Jenna Russo is the Director of Research and Head of the Brian Urquhart Center for Peace Operations. Dr. Russo completed her PhD in Political Science at the CUNY Graduate Center, with a focus on the protection of civilians in armed conflict settings. Her dissertation analyzes UN protection of civilian activities and their contribution to the broader peace process, with case studies on the Democratic Republic of the Congo and South Sudan. Her other research considers the normative development of the human protection regime, in particular how member states conceive of and implement their protection responsibilities. Her research has been published in Third World Quarterly, Journal of International Peacekeeping, Global R2P, and featured on Africa at LSE. Dr Russo also teaches at Baruch and Hunter Colleges, including courses on international conflict; the UN and world politics; and women, war, and peace.
Prior to joining the International Peace Insitute, Dr Russo spent more than 10 years working as a consultant to the United Nations, with a focus on disarmament, demobilisation, and reintegration of ex-combatants; peacekeeping training; and as a project manager in the Office of the Secretary-General. She also spent time with the Global Centre for R2P as a senior fellow in peacekeeping.
In addition to her PhD, she also holds an MPhil in political science, an MA in international relations, and a BA in music. Prior to her time working in the field of international relations, she taught music at a performing arts high school in New York City.