Visiting Researchers

Each year, the Kroc Institute’s Visiting Research Fellows Program brings outstanding scholars focused on peace research to the University of Notre Dame for a semester or a full academic year. The Institute particularly seeks scholars who will actively integrate their research with ongoing Kroc Institute research initiatives. 

More information can be found at

The 2022–23 Visiting Research Fellows

Fall 2022

Jenna Knapp

Jenna Knapp was the 2022 Alumni Visiting Research Fellow. She is a peacebuilding practitioner who has been working in El Salvador for the past decade on various trauma healing and community organizing initiatives. Knapp graduated from the Kroc Institute's Master's in International Peace Studies program in 2016.

While at the Kroc Institute for her fellowship, Knapp spent her time writing a narrative storytelling book designed to translate her 12 years of experience in close proximity to ongoing violence in El Salvador into a tool to serve peacebuilding pedagogy and practice.

Isis Nusair

Dr. Isis Nusair is associate professor of women's and gender studies and international studies at Denison University. During her time at the Kroc Institute, Nusair focused on completing her forthcoming book, Permanent Transients: Iraqi Women Refugees in Jordan and the USA.

Nilofar Sakhi

Dr. Nilofar Sakhi is a senior fellow at the Atlantic Council and has been teaching courses as a professional lecturer of international affairs at the Elliott School of International Affairs at George Washington University.

As a visiting research fellow, Sakhi advanced two research areas: focusing on regional security with a case study of Afghanistan and the South and Central Asia region, and exploring the domestic and external incongruencies that impact regional peace diplomacy.

Spring 2023

Mimmi Soderberg Kovacs

Dr. Mimmi Söderberg Kovacs is senior specialist on armed groups and peace processes at the Folke Bernadotte Academy (FBA) in Sweden, a governmental agency working in the field of peace, security and development. She is also an affiliated associate professor in peace and conflict research at Uppsala University.

While at the Kroc Institute, she worked on a monograph on the transformation of armed actors into political parties, drawing on descriptive data from a newly completed database of rebel-to-party transformations, 1975-2020, her previous work on this topic, and field work material from the Philippines.

Year-Long Fellowships

Roddy Brett

Dr. Roddy Brett is an associate professor of peace and conflict studies at the University of Bristol. His research focuses on the causes, consequences, and legacies of political violence (particularly mass collective violence), and how states, societies, and international actors move on from protracted episodes of egregious violence.

While at the Kroc Institute, he worked on two projects: conducting original research with the Peace Accords Matrix (PAM) on the place of reconciliation in peace agreements, and completing his monograph, The Path Towards Reconciliation after Colombia's War: Understanding the Roles of Victims and Perpetrators, based on an investigation he led for the United Nations in 2015 on the role of the so-called victims' delegations in the Santos-FARC-EP peace talks in Colombia.

Erica Davila

Dr. Erica Dávila is professor of educational leadership at Lewis University. She has been teaching and writing curriculum for more than 20 years in Chicago and Urbana, Ill., and Philadelphia, Pa.

During her time at Kroc, Dávila aimed to amplify the work of women of color activists within the Chicago Young Lords and other activist groups that held educational justice at the forefront. This book project is an interdisciplinary work of critical educational scholarship that resides at the nexus of critical race feminism, historical memory, and political education.

Tecla Namachanja

Dr. Tecla Namachanja Wanjala is a team lead for the Shalom Centre for Counselling and Development, a local NGO in Kenya supporting social healing among communities affected by violent conflicts. She is also one of the eminent members of Kenya's National Peace and Mediation Team.

Wanjala is a globally-recognized peacebuilder, trauma healing, and transitional justice specialist. She was a nominee for the 1,000 Women for the 2005 Nobel Peace Prize and a recipient of the 2019 Peace Builder of the Year Award offered by the Center for Justice and Peace of Eastern Mennonite University.

While at the Kroc Institute, she is reflecting and writing on her work as Acting Chairperson of The Truth, Justice and Reconciliation Commission, giving insights into Kenya's turbulent truth-seeking process.