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 the Executive Director of the PLA and serves as Research Faculty at the Carter School.  He is also the founder and President of Innovations in Peacebuilding International, an organization which works to creatively accompany peace in war-torn countries. His current professional pursuits with IPI include the economic reintegration of former child soldiers in the Eastern D.R. Congo. He has also worked and/or researched in Iraq, Afghanistan, Uganda, Burundi, Colombia, Lebanon, Jordan, Tunisia, Indonesia and across Europe.

Current Instructors

  • Jeni Davidson-Clement is from Memphis, Tennessee where she is a 5th grade teacher in a local, public, charter elementary school. Jeni holds an undergraduate degree in Early Childhood Education and a Masters in Teaching. Since working in the public school system, Jeni has become passionate about providing an equitable education to all students and educating others how to work together to achieve this task. 
  • Civil Rights Attourney

    Political Practitioner

    Tavares Floyd, Esq. is a Civil Rights Attorney from a family of civil rights champions in Memphis, TN and focuses on historical and contemporary issues and discourses concerning race relations and issues that affect underrepresented populations and society as a whole. Tavares graduated from the Southern University Law Center and has served on the Board of many organizations including the national Board of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (co-founded by Dr.
  • Portrait of Alicia Jones

    Executive Director, Challenging Racism

    For over 20 years, Alicia has been a supporter and advocate for people of color (PoC) in her various roles.  From working with Urban Enterprise Zones, chambers, local, regional and state agencies and departments, she has consistently been utilized as a resource for reaching and organizing in PoC community.
  • Photo of Tehama Lopez Bunyasi

    Associate Professor of Conflict Analysis and Resolution, Carter School

    Tehama Lopez Bunyasi is Associate 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 Juliette Shedd

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

  • Photo of Solon Simmon

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

  • Marcia is an attorney and brings over 20 years of experience working in Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) across industries and with various levels within those to include Fortune 500 companies, chief and senior executives, financial institutions, universities, not-for-profit, faith-based and within the public-sector.

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

Mara Schoeny, Associate Professor and Director of Undergraduate Programs, Carter School

Allison Silberberg, Former Mayor of Alexandria

Antti Pentikäinen, Director and Research Professor, Mary Hoch Center for Reconciliation, Carter School

Patricia Maulden, Associate Professor and Student Engagement Coordinator, Carter School

Barbara Favola, Virginia State Senator

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

Terri Freeman, Executive Director, Reginald F. Lewis Museum of Maryland African American History and Culture

Howard Ross, Author of Everyday Bias and ReInventing Diversity