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Project Staff

Lawrence Woocher

Lawrence Woocher

Research Director

is research director for the Simon-Skjodt Center for the Prevention of Genocide. He has published widely on early warning, conflict prevention, and the prevention of genocide and mass atrocities. He previously served as senior atrocity prevention fellow with the United States Agency for International Development, research director for the Political Instability Task Force at Science Applications International Corporation, senior program officer at the United States Institute of Peace (USIP), and a consultant to the Special Adviser to the UN Secretary-General on the Prevention of Genocide. He is a lecturer at the Elliott School of International Affairs at George Washington University and a graduate of Brown and Harvard Universities.

Mollie Zapata

Mollie Zapata

Research Associate

Mollie Zapata is a research associate for the Simon-Skjodt Center for the Prevention of Genocide, where she is responsible for conducting quantitative and qualitative research on a wide range of issues related to genocide prevention, with a primary focus on the Center’s Early Warning Project. Previously Mollie had been working in natural language processing analytics at Protagonist, an international affairs consulting firm, for various government and foundation clients. Her other work experience includes the US Institute for Peace, the Institute for Inclusive Security, the Enough Project, and the National Geographic Society. Mollie holds an MA from The Fletcher School at Tufts University and a BA in international affairs from Boston University.


Project Fellows

Ben Valentino

Ben Valentino

Associate Professor of Government, Dartmouth College

Benjamin Valentino’s research interests include the causes and consequences of ethnic conflict and mass violence, and American foreign and security policies. His book, Final Solutions: Mass Killing and Genocide in the 20th Century, received the Edgar S. Furniss Book Award for making an exceptional contribution to the study of national and international security. Dr. Valentino serves as a consultant to several US government agencies involved in providing early warning of genocide and other forms of political instability. He is currently the co-chair of the Tobin Project National Security Working Group, a nonpartisan advisory group designed to bring together academics and policy makers to develop new ideas on major American policy issues.

Chad Hazlett

Chad Hazlett

Assistant Professor of Statistics, UCLA

Dr. Hazlett is assistant professor of political science and statistics at the University of California, Los Angeles. He completed his PhD in political science at Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 2014. His dissertation in the subfields of political methodology and international relations was entitled "Inference in Tough Places: Essays on Modeling, Matching, and Measurement with Applications to Civil Conflict." Dr. Hazlett previously served as a predoctoral fellow in the Department of Politics at Princeton University. His interests include machine learning, developing and extending approaches to causal inference, and using these tools to study civil war and mass violence.


Early Warning Fellows

Ben Valentino

Arsène Brice Bado

Arsène Brice Bado, Ph.D., is the Deputy Director of the Institute of Dignity and Human Rights at the Centre de Recherche et d’Action pour la Paix (CERAP) in Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire. Prior to his time at CERAP, Bado was a Southern Voices Network Scholar at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars in Washington, DC, from September to November 2015. He was also a visiting researcher at Yale University during the 2014-2015 academic year. He was the 2017-2018 Anna and Donald Waite Endowed Chair at Creighton University in Omaha, USA. His research interests include democracy, ethnic pluralism, conflict analysis, forced migration, electoral processes in conflict ridden societies, and foreign aid in Africa. His publications have appeared in the Journal of International Migration and Integration, Mediterranean Politics, Revue Études, Revue Relations, Débats-Courrier d’Afrique de l’Ouest, and La Civiltà Cattolica. In addition, he has contributed chapters to several books; he has edited in 2015 a book on Dynamiques des guerres civiles en Afrique: Une approche holiste, Paris: L’Harmattan. He is the author of Dignity across Borders: Forced Migration and Christian Social Ethics, Denver (Colorado): Outskirts Press, 2010. He holds Bachelor’s Degrees in Philosophy, Socio-Anthropology, and Theology, and Master’s Degrees in Social Ethics, International Human Rights Law, and Socio-Anthropology. He obtained his Ph.D. in Political Science from Laval University in Canada in 2016.

Fellowship Project: Mr. Bado is the lead author on the Simon-Skjodt Center's upcoming report on risks of mass atrocities in Côte d’Ivoire.

Ibrahim Yahaya Ibrahim

Ibrahim Yahaya Ibrahim

PhD candidate, University of Florida

Ibrahim Yahaya Ibrahim is a PhD candidate in Political Science and a research associate with the Sahel Research Group at the University of Florida. His academic interest relates to Comparative Politics, Islam and Politics, Political Stability, and International Development in the Francophone Sahelian countries. His current research focuses on political contestations and Islamic discourses in the Sahel, with particular focus on Mali, Niger and Mauritania. Ibrahim was a Fulbright grantee at the University of Florida from 2011 to 2013. He is the co-founder of Project Global Health, an non-profit that aims at improving health care provision in developing countries. From 2009 until 2011, he was the Executive Director of the Niger office of Al-basar International Foundation, an International NGO specialized in establishing ophthalmologic hospitals and running mobile eye clinics in the world.

Fellowship Project: Mr. Ibrahim was the lead author on the Simon-Skjodt Center's report on risks of mass atrocities in Mali, titled Regions at Risk: Preventing Mass Atrocities in Mali.

Otto Saki

Otto Saki

Otto Saki is a lawyer with a keen interest in human rights law, health, policy, governance, regional economic communities, civil society and supra national human rights mechanisms. Otto interned with premier human rights organizations including the Institute for Human Rights and Development in Africa. In August 2003, he joined Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights (ZLHR) as a projects lawyer until August 2009 when he had risen to level of Programmes Coordinator. After leaving ZLHR, Otto joined USAID as the deputy office director for the Democracy, Rights and Governance Office until August 2013. He joined USAID Freedom House Rule of Law project in Uganda as a Chief of Party from July 2014–April 2015. For his efforts in advancing human rights and fundamental freedoms, Otto has been recognized internationally including in 2006 by Reebok Human Rights Award and in 2007 by Junior Chamber International as one of the ten most outstanding young persons in Zimbabwe in respect of law. In 2007, Otto was awarded a Human Rights Fellowship by Columbia University Law School. In 2012, he was nominated as one of the inaugural top 35 young Africans and completed an executive course in leadership at the Harvard Kennedy School of Government. Otto is a graduate of the University of Zimbabwe and Columbia University Law School.

Fellowship Project: Mr. Saki was the lead author on the Simon-Skjodt Center's report on risks of mass atrocities in Zimbabwe, titled Scenarios of Repression: Preventing Mass Atrocities in Zimbabwe.


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