Dr. Laura Villanueva

Dr. Laura Villanueva Image: Dr. Laura Villanueva
  • Non-Resident Scholar, Jena Center for Reconciliation Studies (JCRS)


Education Show content
  • 2020 Ph.D. Doctor of Philosophy in Conflict Analysis and Resolution. Jimmy and Rosalynn Carter School for Peace and Conflict Resolution. George Mason University, Arlington, Virginia. Dissertation title : Local to Global Peace: Japanese Civilians Actively Working for Peace  
  • 2005 MS. Master of Science in Conflict Analysis and Resolution. Jimmy and Rosalynn Carter School for Peace and Conflict Resolution. George Mason University, Arlington, Virginia.
  • 1997  BA.  Bachelor of Art in International Relations. Department of International Affairs. Lewis & Clark College. Portland, Oregon. Working Group: Zones of Peace
Research Interests Show content
  • Sustainable development and peacebuilding
  • Satoyama studies and peacebuilding
  • Integrative power in peacebuilding frameworks and practice
  • Local as a global catalyst for transnational peacebuilding networks
  • Harmony-building in human networks and post-conflict reconciliation
Languages Show content
  • English (native)
  • Spanish (native)
  • French (limited working proficiency)
  • Japanese (limited working proficiency)
Teaching Show content
  • 2018: Territorial Peacebuilding Internship directed through Asociación Tejiendo Territorio para la Paz Tejipaz (Tejipaz) and the Club Deportivo Santa Ana in the Municipality of Granada, Department of Antioquia, Colombia. Educational design and instruction of Tejipaz internships. Interns admitted to the program hailed from Joan B. Kroc Institute for Peace Justice.
  • 2008-Present: Local Experiential Peacebuilding Education. Diverse Human Networks. Teaching and developing new programs and activities for individuals in both peaceful and conflict-affected communities. The pedagogical approach is based on harmony-building practices.
Select Events Show content

Conference Panel Discussant and Presentations


(Oct 4) Panelist. Transforming Lives (Framework of PaZiempre.) PaZiempre promotes creative processes for reconciliation while strengthening and developing capacities for building peace in Bogotá territories prioritized within the district's peace strategy framework. Hosted by the High Council for the Rights of Victims, Peace, and Reconciliation of the Mayor's Office of Bogotá.


(June 5) Panelist. International Encounter of Collective Reparation Experiences. Plenary Session Reparation and Peace – “(Collective) Reparation as a scenario for the construction of peace.” Hosted by the Unit for the Victims Assistance and Reparation (UARIV), the encounter brought together survivors, subjects of collective reparation, international organizations, delegates from the World Bank, and IOM, and some representatives of the national government.

(Nov 28) Joint Presentation. “About the troubles and joys of co-authorship: A collaborative reflection from peace and conflict writers.” As first InnPeace Fellows, the presentation shared the experience of co-authorship of a chapter for the fourth volume on Local Peace Communities: Facing A National Peace. Hosted by InnPeace - Research Center for Peace and Conflict, Unit for Peace and Conflict Studies, University of Innsbruck.


(Dec 11) Invited Lecturer. Capital Cities Encounter. Lecture on the Peace Agreement in Colombia from a Comparative Perspective. This invitation served as spaces of exchange of good practices for peacebuilding. Hosted by the Ministry of the Interior of the Government of Colombia and the Internal Articulation Group for the Policy of the Victims of the Armed Conflict (GAPV).

(Nov 16) Invited Lecturer and training. "Women, Peacebuilding, and the Moral Imagination." Provided training to women victims of the armed conflict that were part of a peacebuilding initiative in the UARIV. Hosted by the Women's Secretariat of the Mayor's Office of Medellín and the Unit for the Victims Assistance and Reparation (UARIV).

(Nov 14) Invited Lecturer. "Civil society in peacebuilding and women as agents of change." The lecture was directed to public functionaries. Hosted by the Secretariat of Social Inclusion, Family, and Human Rights for the invitation in the Mayor's Office of Medellin.

(May 11) Presenter. California Consensus on Peace through Technology (CalCon). “Satoyama for Life APP.” Presented game app for a Middle East – Japanese Human Network. The purpose of the app was to provide sustainability for this network and to serve as a model for other people-to-people programs. Hosted by USD Kroc School of Peace Studies.


(Nov 14) Presentation. Institute d'etudes politiques de Lille, at Sciences Po Lille. "Redefining Peace: Many ways to speak about peace." Presented "Satoyama for Peace" as a practical peacebuilding model that emerged from practice. Hosted by the Master's degree in European and International Careers specializing in Conflicts and Development at Sciences Po Lille.

(October) Workshop. “Inter-gender Ministry:  A Path to Peacebuilding and Collaboration.”            Co-Design and Co-delivery, with Co-Secretary of the JPIC Commission USG/UISG, a 3-day workshop for religious missionary SVD on an International Tertiate Renewal. Hosted by JPIC Commission USG/UISG, Rome.

(April) Facilitator. Seminario Arcivescovile. Designed and facilitated a three-day program to improve communication and collaboration between incoming refugees, mainly from Africa, transferred from Lampedusa. This seminary in Fermo was the first experience in Italy to allocate an entire wing to those fleeing from war-torn countries. Hosted by the Seminario Arcivescovile in Fermo, Italy.

Select Publications Show content
  • Villanueva, Laura. Local to Global Peace: Japanese civilians actively working for peace. Unpublished Doctoral Dissertation; George Mason University, 2020.
  • Villanueva, Laura., et al.,‘Rural Human Networks in Granada: The Challenges of Sustaining Peace Infrastructures in a Post-Agreement Phase’ Susan Allen, Landon Hancock, Christopher Mitchell and Cecile Mouly [eds.] Confronting Peace: Local Peace Communities and Post- Agreement Problems. [Basingstoke & New York; Palgrave/Macmillan; 2020] Manuscript submitted for publication.  
  • Villanueva, Laura. “Harmony-Building in Japan and Its Implications for Mediation : Harmony-Building in Japan and Its Implications for Mediation.” Perspektive Mediation 16, no. 4 (2019): 221–26. https://doi.org/10.33196/pm201904022101.
  • Villanueva, Laura, ‘Harnessing legitimacy through networks Civilian-led, closed virtual communities as a new type of zone of peace,’ Hancock, L., & Mitchell, C. (eds) (2018). Local peacebuilding and legitimacy: interactions between national and local levels. London, [England]; Routledge.
  • Villanueva, L. (2015, March). Reflections on Practice Through Intervision and Arts-Based Approaches.  S-CAR News. 9(2). Retrieved from https://activity.scar.gmu.edu/newsletter-article/reflections-practice-through-intervision-and-arts-based-approaches
  • Villanueva, L. (2015, October). Reconciliation from the Bottom Up: Experiences from San Carlos and Granada. S-CAR News. 10(2). Retrieved from https://activity.scar.gmu.edu/newsletter-article/reconciliation-bottom-experiences-san-carlos-and-granada
Professional Experience Show content

2014 – 2020 Executive Director, Center for Peacemaking Practice (CPP) Jimmy and Rosalynn Carter School for Peace and Conflict Resolution. George Mason University, Arlington, Virginia.

2016 – Present Founding Member and Advisor for Territorial Peace. Tejiendo Territorio para la Paz (Tejipaz). Municipio de Granada, Department of Antioquia, Colombia.

2016 – Present Co-founder and Peace Adviser. Daret Salam (Peace Circuit), Syria.

2017 – Present Peace Adviser, Asociación de Víctimas Unidas del Municipio de Granada (Asovida) Municipio de Granada, Department of Antioquia, Colombia.

2007 – Present Peacebuilding Practitioner. Peace Field Japan (PFJ), Tokyo, Japan.

2007 – Present Peacebuilding Practitioner. Kiyosato Educational Experiment Project (KEEP) Kiyosato, Yamanashi Prefecture, Japan.

2007 – 2009 Dialogue Center Staff. Kiyosato Educational Experiment Project (KEEP), Kiyosato, Yamanashi Prefecture, Japan.

2004 – 2005 Area of Management and Coordination of Projects & Research. Gernika Gogoratuz Peace Research Centre, Gernika-Lumo, Spain


Additional Information Show content

Dean’s Fellow for Practice 2014 – 2018

Jimmy and Rosalynn Carter School for Peace and Conflict Resolution. George Mason University, Arlington, Virginia.       

S-CAR Advisory Board 2018-2019 Scholarship Recipient

Jimmy and Rosalynn Carter School for Peace and Conflict Resolution. George Mason University, Arlington, Virginia. This scholarship recognizes excellence in leadership, research, publications, and service

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