Category Archives: Announcements

Meet the IPJ’s New Program Officer

In August, the IPJ welcomed Stephanie Chiu as program officer for Women PeaceMakers, the program in which she previously served as a peace writer for Alice Nderitu of Kenya. Chiu works with Senior Program Officer Jennifer Freeman and Senior Editor and Writer Emiko Noma in managing all aspects of the IPJ’s award-winning program.

Q: What brought you to the field of peacebuilding? What has been your trajectory to this work and the IPJ?

I’ve been drawn to the field of peace and justice for as long as I can remember. When I was a young girl growing up in Darwin, a small city in Northern Australia, I remember Mother Teresa visiting my school. I knew nothing of this woman, but her incredible compassion for people and passion for peace and justice planted a seed in my consciousness. Later, in high school, a woman who had been working in refugee camps on the Thai-Cambodia border spoke to my class. I was totally inspired by her story and felt a strong sense that I needed to follow a similar direction.

As an adult I’ve accumulated 13 years of experience working in programs that support women’s agency and focus on peace, justice and conflict transformation. In these roles I’ve worked in Australia, Afghanistan, Fiji, Pakistan and Samoa. Returning to the Women PeaceMakers program at the IPJ has been an ambition ever since I left three years ago. I’m naturally drawn to that which is inventive and provocative, and this program has all of that in spades. I love that it honors women’s power and stories through creative and smart programming. I feel very fortunate to be involved in work that aligns so closely with my own goals, values and life path.

Chiu with Woman PeaceMaker Alice Nderitu in 2012

Chiu with Woman PeaceMaker Alice Nderitu in 2012

Q: You were a peace writer in 2012. Can you summarize your experience in the program in a few words?

Creative, expansive, joyful, challenging, humbling.

Q: Who do you consider your professional mentors?

I always look to those who have taken a stand for peace and justice and who have been great teachers for so many of us in how to channel compassion and passion in an authentic, effective and meaningful way. Some notables include Nelson Mandela, Aung San Suu Kyi, Gandhi, Rosa Parks, Martin Luther King, Jr., Margaret Whitlam and His Holiness the Dalai Lama. Then there are the women whose creativity and words have guided me down new pathways of wisdom and engagement, such as Maya Angelou, Gloria Steinem and Clarissa Pinkola Estés.

Q: What has been the most important experience you’ve had working in the field? What experience taught you the most?

There have been so many meaningful experiences. In Fiji, I facilitated interethnic training and conflict transformation workshops for women; in Pakistan I worked with Afghan refugee women on education, health and livelihood programs; in Afghanistan I helped to establish a network of women-run, independent, community radio stations for women. In each of those experiences, among others, I was learning the value of how to work hard and stay humble. I count it as a life lesson and I draw from it continually.

Q: What aspects of your position as program officer are you most looking forward to?

Working with the IPJ team. It’s a great dynamic here — the people who work here have exceptional skills and experience, they’re passionate about their work, supportive of their colleagues and great company too. To say I’m thrilled to be working with the Peace Writers and Women PeaceMakers would be an understatement. What an amazing group of women! I’m looking forward to supporting each of them in their important work documenting stories of peacebuilding and human rights advocacy, which I know will inspire others.

Q: This is your second time living in Southern California. What will you miss about living overseas?

In the last five years I’ve lived in Sydney, Suva, San Diego and Stockholm. Each city is completely different with its own unique flavor of adventure and experience. What I miss most about any place I’ve left are our friends and family. I have to say, though, the people I’ve met and befriended here in San Diego are incredibly warm and friendly so I feel very welcomed.

Q: Do you have a favorite quote or a favorite author or book? Do you have a motto that you live by?

Albert Einstein said, “Imagination is more important than knowledge.” It was the quote I chose for my high school yearbook 24 years ago and it still resonates. Recently I came across the second part of this, “For knowledge is limited, whereas imagination embraces the entire world, stimulating progress, giving birth to evolution.” The motto I live by is Audentis Fortuna Iuvat. Fortune favors the bold!

Farewell from Executive Director Milburn Line

Dear friends of the Joan B. Kroc Institute for Peace & Justice,


While saddened to be leaving so many of you at the IPJ, university and San Diego, my family and I are excited about the new challenges awaiting us in Beijing. Many of you know of my interest in China, and I will soon be managing a rule-of-law project there for the next few years.


Executive Director Milburn Line with Distinguished Lecturer Zainab Salbi, along with IPJ staff, volunteers and supporters, in October 2011

I will miss the many magical moments we have had at the IPJ over the last three-and-a-half years, working on our project in Guatemala, advocating for the Colombian peace process, interacting with inspiring Women PeaceMakers and WorldLink participants, and meeting so many incredible peacebuilders through our public programs.


I am honored and humbled to have been a part of the Kroc legacy here at the University of San Diego. Importantly, the IPJ has a strong foundation of programs that will go forward under new leadership at the Kroc School. I wish you all the best and hope you will seek us out in Beijing.


All the best,
Milburn Line


Read Line’s first director’s column in the Fall 2009 Peace & Justice Compass Newsletter, page 3.

IPJ Staff Blog publicly released

Today’s date marks the public release of the Joan B. Kroc Institute for Peace & Justice Staff Blog!

The opening blog entry, “Uniting for a Democratic Peace,” details Interim Executive Director Dee Aker and Senior Program Officer Laura Taylor’s May 19 – 31, 2008 return to Nepal after Aker’s work as an short-term observer of the April Nepali Elections.

You are encouraged to visit the IPJ Website for more information about the Institute and its work.

Please note that as this blog progresses, minor construction will continue.