Staff

Opeyemi Adeojo is the Nigeria Program Lead at Beyond Conflict where he leads on the development of research-based behavioral-science informed peacebuilding programs in Nigeria. He previously worked as a research manager for Busara Center for Behavioral Economics in Nigeria in which he managed research portfolios and initiatives across a number of sectors. He has professional experience working with the Gates foundation and USAID funded programs. Opeyemi has consulted with organizations and academics to design, run research studies to support development programs in Nigeria. He has experience conducting randomized impact evaluations and has worked in the private and nonprofit sectors over the last seven years. He is passionate about community-driven development, and innovations that promote a peaceful and non-violent society. He holds an MSc in Sociology from the University of Ibadan, Nigeria, and a BSc in Sociology from the University of Lagos, Nigeria.
NIGERIA PROGRAM LEAD

Opeyemi Adeojo

As Beyond Conflict’s Democracy & Social Identity Program Director, Michelle Barsa leads the strategy and execution of initiatives focused on democratic legitimacy and movement building both in the US and abroad. She recently held senior advisory positions on countering violent extremism at USAID, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, and Equal Access International. Prior, as a director at DC-based Inclusive Security, she advised on US foreign policy related to women, peace, and security, and trained hundreds of women across Syria, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Sudan, Libya, and Nigeria on policy-focused advocacy strategy development. Before moving to Washington DC, she worked with a range of non-governmental organizations for over 10 years. That work crossed the spectrum from direct implementation of humanitarian assistance in Afghanistan, to trauma counseling for survivors of domestic violence in the U.S. and Guatemala, to researching the impact of free trade agreements on rates of domestic violence in El Salvador, to supporting women-led nonviolent peace movements in the West Bank. In the interim, she helped establish a nonprofit organization in New York City focused on addressing the labor rights of Latino immigrants, which ultimately succeeded in changing city laws to rectify discriminatory practices in business licensing. She holds a master’s from The Fletcher School of Law & Diplomacy at Tufts University and a bachelor’s in finance and philosophy from Boston College.
PROGRAM DIRECTOR

MICHELLE BARSA

As the International Peacebuilding Program Director, Karen oversees the strategy and development of peacebuilding programs. For most of her career, Karen worked in entrenched violent conflict and post-conflict reconstruction contexts, specifically in Israel/OPT, Cambodia, Nepal, US, Ireland/Northern Ireland and South Sudan. Through her role as a civilian peacekeeper at the UN peacekeeping missions in Nepal and South Sudan, she partnered with local governments to create socially-inclusive policies and structures, and led teams to implement early warning detection systems. In Nepal and Cambodia, she conducted research and developed projects focused on addressing the needs of socially-excluded and vulnerable groups in the population. She has also led the largest mediation provider in the US and served as the Political Advisor on the Middle East Peace Process and Human Rights for the British Foreign and Commonwealth Office. Karen is a Rotary World Peace Scholar and the runner-up winner of the FCO's Sir Nick Brewn Policy Excellence Award in 2015.
PROGRAM DIRECTOR

Karen Bernstein

Bill Casebeer advises teams to develop novel science and technology to aid in conflict prevention and resolution. Most recently, Bill served as Senior Research Area Manager in human systems and autonomy for Lockheed Martin’s Advanced Technology Laboratories. In that role, he led science and technology development to improve human performance, human-machine teaming, and training. His research interests include the intersections of cognitive science and national security policy, neuroethics, political violence, philosophy of mind, and human performance. Bill is a retired U.S. Air Force Lieutenant Colonel and former DARPA program manager.
SENIOR SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY ADVISOR

WILLIAM CASEBEER

As Research Director, Dr. Vivian Khedari DePierro provides and coordinates strategic support to ensure the scientific rigor with which Beyond Conflict applies the findings and methods of brain and behavioral science. A Clinical Psychologist by training, she draws from her expertise on the impact of psychological trauma and chronic stress to advise the team on best practices for trauma-informed and culturally sensitive research and intervention design. In 2021, her research on the impact of Beyond Conflict’s Field Guide for Barefoot Psychology received an award from the American Psychological Association’s Committee on International Relations in Psychology due to its innovative design and scientific excellence. Dr. Khedari holds degrees from The New School for Social Research (NY) and Universidad Católica Andres Bello (Caracas, Venezuela). Based in New York, Vivian also has a small psychotherapy private practice and frequently lectures psychiatry residents on topics related to trauma and global mental health.
DIRECTOR OF RESEARCH

VIVIAN KHEDARI DEPIERRO, PhD

Lily Winston Grob is a Senior at Harvard College, pursuing a B.A. in Cognitive Neuroscience and Evolutionary Psychology. While her interests are broad, she is particularly fascinated with how social concepts such as stigma, political identity, and meta-perceptions are implicated in individual biology, psychology, and group contexts. She hopes ultimately to use a bio-psycho-social lens to promote peace and support marginalized communities in the U.S. and abroad. In her spare time at college, Lily develops, produces, and performs in theatre and film.
DEVELOPMENT ASSISTANT

Lily Winston Grob

Alex Gulakos is on the Finance, Accounting, and Operations teams at Beyond Conflict. Before Beyond Conflict, Alex had worked in Operations at Bridgewater Associates, overseeing the hiring process for multiple recruiting searches. Alex graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in Statistics and Bachelor of Science in Management at the University of Connecticut.
FINANCE AND OPERATIONS LEAD

ALEX GULAKOS

Born and raised in Tripoli, Lebanon, Bilal Hindi is a Program Associate on the Trauma and Violent Conflict program team at Beyond Conflict. He joined Beyond Conflict in 2021, after graduating from the University of Richmond with a degree in Psychology and Neuroscience. With the TVC team, Bilal assists in the design and scaling of trauma-informed approaches to the prevention of violent extremism and improved mental health support for conflict-affected populations. Previously, Bilal’s research focused on cognition and cognitive flexibility in animal modals. His research on wild raccoons and Long-Evans rats, focused on induced traumatic stress, lead poisoning, efforts-based cognition, and cognitive flexibility. In a research lab with Dr Kelly Lambert, Bilal’s thesis and most recent publication outlined cytoarchitectural characteristics associated with cognitive flexibility in wild-caught raccoons.
PROGRAM ASSOCIATE

Bilal Hindi

As Director of Finance at Beyond Conflict, Yadira oversees the organization's financial management and risk management. She leads the financial planning and analysis, including accounting, forecasting, budgeting, and cash flow management. Yadira has over 15 years of experience, serving in a wide range of nonprofit finance leadership and management positions in various nonprofit fields such as immigrant rights, fiscal sponsorship, affordable housing, and environmental justice. Yadira is constantly challenging herself to find ways to translate, narrate and socialize finance as a tool across an organization. In addition to her finance career, she has served on multiple boards of directors for various nonprofit organizations. Yadira attended UC Davis, receiving a BA with a double-major in Economics and International Relations. She also received a certificate of Accounting from UCLA extension. A native of Oaxaca, Mexico, Yadira currently resides in Los Angeles, CA. When she is not busy working on an Excel document, she enjoys spending time with her two children and husband.
DIRECTOR OF FINANCE

Yadira Hernandez

Yumeka Hirayama graduated from the University of Pennsylvania summa cum laude with a B.A. in Cognitive Science with a concentration in Computation and Cognition. While Yumeka is Japanese, she was born in Hong Kong and grew up in Singapore and Beijing as well. Her multicultural experiences led to her research interests in social cognition, group dynamics, and intergroup relations, and she is passionate about applying social psychology research to real-world issues, especially intergroup conflicts. At Penn, Yumeka conducted her senior thesis research on parochialism and social decision-making under Dr. Jonathan Baron's supervision.
PROGRAM ASSOCIATE

Yumeka Hirayama

Jael Louis is the Deputy Director of Communications at Beyond Conflict. She leads the organization's communications strategy and operations. As a child of refugees, Jael resonates with the organization’s mission to address the root causes and consequences of conflict. A mission-driven communicator, she has worked with nonprofits, public figures, and socially responsible businesses to inspire their audiences to act on pressing issues. Jael is a native New Yorker residing in Washington, DC and is an alumna of Georgetown University.
DEPUTY DIRECTOR OF COMMUNICATIONS

Jael Louis

Before joining Beyond Conflict as Executive Director, Martin was responsible for overseeing behavioral-science based innovation programs in international governance and livelihoods over a seven-year tenure with ideas42. Prior to 2013, Martin was a policy advisor for Côte d’Ivoire’s Ministry of Planning and Development, having previously held program management posts at Cordoba Initiative and Princeton University’s Empirical Studies of Conflict program and consulted for the World Bank, USAID, the National Democratic Institute and others. Martin holds a master’s degree in public policy from the Harvard Kennedy School of Government and a bachelor’s degree in economic development and Middle East studies from New York University. With fluency in Arabic, French, and Hebrew, his work has included projects in over 30 countries in Latin America, Sub-Saharan Africa, South Asia, and the Middle East/North Africa.
EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR

JOSH MARTIN

Michael Niconchuk is the Program Director for Trauma & Violent Conflict at Beyond Conflict. Based in Amman, Jordan, Mike oversees Beyond Conflict’s research, intervention design, and policy work that address the role of chronic stress and trauma in the genesis and escalation of violent conflict, and the role of trauma healing in conflict resolution efforts. Specifically, Mike and the TVC team build trauma-informed solutions to address issues such as violent extremism prevention, combatant reintegration, refugee integration, and community violence. Mike is the author of several innovative scientific publications on issues of neuroscience, violent extremism and intergroup conflict, and is the author of the Field Guide for Barefoot Psychology, a psychoeducational and trauma recovery program for communities affected by trauma and adversity. Mike is a former Fulbright Scholar and holds degrees from Tufts University and University College London. Prior to joining Beyond Conflict, Mike worked as an independent neuroscience consultant for international NGOs, as the Emergency Response Coordinator for the Syria crisis response for Questscope, and in community development programs with reintegrated combatants in Guatemala. Mike is fluent in Spanish and Arabic.
PROGRAM DIRECTOR

MICHAEL NICONCHUK

Tim Phillips is the founder and CEO of Beyond Conflict. Using the unique approach of shared experience, Tim has helped catalyze the peace and reconciliation processes in several nations, including Northern Ireland, El Salvador, and South Africa. He has advised the United Nations, the U.S Department of State, and the Council of Europe and has been a frequent speaker in national and international forums, including the Council on Foreign Relations and the U.S Congress. He also helped launch and serves on the Advisory Committee of the Club of Madrid, a forum for over 90 former democratic heads of state and government. Full Bio
FOUNDER & CEO

TIMOTHY PHILLIPS

Jasmine Ramsey is a Program Lead supporting initiatives on social identity, democracy, and inclusion. For much of her career, Jasmine has been deeply engaged with domestic and community-based social and reproductive justice projects navigating public safety, criminal justice, and human rights at the intersection of public policy. While pursuing a graduate degree from Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs (SIPA), Jasmine led a capstone team of graduate consultants to produce original research on the dynamics of dangerous speech spread online and actualized communal conflict in the Philippines, Nigeria, and Brazil. Jasmine holds an MPA in human rights and technology, media and communications policy from SIPA, and a BA in transnational feminism from the Evergreen State College.
PROGRAM LEAD

Jasmine Ramsey