Statement from Dean Özerdem on becoming the Carter School

Leading change, building peace, pursuing justice

Headshot of a man with short grey hair and a grey beard wearing maroon glasses, a blue button up shirt without a tie, and a black suit jacket.

Dean Alpaslan Özerdem

For 40 years, George Mason University’s School for Conflict Analysis and Resolution (S-CAR) has been a leading figure globally in the field of peace and conflict studies.

Now, our School is starting the next chapter in this leadership with the adoption of our new identity as the Jimmy and Rosalynn Carter School for Peace and Conflict Resolution.

As the preeminent School for peace and conflict resolution, it is natural that our values and those of the Carters are very well-aligned. This momentous shift to becoming the Carter School is the next step in fulfilling our shared vision for bringing about a more just and peaceful world.

The adoption of this new name is an opportunity for our community to engage with the natural synergies between the Carters’ work and our School’s deep and storied history of scholarship and practice.

It is also a responsibility. In taking on our new name, we have invested ourselves in the important work of honoring the Carters’ legacy of selfless dedication to peace by enabling our community to build upon that same commitment. Our transition to the Carter School is a declaration of our position and an affirmation that we, as a school, pursue a particular set of values: compassion, humility, solidarity, a calling for social justice, and a commitment to peace.

Those values matter for us, because at the Carter School, we are a community of do-ers – faculty, researchers, students, and alumni – who have dedicated ourselves to preventing conflict and building peace while pursuing social justice, whether locally, nationally, or internationally.

To achieve this goal that we have set for ourselves as the Carter School, we will be taking the Carters’ brave and insurmountable dedication to peace as our beacon and our guide. We are honored and humbled to open this next chapter in our commitment to peace and justice.

Dr. Alpaslan Özerdem

Dean of the Jimmy and Rosalynn Carter School for Peace and Conflict Resolution