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Susan Hayward is the director of religion and inclusive societies at the U.S. Institute of Peace. Hayward directs the Institute’s efforts to advance conflict prevention, resolution and reconciliation projects engaging the religious sector. Since joining the Institute in 2007, her field work has focused on Sri Lanka, Myanmar, Colombia and Iraq. From 2010-2012 she coordinated an initiative exploring the intersection of women, religion, conflict and peacebuilding in partnership with the Berkley Center at Georgetown University and the World Faiths Development Dialogue. She co-edited a book on the topic entitled Women, Religion and Peacebuilding: Illuminating the Unseen. Her research interests include interfaith engagement in the midst of political violence, political Buddhism and the role of religion in hampering and propelling women’s work for peace and justice. She also serves on the international selection committee for the Niwano Peace Prize, which recognizes religious peacebuilders.

Prior to joining the Institute, Hayward worked with the Academy of Educational Development’s office in Colombo, Sri Lanka, as a fellow of the Program on Negotiation at Harvard Law School and with the Conflict Resolution Program at the Carter Center in Atlanta. Hayward also conducted political asylum and refugee work with the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees and Advocates for Human Rights.    

Hayward studied Buddhism in Nepal and is an ordained minister in the United Church of Christ. She holds a bachelor's degree in comparative religions from Tufts University and master’s degrees from the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy and Harvard Divinity School. She is currently pursuing her doctorate in theology and religious studies at Georgetown University, focusing on Buddhist and Christian theological responses to authoritarianism and conflict in Myanmar.

Publications By Susan

Understanding and Extending the Marrakesh Declaration in Policy and Practice

Understanding and Extending the Marrakesh Declaration in Policy and Practice

Friday, September 30, 2016

By: Susan Hayward

In January 2016, the Marrakesh Declaration was issued by Muslim scholars and politicians as a concerted response to the persecution of and violence against minorities in Muslin-majority countries. This report, published with the Cambridge Institute on Religion and International Studies, provides background on the Marrakesh Declaration and recommendations to those from both Muslim and non-Muslim majority contexts to ensure the Declaration’s implementation and legitimacy.

Religion; Democracy & Governance

Women, Religion and Peacebuilding

Women, Religion and Peacebuilding

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

By: Susan Hayward ; Katherine Marshall; editors

Women, Religion, and Peacebuilding: Illuminating the Unseen examines the obstacles and opportunities that women religious peacebuilders face as they navigate both the complex conflicts they are seeking to resolve and the power dynamics in the insti­tutions they must deal with in order to accomplish their goals.

Gender; Religion

Religious Leaders Countering Extremist Violence: How Policy Changes Can Help

Religious Leaders Countering Extremist Violence: How Policy Changes Can Help

Friday, October 31, 2014

By: Melissa Nozell ; Susan Hayward

As the militant group calling itself “Islamic State” stormed across northern Iraq and Syria in recent months, prominent imam Sheikh Abdullah bin Bayyah and more than 100 other Muslim leaders flew into action, drafting a condemnation of the insurgent group’s actions with an appeal to Islamic jurisprudence. In Burma (Myanmar), as Muslims have faced persecution from Buddhist extremists, some Buddhist monks offer shelter in their monasteries. In Nigeria, the kidnapping of hundreds of schoolgirls ...

Religion

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