Scholar and Participant Bios

Karen Murphy

Lead Facilitator
Karen L. Murphy, Ph.D., is the Director of International Strategy for Facing History and Ourselves. Murphy oversees Facing History’s work and the development of partnerships in countries outside the United States and Canada. She has a special interest in countries emerging from mass violence and/or in transition and divided societies with identity based conflicts. She has researched, written about, and worked on the ground in several countries, including Bosnia, Colombia, Mexico, Northern Ireland, Rwanda, France, the United States, and South Africa. Murphy has also published journal articles, presented papers, and lectured on the often-neglected role of education in transitional justice processes. She is on the board of the Human Dignity and Humiliation Studies Network and the editorial boards of Intercultural Education and Change: Handbook for History Learning and Human Rights Education. She is the co-author of the Children’s Report for the Kenya Truth, Justice and Reconciliation Commission and has chapters in the recently published Education and Transitional Justice: Opportunities and Challenges for Peacebuilding and International Perspectives on Peace Education. She is co-director of a multi-year research project studying youth and civic development in the US, Northern Ireland, and South Africa funded by the Spencer Foundation.


Martha Minow

Holtzmann Family Scholar in Residence
Martha Minow is the Carter Professor of General Jurisprudence at Harvard Law School and Harvard University Distinguished Service Professor. She served as Dean of Harvard Law School between 2009-2017. Minow is an expert in human rights and advocacy for members of racial and religious minorities and for women, children, and persons with disabilities.


Duncan Morrow

Holtzmann Family Scholar in Residence
Duncan Morrow is a Lecturer in Politics and the Director of Community Engagement at the University of Ulster. He has published widely in the fields of conflict resolution, Northern Ireland politics, and the relationship between religion and politics. For ten years, Morrow was Chief Executive of the Northern Ireland Community Relations Council where he championed peace-building and the concept of a shared future.


Damian Gorman

Guest Speaker
Damian Gorman is a poet and playwright, and an encourager of writing in other people. For more than 25 years, he has also worked with people caught up in some of the world's most protracted conflicts, using writing and story-telling as tools of dialogue and understanding. His work has garnered awards as diverse as a Better Ireland Award and an MBE; a Golden Harp and a BAFTA. Born and reared in Northern Ireland, he now lives in Wales where he is a Creative Associate of Aberystwyth University's Institute of Arts and Humanities and an Associate Artist of Aberystwtth Arts Centre.


Alan McBride

Guest Speaker
Alan McBride is Centre Manager at the WAVE Trauma Centre in Belfast, a cross community victims/survivors organization. In addition to this, he has also served on the Board of Healing Through Remembering and as a Commissioner with the Northern Ireland Human Rights Commission. Alan has a special interest on issues relating to transitional justice. He has become an advocate for peace since losing his wife and father-in-law in a bomb that occurred in Belfast during the early nineties.


Jelmer Evers

Jelmer is a history teacher, writer, and innovator. He teaches at an innovative school: UniC in Utrecht the Netherlands. He proposes a renaissance of teaching with teachers in the lead on all levels. This concept is called “Flipping the System”. Evers has been nominated teacher of the year 2012, has received several other national awards, and was nominated twice for the Global Teacher Prize: 2015 and 2016. In 2013 he edited an influential book called “Het Alternatief” (The Alternative) featuring articles from renowned scholars like Andy Hargreaves, Howard Gardner, and Pasi Sahlberg. The book made an enormous impact and was debated in parliament a month after publication. Several policy recommendations have been put into practice: less standardised testing, hybrid teachers, and a strengthened professional body which runs a teacher led innovation fund (Lerarenontwikkelfonds). Amongst others Evers was also on the design team of a new teacher training institute: De Nederlandse School. In 2015 a new international book called “Flip the System” was published worldwide. Swedish, English and Australian spin-offs have been published or are in the works. Evers is also co-founder of TEN Global: a new global teacher leadership network with Education International.


Jenny Gillett

Jenny Gillett has worked for the International Baccalaureate at their global center in The Hague for 7 years, where she currently holds the post of Senior Curriculum Strand Manager. Working in the IB’s academic division, she oversees the development of the Diploma Programme philosophy and theory of knowledge courses, as well as leading on core elements such as international mindedness and approaches to teaching and learning across all four IB programs. Before joining the IB, Jenny worked as a teacher and Head of Theory of Knowledge for 7 years at schools in the UK. She has a degree in philosophy and theology from Oxford University, and is currently in the final stages of completing her PhD in philosophy.


Roy Hellenberg

Roy Hellenberg obtained his degree and Higher Diploma in Education at the University of Cape Town, majoring in History and Psychology as well as studying English and Anthropology. He has spent over 20 years as an educator in both township schools and suburban schools in South Africa. An ongoing interest for Mr Hellenberg has been in education in a post-conflict society and how it can be used to address the gross human rights abuses of the past. He has attended and spoken at local, national, and international conferences on this topic. Since 2006, he has worked with Shikaya and Facing History and Ourselves in designing and running teacher training programmes to focus on teaching methodologies that encourage the development of critical thinking in the classroom and democratic debate with the purpose of growing young people who are compassionate, engaged, and active citizens. Over the past two years, Mr Hellenberg has worked with Dylan Wray in running a whole school program that addresses exclusion and discrimination at schools across South Africa entitled A School Where All Belong. They have also co-authored a book with Professor Jonathan Jansen by the same name.


Lara James

Lara James joined Facing History and Ourselves as its first Chief Marketing Officer in November 2017. In this new role, Lara leads planning, development and execution of all go-to-market activities, working across the organization to build its reputation and scale its impact. Prior to joining Facing History, Lara served as Vice President, Brand Marketing for MassMutual, most recently, leading MassMutual’s rebranding, including its current “Live Mutual” advertising campaign. Lara served for nearly a decade as Vice President, Brand Marketing at Capital One, where she led the successful extension of the Capital One brand beyond the credit card vertical, and into consumer lending and retail banking. A seasoned marketing veteran, Lara’s marketing communications have been recognized nationally and globally by both financial services and communications industry associations. Lara herself has been recognized four times by Black Enterprise magazine, including in 2017 as a Top Woman in Advertising and Marketing. Lara has a Bachelor of Arts from Oberlin College in History.


Larisa Kasumagić- Kafedžić

Larisa Kasumagić- Kafedžić has been actively involved in peaceful upbringing, community youth development programs, the philosophy of nonviolence, and intercultural pedagogy for the past 20 years. During the war in Bosnia, she co-founded a local organization that provided psycho-social support for war traumatized children and their families. She holds an MA in international development and education from Cornell University (US), and PhD in Intercultural Pedagogy from Sarajevo University. She is an assistant professor at the Teacher Education Program of the English Department at the Faculty of Philosophy in Sarajevo.


Hugh McLean

Hugh McLean is the Director, Education Support Program at the Open Society Foundations. McLean joined the Education Support Program in Budapest in 1999 and was associated with the Open Society Foundations’ education work in various capacities, working mostly on evaluations and research but also in Russia and then in Pakistan. After moving to the United Kingdom in 2006, McLean assisted with refining a new mission focus for the Education Support Program and began directing it in that same year. He has shepherded a new General Education Sub-Board and led the program to become widely recognized and highly regarded in international education circles.


Cameron Paterson

Cameron has taught high school History for more than two decades and, as the Director of Learning and Teaching at his school in Australia, he is responsible for the strategic leadership of learning and teaching, innovation, and promoting excellence in teaching practice. He is also a faculty member at Harvard’s Project Zero Classroom Institute and a Project Zero online coach. When he is not working, he is surfing or travelling. He is really looking forward to tasting a real Guinness.


Sean Pettis

Sean has worked for Corrymeela since 2010 and is the Manager of the ‘Legacies of Conflict’ program. Amongst other tasks, he coordinates the Facing History and Ourselves work across Northern Ireland and has been active in the field of peace and reconciliation for the past 14 years. In his spare time he is a committed, but highly amateur footballer (soccer) and musician. He is married to Sharon and lives in Belfast.   


Clara Ramírez-Barat

Clara Ramírez-Barat is the Director of the Auschwitz Institute for Peace and Reconciliation’s Educational Policies Program. Before joining the Auschwitz Institute, she was a Senior Research Associate at the International Centre for Transitional Justice (ICTJ). Clara is the editor of Beyond Outreach: Transitional Justice, Culture and Society (New York: SSRC, 2014), and the co-editor of Transitional Justice and Education: Learning Peace (New York: SSRC, 2016). Born in Madrid, she obtained her PhD in 2007 at University Carlos III of Madrid and holds an MA in Philosophy from Columbia University (2002). She moved to São Paulo, Brazil, in 2015. Fond of classical music, cooking, and plants as she is still adapting to her new life, Clara is learning to love Brazilian Popular Music, Bahian food, and orchid gardening.


Susie Richardson

Susie Richardson is a member of the Facing History Board of Directors and has served on the San Francisco Bay Area Advisory Board since 2002. She co-chaired 3 Benefit dinners and was the San Francisco Advisory Board Chair for 4 years. She travels often to other offices, and she has participated in Facing History’s study trips to South Africa, Northern Ireland, and Poland. Susie serves on Facing History’s Development Committee. She was on the Palo Alto Board of Education for 8 years and serves as an advisor to several education non-profits.


Dan Sigward

As Facing History’s Editorial Director, Dan Sigward plays a key role in conceiving, planning, writing, and editing a wide range of classroom resources for middle and high school educators. A former 8th grade History and English teacher, Dan has worked for Facing History for six years, and in that time he has written "A Guide to the Film BULLY: Fostering Empathy and Action in Schools," "Teaching Mockingbird," and "The Reconstruction Era and the Fragility of Democracy." He was also the primary writer and editor of the new edition of "Holocaust and Human Behavior." Dan received his B.A. in English with a Minor in Philosophy from Xavier University in Cincinnati. He has two masters degrees: a M.S. in Science Journalism from Boston University and a M.Ed. in Elementary Education from Lesley University in Cambridge. When he's not working (and the weather cooperates), you can find him running and kayaking on the North Shore of Massachusetts.


Yael Siman

Yael Siman has a BA in International Relations (Iberoamericana University) and a PhD in Political Science (University of Chicago). She was a fulbright scholar from 1995-98. She teaches a course on Genocide and Crimes Against Humanity at Iberoamericana University and Instituto Tecnológico Autónomo de México. She collaborates with Facing History and Ourselves in Latin America. She is the head of the A.G. Leventis Chair on Cyprus Studies at Anáhuac University.

Born and raised in Mexico City, she is the third generation of Jewish immigrants from Poland and Russia. She has lived in Tel Aviv, Jerusalem, Chicago, and New Jersey, leading her to appreciate the value of cultural diversity, democracy, and peace. She created a civic organization Nenemi Paxia to contribute to cItizenship education in Mexico, a country that she loves and where she lives with her family.


Peter Sokol

Peter Sokol graduated from a faculty of education in 2000 and since then has been combining his teaching career at secondary schools with development of programs for education of teachers. Sixteen years ago he had the opportunity to coordinate the development of the Czech version of the Facing History and Ourselves project, and he continues to cooperate in this field with two educational non-profit organizations: AISIS and the Terezin Initiative Institute. He spends part of his time at a secondary school teaching History. He lives in a small village in the middle of the Czech Republic with his wife and four children.


Steven Stegers

Steven Stegers is the Acting Executive Director of EUROCLIO, where he has worked since 2006. In his time at EUROCLIO, he has focused predominantly on projects in which educational resources are being developed as part of a collaborative process. He has worked for several years as coordinator of projects seeking to innovate history, citizenship, and cultural education in the Black Sea region, and North Africa and the Middle East. Steven led the development of Historiana – one of EUROCLIO’s flagship projects, and its first development of online educational resources. He is experienced in managing projects, public speaking, fundraising and advocacy, and has been involved as an expert for several intergovernmental organisations and the International Baccalaureate.


Marc Skvirsky

Marc Skvirsky is Vice President and Chief Program Officer at Facing History and Ourselves. As a member of the senior management team, he oversees all aspects of organizational management, growth, and strategy. He joined the organization 35 years ago, helping to develop it from a small educational nonprofit with a handful of staff to an international organization with 9 offices and partnerships around the globe. Marc directs all aspects of Facing History's program implementation in schools, districts, and educational networks, both in the U.S. and internationally. He speaks at conferences and think tanks on topics ranging from school reform and civic education, to Holocaust and genocide studies, and social-emotional learning. Before joining Facing History, Marc was a classroom teacher, participating in the design team for an urban middle school magnet program, and teaching social studies and English. He received a B.A. in education and M.Ed. from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst.


Laura Tavares

Laura Tavares is Associate Program Director for Staff Development at Facing History and Ourselves. She leads learning experiences for educators, creates classroom resources, and writes about history, current events, and education for publications including the New York Times, Educational Leadership, and Social Education. Laura joined the staff of Facing History in 2005 after several years teaching history and literature in independent schools. She is also a faculty member at the Harvard Graduate School of Education's Project Zero summer institutes. Laura graduated from Wellesley College and received graduate degrees in literature and history from Oxford University, where she studied as a Rhodes Scholar. She recently spent several months traveling the world with her family and roadschooling her two daughters along the way.


Carolina Valencia

Carolina Valencia is a historian and teacher focused on peace education. She has taught children of all ages in public and private schools around Colombia. Carolina currently works at the Teacher's College of the Externado University in Bogotá. She teaches a seminar called "Peace Education" to master's students and oversees several investigations whose basic aim is to understand and improve peace education in Colombia. She has also worked with the Colombian government, designing public policies concerning social sciences and peace education curricula. Carolina was born in Bogotá, Colombia. She has three children and five grandchildren.


Liz Vogel

Liz Vogel joined Facing History in 2001 as a Development Associate in the San Francisco Bay Area office, and currently serves as the Executive Director in Los Angeles. She leads the Los Angeles team as they support teachers and students in close to 1,000 middle and high schools across Southern California, including LAUSD, which is the second largest school district in the U.S. Liz’s vision is to create a Facing History pathway through middle and high school, giving every student in Los Angeles multiple touch-points to link their learning to their lives, and to deeply consider the role they can play in shaping our future. Liz graduated Magna Cum Laude with a B.A. in Women's Studies/History from Pomona College. She served as a volunteer with the San Francisco Court-Appointed Special Advocate program for over a decade, working on behalf of children in foster care. Liz hails from the Jersey Shore but claims fierce allegiance to her California lifestyle.


Antonia Wulff

Antonia Wulff is a Coordinator at Education International (EI), the world federation of teacher unions. She coordinated EI's advocacy and engagement in the intergovernmental negotiations on Agenda 2030, and is now focusing on SDG implementation and monitoring. Her work covers a broad range of policy areas related to education and the status and rights of education workers. Prior to joining EI, Antonia managed a project on democratic education in Finland. She has a background in the student movement and is a former chair of the Council of Europe Advisory Council for Youth. She has a Master in Sociology from the University of Helsinki.


Dylan Wray

Dylan Wray is the Executive Director of Shikaya - a South Africa based non-profit that supports teachers and school leaders so that young people leave their schools thinking critically, and acting as compassionate, engaged, democratic citizens. Dylan has worked globally as a teacher, facilitator, materials developer, and author, including most recently of the book, A School Where I Belong, which outlines six areas where true transformation in South African classrooms and schools can begin. Dylan has partnered with Facing History and Ourselves since 2003, a partnership which has reached thousands of educators, learners, curriculum developers, school leaders, and representatives of civil society organizations country-wide. Dylan has also written about this work, including with a focus on the critical role of education to support peacebuilding and transitional justice.

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