Founder and Consultant
Problem Analysis, Transitional Justice, and Atrocities Prevention
Saghar Sara Birjandian is a scholar-practitioner with years of experience working on transitional justice and atrocity prevention initiatives in Canada, Uganda, the United Kingdom, and the United States.
She is currently a Charles E. Scheidt Postdoctoral Research and Teaching Fellow at the Institute for Genocide and Mass Atrocity Prevention, State University of New York at Binghamton. Her research focuses on developing and applying critical and decolonial approaches to transitional justice policy development that evade mainstream and non-mainstream prescriptions. To this end, her research and work in Canada and Uganda demonstrate the utility in using relationalism and norms-typologies to differentiate between prescriptive and descriptive problem-analysis; the necessity of abandoning field-specific jargon to contextualize problem-mapping; and the value of using soft systems thinking to sequence problems stemming from mass violence for response in line with affected communities’ experiences and interests.
Saghar is also a consultant on statement gathering with the National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation. She previously worked with the provincial government of British Columbia to integrate an institutional reform framework that aims to address and prevent the ongoing structural violence and systemic racism against Indigenous Peoples perpetuated by colonial approaches to children and family development services. Prior to this Saghar was the Director of George Mason University’s (GMU) Genocide Prevention Network and Deputy Director of GMU’s Genocide Prevention Program while based in Uganda. She also had the honour of serving as a Statement Gatherer for the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada, which was mandated to document the effects of genocide and other atrocities perpetrated through the colonial Residential ‘School’ system, on First Nations, Inuit, and the Métis Nation as well as, contemporary Canadian society.
Saghar holds a PhD in Politics and International Studies from the University of London’s School of Oriental and African Studies. She completed her Master of Science in Global Affairs with a concentration in International Law and Human Rights at New York University and her Bachelor of Arts in Philosophy with a concentration in Philosophy of Law at the University of Victoria, Canada.