Pushpa Iyer has many years of experience as a scholar, practitioner, and activist in the field of Conflict and Peace. Her work and research in Gujarat, India, South and South-east Asia and parts of Africa have focused on identity-based conflicts, non-state armed groups, and peacebuilding in societies emerging out of war and violence. Her efforts to bring peace between the divided Hindu and Muslim communities in Gujarat laid the foundation for her passion in social justice. She continues her activism work in her new home, the United States, through programs designed to fight racial inequity, discrimination, and violence in higher education institutions and beyond. As Associate Professor of Conflict Resolution in the Graduate School of International Policy and Management, she teaches courses related to conflict, development, peace, and race. As the first Chief Diversity Officer of the Institute (2018-2020), she coordinated various efforts to increase diversity, equity, and inclusion in the school. A project she started in 2016 and continues to coordinate is Allies at MIIS, a research-cum-activism project to build allies for racial equity on campus. Outside of the Institute, she served as the co-chair of the Dean’s Committee for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion at her alma mater, the School for Conflict Analysis and Resolution (S-CAR) at George Mason University for 2019-2020 and is a member of other associations working for racial equity. She is the founding Director of the Center for Conflict Studies, where she plays the role of editor, trainer, researcher, and organizer. Dr. Iyer has published articles and chapters in various newsletters, journals, and books.
Areas of Interest
Dr. Iyer is passionate about social justice, which she understands as navigating social change through creative approaches. Specializing in understanding and analyzing social change and developing tools to manage the process, she believes that students should follow their heart but balance it with strategic knowledge and skills. She takes a value-based approach to teaching and learning. Her more recent efforts are focused on getting students and colleagues to consider how our colonized minds impact knowledge acquisition and dissemination.
PhD in Conflict Analysis and Resolution, George Mason University
MBA (International Management), University of East London, UK
Post-Graduate Diplomas in Human Resources Management, Organizational Behaviour, Sacred Heart University, Luxembourg and Academy of Human Resources Development, India
Bachelor of Law (Labour Laws), Gujarat University, India
India Bachelor of Commerce, Gujarat University, India
Middlebury Institute Professor Pushpa Iyer shares how, as a response to the Covid pandemic, she recreated an intense storytelling course with personal connections between faculty and students at its heart, to fit the new reality of remote learning.