The Team

Dr Fatuma Ahmed Ali

Director & Principle Investigator

Dr. Fatuma Ahmed Ali is an Associate Professor of International Relations at the School of Humanities and Social Sciences (SHSS) of the United States International University – Africa (USIU-A), Kenya. She is also a Visiting Faculty and an External researcher of the Interuniversity Institute for Social Development & Peace (IUDESP) of the Universitat Jaume I, Castellón, Spain. Her areas of specialization are in the field of International Relations, Peace, Conflict and Development Studies, Gender, Security and Post-colonial Studies. Her research interest include, Gender and Violent Extremism, Preventing/Countering Violent Extremism (P/CVE), Women and War, African-Islamic Feminism, Women´s agency, Politics, Elections, Peace Settlements, Peace Culture, Indigenous Conflict Transformation, Peacebuilding Models, Social Development and Migration/Displacements in the Horn of Africa. Dr. Ali is a feminist researcher and an academic activist in the area of Violence against Women.  She has conducted various research, facilitated training, and worked as independent consultant with International NGOs, UN agencies and the Kenyan Government. Her recent publications include:

  • Ahmed Ali, Fatuma and Muyonga, Doreen (July 20, 2020), “Democratisation on hold in Somalia as first-past-the-post election is postponed”, in The Conversation
  • Ahmed Ali, Fatuma, (2020), “Commentary on Somali Migration and Displacement”, in the African Studies Review (ASR), Volume 63, Number 1 (March 2020), pp.117-123, doi:10.1017/asr.2019.84.
  • Ahmed Ali, Fatuma and Arrno, Stephen Amin (2020). “Revolution is Female: Reconstructing African Women´s Agency in Political Regime Change Lessons from Sudan´s Revolution” in Munyi Nyaga Elijah, Mwambari David and Ylonen, Aleksi (eds), Beyond History: African Agency in Development, Diplomacy and Conflict Resolution (Africa: Past, Present & Prospects), London: Rowman & Littlefield International.

Dr Sahla Aroussi


Dr. Aroussi is an Associate Professor Global Security Challenges at University of Leeds (UK). Dr Aroussi is a feminist scholar and a gender expert. Her research interests lie at the intersection of gender politics and peace and conflict research and are broadly situated in the field of gender and armed conflicts particularly: the UN’s agenda on Women, Peace and Security; gender in peace settlements; gender justice; conflict related sexual violence; and gender and violent extremism.

Dr. Aroussi has conducted extensive research in Sub-Saharan Africa and the MENA. In the more recent years, Dr. Aroussi has been conducting research on gender violent extremism that critically engages with this concept from a feminist perspective. Her recent publications include:

  • Aroussi S. 2020. Researching wartime rape in Eastern Congo: why we should continue to talk to survivors?. Qualitative Research. 20(5), pp. 582-597
  • Aroussi S. 2020. Strange Bedfellows: Interrogating the Unintended Consequences of Integrating Countering Violent Extremism with the UN's Women, Peace, and Security Agenda in Kenya. Politics & Gender. , pp. 1-31
  • Aroussi S. 2018. Perceptions of Justice and Hierarchies of Rape: Rethinking Approaches to Sexual Violence in Eastern Congo from the Ground up. International Journal of Transitional Justice. 12(2), pp. 277-295

Judith Gardner


A gender, peace and conflict specialist, Judith is a practitioner-researcher with a background in development and over 30 years’ experience in Sub-Saharan Africa, especially the Somali region. Her work explores the gendered impacts of the Somali state collapse and armed conflicts; clan-related violence as a gendered construction; and looks at what we can learn about responding to violent extremism from gendered experiences of Al Shabaab.

She is a Fellow of the Rift Valley Institute and a practitioner-academic for Sciences Po.

Pauline Skaper

Network Manager

Pauline Otieno Skaper holds an MSc in Violence, Conflict and Development from the School of Oriental and Africa Studies (SOAS) and an LLB from Birkbeck College, University of London. She has worked on various programmes as a researcher and coordinator in the UK, East Africa and the Horn of Africa on reproductive health and rights, Violence (SGBV), Gender (understanding masculinities and their construction in relation to conflict) and Development. She is currently the Forum & Education Manager at the Rift Valley Institute and is the convenor of the monthly CVE Researchers’ Roundtable in Nairobi.The roundtable is a platform for sharing on going CVE research in East Africa being carried out or funded by different organizations and stakeholders; exchanging ideas between researchers, practitioners and donors; identifying gaps and forming linkages between the different research and work being carried out by different actors – researchers, donors, government and regional bodies.

Steering Committee

Professor Amel Grami is a member of Women’s Alliance for Security Leadership (WASL) and the International Civil Society Action Network (ICAN) for Women’s Rights, Peace & Security.

  • “Media Coverage of Terror Events: The Tunisian Case” Journal of The Arab States Broadcasting Union (ASBU), 2014.
  • “Arab Media Coverage of Terror Events and Crises in Tunisia and Egypt: The Case of the Charlie Hebdo Event” in “Media Coverage of Extremism and Terrorism” International Workshop, Tunis 2015. Publications of Arab States Broadcasting Union.
  • “Rules for the Use of Video and Images in the Arab Media” in Media Coverage of Extremism and Terrorism, International Workshop, Tunis 2015. Publications of Arab States Broadcasting Union.

Dr Elisabet le Roux is the Research Director of the Unit for Religion and Development Research at Stellenbosch University, South Africa. She has a proven track record in mixed methodology research on religion and gender-based violence, with a focus on qualitative research especially in conflict and post-conflict settings. As a recognized expert in innovative and feminist qualitative research in religious and traditional communities, she has done research with/for government ministries, UN agencies, development organisations, faith-based organisations and NGOs. She has over the past ten years secured funding and delivered a range of evaluation and formative research projects in 22 countries across four continents, with a particular focus on gender equality, gender-based violence, women’s participation, and a critical lens on the important roles of religion and culture.


Dr. Fathima Azmiya Badurdeen is a lecturer at the Department of Social Sciences, Technical University of Mombasa. She has a keen interest in the sociological analysis of recruitment for violent extremist organizations. She has worked in Sri Lanka on issues related to peacebuiding and post conflict development. Since 2012, she has worked in Kenya as an academic and practitioner in the field of countering violent extremism.


Dr. Hassan Khannenje is the current Director of the HORN International Institute for Strategic Studies, a research and policy think-do tank based in Nairobi, Kenya. He is a Fulbright Scholar with a Doctor of Philosophy in Conflict Analysis and Resolution from Nova Southeastern University, Florida (USA). He is an author, consultant, and practitioner specializing in Conflict Analysis and Resolution (mediation, negotiation, and facilitation), Nonviolence, Diplomacy and Foreign Affairs, Peace and Security, and addressing questions of Terrorism and Violent Extremism. He is also an adjunct professor of Peace and Conflict Studies at Wayne State University, Detroit, Michigan, and a resource person with Kenya’s Ministries of Interior Coordination and National Government, Defense, and Foreign Affairs. In addition, he is an expert consultant in the Horn region with various local and international media houses including BBC, CGTN, SABC, Al Jazeera, German TV ZDF, and Nation Media on issues of conflict, terrorism, security, and diplomacy.


Nasir M. Ali is the Director of the Institute for Peace and Conflict Studies at the University of Hargeisa, Somaliland, a position he has held since November 2015. He has over a decade of experience in teaching, research, and policy analysis. Mr. Ali has a PhD in peace, governance, and development (2020) from the United Nations-University for Peace in Costa Rica, two masters’ degrees in international relations (2010), and in African studies (2015) from Addis Ababa University, Ethiopia. He has published more than a dozen articles in journals and book chapters exploring his areas of interest from different perspectives.


Raquel da Silva is a Marie Skłodowska-Curie fellow (MSCA-IF) at the Center for International Studies at ISCTE-IUL. Her research explores processes of engagement in and disengagement from violent organisations through the narrative study of the life stories of former militants and their families. She is also interested on the intersection between non-violent and violent activism and on the impact of Preventing/Countering Violent Extremism (P/CVE) interventions in the life of individuals, groups, and communities.

She has published a monograph entitled Narratives of Political Violence: Life Stories of Former Militants (Routledge) and research articles in journals such as Critical Terrorism Studies, Studies in Conflict and Terrorism, Perspectives on Terrorism, Aggression and Violent Behavior, Journal of Constructivist Psychology. Raquel values creative public engagement and the translation of research into practice and policy. She tweets at @RaquelBPSilva

  • NEW BOOK: ‘Narratives of political violence: life stories of former militants’, 2019: Routledge.
  • da Silva, R., Fontana, G. and Armstrong, M. (2020). The Prevent Duty in primary schools: Policy enactment in the West Midlands. In Jerome, L. and Busher, J. (eds.), The Prevent Duty in Education: Enactment, Impact and Implications. London: Palgrave Pivot, pp. 99-115.
  • da Silva, R., Rosa, C. and König, J. (2020) “I’m not the same, but I’m not sorry”: Exploring dialogical positioning in the self-transformation of a former politically violent militant. Journal of Constructivist Psychology. 33:3, 248-262.
  • da Silva, J. R., da Silva, R., Fernández-Navarro, P., Gonçalves, M. M. and Rosa, C. (2020) Understanding extreme violent behaviour in ultra firms: Exploring identity fusion from a dialogical perspective. Journal of Constructivist Psychology. 33:3, 263-278.

Regina Mutiru is a peace, gender and social development practioner. She has expertise in dialogue facilitation, advocacy and Gender analysis. She also prides herself in networking and has authored a book to this effect. She is a member of FemWise (African Union arm of women mediators) and iDover (youth working on Interfaith Dialogue and Violent Extremism) under the African Union. She’s the founder of Amani Women Network (AWN), an organization that works to bridge the gap between Kenyan women peace builders in the grassroots and policy makers. 

Regina holds an MA in Peace, Conflict and Development from the University of Bradford, UK and a BA in Development Communication from St Paul’s University, Kenya. She conducted her thesis research on women and CVE in Mombasa County from which she has presented three papers on P/CVE in three International conferences. She currently works with the National Cohesion and Integration Commission (NCIC) an organization that works to facilitate elimination of all forms of ethnic, religious and race discrimination and promoting tolerance.  With NCIC, she has led several programs in the informal settlements of Nairobi working with youth and women towards building community resilience against P/CVE. Some of her publications can be found here. 


Rehema Zaid has over 8 years’ experience in preventing and countering violent extremism (P/CVE). Zaid is an alumni of Africa Nazarene University School of Governance, Peace and Security Studies; Major(S) Bachelor of Arts in Peace and Conflict  Studies. In 2017, she was nominated for the International Visitors Leadership Program (IVLP) program and as a credible voice in preventing violent extremism by the U.S. State Department. In 2018, Zaid was recognized by the National Cohesion and Integration Commission (NCIC) as one of the key contributors of peacebuilding in Kenya.  She is an accredited member of FemWise-Africa mediation team, under the umbrella of the African Union. She volunteers as Kenya Secretary for CSO’s Network for the IGAD Centre of Excellency in Preventing and Countering Violent Extremism (ICEPCVE).  In 2019, she was officially incorporated as a member of Global Network on Gender and Responding to Violent Extremism (GARVE). In 2020, she was selected to join United States Institute of Peace (USIP) Youth Advisory Council. Zaid also volunteers as programs manager at Integrated Initiatives for Community Empowerment (IICEP), one of the fastest growing CSOs in Kenya with an active focus on P/CVE.


Simon Okumba Miruka holds a Bachelor of Education (Arts) degree and Master of Arts (Gender and Development) degree both from Kenyatta University. He is an international consultant with expertise on monitoring and evaluation, gender mainstreaming, strategic planning, participatory training, research and documentation. Miruka is a pioneer expert on gender and development issues having been a member of the first ever gender training team in Kenya formed by the African Women’s Communication and Development Network (Femnet) in 1992. Since then, he has consulted for various governmental, non-governmental and United Nations agencies in Africa and beyond. He is a founder member of Men for Gender Equality Now, the premier movement of men combating gender-based violence in Kenya.

  • Gender and Development Training Manual for Femnet’s Gender Training team (1993) Co-authored (with Wanjiku Kabira and Miriam Gachago)
  • ActionAid’s Experiences in Mainstreaming Gender (Kenya, Burundi, Ethiopia and Uganda), published by ActionAid Africa Regional Office, 2002.
  • Training Manual on Sexual and Gender Based Violence, Femnet, 2004 (Co-authored with Rose Chege, Njoki Wainaina and Alice Munyua).