Riva Kantowitz

Peacebuilding and Human Rights Consultant

Dr. Riva Kantowitz’s work focuses on the prevention of conflict and violence, promotion of human rights, community and individual resilience, leadership development and organizational support in fragile and developing environments. Working under both Obama Administrations, she founded and led a team at the U.S. Department of State that provides strategic direction and oversight to a global investment portfolio to promote human rights in conflict-affected countries. This portfolio now totals more than $90 million - reflecting a six-fold increase in Congressional funding over 5 years - and supports leading civil society organizations from Guatemala to South Sudan to Syria. Previously, Dr. Kantowitz directed the Conflict Transformation Center at Sabanci University in Istanbul, Turkey and spent several years working with the United Nations and local development organizations in Latin America. Riva recently concluded a fellowship at New York University’s Center on International Cooperation. She has held adjunct appointments at George Washington University's Elliott School of International Affairs and been a faculty member at the Center for Migration and Refugee Studies at the American University in Cairo a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, and held Fulbright-Hays and David L. Boren Scholarships for work in Guatemala. Dr. Kantowitz earned a Ph.D. from Columbia University in Social-Organizational Psychology and Latin American Studies (2006).