Peace and Conflict Studies

Dr. Sean Byrne


Dr. Sean Byrne has authored more than 90 works on peacebuilding. He has written about ethnic conflict and peacebuilding, children and war, and the role of economic aid in peacebuilding. Other topics include women and peacebuilding, global peacemaking, and non-violent social action.

Byrne has also directly helped make peace happen as a consultant to the special advisor to the Irish Taoiseach on the decommissioning of weapons in Northern Ireland.

He is also a consultant on the Northern Ireland peace process to the Senior Advisor for Europe and Eurasia at the U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee.

Byrne and Dr. Jessica Senehi founded the Arthur V. Mauro Centre for Peace and Justice in 2003 and the Peace and Conflict Studies (PACS) PhD program in 2006 – the first program of its kind in Canada. Four years later, the pair helped to co-found the joint MA program in PACS.

Byrne’s research has been funded by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada, Human Resources and Skills Development Canada, the United States Institute of Peace, and the Canadian Friends of the Hebrew University.

Dr. Maureen Flaherty

Arthur V. Mauro Centre for Peace and Justice at St. Paul’s College in August 2011. She came to the Mauro Centre following more than thirty years as a front-line social worker, therapist, consultant and educator specializing crisis and trauma recovery, intimate partner abuse, and innovations in social development.

Dr. Flaherty worked with child protection, foster care and adoption in Alberta and Saskatchewan before moving to Winnipeg to earn a master’s degree in social work at the University of Manitoba. She worked at Klinic Community Health Centre first as a counsellor and then the clinical director/consultant for both Klinic and Manitoba’s Family Violence Prevention Program. She also worked on a CIDA-funded project in community development and education in Ukraine, Russia, and with a project in China.

Dr. Flaherty has worked as an instructor for both the Inner City and Aboriginal-focused social work programs and co-facilitated the SPARC Summer Institute on Storytelling for Peace and Human Rights in summer, 2010. Dr. Flaherty earned her PhD in peace and conflict studies in 2011 from the University of Manitoba. Her research interests include gendered perspectives in interpersonal violence, narrative, peace education, and community development all in the processes of peaceful living.

Dr. Zana Lutfiyya

Dr. Lutfiyya is a professor in the University of Manitoba’s faculty of education. The main goal of her research is to understand factors that help or hinder the social participation of individuals with intellectual disabilities in community life. She was among the first researchers to collect data from individuals with intellectual disabilities.

She and Dr. Karen Schwartz have been awarded a Centre for Human Rights Research small grant to explore how people with intellectual disabilities understand “human rights.”  The duo is also working on a proposed book for the Human Rights and Social Justice series at the University of Manitoba.

Lutfiyya was an investigator on the Vulnerable Persons and End of Life New Emerging Team, a five-year research project that explored the availability and accessibility of end-of-life care for people who experience socially-constructed vulnerability. She examined the influence of societal (de)valuation of these vulnerable populations through perceptions and biases.

Lutfiyya earned her PhD in mental retardation and MSc in special education from Syracuse University. She earned her BA in psychology from the University of Manitoba.  Until December 2015, Dr. Lutfiyya is director of graduate studies at the Mauro Centre for Peace and Justice Studies.

Dr. Jessica Senehi

Dr. Senehi is assistant professor with the PhD program in peace and conflict studies and associate director of the Arthur V. Mauro Centre for Peace and Justice at St. Paul’s College. With Sean Byrne, she co-directed The North American Conflict Resolution Program: A Cross Cultural, Interdisciplinary Experiment in Peacebuilding student exchange sponsored by a 2003-2007 grant from Human Resources and Skills Development Canada. She has completed drafts of two manuscripts, The Process of Storytelling: Building Community, Building Peace, and VIOLENCE: Intervention and Prevention. With two other academics, she is assessing the Jerusalem Stories Project. She is the organizer and director of Winnipeg’s annual International Storytelling Festival, as well as the academic institute Storytelling for Peacebuilding and Renewing Community (SPARC) that is situated in the Mauro Centre.

Dr. Hamdesa Tuso

Dr. Tuso joined the Mauro Centre for Peace and Justice in 2011.

Over the past 20 years, he has been involved in a broad range of activities related to social change and conflicts in cross-cultural settings. He participated in the evolution of five different organizations — from refugee support units to a scholarly society in the Horn of Africa. He is the founder of the Oromo Studies Association, served on the board of the National Forum on Immigration Refugees and Citizenship and formed the Shanachaa Jaarsummaa to resolve the 10 year-old conflict within the Oromo Liberation Front leadership.

Professor Tuso is the founder and director of the Africa Working Group and the editor of the online Journal of Conflict Management in Africa.

Dr. Tuso has taught at the Institute for Conflict Analysis and Resolution of George Mason University, Antioch University and Nova Southeastern University in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. During the 2006-2007 academic year, he was the distinguished visiting Esau professor at Menno Simons College, an affiliate of University of Winnipeg.

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