Dr. Kirsti Samuels is an attorney practitioner with over 14 years of experience in constitution building, governance, mediation support in conflict contexts. She began working with Conflict Dynamics in 2010 and is currently the Senior Advisor for the Governance and Peacebuilding Program. Kirsti has specialized in countries in conflict, including working in Somalia, East Timor, Ecuador, Afghanistan, Haiti, Iraq, and Sudan.
Previously Kirsti was the Transition Processes Advisor for AECOM/USAID in Khartoum, Sudan (2010). In 2009 she worked in Baghdad, Iraq with the Iraqi Parliament, the Office of the Speaker, and Advisors to the Prime Minister. In 2007-2008, Dr. Samuels set up and implemented the Constitution Building Program for International IDEA as Senior Program Manager. She was the lead legal expert involved in the shaping of the UNDP democracy and peacebuilding project for Somalia in 2006. During 2003-2005, she headed up the State-building program at the International Peace Academy in New York, focusing on the challenges faced and the lessons learned from previous state-building experiences.
Dr. Samuels has taught Leadership at Harvard University and Law at Oxford University and has consulted to the World Bank, DFID, the US Department of State, the Clinton Foundation and the United Nations, among other influential institutions. She holds a Doctorate in Law from Oxford University and a Masters’ in Public Administration from the Harvard Kennedy School. Kirsti lives in Manhattan, and despite her many travels, she always looks forward to coming home to New York City.