Our Team

The People of Action at CCS:


Darina Burina (From Spring 2014)

Darina received her bachelor degree in Asian and African Studies from the State University of Saint Petersburg, where she majored in the history of Indonesia and Malaysia.   Her projects include «Prevention of Fetal Alcohol Syndrome (FAS) in Russian children» and «Interdisciplinary HIV prevention in women», focusing on the awareness of the above-mentioned health issues. She has worked as a multilingual translator, and her translations have been successfully published and used in the professional field. She is currently studying at the Monterey Institute of International Studies in the International Policy Studies program with a concentration in Human Security and Development and is also pursuing a certificate in Conflict Resolution.


Kyrstie Lane (From Summer 2011)

Kyrstie received her BA in French and International Affairs from the University of Puget Sound, with a certificate in advanced French studies from l'Université de Bourgogne in Dijon, and graduated from MIIS in 2012 with an MA in International Policy Studies and a concentration in conflict resolution. She has conducted fieldwork in France, Salinas, and Nepal. She is the managing editor of Reflections, and also edits for the news site Watching America. Kyrstie currently works at CSU Monterey Bay in TRiO Student Support Services, a federally funded program to support first-generation and low-income college students. Her areas of interest include peacebuilding, immigration, and educational equality

Eduardo Sánchez

Eduardo Sánchez (From Summer 2013)

Eduardo Sánchez is currently a master's candidate in the Nonproliferation and Terrorism Studies program and is additionally pursuing a Conflict Resolution Certificate at the Monterey Institute of International Studies. He received his undergradute degree in International Relations from Universidad Iberoamericana (Mexico City). His prior experience includes working as an advisor to the Undersecretary for Multilateral Affairs and Human Rights at the Mexican Foreign Ministry, primarily in charge of United Nations affairs and international security. His research interests include non-state armed groups and children in armed conflict.


Sarah Straubinger (From Spring 2014)

Sarah is a senior at American University pursuing a BA in International Development with minors in French and Communication. Sarah has studied and worked in Croatia, Romania and Ghana. She has pursued projects analyzing political trends in instances of ethnic conflict, compared foreign and national education development initiatives in post-war states, and rape as a tool of war. Sarah works with American University's International Scholar Services to facilitate discussions in the student community on  identity and intercultural communication. Her research interests are post conflict institution building, humanitarian peace keeping and demography.


Elisa Sjödin (From Spring 2014)

Elisa Sjödin is currently doing a Master in Peace and Conflict (International Double Award) from University of Kent, UK, and Philipps-Universität Marburg, Germany; she received her undergraduate degree in Political Science at Université Libre de Bruxelles, Belgium. She did an internship at the Bogazici University Peace Education, Research and Application Center in Istanbul, Turkey, where she also worked on a project about the Cyprus issue. Her research interests include post-conflict Northern Ireland, Turkish foreign policy, Turkey’s Kurdish question and the Cyprus conflict.


Olivia Wade (From Spring 2014)

Olivia Wade is currently a master’s candidate in the Negotiation and Conflict Resolution program at Columbia University.  She received her undergraduate degree in Interpersonal Communications and Global Business from the University of Houston.  Her current studies are based in environmental conflict resolution, international development, and environmental sustainability.  Olivia’s research interests include water conflicts and finding ways to prevent conflict through trans-boundary water management.   


Mathias Zeumer (From Spring 2014)

Mathias is currently pursuing his master’s degree in Conflict and Dispute Resolution at the University of Oregon School of Law. He did a five-month internship in East Jerusalem, working on strategies to promote the Arab Peace Initiative. Mathias received his bachelor’s degree in Peace and Conflict Studies from the University of California, Berkeley. As an undergraduate Mathias studied in Ghana for one semester where he did fieldwork on land conflicts in Accra. His research interests include international conflicts (especially the Middle East, Africa), cross-cultural communication, social justice, and structural violence. His master’s thesis focuses on peace initiatives in the current Israeli Arab conflict.