Dr. Powell received her PhD in Government and Social Policy from Harvard University in 2011. Her fields of expertise include civil conflict, war-to-peace transitions, security sector reform and racial and ethnic politics. She is broadly interested in the question of how groups emerging from violent conflict build the political partnerships necessary for effective governance in weak and transitioning states. She has written on Northern Ireland’s transition from war to peace, the barriers to resolution of civil conflict, as well as the politics of racial and ethnic classification in Brazil and the United States. Her extensive fieldwork includes Northern Ireland and Brazil, and she speaks Portuguese.
In addition, Dr. Powell has held fellowships at Harvard University’s Malcolm Wiener Center for Inequality and Social Policy, Stanford University’s Center for International Security and Cooperation, as well as the position of Visiting Scholar at Stanford University’s Center for Democracy, Development and the Rule of Law.