Illana Lancaster is a senior program officer in the Center for Applied Conflict Transformation where she works in the Academy. Her areas of work include managing the initiatives on Conflict Management Training for Peacekeepers (CMTP), Capacity Development for Educational Institutions (CDEI), and Participatory Action Research (PAR).
Since 2008, USIP has partnered with the State Department’s ACOTA Program Office to deliver 5-day CMTP pre-deployment trainings and training-of-trainers to over 4900 peacekeepers in 20 African troop contributing countries; those peacekeepers have deployed to 8 AU and U.N. missions. The goal of CMTP is to strengthen peacekeepers’ capacities to protect civilians through the non-violent resolution of conflicts. The training focuses on skill-building in the areas of conflict analysis, communication, negotiation, and mediation, with a culminating capstone exercise in which all the skills are put into practice. Special emphasis is placed on the prevention of sexual exploitation and abuse.
Illana came to the Institute from the field of international training and education with over 20 years of experience. Her areas of specialization include curriculum and training design, professional development of educators and trainers, and international education policy. Her work is informed by the analytical lens of intersectionality (race, class and gender) and social spatiality. She integrates theories, pedagogies and methodologies from a variety of disciplines within the social sciences and humanities including urban studies, critical geography, critical race theory and legal studies.
Illana also has had a long-standing focus on Africa. She’s been studying, teaching, training, and researching issues of equity, access, and gender, with a regional focus on southern and eastern Africa and a contextual focus on the urban.
Illana is a returned Peace Corps volunteer. She served as a secondary education volunteer in Serowe, Botswana.
She holds a B.A. in African and African American studies and English literature from the University of Virginia, a M.Ed. in secondary education from George Washington University and a Ph.D. in international education policy from the University of Maryland at College Park.