Anita Ernstorfer

Director of Advisory Services


Anita joined CDA in 2013 and currently directs CDA’s advisory services work.  She also leads CDA’s Peacebuilding Effectiveness Practice Area. Her professional areas of expertise include peacebuilding effectiveness, conflict sensitivity, conflict analysis, systems approaches to peacebuilding and systems mapping, participatory strategy and program design and review, and use of Reflecting on Peace Practice approaches in evaluative processes.

Anita is currently developing a new collaborative learning initiative on ‘what works and what doesn’t work’ in to the prevention of violent extremism, building on lessons from CDA’s Peacebuilding Effectiveness and Do No Harm practice areas. Anita also contributes to CDA’s Business and Peace collaborative learning initiative, developing monitoring and evaluation approaches to assessing business contributions to peace. Over the past 15 years, Anita has led engagements with a number of government, bi-lateral, multilateral, civil society, and private sector actors as an advisor, facilitator, trainer, program manager, and applied researcher in the above areas.

Prior to joining CDA, Anita worked as a global conflict prevention and peacebuilding adviser for UNICEF and UNDP’s Bureau for Crisis Prevention and Recovery, where she led the design of new conflict prevention and peacebuilding initiatives, and provided hands-on technical assistance to a variety of country offices. At the UN, she also worked specifically on establishing linkages between mediation efforts and developmental approaches to peacebuilding, and on strategic planning.

Anita has also worked for GIZ, managing a portfolio of democratic governance, and conflict transformation initiatives in Latin America/the Andean region, and with the European Commission in Brussels on aid coordination.  Anita was a co-instructor of the ‘applied peacebuilding – key competencies for field work’ graduate course at the Centre for International Conflict Resolution, at Columbia University from 2008-2011.

Anita works and is fluent in English, Spanish, and German, and holds an MA in Political Science and Spanish Philology.

Select Publications

This report was written by the ARK Group DMCC. Anita Ernstorfer moderated the initial collaborative workshop that began this project in June 2015 and produced the first draft of the report.