A defining feature of the School of Diplomacy is the access it provides students to practitioners in the field. One such practitioner is the School's rotating Sergio Vieira de Mello Endowed Visiting Chair in the Practice of Post-Conflict Diplomacy. As we begin the Spring 2018 semester, we will welcome international conflict resolution and mediation expert, Dr. Tatsushi Arai. Dr. Arai has over 20 years of experience in multi-track diplomacy, civil society mobilization, inclusive policymaking, conflict assessment, and war-to-peace transition. He holds a doctorate in conflict resolution and has worked extensively as a mediator, dialogue facilitator, adviser, trainer, and peace researcher in the Middle East, Africa, Asia, and the United States. Having worked as a consultant to diverse United Nations agencies and international organizations, he currently serves as a UN Senior Mediation Adviser on a when-actually-employed basis. Regardless of the position he holds, his overarching goal has been to establish sustainable platforms of human relationships dedicated to preventing wars and mass atrocities and expanding networks of trained peacebuilding practitioners, policy makers, and civil society leaders for this purpose.
He was first drawn to the School of Diplomacy when we hosted him to deliver a presentation for students a few years back. Dr. Arai enjoyed the opportunity to interact with members of the campus community and learn from their diverse perspectives. He admires our academic community that actively promotes social engagement through research and education in diplomacy. He also deeply values Seton Hall's long-standing religious and spiritual foundations for openness to dialogue and exchange, which he feels are especially important in today's increasingly globalized society.
Dr. Arai's interests in conflict resolution and peacebuilding began with his time growing up in Japan. His encounters with victims of radiation sickness in Hiroshima and his influential mentors have had a lasting impact on his perspective about what is important in his life. His time working with Rwandan 1994 genocide survivors and returnees at the National University of Rwanda was also influential in solidifying his life-long commitment to peacebuilding. In addition to fulfilling his responsibility as an educator, Dr. Arai served as a representative of a Japanese humanitarian assistance NGO in 1997-1998. He currently serves as an adviser to the Ubuntu Center for Peace, a nonprofit organization promoting community-based trauma healing and reconciliation in Rwanda.
Dr. Arai's recent activities include training Syrian, Lebanese, Turkish, Afghan, Pakistani, and Nepali government and civil society professionals in mediation and conflict resolution skills, working with Nigerian civil society leaders and government agencies to establish a sustainable platform of reintegration and reconciliation support for rehabilitated former Boko Haram members, and training diplomats from the member states of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation.
His work also extends to facilitating interfaith dialogues and government-civil society exchanges in Myanmar, Sri Lanka, and the broader Asia-Pacific context, facilitating conflict resolution workshops on the Taiwan Strait as well as on the East China Sea, and promoting educational initiatives for reconciliation in East Asia. Drawing upon the diverse institutional partnerships and venues in the United States and other countries, Dr. Arai has regularly trained and advised civilian government, military, police, and peacekeeping professionals, civil society and religious leaders, and representatives of international organizations.
Dr. Arai comes to Seton Hall from the School for International Training (SIT) Graduate Institute in Vermont. He is the author of many publications including Creativity and Conflict Resolution: Alternative Pathways to Peace and has presented a TEDx Talk, titled Dialogue in the Midst of Conflict. Dr. Arai is a Japanese citizen and currently lives in Massachusetts.
When he joins us in 2019, he will teach a weekend intensive graduate class on The Art and Science of Negotiation, which is scheduled from January to February. The class will build on real-world cases and hands-on skill-building exercises informed by the wealth of Dr Arai's experiences as a conflict resolution practitioner. "I'm looking forward," he says, "to advising students on their research projects as well as making progress with my own research projects, which include a book project on the role of coexistence in intractable conflict."
Read more about the line of faculty practitioners and past de Mello Chairs that Dr. Arai is joining by visiting our faculty web page.
Categories: Nation and World