Kimberly Howe

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

Working with Feinstein Since: 2007
Based in: France

Kimberly Howe directs Feinstein’s Research Program on Conflict and Governance. The majority of her work is focused on the Syria crisis, and the effects of humanitarian and political interventions on civilians, armed groups, and political structures.  Kimberly 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, Northern Iraq, 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.

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

Research Interests:
  • Insecurity during war and war to peace transitions
  • Governance and conflict
  • The politics of humanitarian action
Regional Focus:
  • Middle East
  • East/Great Lakes Africa
  • Colombia
Courses Taught:
  • Conflict Resolution Theory at Fletcher (DHP D223)
Most Recent External Publications:
  • 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 
  • Nussio, Enzo & Kimberly Howe. “When Illegal Protection Collapses: Pathways to Increased Post-Demobilization Violence.” Terrorism and Political Violence, 28, no. 5 (2014): 848 – 867. doi:10.1080/09546553.2014.955916

News Items

Elizabeth Stites and Kimberly Howe describe lessons from Syria for the humanitarian response in Ukraine
April 7, 2022

Helping Ukrainians means listening to their needs – 3 lessons for aid groups from Syria’s war Millions of Syrians remain displaced from the conflict that began in 2011. Delil Souleiman/AFP…

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Kimberly Howe presents at the American Political Science Association
September 20, 2019

Kimberly Howe attended the Annual Political Science Association Meeting in Washington in August. With her co-author Dipali Mukhopadhyay, they presented an excerpt of their forthcoming book, “Good Rebel Governance: Revolutionary…

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Feinstein Research Projects

Child Marriage in Humanitarian Settings

In 2015, more than 190 countries committed to end child marriage by 2030 as part of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). These projects seek to develop better evidence to inform policy, programs, and advocacy to address child marriage in humanitarian contexts.

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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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Feinstein Publications

Localization across contexts: Lessons learned from four case studies

This brief highlights similarities and differences between two studies on localization of humanitarian action and identifies lessons learned that may reach beyond specific emergencies in Indonesia and the Horn of Africa.

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Household Resilience During Conflict: Qualitative Comparative Analysis for the Case of Syria
By Kimberly Howe, Tyson Patros | June 2020

This paper contributes to the dialogue on methodological options by exploring the utility of applying Qualitative Comparative Analysis using fuzzy sets (fsQCA) for understanding complex causality and the conditions that support resilience in humanitarian contexts.

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