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Webinar 24: Crime, Violence and Conflict
March 26, 2019
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Webinar Date: Wednesday, April 10th at 2:00 EST. Click here to view the webinar recording.

Webinar Description: The webinar provided an overview of how emerging issues of crime and violence relate to and can inform the broader field of conflict, peace and security. Presenters discussed USAID’s current strategic thinking on these overlapping, but sometimes distinct areas and USAID’s experiences with improving and adapting the agency’s nuanced understanding and existing conflict tools, frameworks and approaches to address the challenges presented by crime and violence.

Speaker and Moderator Bios:

Julie Werbel currently serves as a Senior Policy Coordinator in USAID’s Bureau for Democracy, Conflict and Humanitarian Assistance (DCHA). She is a leading expert on security and justice sector reform, conflict and violence prevention and countering violent extremism (CVE). She possesses recognized expertise developing U.S. government policies and strategies; designing and implementing development and defense programs; and negotiating with donors and other international partners. Her perspective is informed by extensive field experience in fragile and conflict-affected states in Africa, the Middle East and South Asia. In addition to an assignment in the Agency’s CVE Coordinator’s Office, Ms. Werbel initiated and led USAID’s Security Sector Reform (SSR) portfolio for more than a decade.

Previously, Ms. Werbel was a Principal at DFI Government Services, a Washington, DC-based defense consulting firm. She served as the Program Manager and Director of Participant and External Affairs for the Africa Center for Strategic Studies (ACSS), a Department of Defense regional center that she helped to establish. Her career includes service with the Peace Corps and the U.S. Department of State and business research for the New York-based Conference Board. Ms. Werbel earned an M.A. in Law and Diplomacy from the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy and a Bachelor’s degree from Cornell University. She is a member of All in for Development’s Advisory Group and is a Senior Rule of Law Fellow at the University of South Carolina.

Lisa Chandonnet-Bedoya is a Senior Conflict and Peacebuidling Advisor with USAID’s Bureau for Democracy, Conflict and Humanitarian Assistance in the Office of Conflict Management and Mitigation (DCHA/CMM). DCHA/CMM is the Agency’s principal source of analytical and technical expertise on conflict prevention, fragility, and conflict sensitive programming. For over eight years, Ms. Chandonnet-Bedoya served as CMM’s Field Support Team Lead—leading CMM’s regional teams in their engagement on conflict prevention for USAID Missions world-wide. Currently, she works on Latin America and Caribbean with a focus on the nexus of violence and conflict. Ms. Chandonnet-Bedoya’s expertise includes conflict assessment and analysis, program design support and conflict sensitive approaches. She is a trained facilitator and serves as a trainer for DCHA/CMM’s suite of trainings.

From 2004 – 2014, she served as an Agency expert on violent extremism. Ms. Chandonnet-Bedoya supported the start-up and implementation of several USG initiatives, assessments, program designs and policy development on the subject of violent extremism and insurgency. She completed a rotation at the State Department’s Office of the Coordinator for Counterterrorism in the Regional Affairs Directorate on the Africa portfolio. Prior to joining DCHA/CMM, she was the Country Development Officer for Mali, Niger, Mauritania and Burkina Faso with USAID’s Bureau for Africa, Office of West African Affairs. Ms. Chandonnet-Bedoya was a Presidential Management Fellow (class of 2004) and holds a M.A. in Regional, Economic and Social Development from the University of Massachusetts Lowell and a B.A. in Political Science from the University of Massachusetts Lowell.

Brooke Stearns Lawson, a Senior Conflict and Crime Advisor with USAID’s Africa Bureau (USAID/AFR), provides technical assistance, program management, and policy guidance on a wide range of conflict and governance issues. Her work focuses on conflict in Southern Africa and the Great Lakes region, transnational organized crime (including wildlife trafficking), non-state armed groups such as the Lord’s Resistance Army, and political economy analysis (PEA). Prior to joining USAID, Brooke was a Doctoral Fellow at the RAND Corporation where her work focused on the intersection of development and security. Brooke has more than fifteen years work experience in international development, relief, and reconstruction. She earned a PhD in policy analysis from the Pardee RAND Graduate School and a masters degree in international relations from Institut d’Etudes Politiques (Sciences Po). She is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations and was a 2009 White House Fellows Regional Finalist, founding member of the Rotary Club of Dupont Circle, 2003-2005 Rotary World Peace Scholar, and 2001 Rotary Ambassadorial Scholar. Originally from Montana, Brooke loves outdoor sports, particularly downhill and water skiing and beach volleyball, and is a proud aunt of seven.


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