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


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.


Jennifer Colletti is the Director of Development at Beyond Conflict. Guided by a personal mission to connect people who have resources and want to make a difference with those in need, she is responsible for building a network of financial support for the organization’s work. A dedicated fundraiser, Jennifer has held development roles at organizations including WaterAid, the Council on Foreign Relations, Amnesty International and the Asia Society. She holds a M.S. in Global Affairs from New York University and resides just outside of New York City.

Jennifer Colletti

Peter T. Brown is the Director of Finance at Beyond Conflict. He has worked in senior non-profit management and finance positions for more than 20 years and has a professional diploma from the UK's Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy (CIPFA). He served as the Executive Director of the Free Software Foundation for six years, as it developed its public outreach campaigns and membership programs. He has been a Director and Company Secretary for the New Internationalist Trust, and the Director and Treasurer for the Software Freedom Conservancy, and previously worked in London for BBC Network Radio.


As a Program Director, 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.


As a Program Director, Michelle Barsa manages a growing portfolio of initiatives on social inclusion and behavior change communications. 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, in addition to leading initiatives in Syria, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Palestine, Sudan, Libya, and Nigeria. Michelle also regularly advises the U.S. Departments of Defense and State, the United Nations, and NATO on how to improve the effectiveness of security assistance provided to partner nations. She holds a master’s degree from The Fletcher School of Law & Diplomacy at Tufts University and a bachelor’s in finance and philosophy from Boston College.


As the International Peacebuilding Program Manager, 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.

Karen Bernstein

Rebecca Littman is an Assistant Professor of Psychology at the University of Illinois Chicago. She works with Beyond Conflict as a Research Advisor on the Decoding Dehumanization initiative in Nigeria, and was previously a Postdoctoral Innovation Lab Fellow at Beyond Conflict. She is also a Research Advisor to United Nations University’s Managing Exits from Armed Conflict project. 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 and was a Postdoctoral Fellow at MIT.

Rebecca Littman , Phd

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.


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.


Dr. Samantha Moore-Berg is a Beyond Conflict Postdoctoral Innovation Lab Fellow based in the Peace and Conflict Neuroscience Lab at the University of Pennsylvania. 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.


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.


Michael Pasek is a Beyond Conflict Research Fellow and a Postdoctoral Research Fellow in the Department of Psychology at The New School for Social Research. Michael’s research focuses on the social and political psychology of intergroup relations. With Beyond Conflict, Michael studies how psychological insights can be transformed into evidence-based interventions that mend social divides, promote social equality, and improve democratic health in the United States. At The New School for Social Research, Michael leads a cross-cultural program of research—in Fiji, the Middle East, and the U.S.—investigating when and why religion, as both a group membership and system of beliefs, promotes, versus attenuates, identity-based conflict. Michael completed his Ph.D. in social psychology from The Pennsylvania State University and is a proud graduate of Bates College, where he earned his B.A. in political psychology.

Michael Pasek , 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

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

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

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

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.


Lily Winston Grob is a Junior 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. She is currently pursuing a qualitative thesis in the Biopsychosocial Effects of Stigma (BEST) Lab with Dr. Mark Hatzenbuehler on how structural stigma is perceived and resisted by gay and bisexual men in the U.S.

Lily Winston Grob

Alexander Levy-Vene studied Psychology at the University of Bath. His interests center around the anthropological goal of equality, collective action, and mutual gain; often bringing together an array of different insights from the fields of psychology, sociology, philosophy, and history that can optimize national and international societal organization towards these goals. For this reason, after a year in psychology, he transitioned into politics with international relations at the same college. Recent events have driven a distinct focus on better understanding the nature, and potential mediators, of America's crisis of toxic polarization. He will bring his experience and knowledge as a Beyond Conflict Fellow back to the University of Bath to produce a final thesis on the psychology of tribal division in American politics, specifically, how our instincts to characterize political affiliation more by what (or who) we are against, rather than for.

Alexander Levy-Vene