Faculty and Researchers

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Adjunct Lecturer



Conflict transformation
Countering violent extremism
Interfaith dialogue
Problem solving
Historical conciliation
Integration of Western and Indigenous reconciliation processes
Training and capacity building of indigenous communities
Conflict assessment,
Post-conflict reconstruction


  • HS 243f - Religion Identity and Conflict
  • HS 345f - 3D Security: Diplomacy, Development and Defense
  • PAX 140a - Religion, Conflict and Peace
David A. Steele's picture


David Steele has 22 years experience working with political, religious, and other civil society actors to effectively facilitate conflict transformation and interfaith coexistence within unstable, violence-prone situations of inter-ethnic and sectarian conflict. Since 2010, he has served as adjunct faculty in the Heller School. Initially, he was a guest lecturer and teaching assistant leading discussion sessions on International dialogue and mediation; Development, aid and coexistence; and Intercultural communication for conflict and development. Since 2011, he has supervised MA Coexistence and Conflict students in their practicum field experience and writing of MA theses and final internship reports. For the past two years, he has taught courses, currently including: Religion, Identity and Conflict (HS 243f) and 3D Security: Diplomacy, Development and Defense (HS 345f). In 2013 he led a workshop on Handling values-based conflicts during DEIS Impact week.

Dr. Steele continues to work as an independent consultant in international conflict transformation for a variety of organizations. His contracts during 2012-2013 have included: (1) working with the African Union on Muslim/Christian reconciliation in both Sudans, including preparation of workshop materials and assisting to lead an inter-religious conference in Khartoum; (2) assisting Israelis and Palestinians, as a consultant for DeadSeaNet, to develop a cooperative response to natural disaster, including risk reduction and emergency preparedness; (3) co-writing a manual on historical conciliation for the International Center for Conciliation, (4) writing a manual on conflict transformation in societies affected by extremist religion for University of California, San Diego, (5) teaching a workshop on facilitation of inter-ethnic/sectarian workshops in conflict zones at University of Massachusetts, Boston, (6) evaluating on-line courses in Overseas religious engagement, and Engaging with identity-based differences, as a consultant for the US Institute of Peace, and (7) acceptance of various speaking engagements on conflict transformation and peacebuilding

Highlights from Dr. Steele's previous engagements include: Developed a manual on Christian/Muslim reconciliation efforts in Nigeria and inter-ethnic conflict in Kenya for the US Institute of Peace (2010-2011); Worked with Konrad Adenauer Stiftung, following post-election violence in Kenya, to design a curriculum and manual for use in peacebuilding and conflict transformation and co-lead workshops for 300 participants from local NGOs (2009-2010); Served as Senior Reconciliation Facilitator with the Baghdad Office of the US Institute of Peace, providing training in negotiation, problem solving and interfaith dialogue for a variety of personnel from Iraqi Government agencies, educational institutions, religious groups and civil society organizations (2008-2009); Worked as consultant, assisting in leadership of conflict resolution workshop in Iraq for the US Institute of Peace, assessed a religion and conflict program for UNDP in the Ukraine, and wrote papers on vision and strategy for peacebuilding for the African Catholic Bishops Conference (2007); and led training, sponsored by OSCE, in negotiation for minority group representatives in the Final Status Talks in Kosovo, and wrote background paper on religion and conflict resolution for the Oslo Forum, an annual gathering of leading international mediators (2006).

In addition, Dr. Steele has previously worked as (1) a program manager at Mercy Corps for conflict management projects in Iraq, Sri Lanka and Indonesia (2004-2006), (2) program manager for a conflict management project in Macedonia, then interim executive director, at Conflict Management Group in Cambridge, MA (2003-2004), and (3) a fellow in the Program on Preventive Diplomacy at the Center for Strategic & International Studies in Washington where he directed a project on conflict resolution for religious communities in the former Yugoslavia and served as a back channel of communication in facilitating diplomatic efforts to end the Kosovo War (1994-2003).

Steele has a Ph.D. in Christian Ethics and Practical Theology from the University of Edinburgh, where he wrote a dissertation on a theological assessment of the Harvard-based “principled negotiation.” He is also the author of numerous other publications on conflict transformation and faith-based peacebuilding, including: “Reconciliation Strategies in Iraq,” and an “Overview to Faith-Based Peacebuilding."



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