Kimberly Howe

Kimberly HoweResearch Director and Assistant Professor
Research Assistant Professor, Friedman School of Nutrition

Working with Feinstein Since: 2007
Based in: France

As the director of Feinstein’s research program on Conflict and Governance, Kimberly Howe leads the flagship program on Early Marriage in Conflict and Displacement: From Research to Practice.

Her work focuses on how civilians cope and adapt to war, and the effects of humanitarian and political interventions on civilians, armed groups, and political structures. Kimberly has written about trauma-informed field research and has designed and conducted mixed methods research projects in several war-affected countries around the world including Burundi, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Colombia, Uganda, the Kurdistan Region of Iraq, South Sudan, Syria, Turkey, Lebanon, and Jordan.

Since the late 1990s, Kimberly has been working in a variety of ways to improve the lives of people affected by conflict and war. Kimberly regularly conducts research for the U.S. government on their programs targeting refugees, internally displaced persons, and war-affected populations. Prior to joining the center, she was a Randolph Jennings Peace Scholar at the US Institute of Peace, an Adjunct Associate Research Scholar at SIPA Columbia University, and a Fellow at Harvard University Medical School. From 1999 to 2007, she practiced as a psychotherapist treating survivors of torture and interpersonal violence.

Kimberly holds a B.A. in psychology and an M.S.W. from Simmons College, Boston. She has an M.A.L.D. and Ph.D. in international relations from The Fletcher School at Tufts University.

From 2019 to 2021, she was a Marie Sklodowska-Curie Research Fellow to support her work on early marriage in conflict.

When she is not in the field, she is based in southern France, where the weather is always nice.

Research Interests:
  • Early marriage in conflict and displacement
  • Governance in conflict
  • Civilian well-being during war and international intervention
Regional Focus:
  • Middle East
  • East/Great Lakes Africa
  • Colombia
Courses Taught:
  • Conflict Resolution Theory at Fletcher (DHP D223)
Most Recent External Publications:
  • Howe, Kimberly. “Trauma to Self and Other: Reflections on Field Research and Conflict.” Security Dialogue, 53, no.4 (2022): 363-381. doi: 10.1177/09670106221105710
  • Carnegie, Allison, Howe, Kimberly, Lichtenheld, Adam & Mukhopadhyay, Dipali. “The Effects of Foreign Aid on Rebel Governance: Evidence from a Large-Scale USAID program in Syria.” Economics and Politics. (2021).
  • Carnegie, Allison, Howe, Kimberly, Lichtenheld, Adam & Mukhopadhyay, Dipali. “Winning Hearts and Minds for Rebel Rulers: Foreign Aid and Military Contestation in Syria.” British Journal of Political Science.  (2021). 
  • Stites, Elizabeth, & Howe, Kimberly. “From the border to the bedroom: Changing conflict dynamics in Karamoja, Uganda.” The Journal of Modern African Studies, 57, no. 1 (2019): 137-159. doi: 10.1017/S0022278X18000642.
  • Howe, Kimberly & Stites, Elizabeth. “Partners under pressure: Humanitarian action for the Syria crisis.” Disasters, 43, no. 1 (2019): 3-23. doi:10.1111/disa.12298 

News Items

Kimberly Howe and Elizabeth Stites discuss life after early marriage in displacement
April 3, 2023

Since 2019, Kimberly Howe and Elizabeth Stites have been working on a cohort study that provides a rare and holistic view into the lives of female youth living in displacement…

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Kimberly Howe discusses role of local aid groups in Syria
March 13, 2023

Syrian earthquake devastated an area that was already a disaster zone – and highlights the vital role of local aid groups Kimberly Howe, Tufts University Three weeks after the February 2023…

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Feinstein Research Projects

Localization of Humanitarian Assistance

This research program seeks to understand the enabling and hindering factors that support localized or locally led humanitarian responses to natural disasters, conflicts, and prolonged complex emergencies.

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Apolou: Understanding the poor’s interactions with market systems and international programming

Feinstein’s work as part of the Apolou project seeks to understand the impacts over time of a shift to an increasingly cash-based economy on different wealth, livelihood, and demographic groups.

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Feinstein Publications

Education and Female Youth in Displacement in South Sudan and the Kurdistan Region of Iraq
cover of report: Education and Female Youth in Dsiplacement in South Sudan and the Kurdistan Region of Iraq

This paper examines the role of marital status and motherhood on schooling experience and educational interruption, attainment, and aspirations in South Sudan and the Kurdistan Region of Iraq.

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Circumscribed Lives: Separated, Divorced, and Widowed Female Youth in South Sudan and the Kurdistan Region of Iraq
Cover of Research Report

Very little is known about the experiences of female youth who marry under 18 and later become separated, divorced, or widowed. This briefing paper underscores the unique vulnerabilities and challenges that these youth face in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq (KRI) and South Sudan.

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