Julia Novrita

I am originally from Aceh, the most western part of Indonesia. I started my career as a volunteer at a local NGO, where I was involved in humanitarian assistance and an alternative education program for children affected by 30 years of armed conflict. Later, I joined the Henry Dunant Center for Humanitarian Dialogue, where I was involved in facilitating the Cessation of Hostilities Agreement (2002–2003). My interest in working in the education and peacebuilding fields stemmed from those experiences.


Amid uncertainties about the future of Aceh, I was selected as a fellow in the International Fellowship Program - The Ford Foundation. I chose the School for International Training in Brattleboro, Vermont, USA, to study for a master’s degree. Returning to Indonesia, I lived in Papua, the most eastern part of Indonesia, where I had the opportunity to work on two different capacity-building projects. The first was a USAID-funded project called "Local Governance Support Program" in Sorong, West Papua, to support local NGOs, local government officials, and legislative members to strengthen their capacity in the process of policy making. The second was a British Council project to strengthen basic and secondary education in Teluk Bintuni, a remote district in West Papua. The project helped teachers, education foundations, and education agencies improve their capacity to implement education programs.


In 2009, I worked to support a Netherlands-funded project to improve the quality of education, research, and community services at several higher education institutions in the eastern part of Indonesia. I was stationed in Ambon, Maluku, at the Lead Institute, Pattimura State University which provided me with the opportunity to experience the dynamics on this campus. I learned how the segregation between Muslims and Christians in society affected political dynamics on campus and how the division is sharpened by politicians, becoming intense during local and national elections.


In response to this condition, InDev (Inspiring Development), a local NGO that I co-founded, initiated a program called "Non Violent Study Circles" (NVSC) in 2011. This program was inspired by the study circle program in Montgomery County public schools in Maryland, where I did a professional internship as part of my Master's degree requirement in 2006. With the mission "Sustaining Peace from Campus to Community", hundreds of students have participated in the program and inspired changes on and off campus.


In 2014 I entered the doctoral program at CIE UMass. I returned to Indonesia to do field work for my dissertation focused on the relations between Christian and Muslim students in Ambon, Muluku. Their challenging journey to promote peace and reconciliation was documented in my dissertation titled, "Sustaining Peace from Campus to Community: The Role of Students to Promote Campus-Level Reconciliation, A Case Study of Maluku, Indonesia".


Since October 2021, I have lived in Jakarta and worked as Director of Program and Development at The Habibie Center, a think tank NGO established by the third President of Indonesia, B.J. Habibie, focusing on promoting democracy and human rights.  I have met up with fellow CIE graduate Lauren Clarke who also lives in Jakarta. [4-23]


Email: julianovrita@gmail.com


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CIE Graduate