Anita is a Director at CDA. She leads CDA’s peacebuilding effectiveness practice area and directs CDA’s advisory services work. Over the past 15 years, Anita has led engagements with government, bilateral, multilateral, civil society, and private sector actors as an advisor, facilitator of collaborative learning processes, convener, trainer, program manager, and applied researcher. Her substantive areas of expertise include peacebuilding effectiveness, conflict sensitivity, conflict (systems) analysis, organizational strategy and program design, and advancing new approaches to peacebuilding evaluation and evaluative processes. She leads CDA’s growing work on making approaches and programming focused on the prevention of violent extremism (PVE) more effective an in line with the principles of peacebuilding, conflict-sensitivity, and accountability to local communities. Anita has also contributed to CDA’s Business and Peace collaborative learning initiative with a focus on advancing the thinking on assessing business contributions to peacebuilding. She publishes on above topics and is a regular speaker at international conferences.
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 organization wide strategic planning and change. 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.