John Crist


Research Associate
Co-Coordinator, Zones of Peace, Zones of Conflict Program Government


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In January, 2012, John T. Crist became Director of Research at SFS-Qatar, responsible for supporting and promoting SFS-Qatar's growing research culture among faculty, staff, and students. Dr. Crist first joined SFS-Qatar in July 2008 as Assistant Dean of Academic Affairs, then served as Associate Director of Research at the Center for International and Regional Studies, SFS-Qatar's premier research institute on Gulf and regional studies. He received his Ph.D. in interdisciplinary social science from the Program on the Analysis and Resolution of Conflicts (PARC) in the Maxwell School at Syracuse University (1998). He returned to the Maxwell School in spring 2008 as a visiting fellow at the PARC program.

In May, 2012, Dr. Crist was awarded a grant from the Qatar National Research Fund's National Priorities Research Program for a project on "Higher Education Development, Scientific Productivity, and the Knowledge Economy." This two-year, multinational project includes collaborators at the Pennsylvania State University (USA), the University of Halle-Wittenburg (Germany), and the University of Hiroshima (Japan), as well as associated experts working on additional case studies of China, Korea, Taiwan, and Luxembourg.

At SFS-Qatar, Crist has taught courses about sociology, conflict and conflict management, global social movements, and the social consequences of war and collective violence. With Associate Dean Brendan Hill, he is co-coordinator of Zones of Conflict, Zones of Peace, a co-curricular course that introduces students to basic principles in peacemaking and conflict management and the dynamics of life in divided societies and post-conflict settings. As part of the Zones initiative, Hill and Crist have led students on trips to Israel/Palestine, Rwanda, Germany and Poland, Cyprus, Bosnia, Northern Ireland, South Africa, Cambodia, and East Timor.

Prior to his arrival in Doha, Crist taught courses in sociology, peace and conflict studies, social movements, strategic nonviolent conflict, and research methods at the M.A. in Conflict Resolution Program on Georgetown University’s main campus, the School of Advanced International Studies at Johns Hopkins University, the Maxwell School at Syracuse University, the Peace Studies Program at Colgate University, and the Department of Sociology at the Catholic University of America. As a fellow of the Albert Einstein Institution (1990–93), he conducted extensive archival research in England and India on the politics of nonviolent mobilization during the Gandhian anti-colonial struggle in India.

Crist also has extensive experience in fellowship administration in the foreign policy community in Washington, D.C. He was program officer (1995-99), senior program officer (2000-2006), and acting associate vice president (2006-07) of the Jennings Randolph Program for International Peace at the U.S. Institute of Peace (USIP), a think-tank established and funded by the U.S. Congress to promote the prevention and resolution of violent international conflicts. At USIP, he managed two annual fellowship programs for scholars and professionals in international affairs and conflict management, including competitions for senior fellows and for doctoral dissertation students. In 2008, Crist conducted an evaluation of the Reagan-Fascell Democracy Fellows program for the National Endowment for Democracy in Washington, D.C.


  • Ph.D. (1998) Syracuse University, Interdisciplinary Social Science
  • M.A. (1994) Syracuse University, Interdisciplinary Social Science
  • B.A. (1984) The Catholic University of America, Sociology and Peace Studies