Dr. Kirsti Samuels is an attorney practitioner in the democracy building and peace building fields with over 14 years experience. She has specialized in countries in conflict, including experience in Somalia, East Timor, Ecuador, Afghanistan, Haiti, Iraq and Sudan. She holds a Doctorate in Law from Oxford University and a Masters in Public Administration from the Harvard Kennedy School.
Dr. Samuels is dedicated to building high performing organizations committed to social change. She is a creative problem solver, and has designed, developed and implemented multi-year, multi-state, multi-million dollar programs in close collaboration and forming relationships of trust with top country leadership involving both government and rebel actors. She has successfully managed cross-cultural teams in high stress environments to deliver politically sensitive programs.
Currently she works for Conflict Dynamics International, a think tank specializing in mediation support and democracy building in Somalia and Sudan. In 2010 she was the Transition Processes Advisor for AECOM/USAID in Khartoum, Sudan. 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 peace building 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 lives in Manhattan, and despite her many travels, she always looks forward to coming home to New York City. Further details and a list of publications are available on her website at www.samuelsconsulting.org