This year, Tatsushi Arai, associate professor of peacebuilding and conflict transformation at SIT Graduate Institute, received a Distinguished Alumnus Award from George Mason University’s School for Conflict Analysis and Resolution (S-CAR), where he earned his doctorate in 2005. George Mason University is home to America’s first doctoral program in conflict resolution, which was established in 1988. It is internationally recognized as a pioneer in the field.
The 2015 Distinguished Alumnus Award recognizes Tatsushi’s distinct contribution to the field of conflict resolution as an outstanding scholar-practitioner, including as an SIT faculty member since 2006. Tatsushi’s activities that this award recognized include the past 18 years of his extensive work as a conflict resolution trainer, mediator, and dialogue facilitator in some of the world’s most conflict-affected societies, especially in the Asia Pacific region, the African Great Lakes, and the Middle East. In addition, Tatsushi’s scholarship has generated new insights into the role of social creativity, systems analysis, and multi-track diplomacy in the transformation of protracted social conflict.
The ceremony hosted by George Mason University provided Tatsushi with an opportunity to express his gratitude to his mentors and his colleagues for their longstanding support, as well as to his partners in diverse conflict-affected societies for their inspirations. The ceremony also enabled Tatsushi to renew his lifelong commitment to overcoming the systemic roots of war through participatory policymaking and civil society engagement.
Tatsushi has published numerous books and articles on conflict transformation, reconciliation, and peacebuilding. His latest book is Contested Memories and Reconciliation Challenges: Japan and the Asia-Pacific on the 70th Anniversary of the End of World War II, which he co-edited with Shihoko Goto and Zheng Wang.