Curriculum Vitae

(Summary version of my CV below. Publications and presentations are under separate tabs on the blog. Full CV to download: CV_Hayward Aug 2017. )

Susan O’Neill Hayward
Washington, DC

Research Background:

Religion and violence; religious peacebuilding, with a focus on gender, Buddhism, Christianity, and Islam; conflict resolution; human rights; Sri Lanka and Myanmar; intercommunal dialogue; religious pluralism.


PhD in Theological and Religious Studies, expected 2021
Religious Pluralisms program, with a focus on Buddhism and Christianity in Myanmar

Master of Divinity, November 2007
Thesis: God Speaking: The Prophetic Imperative in Context

Master of Law and Diplomacy, May 2006
Fields of Study: Negotiation & Conflict Resolution, Southwest Asian & Islamic Civilizations
Thesis: Prophets, Politics, Buddhists and Bombs: Religious Leaders and Communities in
Conflict and Peacemaking in Sri Lanka and Beyond

B.A., summa cum laude, December 2001
Majors: Comparative Religion and English; Phi Beta Kappa

Spring Semester 2000
Tibetan and Nepali cultural study abroad program

Professional Experience:

United States Institute of Peace, Washington, DC
Senior Advisor, Religion and Inclusive Societies, January 2017-Present
Director, Religion and Inclusive Societies, January 2015-January 2017
Senior Program Officer in the Religion and Peacebuilding program, August 2007-January 2015

  • Provide oversight to USIP’s work with religious actors and organizations across the zones of violent in which it works in Africa, Asia, the Middle East, and Latin America.
  • Analyze and strengthen the capacity of religious communities to combat violence and discrimination and to build peace, good governance, equitable and sustainable development, and reconciliation in conflict zones.
  • Designed, implemented, monitored, and evaluated distinct religious peacebuilding field projects in Colombia, Sri Lanka, Burma/Myanmar, and Iraq in partnership with local organizations and the international community.
  • Helped establish and build USIP’s overall field presence in Myanmar.
  • Supervised a team of staff working on issues related to religious peacebuilding, constitution making, justice and security, and inclusive political processes.
  • Design and facilitate training programs on facilitated dialogue, conflict resolution skills.
  • Launched “Women, Religion, and Peacebuilding” initiative with Georgetown University, bringing together policymakers, academics, and practitioners to analyze the intersection of women, religion, conflict, and peace through two symposia, collected data and case studies, and an edited volume published in 2015.
  • Produce critical analysis of political developments in Sri Lanka and Myanmar; consult with policymakers and the international community engaged in Sri Lanka and Myanmar. Consult with policy makers and shapers in DC, formulating policy priorities related to peace, development, and human rights overseas.
  • Hold and participate in public forums, workshops, and conferences.
  • Review proposals to USIP’s annual competitive grant cycle.
  • Promoted after one year. Received “exceptional performance” review 2009-2017.

United Nations Development Program, Phnom Penh, Cambodia
Mediation Trainer, August 2009

Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Boston, MA
Chaplain in Clinical Pastoral Education program, May-August 2007

Academy for Educational Development, Colombo, Sri Lanka
Consultancy, Summer 2006
Harvard Law School Program on Negotiation Summer 2006 Fellow

  • Conducted research and program development for inter-faith and religious-themed peacebuilding activities at the grassroots and national levels in Sri Lanka.

The Carter Center, Atlanta, GA
Conflict Resolution Program Graduate Student Consultant, Summer 2005

United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, Washington, DC
Internship, January – May 2003

Minnesota Advocates for Human Rights, Refugee and Immigrant Program, Minneapolis, MN
Internship, August 2002 – December 2002

Media Interviews:

Al Jazeera English, BBC News, Newsweek, KSA2 TV, France24.

Awards & Credentials:

Phi Beta Kappa, joined 2002
Ordained in the United Church of Christ, March 2009
Harvard Law School Program on Negotiation Summer Fellow, 2006
Member of the International Selection Committee for the Niwano Peace Prize


Trained Mediator: Completed thirty hours of mediation training in accordance with M.G.L. ch.233 § 23C with Mediation Works Incorporated, Boston. Provided mediation in Boston Small Claims Court.

Hostile Environments and Basic First Aid 5-day and Refresher 2-day Trainings, 2009 and 2012, Centurion RAS, Ltd.

Original poetry published in multiple independent publications


English (native)
French (reading, limited working proficiency in speaking)

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