Pushpa Iyer has many years of experience working in the field of peace and conflict studies. She specializes in identity conflicts, civil wars, peace processes, post-war peacebuilding and non-state armed groups. As a practitioner-academic, she emphasizes on connecting theory to practice with social justice being the ultimate goal. She is also the founder/director of the Center for Conflict Studies at the Middlebury Institute of International Studies. The center seeks to create a platform for knowledge acquisition and dissemination through its many academic, research and practice programs. Recently, the center has focused on racial equity in campuses of higher education, and runs a program – Allies at MIIS – that encourages the members of the Middlebury Institute to be more inward-looking in their journey of being an ally. Pushpa is bicoastal and spends equal time in Washington, D.C. and Monterey, California.