University of Massachusetts Amherst

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Rachel Steele

Rachel holds a Master’s in peace and justice studies from the University of San Diego. Most recently she worked at the United States Institute of Peace for three years addressing governance and legal issues in Iraq and post-conflict justice and reconciliation in a variety of settings. Prior to attending graduate school, she worked with peace activists in Seattle and volunteered in the Philippines with the Mennonite Central Committee working alongside local peace-builders.

To help address gaps in research on the effectiveness of war crimes trials and truth commissions, Rachel is exploring the conditions that can aid in a society’s psychological recovery from armed conflict and wide scale human rights abuses with a particular focus on the roles of reparations and apology. She would also like to investigate the roles of revenge and blame in the breakdown of the reconciliation process, which can lead to renewed conflict.