The University named John Paul Lederach, a scholar of conflict transformation, the recipient of the 2019 Joseph B. and Toby Gittler Prize, according to an April 10 BrandeisNOW article. Lederach is an American professor emeritus of international peacebuilding at the University of Notre Dame and is “widely known for his development of culturally appropriate approaches to conflict transformation.”

Lederach is the author of 24 books and manuals and has applied his knowledge as a peacebuilding consultant to various areas of conflict around the world, per the same article. He currently works for Humanity United, an international philanthropic organization, as a “practitioner in conciliation processes in Latin America, Africa and Southeast and Central Asia,” according to BrandeisNOW.

Over the course of his career, Lederach has lived through assassination plots, received threats and been beaten by “a rioting mob” in Nicaragua, an Oct. 24, 2003 BBC News article reported. “Peace studies,” he told the BBC, “can be very up in the clouds. “I’m an unusual academic because I spend six months out there practising what I say.”

As the Gittler Prize recipient, Lederach will complete a three-day residency program at Brandeis from Oct. 29 to Oct. 31, which will include a lecture and award ceremony on Oct. 30. “Professor Lederach’s innovative scholarship and inspiring work in the field have provided clear pathways toward a more peaceful world,” University President Ron Liebowitz said, according to the BrandeisNOW article.

The Gittler Prize was created in 2007 by the late Joseph Gittler and named after him and his mother, Toby Gittler, per the Prize’s website. It is awarded to a scholar who contributes “outstanding and lasting scholarly contributions to racial, ethnic and/or religious relations.” The scholar receives a $25,000 prize and a medal in recognition of this honor.