Students speak with practitioners at the networking reception


Careers in Conflict & Negotiation Panel and Networking Reception 

Conflict and Negotiation is an expanding field of professional practice, both in the United States and around the world. The escalating costs of conflict for countries, organizations, and individuals has led to the increased demand for specialists entering the field. Students joined us for a panel discussion with professionals who have worked across sectors engaged in local and global conflict resolution initiatives. This event included a moderated panel from 4pm-5pm with a small networking reception, hosted in conjunction with the SFS Graduate Career Center. 

When: January 30, 2020 4:00-6:00

             Panel 4:00-5:00

             Networking Reception 5:00-6:00

Where: Mortara Center Boardroom, Mortara Building (3600 N St, NW)

Panelists and Speakers

This is a headshot of Gina Barbieri and a child

Gina Barbieri

Principal Ombudsman, CAO for IFC and MIGA, World Bank Group

Gina Barbieri manages the Compliance Advisor Ombudsman's (CAO) dispute resolution function and is a South African human rights lawyer, international mediator and dispute resolution professional. CAO is the independent accountability mechanism for the private sector arm of the World Bank Group. Managing this function entails managing the mediation of complex disputes between communities and the private sector across the globe. 
Before joining the CAO Gina founded and managed a legal practice in South Africa specializing in mediation and other forms of alternative dispute resolution (ADR). She has mediated numerous disputes in the employment, commercial and community arena and is the author of two books on labor practice in the public and private sector. Gina co-authored and edited two IFC publications on the establishment of ADR Centers in emerging markets and guidelines on the practice of ADR. She is a co- founder of the African Institute for Mediation, served as the Deputy Head of the Africa Center for Dispute Settlement, Stellenbosch University Business School, and sat on the steering committee for the establishment of the African Mediation Association. She obtained her BComm LLB from the University of KwaZulu-Natal and is a CEDR (UK) and IMI accredited international mediator. 

This is a headshot of John Barkat

John Barkat

Mediator, International Monetary Fund 

Dr. John Barkat presently serves as the Mediator for the International Monetary Fund, reporting to the Managing Director. Previously, he served as Assistant Secretary-General heading the United Nations Ombudsman and Mediation Services. In that role he served as a senior advisor reporting directly to the Secretary-General overseeing offices in New York, Geneva, Vienna, Nairobi, Bangkok, Santiago, Beirut, Entebbe and Goma.

Dr. Barkat received his Ph.D from Columbia University where his research focused on strategies to create ripeness in seemingly intractable conflicts. He also holds an M.P.A. from Pace University and a B.A. in psychology from The King’s College. His forthcoming article, Reaching for Ripeness: Promoting Negotiation Through Unilateral Conciliatory Action, will appear in the International Journal for Conflict Management. He is an internationally recognized expert in the field of international mediation, consensus-building and preventive diplomacy. His practice has also included initiatives on procedural justice, global workforce resilience, and private sector corporate social responsibility.


Krystin Borgognone

Foreign Affairs Officer, US Department of State

During her ten years in government, Krystin has worked on high-profile, complex, and sensitive U.S. programs including the Merida Initiative with Mexico; U.S. re-engagement with Burma; Afghanistan and Pakistan; Plan Colombia, and the Central American Regional Security Initiative. In coordination with the U.S. inter-agency, Non-Governmental Organizations, International Organizations and think tanks, she has developed and implemented $300M+ programs in support of criminal justice sector reform in over two dozen countries. Krystin has a Master of Science from Georgetown University’s Security Studies Program and a Bachelor of Arts from George Washington University's Elliot School. Krystin has two little, energetic children and is from Brooklyn, New York.

This is a headshot of Kayla Elson

Kayla Elson

Project Coordinator and Community Mediator, Justice and Sustainability Associates

Kayla Elson is an Associate at Justice & Sustainability Associates (JSA).  As leader of the Planning and Development Practice, Kayla is a land-use mediator.  She helps neighborhood residents, government agencies, and developers reach collaborative agreements about land use in the Washington metropolitan region.  Through her work, she facilitates community partnerships and other community engagement processes that support consensus-building and advance the creation of “Beloved Communities.”  She also designs training programs on equitable development.
Prior to joining JSA, Kayla served as an AmeriCorps member for Community Mediation Maryland.  She partnered with Baltimore City schools providing mediation services and teaching conflict management skills to students.  She continued to promote collaborative problem-solving in DC as a founding board member and trained mediator with Community Mediation DC.  She has experience working in various capacities with humanitarian and peacebuilding organizations, including Search for Common Ground, Mediators Beyond Borders International, and ChildVoice International.  She graduated from Georgetown University with a M.A in Conflict Resolution.


This is a headshot of Ariel Gordon

Ariel Gordon

Executive Director, NVMS Conflict Resolution Center

Ariel Gordon is an experienced trainer and facilitator, having worked with governments around the globe to design national security strategies that require community engagement and balanced gender representation. She worked with government officials and civil society representatives to reach consensus about strategy content in Canada, Indonesia, Kenya, Moldova, Nigeria, and the United Kingdom. She has facilitated workshops with survivors of domestic violence to raise awareness about survivor rights and build skills for economic independence. She is a seasoned advocate and program manager, bringing experience partnering with multilateral organizations such as the North Atlantic Treaty Organization and United Nations. Ariel serves on the Board of Resolution Virginia, a coalition of nine community mediation centers across Virginia. She holds a BS in Political Science from the University of Michigan and an MA in Conflict Resolution from Georgetown University, as well as a Certificate of Advanced Training in Mediation and Negotiation from Tulane Law School and Humboldt University.  

This is a headshot of Gail Morgado

Gail Morgado

Acting Deputy Director, Bureau of Conflict & Stabilization Operations, U.S. Department of State

Gail Morgado is the Venezuela, Colombia, and Balkans Team Lead for the Office of Western Hemisphere and Europe in the State Department's Bureau of Conflict and Stabilization Operations (CSO).  In CSO since 2008, Gail has served multiple field, programmatic, interagency planning, and leadership roles including four years as Acting Deputy Director.  A theme throughout Gail’s career has been non-traditional peace activism and cross-sectoral coalition-building among host communities.  Gail has supported numerous stabilization and electoral violence prevention efforts including short and long-term field assignments in Colombia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Honduras, Guatemala, El Salvador, Kenya, Sudan, South Sudan, and Afghanistan. While in graduate school, Gail was awarded an Advocacy Project Peace Fellowship to work with the Women in Black Network in Belgrade, Serbia on transitional justice issues and capacity building.  Gail holds a Masters of Science in Foreign Service (MSFS ‘08) in International Conflict Management from Georgetown University, a post-graduate certificate in European Studies as a Rotary Ambassadorial Scholar to Portugal, and a BA in Political Science and Spanish from Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey.  Gail speaks Spanish and Portuguese and is a proud new mom of a two-month old daughter.

This is a headshot of Marcus Stergio

Marcus Stergio

Ombudsman, US Department of Labor

Marcus Stergio serves as the Ombudsman for the U.S. Department of Labor’s Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP). Spearheading the agency’s Ombuds Service, Mr. Stergio is a neutral and confidential resource available to all OFCCP stakeholders nationwide, including federal contractors and subcontractors, contractor representatives, industry groups, law firms, complainants, worker rights organizations, and current and potential employees of federal contractors and subcontractors. Mr. Stergio is a versatile conflict resolution practitioner whose experience outside of ombudswork includes mediation, arbitration, organizational systems design, dispute resolution systems management, group facilitation and conflict resolution training.

His prior mediation practice focused primarily on workplace and employment cases. Mr. Stergio has also served on the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission’s mediation panel for workplace discrimination and the Massachusetts Bar Association’s arbitration panel. He has administered the dispute resolution processes for a number of multinational organizations, helping hundreds of corporate clients reach resolution on commercial, bankruptcy, franchise and workplace conflicts.

Mr. Stergio has taught undergraduate negotiation and conflict resolution courses and has conducted mediation, negotiation, and collaborative communication trainings for higher education institutions as well as executive leadership teams at General Motors, BMW North America, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, among other corporate and public sector clients. He is a member of the Association for Conflict Resolution, the Coalition of Federal Ombudsman, and the United States Ombudsman Association. Mr. Stergio received his Master of Arts degree in Conflict Resolution from the University of Massachusetts with a concentration in organizational and international dispute resolution systems, and his Bachelor of Arts degree from Northeastern University where he majored in Communication Studies and Business Administration.

This is a headshot of Gerri Ratliff

Gerri Ratliff

Deputy Director, Community Relations Service, U.S. Department of Justice

Gerri Ratliff has served as the Deputy Director of the Community Relations Service since January 9, 2017.  Authorized by the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and expanded by the Matthew Shepard/James Byrd, Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act of 2009, CRS is the Department's "peacemaker" for community conflicts and tensions arising from differences of race, color, national origin, gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, religion, and disability. CRS supports local communities working to prevent and respond to hate incidents and hate crimes through the use of facilitated dialogue, mediation, training, and consultation, focused on local capacity building and strengthening relationships between local law enforcement and community groups.
A member of the Senior Executive Service since 2007, Gerri has previously served in leadership capacities at the National Science Foundation and the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services of the Department of Homeland Security, leading high-profile initiatives with significant stakeholder engagement dimensions.  She also served as Counsel to the Deputy Attorney General for immigration policy from 1995-1997, and as Special Counsel in the Department’s Office of Legislative Affairs from 1993-95.

Gerri has a B.A. in Journalism and Speech Communications from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill; a J.D. from the American University, Washington College of Law; and an M.P.A. from the Harvard University, Kennedy School of Government. 

This is a headshot of Carrie Reilly.jpeg

Carrie Reilly

NYPD Detective, Hostage Negotiation Team, New York City Police Department

Carrie A. Reilly began her career as a Police Officer in the New York City Police Department over 17 years ago. 

In October of 2012, Carrie was promoted to Detective Investigator and was assigned to the Detective Bureau for five years. During her time in the Detective Squad, Carrie became part of the elite Hostage Negotiation Team. 

As part of her duties, she has also taken on the role of Instructor for the Counterterrorism Division's Public/Private Liaison Unit. In this position, she has been a Lead Instructor on Active Shooter Incidents, Terrorism Awareness and Hostile Surveillance Detection. She has also recently worked as a Public Information Officer for the Office of the Deputy Commissioner of Public Information. Detective Reilly is currently the host of a National Podcast, entitled "Break in the Case":  True Stories by NYPD Detectives.

Carrie graduated from the State University of New York College at Buffalo with a Bachelor of Arts in Broadcast Production and Management. Before joining the NYPD in 2002, she worked for a range of Organizations in Media, including CNN, CBS, WFAN and ESPN Radio Networks. Carrie has more than five years of experience as a Producer, Guest Booker and Audio Engineer. Carrie is currently attending Georgetown University's Master of Policy Management Program, with a projected Spring 2020 graduation.


Christopher Wahoff

Fragility, Conflict & Violence Specialist, World Bank Group

Christopher is currently a Specialist in Fragility, Conflict, and Violence-affected (FCV) contexts at the World Bank Group. An international development manager with over 9 years of experience supervising multimillion-dollar public sector investment portfolios, Christopher has led regional, national, and local initiatives with top-level foreign government officials throughout Latin America and the Caribbean to promote public policy reform in conflict, post-conflict, and violence-affected contexts. Christopher served as Regional Coordinator for the Organization of American States’ Mission to Support the Peace Process in Colombia from 2015-2018, where he led the establishment of the Regional Office in the department of Caquetá to monitor social conditions in FARC-controlled territories. His sectoral expertise spans public education reform, human rights, citizen security, security sector reform and emergency preparedness planning, focusing on long-term solutions to mitigate public sector access asymmetries. 

Christopher graduated from Boston College’s Carroll School of Management with a B.S. in Business Management and International Economics, and a Minor in Latin American Studies, and from Georgetown University’s Walsh School of Foreign Service with an M.A. in Latin American Studies and International Development, along with a Certificate in Refugees and Humanitarian Emergencies.