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 publishes on trauma in Security Dialogue
September 13, 2022

Kimberly Howe published “Trauma to self and other: Reflections on field research and conflict” in Security Dialogue, Volume 53, Issue 4. In this article, Kim recognizes that researchers who engage…

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Feinstein faculty share insight into war in Ukraine through many channels
July 27, 2022

War in the Ukraine broke out in February 2022. Feinstein International Center faculty and researchers have been sharing what they know about the crisis and wider implications through a variety…

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Feinstein Research Projects

Early Marriage in Conflict and Displacement

Our latest research shows that we do not know enough about early marriage to design programs and policies that effectively support female youth in the ways that they need. This study is generating the evidence humanitarians need.

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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

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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The Cost of Being Female: Mental Health and Psychosocial Support of Displaced Female Youth in South Sudan and the Kurdistan Region of Iraq
Cover of report on MHPSS and child marriage

This briefing paper outlines the situation of displaced female youth—unmarried, married, divorced, widowed—from a mental health and psychosocial functioning (MHPSS) lens.

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