlement, focusing on oil-induced displacement in South Sudan, and conflicts in the Sudan-South Sudan border area. His findings have appeared in the Journal of Refugee Studies, St Anthony’s International Review, Forced Migration Review, New Internationalist and Pambazuka News; he is the author of ‘Local relations of oil development in Southern Sudan’ in Luke A. Patey and Daniel Large (eds) Sudan Looks East: China, India and the Politics of Asian Alternatives (2011).

Lee Cassanelli

Lee Cassanelli

Lee Cassanelli is Professor of History and Director of the African Studies Center at the University of Pennsylvania, where he teaches African history, oral history, and comparative world history. His research interests focus on the Horn of Africa (Ethiopia and Somalia) from the eighteenth to the twentieth century. He is author of The Shaping of Somalia Society (1982) and co-editor of The Struggle for Land in Southern Somalia: The War Behind the War (1996). He has taught on the Horn of Africa course since its inception in 2008.

Leif Ole Manger

Leif Ole Manger

Leif Manger is professor in the Department of Social Anthropology at the University of Bergen. His research and publications include studies on household adaptations in oasis environments, mountain environments and savannah plains. He has also published works on topics such as trade, communal labour and socio-cultural processes of Arabisation and Islamisation. He is the author of From the Mountains to the Plains The Integration of the Lafofa Nuba into Sudanese Society (1994).

Lidet Tadesse 

Lidet Tadesse 

Lidet Tadesse is an analyst and peacebuilding practitioner whose work focuses on African peace and security, and African multilateral approaches to peace and security through the African Union, IGAD and others.  She’s interested in regional dynamics within the Horn of Africa and the Horn’s relationship with external actors (EU, China, Gulf states etc). She works at the European Centre for Development Policy Management (ECDPM), based in the Netherlands. Lidet has been a regular teacher on the RVI Horn of Africa course and advises RVI on Ethiopia.

Lindsay Nash

Lindsay Nash

Lindsay Nash is an independent typographic designer based in London. She has designed RVI books and other publications since 2010.

Lindsey Hilsum

Lindsey Hilsum

Lindsey Hilsum is Channel 4 News International Editor. She started her working life as an aid worker, working first for OXFAM in Central America and UNICEF in Africa. She covered the 1994 genocide in Rwanda, the NATO bombing of Belgrade in 1999 and the 2003 invasion of Iraq. She has reported extensively from Africa and the Middle East, and from 2006-8 was the Channel 4 News China Correspondent, based in Beijing. Most recently she reported from Alexandria and Cairo on the uprising in Egypt, and from eastern Libya on the 2011 revolt against Colonel Ghaddafi’s 42 year rule. She is the author of Sandstorm: Libya in the Time of Revolution (2012)Lindsey Hilsum was an RVI trustee from 2009–2017.

Lucy Hannan

Lucy Hannan

Lucy Hannan is a freelance reporter, journalist, and filmmaker working in Eastern Africa since 1988, as a reporter for BBC, British newspapers, and contributor to UK’s Channel 4. Her work addresses issues like election-related violence, internally displaced people in Kenya, and Islamic radicalism in Somalia. Hannan runs a small media production company, Voxcom Ltd., which has produced films such as Obama: Change we Can, Looking at Leadership, Getting Justice – Kenya’s Deadly Game of Wait and See, and Clearing the Air. Hannan has also been involved in human rights work and has written two books: Taking Liberties (1991) and Shadow Justice (1996). She is the Director of Voxcom Ltd.

Luka Biong Deng

Luka Biong Deng

Luka Biong is former Minister of the Council of Ministers of the Government of South Sudan. He was on the teaching staff at the Faculty of Economics and Rural Development, University of Gezira, Senior Economist in the World Bank Sudan Office and Executive Director of New Sudan Centre for Statistics and Evaluation. He has published articles in Disasters, the IDS Bulletin, African Affairs and the Journal of Civil Wars.

Luke Patey

Luke Patey

Luke Patey is a senior researcher at the Danish Institute for International Studies and research associate at the Oxford Institute for Energy Studies, University of Oxford. He is author of The New Kings of Crude: China, India, and the Global Struggle for Oil in Sudan and South Sudan (Hurst, 2014) and co-editor of Sudan Looks East: China, India, and the Politics of Asian Alternatives (James Currey, 2011).

Magdeldin Elgizouli

Magdeldin Elgizouli

Magdeldin (Magdi) Elgizouli is a medical doctor and lecturer at Ahfad University for Women and Collaborating Researcher at the Institute of Endemic Diseases, University of Khartoum. He is currently a Deutscher Akademischer Austausch Dienst (DAAD) scholar at the University of Freiburg, Germany. He blogs at http://stillsudan.blogspot.com/.

Maggie Ray

Maggie Ray

Maggie Ray is Program Director with the African Centre for Justice and Peace Studies. She was formerly the Deputy Director for the International Observation Mission for the Carter Center.

Mahad Wasuge

Mahad Wasuge

Mahad Wasuge is a researcher, teacher and blogger on justice and social services in Somalia. He is the founder of the think-tank Somali Public Agenda. Having lived and grown up in Somalia at a time when there was no functioning government to provide basic public services, Mahad founded SPA to contribute to the understanding and improvement of governance and service provision in Somalia. Mahad was formerly a researcher with the Heritage Institute for Policy Studies in Mogadishu. He holds a Masters of Public Administration (MPA) from the University of Roehampton in London.  Mahad has worked with RVI on studies on land, taxation, urbanisation, and governance in Somalia, and with the Somali Dialogue Platform.
Maina Kiai

Maina Kiai

Maina Kiai is Executive Director at InformAction, based in Nairobi, Kenya. In addition, he currently serves as UN Special Rapporteur on the rights to freedom of peaceful assembly and of association. He has spent the last 20 years campaigning for human rights and constitutional reform across the world. He was the founder and Executive Director of the unofficial Kenya Human Rights Commission between 1992-1998, and later the first Chairman of Kenya’s National Human Rights Commission from 2003-2008. In March 2011, he was appointed as the Special Rapporteur on the rights to freedom of peaceful assembly and of association for the UN Human Rights Council.

Malte Sommerlatte

Malte Sommerlatte

Marco Jowell

Marco Jowell

Dr Marco Jowell is a Research Analyst with the Foreign and Commonwealth Office of the UK Government. He was the Director of RVI’s UNICEF Uganda Course in 2018 and the Co-Director of Studies of RVI’s Great Lakes Field Course in 2019 and 2020. His expertise is the politics, political economy and security dynamics of East and Central Africa, specifically Burundi, DRC, Rwanda and Uganda as well as the African Union. He is the author of Peacekeeping in Africa: politics, security and the failure of foreign military assistance (2018).

Mark Duffield

Mark Duffield

Mark Duffield is Professor of Development Politics at the University of Bristol. Trained in both anthropology and political economy, his field experience includes four years as Oxfam’s Country Representative in the Sudan during the latter half of the 1980s. His recent work has largely involved war-related emergencies and social reconstruction issues – in which field he has carried out many research and consultancy exercises for UN agencies, donor governments and non-governmental organisations. He is the author of War and Hunger: Rethinking International Responses to Complex Emergencies (1994) and Without Troops and Tanks: Humanitarian Intervention in Eritrea and Ethiopia (1995).

Markus Hoehne

Markus Hoehne

Markus Hoehne is a lecturer at the Institute of Anthropology at Leipzig University, Germany. His research focuses on identity and conflict in northern Somalia (Somaliland and Puntland), political Islam and transitional justice in the Somali inhabited territories in the Horn of Africa. His publications include Somalia zwischen Krieg und Frieden: Strategien der friedlichen Koniliktaustragung auf intemationaler und lokaler Ebene (2002), a volume co-edited with Dereje Feyissa, Borders and Borderlands as Resources in the Horn of Africa (2010) and a volumed co-edited with Virginia Luling, Milk and Peace, Drought and War. Somali culture, society and politics (2010) and Between Somaliland and Puntland (2015).

Mary Harper

Mary Harper

RVI Trustee

Mary Harper is Africa Editor at the BBC World Service and author of Getting Somalia Wrong? Faith, War and Hope in a Shattered State (2012). She is a contributor to The Economist, Granta, The Guardian, The Times and The Washington Post.

Mathew Pagan

Mathew Pagan

Father Mathew Pagan is Vice-Chancellor of the Catholic University of South Sudan in Juba, where the RVI has held numerous events. He holds a doctorate in canon law from Urbaniana University in Rome.

Michael Chege

Michael Chege

Michael Chege is currently an Advisor to the Government of Kenya on International Development Partnerships. He is also Chairman of the Board of Directors of the African Research and Resource Forum (ARRF), an independent, non-profit, research, resource, reflection and discourse organization devoted to enhancing thinking on African development.  Prof. Chege’s publications include Democratic Theory and Practice in Africa (1988) and several chapters in peer reviewed books as well as articles in international refereed journals.

Michael Odhiambo

Michael Odhiambo

Michael Ochieng Odhiambo is a trained lawyer who specialises in policy research and analysis in land, environment and natural resource management. He has supported the development of land and natural resources policies within the African Union and IGAD, and in Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, South Sudan and Somalia and worked in Rwanda, Ethiopia, Eritrea, Sudan, Ghana, Malawi, Mali and Mozambique. He was a member of the Technical Task Force on development of the Policy Framework for Pastoralism in Africa and participated in the development of the Framework and Guidelines on Land Policy in Africa. He has led several studies on land management and conflict with RVI in Somalia.

Michael Woldemariam

Michael Woldemariam

Michael Woldemariam is Assistant Professor of International Relations and Political Science, Pardee School of Global Studies at Boston University. His teaching and research interests focus on the dynamics of armed conflict, the behaviour of rebel organizations and self-determination movements, and post-conflict institution building in Africa. He specialises in in the Horn of Africa, and has been a regular teacher and Director Studies on the RVI Horn of Africa course.

Michel Thill

Michel Thill

Michel Thill was RVI Programme Manager for the Great Lakes from 2012–2016. Based in the Eastern Congo and the UK, he is currently a Doctoral Research Fellow with the Conflict Research Group at Ghent University.

Mohamed Osman

Mohamed Osman

Mohamed Osman is Head of Grants at the Elton John Aids Foundation. A former RVI Project Officer, he has an MSc from the London School of Economics in Social Policy and Planning with a focus on developing countries and complex emergencies. Mohamed Osman was an RVI trustee from 2009–2018.

Munzoul Assal

Munzoul Assal

Munzoul Assal is Associate Professor of Social Anthropology and Director of Graduate Affairs Administration at the University of Khartoum. He is the Chairman of the Sudan Chapter of the Organization for Social Science Research in Eastern and Southern Africa (OSSREA). His research focuses on refugees, migration, IDPs and development, with a geographical focus on Darfur, Khartoum, eastern Sudan and Norway. He is the author of Beyond Labelling: Somalis and Sudanese in Norway and the challenge of homemaking (2003), and co-editor of Diasporas Within and Without Africa: Dynamism, heterogeneity, variation (2006).

Murithi Mutiga

Murithi Mutiga

Murithi Matiga is the International Crisis Group’s Project Director for the Horn of Africa. A former journalist, Murithi covered East Africa in the Guardian and served as a Contributing Op-Ed Writer to the International New York Times. He has been an editor and columnist with the Kenyan Sunday Nation. Murithi holds an MSc in comparative politics from the London School of Economics and Political Science. He has collaborated with RVI on research and is a regular speaker at RVI Forums.

Nada Mustafa Ali

Nada Mustafa Ali

Nada Mustafa Ali is a scholar activist and researcher with extensive experience in human rights, gender and politics in the Sudans and is the author of numerous publications on the Sudans and elsewhere. She is the author of Gender, Race, and Sudan’s Exile Politics: Do we all belong to this country? (Lexington Books, 2015). Nada teaches in the Women’s and Gender Studies Department at the University of Massachusetts Boston. She received her PhD in government from the University of Manchester.

Naomi Pendle

Naomi Pendle

Naomi Pendle is a lecturer in the Department of Social and Policy Sciences, the Centre for Development Studies, at the University of Bath. She is a prolific researcher and writer on South Sudan, researching issues of in times of conflict and famine. She has been a director of studies and teacher RVI’s Sudan and South Sudan courses, and was a researcher on the RVI South Sudan Customary Authorities Research project Wartime Trade and the Reshaping of Power in South Sudan.

Nicki Kindersley

Nicki Kindersley

Nicki Kindersley holds a PhD in History from the University of Durham, and was a research associate in the History and Politics Faculties at the University of Cambridge. She currently teaches at the University of Cardiff. She specialises in the history of migration, political economy and armed labour in South Sudan and its borderlands. She runs several research projects with colleagues at the Universities of Juba and Khartoum and with RVI on the South Sudan Customary Authorities Project, South Sudan National Archives Project, and the X-Border Local Research Network. Nicki was the RVI representative in Juba in 2011-20112 and was instrumental in formalising RVI’s work with the South Sudan National Archives.

Nimo-ilhan Ali

Nimo-ilhan Ali

Nimo-ilhan Ali is a post-doctoral research associate at the Development Studies Department, SOAS University of London. Her research focuses on youth issues in Somaliland/Somalia in particular their access to higher education and post-graduation employment. Nimo has also been researching Somali youth migration and displacement in particular the phenomenon of  ‘tahriib’. She has taught at SOAS Economic Department and has also worked as a consultant for UN FAO/FSNAU, UNICEF, the Rift Valley Institute, the Danish Demining Group, the Heritage Institute for Policy Studies and the International Centre for Migration Policy Development. She has also worked as a technical advisor on the 2013 national employment strategy for the Somaliland Ministry of National Planning and Development. Nimo is the author of Going on Tahriib: The causes and consequences of Somali youth migration to Europe (RVI, 2016).

Nisar Majid

Nisar Majid

Nisar Majid is a specialist on food security and livelihoods analysis. He worked for the Food Security Assessment Unit in Somalia and has participated in evaluations for several international aid organisations and NGOs, as an independent consultant and with the Overseas Development Institute. He is author of The Changing Face of Food Security in Somalia (2003) and The Livelihoods Gap: Responding to the economic dynamics of vulnerability in Somalia (2002).

Nuruddin Farah

Nuruddin Farah

Nuruddin Farah is a Somali writer. He is a winner of the Neustadt International Prize for literature and the Lettre Ulysses Award and has been nominated several times for the Nobel Prize in Literature. His novels include two trilogies, Variations on the Theme of an African Dictatorship (1980) and Blood in the Sun (1986). His most recent novel, Crossbones, was published in 2011. He has taught at a number of institutions of learning including the University of Minnesota, Brown University and Bard College in the US, and Jos University in Nigeria.

Pauline Skaper

Pauline Skaper

Pauline Otieno Skaper was the Rift Valley Institute Education and Forum Manager from April 2016 to January 2022. Under Pauline’s management, the RVI courses developed in new directions, with a successful series of bespoke courses in addition to annual one, and online courses during the pandemic. She also managed a prolific programme of Rift Valley Forum events that made the Forum a go-to place for public discussions on a range of important issues. Pauline holds an MSc in Violence, Conflict and Development from the School of Oriental and Africa Studies and an LLB from Birkbeck College, University of London.

Peter Adwok Nyaba

Peter Adwok Nyaba

Peter Adwok Nyaba was Minister for Higher Education in the Government of South Sudan 2011-2013. He is a civil society activist, researcher and has carried out several studies for international humanitarian agencies operating in Southern Sudan. In 1997, he published a Noma Award winning book The Politics of Liberation in South Sudan: An Insider’s View (1996).

Peter Chonka

Peter Chonka

Peter Chonka is a Lecturer in Global Digital Cultures at Kings College London.  His doctoral research was on transnational Somali-language media networks and their impact on the cultural politics of state reconstruction in the Horn of Africa. His research interest is in how the new media environment affects political reconstruction, civil society activism, and conflict in so-called ‘fragile’ states. His research uses innovative visual methods to explore displaced people’s everyday perceptions of mobility, security and urbanisation in Somali cities. He has been a Director of Studies on the RVI Horn of Africa course and a researcher on the RVI cross-border research programme.

Peter Fry

Peter Fry

Peter Fry carried out research for his PhD in pre-independence Zimbabwe on religion and politics (Spirits of Protest, CUP, 1979). From 1989 to 1993 he represented the Ford Foundation in Zimbabwe and Mozambique. This  led to his writing extensively on race, culture and politics in Lusophone and Anglophone countries of Africa and the Americas.  He is now Emeritus Professor of Anthropology at the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

Philip Enever Winter

Philip Enever Winter

Philip Winter was the representative for Independent Diplomat in Juba, South Sudan from 2010 to 2014. He was a Senior Advisor in MONUC 2008–10 and Chief of Staff for the Facilitator of the Inter-Congolese Dialogue 2000–03. He worked as Field Director for Save the Children UK in the DRC, Rwanda, Burundi and Southern Sudan, and, earlier, as Manager of the Juba Boatyard (1976–81). He was Co-Director of the 2004 Rift Valley Institute Sudan Course and Director of the 2010 Great Lakes Course. He is the author of A Sacred Cause: The Inter-Congolese Dialogue 2000-2003. He was Acting Executive Director of the RVI from September 2015 to June 2016.

Rashid Abdi

Rashid Abdi

Rashid Abdi is a Senior Horn of Africa Analyst with the International Crisis Group specializing on security issues in the Horn. He previously served as a senior editor with the BBC Monitoring Service and Kenya’s Daily Nation. Some of his recent writings can be read on Crisis Group’s In Pursuit of Peace Blog. Rashid holds a Masters in Mass Communication from the University of Nairobi and a doctorate in Comparative Religion and Philosophy.

Richard Hamish Tristram

Richard Hamish Tristram

Hamish Tristram is Company Secretary of the Rift Valley Institute. He is a lawyer and academic with interests in comparative law and development. He worked as an investment banker before taking the post of co-ordinator of the postgraduate legal studies programme at the University of London, from which he has recently retired.

Richard Rottenburg

Richard Rottenburg

Richard Rottenburg is Professor of Science and Technology Studies at WiSER, Wits University, Johannesburg (South Africa).

Robert ffolkes

Robert ffolkes

Sir Robert ffolkes was with Save the Children Fund from 1974 – 2003.

Roger Middleton

Roger Middleton

Roger is an independent researcher focused on Somalia and the wider Horn. Until the end of 2018 he led Conflict Dynamics International’s team working on political accommodation and reconciliation in Somalia and Somaliland. He has previously worked for Oxfam and Chatham House with a focus on Somalia and the Sudan’s. Roger has published widely on issues of politics in the Horn of Africa, Piracy from Somalia, African Peace and Security Architecture, and Africa’s relations with the EU.

Rosalind Marsden

Rosalind Marsden

Rosalind Marsden is the EU Special Representative for Sudan and South Sudan. She had a long career in the British diplomatic service, including postings as British Ambassador to Sudan, Consul-General in Basra and British Ambassador to Afghanistan.  She has also served as Head of the United Nations Department and Director (Asia-Pacific) in the Foreign and Commonwealth Office in London.

Sada Mire

Sada Mire

Sada Mire is the Director-General of the Department of Antiquities in the Ministry of Tourism and Culture of Somaliland. Her main interests are archaeological and anthropological research, cultural heritage policy and management, and post-conflict reconstruction of cultural resources. She serves on the editorial board of Heritage Management, and is the Somali representative of the World Archaeological Congress. She is the founding editor of the websites Somali Heritage and Archaeology, www.somaliheritage.org, and African Heritage and Archaeology – www.ucl.ac.uk/archaeology/aha.

Sally Healy

Sally Healy

Sally Healy is an independent consultant. She was formerly Associate Fellow of the Africa Programme at the Royal Institute of International Affairs, Chatham House and a specialist in the Foreign and Commonwealth Office. She continues to work on the region as an independent consultant focussing on the analysis of regional peace and security. She convened the Horn of Africa Group at Chatham House and wrote the Group’s report Lost Opportunities in the Hom of Africa: How Conflicts Connect and Peace Agreements Unravel (2008).

Sharath Srinivasan

Sharath Srinivasan

Sharath Srinivasan is David and Elaine Potter Lecturer in the Department of Politics and International Studies and Director of the Centre of Governance and Human Rights at Cambridge University. He is also a Fellow of King’s College, Cambridge. He has researched the domestic and international politics of Sudan and South Sudan for over a decade, and his publications include ‘Negotiating Violence: Sudan’s Peacemakers and the War in Darfur’ (African Affairs, 2014). He also researches the impact of digital communication technologies on political change in Africa and co-founded the social research charity, Africa’s Voices Foundation (www.africasvoices.org).

Steven Serels

Steven Serels

Steven Serels is a Research Fellow at the Leibniz Zentrum Moderner Orient at Martin Luther Universität Halle-Wittenberg, Germany, and as Visiting Scholar at Harvard University’s Center for Middle Eastern Studies. Steven is an economic and environmental historian whose research focuses on the causes and consequences of structural poverty in the Southern Red Sea Region (SRSR). He has written three research papers for RVI: Epidemics in the African Red Sea Region: A history of uneven disease exposure (Oct 2020); Unequal Adaptations: A history of environmental change in the Sudan-Eritrea-Ethiopia border region (August 2021); Purchasing Insecurity: The African Red Sea region and the global food trade (October 2022).

Suliman Baldo

Suliman Baldo

Suliman Baldo is a specialist in conflict resolution, emergency relief, development and human rights in Africa and international advocacy. He has worked extensively in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), Ethiopia, Eritrea, and the Sudan. He spent seven years at Human Rights Watch as a senior researcher in the Africa division and was subsequently Director of the Africa Program at the International Crisis Group and at the International Center for Transitional Justice. He is Executive Director of the Sudan Democracy First Group.

Susan D. Page

Susan D. Page

Susan D. Page is Deputy Special Representative for Rule of Law in the United Nations Stabilization Mission in Haiti (MINUSTAH). Prior to her appointment, Ambassador Page was the US Chargé d’Affaires to the African Union and served as the Senior Advisor in the Office of the US Special Envoy for Sudan and South Sudan. Previously, Susan was America’s first Ambassador to South Sudan. She was Legal Adviser to the IGAD Secretariat for Peace in Sudan that mediated the peace process which resulted in the 2005 Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) between the government of Sudan and the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement/Army (SPLM/A).

Terrence Lyons

Terrence Lyons

Terrence Lyons is Professor of Conflict Resolution at George Mason University; his research has focused on the relationships between protracted civil wars ard processes of political development and sustainable peace, with a focus on Africa. He has taught on the RVI Horn of Africa course since 2008. Among his publications are Demilitarizing Politics: Elections on the uncertain road to peace (2005) and Voting for Peace: postconflict elections in Liberia (1993).

Tobias Hagmann

Tobias Hagmann

Tobias Hagmann is a Senior Program Officer at swisspeace in Basel, Switzerland and a Fellow with Somali Public Agenda. He has worked as an academic, research consultant and team leader on various basic and applied projects focusing on state formation, armed conflict and natural resource management in the Horn of Africa.

Toby Fenwick-Wilson

Toby Fenwick-Wilson

Toby Fenwick-Wilson is an explorer and photographer. Formerly an expert guide for Abercrombie and Kent and field coordinator for the Rift Valley Institute in Southern Sudan, he has also worked in the Himalayas and China.

Tom Odhiambo

Tom Odhiambo

Tom Odhiambo is a Senior Lecturer in the Department of Literature at the University of Nairobi. He holds a PhD from the University of Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, where he was also a Research Fellow between 2003 and 2007. His numerous publications reflect his interests in Kenyan Popular Culture and Fiction; Masculinity and the Family in Kenya; Gender and Sexuality in Urban Kenya.

Tymon Kiepe

Tymon Kiepe

Tymon Kiepe is Policy and Research Manager at Open Ownership, an organisation dedicated to increasing transparency over who owns and controls companies across the world. Between 2012 and 2018, Tymon worked with RVI contributing to many aspects of the Institute’s development, in particular RVI’s information management systems and publications outputs. Tymon left RVI to join the Clingendael Institute and Ministry of Foreign Affairs in the Netherlands.

Ulf Terlinden

Ulf Terlinden

Ulf Terlinden is the Director of the Heinrich Böll Foundation Horn of Africa Unit in Nairobi, Kenya. A political scientist specialising in governance and conflict, he has worked in the Horn of Africa and East Africa for over twenty years, including with the European Union and Interpeace.
Ushari Ahmad Mahmud

Ushari Ahmad Mahmud

Ushari Mahmud is a scholar, human rights activist and author. He has worked for the past 15 years to document and protest human rights abuses in Sudan. He is an advocate for the rights of internally displaced populations and of children affected by armed conflict in Sudan. He previously worked with UNICEF in the field of child protection.

Wendy James

Wendy James

Wendy James is Emeritus Professor of Social Anthropology at the University of Oxford. Her books include The Ceremonial Animal: A new portrait of anthropology (2004) and War and Survival in Sudan’s Frontierlands: Voices from the Blue Nile (2007). She has acted as a consultant for UNHCR and other humanitarian bodies, in Southern Sudan and in Ethiopia, and is Vice-President of the British Institute in Eastern Africa.

Willy Nindorera

Willy Nindorera

Willy Nindorera worked as an analyst at the International Crisis Group based in Bujumbura, Burundi and as a researcher for Clingendael, the Centre d’Alerte et de Pévention des Conflits and the North-South Institute. He has conducted a series of studies and published articles mainly on the peace process and security sector reform in Burundi.

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