Elena P. Bastidas, PhD
President, Founder and Director
Perspectives of Freedom Foundation (POF)

Dr. Bastidas’  research and scholarship journey has been motivated by a deep desire to transform the way learning, research and development initiatives are conducted for the benefit of communities in Latin America. Her work has focused on understanding and applying the principles for promoting peace and conflict resolution in sustainable development projects at the local, national and international level. Her areas of expertise include Farming Systems Research and Extension, gender analysis, peace building processes and environmental conflict. She is an Associate Professor in the Department of Conflict Resolution Studies, College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences at Nova Southeastern University. http://www.pofteam.org/

Toran Hansen, PhD
Assistant Professor, Salisbury University
Department of Conflict Analysis and Dispute Resolution

Dr. Toran Hansen is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Conflict Analysis and Dispute Resolution at Salisbury University. He was previously an Assistant Professor at Nova Southeastern University’s Department of Conflict Analysis and Resolution in Florida. He earned his PhD in Social Work from the University of Minnesota and a Master’s degree in Conflict Analysis and Resolution from Nova Southeastern University. Toran has worked as a Research Associate for the Center for Restorative Justice and Peacemaking and the Center for Urban and Regional Affairs at the University of Minnesota, as well as the Institute for Child Health Policy at Nova Southeastern University. He has worked as a mediator and facilitator for the Minnesota Department of Corrections, the Palm Beach County Courthouse, and Nova Southeastern University. He was also a conflict resolution trainer in Suriname for parties involved in natural resource disputes. In addition, he worked as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Guinea, West Africa, and worked with medium to high-risk juveniles for the Focus Foundation of Canada. Toran has research interests in conflict transformation, as well as social, restorative, and transitional justice. He has taught a variety of classes relating to these research interests as well as such subjects as reflective conflict resolution practice and Irish social conflict. He has written articles and chapters on a variety of subjects including: critical approaches to conflict resolution, narrative mediation, facilitating inter-organizational networks, truth and reconciliation commissions, and community organizing in social movements. He is the author of The Generalist Approach to Conflict Resolution (Lexington Books).

Onur Yuksel, M.A.

Data Analysis Expert

Mr. Yuksel is a PhD candidate at Nova Southeastern University in Conflict Analysis and Resolution. He earned his Master’s degree in Global Studies and International Relations concentrating on ‘Conflict Resolution’ from Northeastern University in Boston. In addition, he earned his bachelor degree from Anadolu State University in Business Management, Turkey.  He has over 10 years work experience as a data analysist and manager at one of the biggest Military Defense Companies of Europe. During his professional career, Mr. Yuksel has become an expert on appreciative inquiry, marketing, contract negotiations, data analysis, and effective monitoring and evaluation (M&E). His interest areas are effective communication, mediation, and business negotiations in government and non-government organizations as well as analyzing quantitative data in conflict resolution field. He has worked one year with the interim chair of the Conflict Analysis and Resolution department at NSU as a graduate assistant (GA) focusing on researching what the mediation parties’ experiences are during the mediation process and what kind of mediation processes and theories they went through. Mr.Yuksel currently conducts a qualitative and quantitative research study on community conflicts and conflict management services in the United States. In addition, he has just registered his conflict analysis and resolution consulting firm in his country, Turkey. He has been offered a partnership to establish a ‘conflict resolution research institute’ in one of the prestigious state universities of Turkey, the Middle East Technical University. Furthermore, and he has been hired as an intern by the U.S. Federal government for a 16 months research project called ‘The Ombudsman in Federal Agencies: Programs and Practices’. He is responsible for mixed methodology research qualitative and quantitative process.


Bina Patel, PhD
Founder & Managing Director
Bina Consulting, LLC

Dr. Bina Patel graduated from Nova Southeastern University in 2014 with a Doctorate in Conflict Resolution and Peacekeeping Analysis with a focus on Islamic fundamentalism, Islamic warfare, global conflict, and suicide terrorism. Dr. Patel recently published, Depicting Female Suicide Bombers: Understanding the Radicalization Process. The content of the book is based on a qualitative study that evaluated the causes and electoral successes of female Islamic fundamentalists and suicide bombers.
Today, Dr. Patel is the Founder & Managing Director of Bina Consulting LLC, an organization that provides global consulting services in conflict management to organizations, businesses, schools, and local communities on topics ranging from female suicide terrorism to bullying in the workplace, at home, and in schools. The organization practices under the trade name, La Vida Conflict Resolution Center in Ruckersville, VA.Dr. Patel graduated with a Master’s in International Business Administration from Nova Southeastern University in 2007. In 2004, she earned a Bachelor’s of Arts degree in Business Administration with a specialization in Spanish Literature Linguistics from the University of Florida.

Evan Hoffman, PhD

Senior Associate at CIIAN

Dr. Evan Hoffman is a Senior Associate at the Canadian International Institute of Applied Negotiation (CIIAN) and holds a PhD in Political Science from the University of Canterbury (New Zealand). His doctoral research focused on the question of why mediation sometimes produces a durable peace and this research culminated in the creation of a new model for durable peace. His research findings are presented in an easily-accessible handbook format entitled “The Mediator’s Handbook for Durable Peace” (2010).

Dr. Hoffman also completed a Master's degree in Post-war Recovery Studies at the University of York, UK in 2001 and an undergraduate degree in psychology at Carleton University, Ottawa in 1999. In 2001 he earned a Certificate in Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) from CIIAN.

Dr. Hoffman was one of the first people at the Post-war Reconstruction and Development Unit (PRDU) at the University of York to study trauma created by violent conflict and the methods of individual and community trauma healing in a post-war context. His initial examination of the subject began on a field study in Sri Lanka. His research then took him to Bosnia for field study and data collection. The results of this research are documented in his Master's thesis entitled "Creating the Space to Heal: Principles of War-Induced Trauma-Recovery, with Case Studies in Bosnia-Herzegovina".

Dr. Hoffman was then an intern with the Delegation of the European Commission (EC) in the Republic of Sudan. The focus of the internship was on the EC-funded Sudan Landmine Information and Response Initiative (SLIRI) - a landmine marking and removal project. During this time he had the unique opportunity to work with Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Rae McGrath. Additionally, during this same period he assisted the Carter Center in the design and delivery of a week-long peacebuilding training workshop which was held in Nairobi for members of the Governments of Sudan (GOS) and Uganda (GOU) and the Sudanese People's Liberation Army/Movement (SPLA/M) as part of the efforts to implement the Nairobi Agreement.
From 2004-2009 Dr. Hoffman was an 'Analyst and Policy Advisor' for CIIAN's International Peace and Prosperity Project (IPPP) in Guinea-Bissau. The IPPP was a political violence prevention project testing the application of lessons learned and best practices to develop a model for fragile, failing, and failed states.

From 2009 to 2013, Dr. Hoffman served as CIIAN’s Executive Director. During this period he worked closely with the Ottawa Police Service to revise their mediation program and he oversaw its operation for several years. Stemming from this, Dr. Hoffman was then invited to develop and deliver innovative and practical conflict resolution training for new recruits are joining the force – this being one of very few courses of this type being offered on a regular basis to new police officers in Canada. During this same period he delivered numerous customized training workshops both in Canada and overseas for a number of different participants ranging from municipal level staff to community mediators. Dr. Hoffman has published numerous articles on the themes of conflict prevention and resolution, peacebuilding, and mediation. See more at ciian.org