My teaching and research interest is located at the intersection between communications, war, and peace in contemporary society. How are communication technologies enabling social movements to achieve the change they seek? How do we use communication technologies to challenge extremism, solve social, political, developmental, and environmental problems in contemporary society? How are communication interventions localized, encountered, and contested in divided societies - particularly in Africa? What are the cultural, social, and political impacts of new communication technologies in contemporary society? My work revolves around finding answers to these questions.
I am the Dean of Graduate School and Research at the American University of Nigeria. I also hold a visiting position in International Studies at Dickinson College, Carlisle, Pennsylvania, USA. I was the founding Director of the Dickinson College Bridge Program - an initiative that provides an educational opportunity to young people from regions of the world experiencing conflict and natural disasters—and for whom higher education would otherwise be impossible.
Other Positions held & Recent/Ongoing Projects:
Consultant for the UN's Office of Rule of Law and Security Institutions (OROLSI) on the revision of the Public Information and Strategic Communication module of the Integrated Disarmament, Demobilization and Reintegration Standards (IDDRS).
Member, Research Advisory Council, RESOLVE Network - a countering violent extremism research program housed within the United States Institute of Peace (USIP).
Postgraduate course author and professor: The United States Army War College, Carlisle. Courses: The Media in War and Peace; Influence Operations in the Age of Networks.
Consultant for the World Bank on the project: Using micro-data to inform durable solutions for conflict-related displacement in Sub-Saharan Africa.
Research Advisor, RESOLVE Network - on the project Campuses and Conflict in the Lake Chad Basin: Violent Extremism and the Politics of Religion in Higher Education
Co-Recipient - The Canadian Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council's Partnership Development Grant for the project, Boko Haram, Islamic Protest, and National Security.
Lead Technical Advisor for Nigeria's North East Regional Initiative (NERI)/USAID on the project, Women Action to Combat Violent Extremism and Radicalism in Northeast Nigeria - a project that empowers local women to use smartphones and digital tools to assess violent extremism risks in northeast Nigeria and provide early warnings.
In 2017, I led the Religious Identity, Belonging, and Violent Extremism project at New York University's Center on International Cooperation.
In 2016 I led the implementation of the US Embassy Nigeria’s CVE project on Peace Journalism that provided training for Nigerian journalists covering the Boko Haram insurgency. From August 2015 to December 2016, I led the Interactive Radio Instruction component of the USAID-funded Technology Enhanced Learning for All (TELA) project that reached over 22,000 mainly out-of-school-children displaced by the Boko Haram insurgency in Northeast Nigeria. The project was nominated by Nigeria's Ministry of Education and UNESCO Nigeria Commission for the UNESCO King Hamad Bin Isa Al-Khalifa Prize for the Use of ICTs in Education.
Education and Academic Career
I earned my Ph.D. in Communications Studies, with a focus on strategic communications, from the University of Leeds, United Kingdom. I was the last Ph.D. supervision and TA of the eminent propaganda historian, Professor Philip M. Taylor. Before Leeds, I studied at the Richardson Institute for Peace and Conflict Research, Lancaster University, UK, and at the University of Uyo in Nigeria.
I started my academic career as a Post-Doctoral Teaching Fellow at the Institute of Communications Studies, the University of Leeds. I have held academic positions at New York University's Center on International Cooperation and Cardiff University's School of Journalism, Media and Culture. I have previously served as Dean of Arts and Science and Chair of the Communications and Multimedia Design program at the American University of Nigeria.
I am the co-founder and chair of the Research Group on UN Media and Peace Processes (RUNMAPP), housed at the Centre for Freedom of the Media at the University of Sheffield, United Kingdom. RUNMAPP aims to address research, practice, and policy gaps in UN media during complex peace-building and peacekeeping processes. Notably, in 2018, RUNMAPP organized the first multi-stakeholder forum on the transition of UN peace operations radio stations, in collaboration with Fondation Hirondelle and the Geneva Centre for Security Policy in Geneva, Switzerland. Also, in 2020, RUNMAPP worked with the UN's OROLSI to revise the Public Information and Strategic Communication module of the IDDRS. Visit here to see some of RUNMAPP's recent events.
Contact me to request my full CV.