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Josie is the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) and Founder of TrustWorks. Josie’s expertise lies in supporting businesses and investors to operate in ways that are conflict-sensitive and peace-promoting; she has over 15 years of experience working with public and private sector actors in fragile and conflict-affected settings. Josie holds a PhD from the University of Oxford on the role of licit and illicit business actors in the dynamics of conflict and peace.
For the last ten years, alongside her role as CEO of TrustWorks, Josie has worked with United Nations entities and partners across sub-Saharan Africa, South and Central Asia, and the Middle East on conflict analysis, conflict-sensitive development, peacebuilding, inclusive governance, cross-border security and cooperation, insider mediation, preventing violent extremism, and natural resource management. She has also gained unique experience on Track I and Track II mediation processes, led by internationally renowned mediators in Kenya and the Middle East. At the UN headquarters in New York Josie has provided inputs to the General Assembly on the development of policies for countries in transition and is responsible for producing a high-level training programme for all newly appointed UN Under Secretary-Generals and Assistant Secretary- Generals.
Since 2013, at TrustWorks, Josie has been responsible for leading all TrustWorks’ programmes, fostering unconventional partnerships and complex collaboration to resolve challenges in diverse locations globally. For example, she has designed, led and implemented extensive training and mentoring programmes on conflict-sensitivity and trust-building for business professionals in Africa in some of the most challenging contexts in the world; she has also provided extensive support to the design and implementation of dialogue processes on natural-resource related conflicts. In East Africa, she served as a team leader for complex country-wide analytical/research engagements involving international and local teams on the political economy of extractives.
Formerly, she worked for five years as the Assistant Director of Columbia University’s Center for International Conflict Resolution (CICR), a Staff Associate of Research and an adjunct Professor at the School of International and Public Affairs, also at Columbia University. Besides teaching, Josie conducted research and coordinated/managed projects on mediation support, conflict assessment, Track II diplomacy, and post-conflict capacity-building worldwide; she also elaborated tailored trainings in conflict resolution for variety of stakeholders, and facilitated groups in conflict. She led the development of a dynamic field-based curriculum for Master’s students, and managed a two million dollar fund on the nexus between natural resources and conflict.
Josie obtained a first-class honors degree in Political Science from Nottingham University in the United Kingdom. She went onto obtain two Masters of International Affairs from Sciences Po Paris (Institut d’Etudes Politiques – IEP) and Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs (SIPA).