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Affiliated Researchers

Elora Halim Chowdhury
Associate Professor of Women’s & Gender Studies
University of Massachusetts Boston

Elora Halim Chowdhury is an Associate Professor of Women’s & Gender Studies at the University of Massachusetts Boston. She received her PhD in Women’s Studies from Clark University, Massachusetts (2004). Her teaching and research interests include transnational feminisms, gender and development, and violence and human rights advocacy in South Asia. She is the author of Transnationalism Reversed: Women Organizing Against Gendered Violence in Bangladesh (SUNY Press, 2011), which was awarded the National Women’s Studies Association Gloria Anzaldua book prize in 2012. Dr. Chowdhury has published academic essays, fiction and creative non-fiction in journals and anthologies on topics as varied as violence, women’s organizing in the Global South, transnational feminist praxis, nationalism, culture and migration, and Islam and gender politics in South Asia. Currently she is working on two book projects: a collection of essays on dissident cross-cultural friendships/alliances, a monograph on narratives of violence, trauma and healing in contemporary films and fiction about the Bangladesh Liberation War of 1971. Prior to joining UMass, she worked for BRAC, a development NGO; Naripokkho, a women’s advocacy organization; The Daily Star, a national newspaper; the Rights Program in UNICEF; and the Higher Education Program at the Ford Foundation.

Amani El-Jack
Associate Professor of Women’s Studies, College of Liberal Arts and Lecturer of Women's Leadership in a Global Perspective McCormack Graduate School
University of Massachusetts Boston

Dr. El Jack's research, teaching and policy engagement traverse socio-economic, political and cultural interrogation of the gendered fields of globalization; forced migration; militarized femininities and masculinities and post-conflict reconstruction processes. Some of her recent publications include a book manuscript, under contract by Ashgate entitled, Militarized Commerce: Gender Dimensions of Transnational Migration in South Sudan; “Protracted Refugees: Why Gender Matters?” (2012). In Transatlantic Cooperation on Protracted Displacement: Urgent Needs and Unique Opportunity. J. Calabrese and J. Marret. (ed.) Middle East Institute: Washington DC, pp. 335-344; and “Education is My Mother and Father” (2011). Refuge Journal, vol. 27, no. 2, pp. 19-29.

Kade Finnoff
Assistant Professor of Economics
University of Massachusetts Boston

Kade Finnoff is an Assistant Professor of Economics at the University of Massachusetts Boston. She is a development economist whose work focuses primarily on countries emerging from violent conflict. In particular, her work looks at the way in which the reconstitution of society is exclusionary or inclusive of particularly vulnerable and marginalized groups, such as female-headed households, children and people with disabilities. She has spent a number of years working on issues of inequality and violence-in particular sexual violence-in countries in Central Africa. Dr. Finnoff has recently begun a new research project in Bangalore, India examining the violence and economic empowerment facing sex workers. She has also worked on the economic integration of people with disabilities with various local and international NGO’s in South Asia, Central America and Africa. Dr. Finnoff has also been a technical consultant for UNDP, UNIFEM and UNWomen on a range of issues from pro-poor macroeconomic policy to gender budgeting of post-conflict development assistance.

Luz Mendez
Member of the Executive Board
Unión Nacional de Mujeres Guatemaltecas

Luz Méndez has researched and published on transitional justice and the eradication of violence against women in Guatemala. Her most recent publications include, Link between Land Grabs and Sexual Violence Against Q´eqchí Women” (2013), and Mujeres Indígenas: Clamor por la Justicia – Violencia Sexual, Conflicto Armado y Despojo Violento de Tierras (2014).  The Consortium was honored to have a role in making this important book available in English.  Clamor for Justice: Sexual Violence, Armed Conflict and Violent Land Dispossession is available for download here

Between 1991 and 1996 Méndez participated in the Guatemalan peace negotiations as the only female member of the Political Diplomatic Team of the Unidad Revolucionaria Nacional Guatemalteca delegation, contributing to unprecedented commitments for gender equality in the accords. After the war she was elected to represent the women’s organizations in the National Council for the Implementation of the Peace Accords. Méndez is a member of the Executive Board of the Unión Nacional de Mujeres Guatemaltecas, and was the coordinator of the Women Agents for Change Consortium, an alliance of women's and human rights organizations working for the empowerment of women survivors of sexual violence during the armed conflict, seeking justice and reparations.

At the international level, Méndez was a speaker at the first meeting that the U.N. Security Council held with women’s organizations leading up to the passage of resolution 1325 on women, peace and security.  She has served as a member of the UN High Level Advisory Group for the Global Study on the Implementation of Security Council Resolution 1325, and also as an advisor on Latin America & the Caribbean for the Global Fund for Women.

Méndez holds a master’s degree in public administration from Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government.

Claire Duncanson
Senior Lecturer in International Relations
University of Edinburgh

Claire Duncanson has been a Lecturer in International Relations at the University of Edinburgh since 2009. Prior to her academic career, she worked for a variety of human rights and international development NGOs, including Amnesty International, Jubilee 2000 and Global Perspective.

Duncanson's research interests lie at the intersection of international security, IR theory and gender politics. Her work applies new theoretical insights about feminism, gender, and, in particular, masculinities, to current international issues, such as military interventions, military transformations, peacekeeping, peacebuilding and nuclear proliferation.

Her first book, Forces for Good? Military Masculinities and Peacebuilding in Afghanistan and Iraq was published by Palgrave Macmillan in 2013, and her second, Gender and Peacebuilding, is forthcoming in early 2016 with Polity Press. She has also published widely in academic journals, including, most recently, on feminist debates over women's military participation (with Rachel Woodward) in Security Dialogue.

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