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Susan Hayward

Research Fellow


Susan Hayward is a specialist on religion, peace, and human rights and a research fellow at the Georgetown University Berkley Center for Religion, Peace, and World Affairs. From 2007 to 2021, she worked with the Religion and Inclusive Societies team at the U.S. Institute of Peace, partnering with faith-based and religious actors worldwide to transform violence and advance just peace with a particular focus on Sri Lanka, Myanmar, and Colombia. In this role, she also sought to strengthen religious literacy within U.S. foreign policy and global diplomacy, partnering with the State Department, USAID, and the European Union, among others. From 2020 to 2023, Hayward supported the establishment and development of the Religion and Public Life program at Harvard Divinity School, building a graduate level certificate program for students seeking careers to advance religious literacy for just peace in vocations such as policymaking, humanitarian action, and organizing.

From 2010 to 2012 Hayward coordinated an initiative exploring the intersection of women, religion, conflict, and peacebuilding in partnership with the Berkley Center and the World Faiths Development Dialogue. She co-edited a book on the topic entitled Women, Religion and Peacebuilding: Illuminating the Unseen (2015). She has served or currently serves on the selection committee for international awards recognizing religious peacebuilders, including with the Niwano Foundation and the Tanenbaum Center, and as an advisor to the Transatlantic Policy Network for Religion and Diplomacy, Templeton Religion Trust, and Churches for Middle East Peace. Hayward studied Buddhism in Nepal and is an ordained minister in the United Church of Christ. She holds a bachelor's degree in comparative religions from Tufts University and master’s degrees from the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy and Harvard Divinity School. She is currently pursuing her doctorate at Georgetown University. She has taught at Georgetown, Harvard Divinity School, and George Washington Universities and serves as a regular guest lecturer and trainer at the Foreign Service Institute and universities worldwide on topics related to religion and international affairs. She publishes regularly in academic and policy fora and is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations.

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