Laurie Nathan has been appointed professor of the practice of mediation at the Kroc Institute for International Peace Studies within the Keough School of Global Affairs at the University of Notre Dame. Nathan will establish and direct the Kroc Institute’s new mediation program, which will serve as an international center for mediation research, training, policy development and practice.
Nathan holds a doctoral degree in regional security from the University of Cape Town and a master of philosophy degree from the Division of Peace Studies at the University of Bradford in the United Kingdom.
“The Keough School is delighted to welcome into our ranks this renowned international mediator, who brings to our faculty a distinguished record of peacebuilding in Africa and critical service to the United Nations,” said Scott Appleby, Marilyn Keough Dean of the Keough School. “Professor Nathan is a gift to our colleagues and especially to our students, who will learn a great deal, indeed, from his experiences and insight into the dynamics of nonviolent conflict resolution and transformation.”
Nathan is a senior mediation adviser to the United Nations and serves on the U.N. Academic Advisory Council on Mediation. He is the lead designer and trainer for the U.N.’s High Level Mediation Course.
Nathan participated in the African Union mediation for Darfur from 2005-2006; supported the U.N.-A.U. mediation for Darfur from 2010-2011; supported the Southern African Development Community mediation for Madagascar in 2010; and facilitated strategic planning for the U.N. Office in Mali after the 2012 coup. He has served on the Advisory Council of the Arms Division of Human Rights Watch, the Carter Center’s International Council for Conflict Resolution, the Expert Advisory Group of the United Nations Development Programme’s Democratic Governance Practice Network and the board of Conciliation Resources.
“Practice and policy are integral components of the Kroc Institute’s mission, and Laurie is the perfect person to help us build upon an excellent foundation as a leader in international peacebuilding policy,” says Asher Kaufman, John M. Regan Jr. Director of the Kroc Institute.
Prior to this appointment, Nathan was professor and director of the Centre for Mediation in Africa at the University of Pretoria in South Africa, and director of the Centre for Conflict Resolution at the University of Cape Town. Nathan has been in residence at the University of Notre Dame since January as a Kroc Institute visiting research fellow.
Most recently Nathan was the lead author of a 2018 policy report on successful preventive diplomacy by the United Nations. The report, titled “Capturing UN Preventive Diplomacy Success: How and Why Does it Work?” was a research initiative of the United Nations University in collaboration with the U.N. Department of Political Affairs. The report refutes the claim that the U.N. routinely fails at preventing armed conflicts and explores cases when the U.N. worked closely with regional partners to avert large-scale violence.
Nathan is the author of four books, including Community of Insecurity: SADC’s Struggle for Peace and Security in Southern Africa (Routledge, 2012) and No Ownership, No Commitment: A Guide to Local Ownership of Security Sector Reform. He is also co-editor of two books and author of more than 50 articles and chapters.