Cynthia Nassif is a research associate at the Arab Gulf States Institute in Washington and a Fulbright scholar. She developed a deep understanding of the Middle East and North Africa region while working with several U.N. agencies and international organizations on conflict prevention, infrastructures of peace, and crisis recovery in New York and Beirut, Lebanon. Nassif previously led capacity development initiatives for an international organization in Beirut working on Syria to impact strategy and programming by focusing on a holistic, conflict-sensitive strategy to humanitarian assistance in the field amid rising tensions. In addition, she has analyzed and assessed refugee cases in the Middle East and North Africa region for the purpose of refugee status determination and has facilitated several trainings and circles on conflict resolution and trauma healing in conflict-affected settings for youth groups across Lebanon.
Nassif’s research focuses on violent manifestations with the objective of developing context-based approaches to addressing protracted conflicts in the region and informing policy. Her research highlights radicalization, identity, systems of axiology, and systems thinking. Nassif is a PhD candidate in conflict analysis and resolution at George Mason University. She holds an MA in conflict transformation, with an emphasis on strategic peacebuilding, from Eastern Mennonite University and a BA in international affairs and political science, with an emphasis on economics, from the Lebanese American University in Beirut.