Jean-Marie Guéhenno is Director of the Kent Global Leadership Program on Conflict Resolution, Director of the International Conflict Resolution (ICR) Specialization, and Arnold A. Saltzman Professor of Practice at Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs (SIPA). Guéhenno first came to SIPA in 2010 to serve as the Director of the Center of International Conflict Resolution and the Associate Director of the Arnold A. Saltzman Institute for War and Peace Studies. He left in 2014, when he was appointed President and CEO of the International Crisis Group. He is now a member of the U.N. Advisory Board on Disarmament Matters. Guéhenno previously served as United Nations Under-Secretary-General for Peacekeeping Operations from 2000-2008. In that role, he led the largest expansion of peacekeeping in the history of the UN, overseeing approximately 130,000 staff on eighteen missions.
Before joining the United Nations, Guéhenno served as director of policy planning in the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs, ambassador to the Western European Union, and chairman of the French Institute of Higher Defense Studies. He is also a trustee of the Carnegie Corporation of New York and of the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI). Guéhenno has taught extensively in the U.S. and Europe. His most recent book, Le premier XXIe siècle: De la globalisation á l’émiettement du monde, was published in September 2021 by Flammarion Press.
Brit Felsen-Parsons MPA ‘20
Brit Felsen-Parsons received her BA in Political Science and Middle Eastern, South Asian, and African Studies from Columbia College in 2018 and her MPA in International Security Policy, Conflict Resolution, and East Asian Studies from Columbia SIPA in 2020. She is currently the Coordinator for the International Security Policy (ISP) concentration, the International Conflict Resolution (ICR) specialization, and the Kent Global Leadership Program at SIPA.
Fellows are selected for a term of one year, with the possibility of renewal for a second year based on performance. They are expected to participate in the activities of the Kent Program.
Michael Thomson MIA ’22
Michael Thomson is a second-year Master in International Affairs candidate at SIPA, concentrating in International Security Policy and specializing in International Conflict Resolution and International Organization and United Nations Studies. He is a 2015 graduate of Bennington College in Bennington, Vermont, where he earned a Bachelor of Arts in conflict resolution and public action. Michael is a trained mediator and restorative justice facilitator, and prior to SIPA he worked in West Africa and the Middle East. After SIPA, Michael intends to pursue a career in international peacemaking, either in supporting peace processes or in conflict analysis research.
Galeela Michael MIA ’22
Galeela Michael is a second-year Master of International Affairs candidate at SIPA, with a concentration in Economic and Political Development and a regional specialization in Africa. She attended the University of California, Santa Barbara, graduating in 2016 with a Bachelor of Arts in Global and International Studies. After SIPA, Galeela hopes to pursue a career that creatively leverages technology to support people in emergency situations, specifically in the Horn of Africa.
Every year, SIPA invites a distinguished practitioner in the field of conflict resolution to be the Kent Visiting Professor. She/he comes to SIPA to teach a class and to deliver the annual Kent Lecture, which focuses on emerging issues in violent conflict and innovative strategies for conflict prevention and resolution. The inaugural Kent Visiting Professor was Jean-Marie Guéhenno, who is now serving as the Program Director; the next Kent Visiting Professor will be announced shortly.