The Polarization Report Is Out


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


Marty Walz is the Interim Executive Director at Beyond Conflict. She has over 25 years of experience and leadership positions in the non-profit, corporate, and government sectors, most recently serving as the Interim Executive Director at Old South Association and Science Club for Girls. Marty has previously served as the President and Chief Executive Officer of Planned Parenthood League of Massachusetts, leading the organization’s health care, education, and advocacy work. A former State Representative, she represented the 8th Suffolk District for 8 years. Among her legislative achievements, she was the author of the 2010 education reform law, the anti-bullying law, and the law allowing the establishment of virtual schools. Marty has held leadership positions at non-profit and public organizations including Jumpstart for Young Children and Boston Public Schools. Marty started her career as an employment attorney, having practiced law at the national law firm Littler Mendelson and at the venerable Boston law firm Palmer & Dodge. She also worked as Associate General Counsel for Harcourt General, Inc. Marty holds a M.P.A. from Harvard University’s John F. Kennedy School of Government, a J.D. from New York University School of Law, and a B.A. from Colgate University.


Patricia Collins is Executive Director of Beyond Conflict, and brings extensive leadership and management experience in both the corporate and nonprofit sectors integrating strategic planning, resource development and marketing, with particular expertise in social justice and global health. She was most recently an AVP at Brigham and Women’s Hospital’s Development Office, working in an entrepreneurial role at a Harvard-affiliated academic medical center to launch and fund transformational health initiatives in the U.S. and beyond. Prior to BWH, she served as Chief Development Officer at Clinton Health Access Initiative, and VP of Resource Development at Pathfinder International, and served as a key member of Executive Leadership, and as head of all philanthropic and corporate partnerships, external relations and communications, and Board relations. Full Bio


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.


Emile Bruneau is the Lead Scientist at the Beyond Conflict Innovation Lab, and Director of the Peace and Conflict Neuroscience Lab at the University of Pennsylvania. His research is informed by his experience in conflict regions (e.g., South Africa, Sri Lanka, Ireland, Israel/Palestine), and focuses on better understanding the processes driving intergroup conflict (e.g., empathy, dehumanization, collective blame), and critically evaluating interventions aimed at reducing these processes. Emile was the recipient of the 2015 Young Investigator Award in Peace Psychology from the American Psychological Association.


As the Director of Research and Development, Mike Niconchuk leads the strategy and execution of initiatives focused on trauma and violence prevention in the U.S., Germany, Jordan, and Lebanon. These initiatives target two major themes: the link between neuroscience and participation in group violence (e.g., gangs, extremist groups, etc.), and the mind-body effects of conflict, forced displacement, and violence on youth and adults. Mike has a Bachelor of Science in International Relations from Tufts University and a Master of Science in Social Cognition from University College London.


Lee-Or Ankori-Karlinsky has served Beyond Conflict since 2012, as a Senior Program Officer. Starting in early 2020, he has become a Senior Advisor to the leadership team. He assists in the development and implementation of project programs. Prior to joining Beyond Conflict, he worked for other non-profits in the Boston area in research and administrative capacities. He graduated magna cum laude from Dartmouth College with a Bachelor of Arts in Government.


Cheryl Eagan-Donovan is Interim Director of Finance at Beyond Conflict. She brings extensive experience in finance consulting and business management to a variety of projects and nonprofit organizations. Clients include Harvard University educational affiliate Laspau and The Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, among others. She has served on the boards of Women in Film, Video New England, The Next Door Center for the Arts, and The Shakespeare Oxford Fellowship. Founder and President of Controversy Films, she has produced and directed two award-winning documentaries, and teaches writing, film, and literature at Lesley University and Northeastern University. Cheryl has a degree in Business Administration from Boston University and an MFA from Lesley University


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.


Ona Wang serves as Program Manager on the Science-Informed Design and Polarization & Division initiatives at Beyond Conflict's Innovation Lab for Neuroscience and Social Conflict. Ona's professional background includes analyzing and promoting evidence-based peacebuilding and community healing practices at Restorative Justice for Oakland Youth, leading community justice and leadership development programming at Public Allies in Chicago, and coordinating services for Syrian refugees in Turkey. In these capacities, Ona has worked in research, program development, nonprofit management, monitoring and evaluation, and restorative justice. Ona holds an M.A. in Conflict Resolution and Coexistence from The Heller School for Social Policy and Management at Brandeis University and a B.S. in Psychology and Sociology from the University of Illinois.

Ona Wang, M.A.

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.

Karen Bernstein

Ana Eira manages internal and external communications for Beyond Conflict. During her career, Ana has explored multiple facets of communications, from journalism to audiovisual production and public diplomacy, while working for multilateral organizations such as the Council of the European Union in Brussels. Prior to Beyond Conflict, she supported the re-election of Senator Elizabeth Warren as her Deputy Press Secretary. Ana holds degrees in Communications and Journalism from NOVA University and Universidad San Pablo Ceu of Madrid.


Marjorie Rhodes is a Professor of Psychology at New York University. She directs the Conceptual Development and Social Cognition Lab at NYU, which conducts research on cognitive and social development in early childhood at the Children’s Museum of Manhattan, the American Museum of Natural History, various New York schools, and online at In partnership with Beyond Conflict, Rhodes is directing a large longitudinal study on the development of racial biases among children from across the United States, towards the aim of developing new intervention approaches to prevent the development of racism in young children. More about her research is available at: Full Bio

Marjorie Rhodes , Phd

Ceasar serves as senior advisor to a Beyond Conflict project focused on unveiling the psychology of the racial wealth gap in Boston. Additionally, Ceasar is a Professor of Practice of Civic Design at MIT’s Department of Urban Studies and Planning where he teaches on civic and community engagement and the use of social media to enhance both. As founder of MIT’s Co-Lab, Ceasar developed the critical moment's reflection method to help communities build knowledge from their practice or, as he likes to say, “to know what they know.” Through his work at the global civic engagement organization, Engage The Power, he developed The Question Campaign: a method for expanding the public’s role in setting policy frameworks and action.

Ceasar McDowell

Marika Landau-Wells is a Beyond Conflict Postdoctoral Innovation Lab Fellow based at MIT’s Department of Brain and Cognitive Sciences in Prof. Rebecca Saxe’s lab. She holds a PhD in Political Science from MIT and is broadly interested in the ways in which cognition affects political behavior. Her current research focuses on the psychological processes associated with threat perception and her postdoctoral research project focuses on applying neuroscience methods to better understand the preferences people have for dealing with perceived threats. She holds an AB in Government from Harvard University and an MSc in Global Politics from the London School of Economics. Marika will join the Travers Department of Political Science at UC Berkeley as an Assistant Professor in July 2019.

Marika Landau-Wells , PhD

Rebecca Littman works with Beyond Conflict as the lead researcher on the Decoding Dehumanization initiative in Nigeria. She is also the lead researcher with the Managing Exits from Armed Conflict project in Nigeria, in collaboration with United Nations University. Her research focuses on conflict and conflict resolution, studying how behavioral science-informed interventions can be harnessed to reduce conflict and address social problems more broadly. She received a PhD in Psychology and Social Policy at Princeton University, a Masters of Arts in Psychology at Princeton in 2014 and a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology and Government at Wesleyan University. She will be joining the faculty at the University of Illinois, Chicago as an Assistant Professor in the Department of Psychology in August 2020.

Rebecca Littman , Phd

Boaz Hameiri is a Beyond Conflict Postdoctoral Innovation Lab Fellow based in the Peace and Conflict Neuroscience Lab at the University of Pennsylvania, under the direction of Beyond Conflict's Lead Scientist, Dr. Emile Bruneau. His research focuses on intergroup processes, intergroup conflicts, developing psychological interventions that aim to promote better intergroup relations and conflict resolution, and testing these interventions in the lab and in the field on a large scale. In his Ph.D. dissertation, Boaz developed a new line of psychological interventions based on the “paradoxical thinking” approach and tested it in the context of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. In addition, he is interested in studying victimhood as an interpersonal and intergroup phenomenon, and its effects on processes of conflict resolution and reconciliation. Boaz recently submitted his Ph.D. dissertation in social psychology at Tel Aviv University, where he also received his M.A. in social psychology in 2013 and his B.A. in psychology and communication in 2009.

Boaz Hameiri , PhD

Michael Rizzo is a Beyond Conflict Postdoctoral Innovation Fellow based in Dr. Marjorie Rhodes’ Conceptual Development and Social Cognition Lab at New York University. Michael received his Ph.D. in Human Development and Quantitative Methodology from the University of Maryland and is broadly interested in children’s social and moral development. Michael’s current research examines the individual and environmental factors implicated in the development of racial biases during childhood, and the role of children’s understanding of others’ perspectives in their developing moral judgments and behavior. He also received his B.S. in Psychology from the University of California, San Diego.

Michael T. Rizzo , PhD

Samantha Moore-Berg is a Beyond Conflict Postdoctoral Innovation Lab Fellow based in the Peace and Conflict Neuroscience Lab at the University of Pennsylvania, under the direction of Beyond Conflict's Lead Scientist, Dr. Emile Bruneau. Her research bridges the areas of social psychology, cognitive psychology, and neuroscience to study links between behavior and social-cognitive processes that evolve in intergroup contexts. Her main research interests include 1) designing and implementing prejudice and discrimination reduction interventions, 2) investigating how prejudiced attitudes give way to discriminatory behaviors, and 3) isolating cognitive functions that contribute to or predict prejudiced attitudes and subsequent behaviors. Samantha received her Ph.D. in Social Psychology at Temple University in 2018 and her B.A. in Psychology and Sociology at Florida State University in 2013.


Evan DeFilippis is a Beyond Conflict Innovation Lab Doctoral Fellow working on his PhD in Organizational Behavior, a joint program with Harvard Psychology and Harvard Business School. He works with Professor Joshua Greene doing research on novel forms of cooperation designed to reduce political animosity. More generally, his research focuses on understanding the psychological underpinnings of belief and attitude change - particularly in political contexts - and in understanding the conditions that maximize the likelihood of conflict resolution. Before attending Harvard, Evan DeFilippis graduated from Princeton's Woodrow Wilson School with a Master's in Public Affairs, focusing on quantitative and computational methods. He received undergraduate degees from the University of Oklahoma in Economics, Psychology, and Political Science, where he was the class valedictorian, a Harry S. Truman Scholar, and David L. Boren Scholar.

Evan DeFilippis

Sarah Ryan is a Research Assistant for Beyond Conflict Innovation Lab. Sarah previously worked as a research assistant for implicit bias and game theory altruism psychology labs at Harvard University. She is interested in the social and psychological effects of chronic stress and discrimination. She is also interested in how implicit bias is reflected in policy, particularly in the realms of education and incarceration. Sarah holds a degree in Psychology from Harvard College.

Sarah M. Ryan

Vivian Khedari DePierro holds a Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology by the New School for Social Research and is a Predoctoral Psychology Intern at Montefiore Medical Center who first trained as a psychologist at Universidad Católica Andres Bello in Caracas, Venezuela. She has extensive clinical experience working with children and adults and is particularly interested in the treatment of psychological trauma and working with at-risk youth, forcibly displaced people and immigrants. She has been involved in research on the physiological markers of complex and acute trauma the U.S, South Sudan and South Africa; and recently completed the first RCT of The Field Guide for Barefoot Psychologists with Beyond Conflict in Jordan as part of her doctoral dissertation. Vivian integrates her research work into her clinical practice, working through a lens that considers clinical theory, psychobiology and the cultural and sociopolitical context.
Program Advisor