Pamina Firchow, peacebuilding expert and scholar-practitioner, to join Heller School faculty in August 2019

June 07, 2019

Pamina Firchow

WALTHAM, MA—The Heller School for Social Policy and Management at Brandeis University has selected Pamina Firchow to join the faculty as an associate professor in the MA in Conflict Resolution and Coexistence (COEX) program. The COEX program trains master’s students to work in peacebuilding efforts in governments, international agencies, non-governmental organizations or related fields, such as diplomacy, humanitarian aid and human rights. Firchow’s hire fills the vacancy left by Professor Emerita Mari Fitzduff, a founding member of the COEX faculty who retired in May 2019.

A committee of faculty and researchers led a national search for this position over the course of the 2018-19 academic year, chaired by COEX Program Director Alain Lempereur. Firchow comes to the Heller School with over 20 years of experience and was previously an assistant professor of conflict analysis and resolution at George Mason University. Prior to that, she taught on the faculty at the Kroc Institute for International Peace Studies at the University of Notre Dame.

“With her deep teaching experience and renowned expertise as a scholar of peacebuilding, I am confident that Pamina will help bring the COEX program to even greater heights,” says Dean David Weil. “Her career exemplifies the blend of academic excellence and real-world research impact that the Heller School strives to emulate throughout the institution.”

Firchow brings to Heller a vast research portfolio and is widely published in peer-reviewed journals and the popular press. In 2018 she cofounded the Everyday Peace Indicators NGO, a 501(c)3 organization that utilizes a participatory numbers approach and mixed-methods research to investigate alternative, bottom-up measures of peace in local communities affected by conflict. In the same year she published Reclaiming Everyday Peace: Local Voices in Measurement and Evaluation after War (Cambridge University Press, 2018).

"Pamina’s innovative work on measuring peace directly serves coexistence professionals in the field and will reinforce applied research at the Heller School. Our students are eager to get her support as the next generation of peacebuilders," says Lempereur. 

Her research has been funded by the National Science Foundation, the United States Institute of Peace, the United States Agency for International Development, the Carnegie Corporation of New York, the Rotary Foundation, the Kellogg Institute for International Studies at the University of Notre Dame and the University of Geneva.  She also serves as a consultant to international peacebuilding organizations such as International Alert, Conciliation Resources and the United States Institute of Peace where she was a Senior Jennings Randolph Fellow in 2016.

In addition to continuing her research endeavors, Pamina will teach several courses in the COEX program and actively mentor COEX master’s students. She says, “I am excited to be joining such a multidisciplinary group of scholars and students working to promote peace and coexistence worldwide. I hope to be able to contribute significantly to the Heller School, and the COEX program, by including students in my research on participatory forms of inclusion in quantification and statistics.”

Firchow holds a PhD in development studies from the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies in Geneva, and master’s degrees from the London School of Economics and the Universidad del Salvador in Buenos Aires. She will begin her position as associate professor at the Heller School in August.