Leadership of the Political Leadership Academy

Alpaslan Özerdem

Dr. Alpaslan Özerdem is the Dean of the Jimmy and Rosalynn Carter School for Peace and Conflict Resolution and professor of peace and conflict studies. Prior to his appointment as Dean in August 2019, Dr Özerdem was Associate Pro-Vice- Chancellor for Research at Coventry University in the UK. Dr Özerdem specializes in conflict resolution, peacebuilding and post-conflict reconstruction. With over 20 year field research experience in Afghanistan, Bosnia- Herzegovina, El Salvador, Kosovo, Lebanon, Liberia, Nigeria, Philippines, Sierra Leone, Solomon Islands, Somalia, Sri Lanka, Tajikistan and Turkey.

Bob Mitchell

Bob Mitchell is the founder of the Michigan Political Leadership Program that has been operating at Michigan State University for the last 26 years and now volunteers as Founder and President the Bipartisan Leadership Project. Bob is an educator and business innovator having initiated the nation’s first independent electric transmission company. He has had an extensive partisan career in campaigns and government service in the cabinet of Gov. Blanchard, Chief of Staff of US Sen. Gravel and heading an agriculture agency in Michigan for President Carter.

Charles Davidson

Dr. Charles Davidson is an Adjunct Professor at the Jimmy and Rosalynn Carter School for Peace and Conflict Resolution at George Mason University and the founder of ForgottenSong, an economic peacebuilding organization which works exclusively in war-torn countries. His current professional pursuits with ForgottenSong include the economic reintegration of former child soldiers in the Eastern D.R. Congo. He has also worked in Iraq, Afghanistan, Uganda, Burundi, Colombia, Lebanon, Jordan, Tunisia, and across Europe.

Current Instructors

  • Photo of Sara Cobb

    Director of the Center for the Study of Narrative and Conflict Resolution, Carter School
    Drucie French Cumbie Professor, Carter School

  • Political Practitioner
    Virginia State Senator

    Senator Favola was elected to the State Senate in 2011. She represents parts of Arlington, Fairfax, and Loudoun. Senator Favola chairs the Committee on Rehabilitation and Social Services and serves on the Local Government, Transportation, and Rules Committee. She is a leader in the Women's Healthcare Caucus, member and former chair of the Virignia Commisison on Youth, and a member and  former chair of the Virginia Advisory Committee on Sexual Assault. 
  • Photo of Tehama Lopez Bunyasi

    Assistant Professor of Conflict Analysis and Resolution, Carter School

    Tehama Lopez Bunyasi is Assistant Professor at the Jimmy and Rosalynn Carter School for Peace and Conflict Resolution at George Mason University. A political scientist by training, her scholarship is broadly concerned with matters of race, racism and antiracism in the United States, with specializations in structural inequality, racial attitudes and ideologies, racial marginalization, and the politics of whiteness.
  • Photo of Patricia Maulden

    Associate Professor of Conflict Resolution, Carter School
    Student Engagement Coordinator, Carter School

  • Director, Mary Hoch Center for Reconciliation, Carter School
    Research Professor, Carter School

  • Photo of Mara Schoeny

    Director of Undergraduate Programs, Carter School

  • Photo of Juliette Shedd

    Associate Dean, Carter School
    Associate Professor of Conflict Analysis and Resolution, Carter School

  • the former Mayor of Alexandria, Virginia

    Political Practitioner
    Former Mayor of Alexandria

  • Photo of Solon Simmon

    Associate Professor at the Jimmy and Rosalynn Carter School for Peace and Conflict Resolution, Carter School

Past Instructors

Jamie Raskin, U.S. Representative for Maryland’s 8th Congressional District

Paul Ray, Administrator, Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs

Charles Chavis, Assistant Professor of Conflict Resolution and History, Carter School

Qasim Rashid, US Congressional Candidate for Virginia’s 1st District