Welcome! I am a Senior Researcher for Peace and Conflict at Mercy Corps, a Visiting Fellow at the Feinstein International Center at Tufts University, and a Research Affiliate at the MacMillan Center for International and Area Studies at Yale University. My research focuses on forced migration and population displacement, civil war, political violence, peacebuilding, and aid effectiveness.  In my work I utilize a range of quantitative and qualitative methodologies and draw on original cross-national and sub-national data. I have conducted extensive fieldwork in the Middle East and sub-Saharan Africa, including surveys and archival, interview, and ethnographic research. My work has been published in scholarly journals such as International Organization, along with outlets like the Washington Post, Foreign Policy, and U.N. Dispatch. I am also a passionate educator and mentor with a particular dedication to supporting and advising first-generation college students. I have developed and taught courses on forced migration, armed conflict, international relations, and comparative politics. 

I received my Ph.D. in political science from the University of California, Berkeley. My research has been supported by the National Science Foundation, the U.S. Institute of Peace, the Harry Frank Guggenheim Foundation, and the University of California Institute on Global Conflict and Cooperation. I have also served as a consultant for humanitarian, development, and advocacy organizations on issues related to conflict, displacement, and governance, including UNHCR, the World Bank, the Danish Refugee Council, USAID, and Refugees International. Prior to my academic career, I reported for National Geographic and worked on USAID-funded stabilization and political transition programs in Afghanistan, Libya, and South Sudan.

You can contact me at alichtenheld (at) mercycorps (dot) org.

Photos: (L) Ein Issa Displacement Camp, Raqqa, Syria; (R) NMPDC, Kitgum, Uganda (A. Lichtenheld)