Senior Fellow in Conflict and Peace
Hilary Rantisi is the Associate Director of the Religion, Conflict and Peace Initiative (RCPI) - a groundbreaking collaboration between the Harvard Divinity School and the Harvard Kennedy School of Government. She is also a Senior Fellow at Religion and Public Life, where she is co-instructor in the annual January term course Learning in Context: Narratives of Displacement and Belonging. Hilary has over a decade and a half of experience in institution building at Harvard. Previously, she was Director of the Middle East Initiative (MEI) at Harvard Kennedy School of Government. During her tenure at MEI she expanded the diversity of voices from the Middle East that engage with the School at all levels. She advanced the creation of a vibrant community of scholars on campus and developed several pioneering collaborations across Harvard. Humanizing issues that affect the daily lives of people throughout the Middle East has been an overriding principle that guides her work in prioritizing research, policy discussion, and institutional growth.
Hilary received her Master’s degree in Middle East Studies from the University of Chicago. Prior to joining Harvard, she worked with civil society organizations in Israel-Palestine, which focused on religion, politics, and grassroots mobilization efforts in Jerusalem. In 1999 she co-edited the book Our Story, and has been an active public speaker on issues pertaining to the Middle East region. Hilary is a native Arabic speaker.