TRANSFORMATIVE PEACE

Meet the Team

Meet Dr. Houda Abadi

OUR FOUNDER & EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR

Dr. Abadi has more than 15 years of extensive experience designing and implementing peacebuilding programs in MENA region. She has successfully led international capacity building workshops; has developed programs to foster women’s inclusion in peacebuilding processes; has facilitated collaboration between policymakers and grassroots leaders across political and religious divides; and has empowered community leaders to be positive agents of change.

Additionally, Dr. Abadi also has also designed and implemented
monitoring and evaluation mechanisms, managed multi-million-dollar

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budgets, overseen robust teams of national and international staff, and has provided high-level policy analysis and recommendations.

 

Prior to establishing Transformative Peace, Dr. Abadi served as the associate director of the Conflict Resolution Program at the  Carter Center  from 2014-2019. While working on the Syrian and the Israeli-Palestinian conflicts, she designed and directed a locally tailored grassroots project that works with community and faith-based leaders from North Africa, Europe, and the United States to develop practical applications to prevent and address all forms of violent extremism.

 

Dr. Abadi also served as program director in two conflict transformation organizations that worked with Jewish and Muslim youth through experiential and political education. She also worked on curriculum development, civic engagement, youth empowerment, and conflict transformation - as well as serving as an international gender research consultant.

 

She has received numerous awards and honors, including the Luther College Young Alumni Award, Georgia State University Transcultural Conflict and Violence Presidential Fellowship, the Atlanta Institute for Diplomatic leadership 2018 Peacebuilder Award, and the 2019 ISB Women of Influence Award. She currently serves as a council member in the RESOLVE’s Research Advisory Board.

 

Dr. Abadi holds a Ph.D. in Political Communication and Media Studies from Georgia State University, a graduate certificate from Duke-UNC in Middle East Studies, and an MA in International Relations and Diplomacy, with a concentration in Middle East Studies and Conflict Resolution from Seton Hall University.

 

Dr. Abadi has published numerous scholarly articles, and has taught at Georgia State University and University of North Carolina. She speaks English, French, Arabic, and Spanish, and divides her time between Morocco and the United States.

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Meet Megan Leigh Smith

OUR SENIOR PROGRAM SPECIALIST

Megan Leigh Smith has eight years of experience in conflict resolution and international development, with particular expertise in the areas of building resilient communities, fostering the inclusion of marginalized groups, and preventing and countering violent extremism. She is passionate about contextualizing the psychosocial roots of violence within the human experience to contribute to more equitable, empathetic societies. As a Morocco-based consultant, Megan recently worked with a team to develop a crisis intervention guide to support youth in northern Morocco to cope with the 

psychosocial effects of COVID-19. She is currently finalizing a forthcoming guide

to implementing Positive Youth Development (PYD) programming in conflict-affected contexts in the MENA region. Megan previously held several leadership positions with the international conflict transformation organization Search for Common Ground, and has lived and worked in North Africa for six years. She holds a BA in Foreign Affairs and Middle Eastern Studies from the University of Virginia, and is currently pursuing an MSc. in Psychology, Neuroscience, and Mental Health from King’s College – London.

Meet Victoria Friedlander

OUR PROGRAM ASSOCIATE

Victoria Friedlander is an international security and human rights professional with experience working with marginalized religious minority communities in the MENA and South Asia. Prior to joining Transformative Peace, she worked in the think-tank industry focusing on Middle East security and preventing violent extremism, as well as religious freedom advocacy through the Royal United Services Institute (RUSI), The Henry Jackson Society, and the

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Religious Freedom Institute. Victoria holds an MA in Conflict Resolution

in Divided Societies from King’s College London and a BA from the

University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in both Peace, War, and Defense

and Philosophy and a minor in Islamic Studies.

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Meet Tasha Liberman

OUR ONLINE OPERATIONAL MANAGER

With over 8 years in the startup industry, Tasha has helped hundreds of entrepreneurs, business owners, individuals, and creatives turn their ideas/dreams into realities! Managing operational systems, designing websites and graphics and so much more - Tasha loves expanding her workload in all different industries - "I can't do it" isn't a phrase in her vocabulary. Tasha holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Marketing and International Business and holds many certifications with the design industry. In 2018, she launched her own business in web development and graphic design. 

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