notable alumni profile: amanda h. blair, phd'17

The DC Alumni Association will be recognizing notable, local alumni each month.

Amanda H. Blair, PhD'17 in political science, recently joined the United States Institute of Peace (USIP) as the research officer in the center for Policy, Learning, and Strategy. In this role, she helps to establish and advance an institutional research agenda. She also maintains an inventory of USIP’s research efforts and provides support to colleagues on research methods, design and ethics. And she monitors and disseminates important peacebuilding research and resources to USIP staff.


Prior to joining USIP, Amanda was a postdoctoral fellow at the University of Chicago, where she researched the intersections between violence, armed conflict and gender, particularly in the context of Central and East Africa. Her dissertation, "Going beyond accountability and untangling the politics of conflict-related rape," won the award for Best Dissertation in Women and Politics from the American Political Science Association in 2018.


Beyond her research, Amanda has worked with domestic and international non-profit organizations in a variety of capacities, ranging from providing direct advocacy and designing policy initiatives to leading fundraising and diversity efforts. Her research and community engagement work to advance gender equity and conflict resolution.


In her free time, she loves cycling, cooking, yoga, traveling and hiking. She comes to DC by way of Chicago, but originally hails from Wyoming. She is new to the area and excited to learn more about the city.