Linda Bishai

Director, North Africa Programs

Linda Bishai is the director of North Africa Programs at USIP.  She has focused on peacebuilding education and training, electoral violence prevention, countering violent extremism and security sector/community dialogue. Bishai was responsible for a series of programs on electoral violence prevention in Sudan before the general elections and the South Sudan referendum and co-teaches the Preventing Electoral Violence in Africa course at USIP. She has also worked on police/community dialogue programming and developing violence prevention programming for upcoming elections in Africa. Bishai has worked with university educators to support peacebuilding concepts and courses in diverse fields and curricula. 

Before USIP, Bishai was an assistant professor of political science at Towson University, teaching courses in international relations, international law, the use of force and human rights. She currently teaches international law and the use of force as an adjunct professor at the George Washington University. She has also taught at Brunel University, the London School of Economics, the University of Stockholm and Georgetown University.

Her research interests include identity politics, liberal internationalism, and the international use of force. During 2003-2004, Bishai served as a Supreme Court Fellow at the Federal Judicial Center, where she worked on an introduction to international human rights law for the federal judiciary. Bishai holds a B.A. in history and literature from Harvard University, a J.D. from Georgetown University Law Center and a Ph.D. in international relations from the London School of Economics.


Expert In the News

Articles & Analysis from this Expert

May 12, 2016

In the violent conflict tearing across the Middle East and North Africa, fully half of the pieces needed to complete the security puzzle may be missing almost entirely: women. As extremist groups and military forces parry with the weapons of war and politics, the pivotal role that women could play in restoring peace and security has largely been cast aside, as old-school thinking perpetuates the idea that gender equality is a problem for another day, according to experts and a new study just published by USIP.


September 30, 2010
Between 2006 and 2010, the United States Institute of Peace developed several civic education programs for Iraq and Sudan as part of broader efforts to promote postconflict stability and development and help prevent a return to violence. This report describes those programs after first examining the conceptual bases for civic education and how they differ from and overlap with human rights.
July 26, 2007
On March 22, 2007, the U.S. Institute of Peace (USIP) and Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health (JHSPH) Task Force on Public Health and Conflict held its third symposium, Iraq: Rebuilding a Nation’s Health. The Task Force is committed to raising the profile of conflict analysis and resolution in the field of public health education.
March 1, 2009
Sudan’s upcoming elections in 2009 raise hopes and concerns for the country’s future. According to the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA), signed in 2005 between the ruling National Congress Party (NCP) and the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement (SPLM), Sudan is scheduled to hold national and state level elections in 2009.
February 1, 2008
In Sudanese universities, students and faculty have historically served as vital voices for political change and community and international engagement, but recent educational policies have severely limited their voices.

External Publications

  • 'Implementing the Liberal Peace: Observations from the Field," in From Mediation to Nation-Building: Third Parties and the Management of Communal Conflict, eds. Joseph R. Rudolph and Willam Lahneman (Lanham, MD: Lexington Books, 2013).
  • “Liberal Internationalism and the Law vs. Liberty Paradox” in Journal of International Relations and Development (2011).
  • "Civic Education and Peacebuilding: Examples from Iraq and Sudan," Co-authored with D.H. Levine, Special Report, October 2010.
  • "Leaving Nuremberg: America's love/hate relationship with international law," Review of International Studies (Vol. 34, 2008).
  • Sudanese Universities as Sites of Social Transformation, Special Report, February 2008.