Nicoletta Barbera is a senior program officer for Africa programs at the United States Institute of Peace (USIP). She currently serves as the lead for USIP’s Women Preventing Violent Extremism program in the Horn of Africa and the Sahel. In her previous role on the USIP Africa team, she managed USIP’s South Sudan programmatic portfolio. Barbera joined USIP in 2012 as a research assistant for the gender and peacebuilding team. Her programmatic and research interests include the prevention of sexual and gender-based violence, inclusive governance processes, and gender roles in countering violent extremism.

Prior to joining USIP, Barbera worked for the Baltimore Council on Foreign Affairs and the National Council on U.S.-Arab Relations. Barbera earned her master’s degree in international affairs from The George Washington University Elliott School of International Affairs with a concentration in conflict and conflict resolution and her bachelor’s degree in political science and French from St. Mary’s College of Maryland.

Publications By Nicoletta

How Kenya’s Women Are Preventing Extremism and Violence

How Kenya’s Women Are Preventing Extremism and Violence

Thursday, March 5, 2020

By: Nicoletta Barbera

A group of women gathered recently in Kiambu, an overcrowded Kenyan town, to build their local response to a national problem: recruitment, especially of young men, by extremist groups such as al-Shabab. Kiambu’s women form one of several groups nationwide that are launching local dialogues—typically among community members and authorities—to build well-rooted efforts to counter extremist influence. These groups are part of a network called Sisters Without Borders, which has risen from Kenya’s grassroots over the past five years. On the upcoming International Women’s Day, the story of Kenya’s sisters is worth noting as a success for women building peace and confronting terrorism in their homelands.

Type: Blog

Gender; Violent Extremism

South Sudanese, Rwandans Share Stories of Resilience in Search of Hope

South Sudanese, Rwandans Share Stories of Resilience in Search of Hope

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

By: Nicoletta Barbera; Danielle Robertson

Twenty years after the genocide, Rwanda is often seen as an example of reconciliation and social reintegration. Reminders of the systemic violence perpetrated by the government that began in 1992, in addition to the 100 days of genocide in 1994, are barely visible at the surface. But University of Rwanda lecturer Alice Karekezi notes that “the Rwandan people still carry the scars of war.”  And it is still considered taboo to discuss ethnicity in public. But dialogue clubs have emerged in comm...

Type: In the Field

Gender

Afghan Women Challenge Presidential Candidates in Forum

Afghan Women Challenge Presidential Candidates in Forum

Thursday, February 6, 2014

By: Nicoletta Barbera

“It should not only be in words that we say women comprise 50 percent of the society," said Muhammad Yosuf Nooristani, chairman of Afghanistan’s Independent Election Commission. The country must “really give them the chance to participate.” Nooristani made these comments at a USIP-sponsored national conference in Kabul this week that gathered more than 220 women leaders in civil society to discuss the upcoming presidential and provincial elections scheduled for April 5.

Type: In the Field

Gender

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