Natalie Wright Romeri-Lewis, Senior Project Associate at The WomanStats Project, studied international development, refugees, and law. She has explored judicial reform and women’s informal power in developing nations and lived in Asia, Europe, and Latin America. She has worked in judicial chambers and NGOs and consulted internationally. While presenting to new staff at UN permanent missions, she explained how to improve the quality of the contributions and quantity of female negotiators. Currently, she teaches international development at the Kennedy Center for International Studies at BYU and leads initiatives at The WomanStats Project. She also researches urban poverty among Colombian women, women’s leadership during peace and transitional justice processes, and the voting patterns of legislatures with high numbers of females.
In a new project, Natalie is reviewing studies and datasets on truth commissions to determine who incorporates the multiple identities of statement-makers into institutional design. In the future, she plans on conducting field experiments in post-conflict Colombia. In addition to randomized control trials, she aims to facilitate locals through socially innovative workshops to identify how they would design a truth commission – one that, according to them, would provide healing, empowerment, and justice outcomes. Field activities would include drawing, ranking, sorting, prototyping, and testing.
Natalie invites all students to attend her semesterly workshops on community-building (FAMA technique) and professionalism and networking for future global professionals!
Research and Other Accomplishments
Natalie designed a new, practice-oriented class, “Women, Peace, Transitional Justice, and the Rule of Law.” Students analyze the evolution of a post-conflict country of their choice from peace to conflict, conflict to peace, and peace to transitional justice. Students learn to identify, analyze, and map their stakeholders and resources. They also present a final project. Projects last year included enhancing an anti-FGM campaign among Kurdish families and designing workshops for pre-teens on the meaning of consent in Liberia where post-conflict sexual violence remains high.
Her research is in the area of the substantive representation of women in politics and whether countries experience reduced internal conflict, reduced external conflict, and increased domestic violence legal protections as numbers of female parliamentarians rise worldwide. She also writes about women in urban poverty in Colombia and the the income-generation alternatives they have. Natalie is also starting a long-term study on the interaction between truth commissions and victim statement-makers with implications for future transitional justice programs in Colombia. She hopes to first train law and political science students to facilitate (ACUMEN/IDEO-like) human-centered design workshops throughout cities and rural areas in Colombia to determine how individuals not-affiliated with government employment would design a truth commission. The participants will discuss, rank, sort, draw, and prototype their ideal truth commission - one that aims to provide the outcomes of justice, healing, and empowerment. These results will hopefully inform future truth commissioners and truth commission designers as they plan who provides statements, how to transport victims from rural areas to the commission, how statements are offered, the services offered to statement-makers during and following their written and/or oral statement-making, and so forth. Once Colombia has a peace agreement in place and looks to designing a truth commission, Natalie hopes to conduct randomized control trials leading up to the commission and while the commission operates. Findings will potentially provide insight to future countries exiting conflict on which elements provide the highest amount of perceived healing, empowerment, and justice.
Women, Peace, Negotiations, and Data, Oct 2016
Women Have a Voice: How to Write for the Popular Press, Oct 2016
▪ Women Peacebuilders: How Women Influence Peace Processes and Why We Need More Data
The History of Peace: 1750 Through the Present, Rutledge Press, June 2017
▪ Sex and World Peace, Hudson et al.
Taylor and Francis, 2016, http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/15512169.2015.1125689
Works in Progress
▪ Article: Female Representation and Domestic Violence Legislation: A Cross-National Study
▪ Article: Female Representation and Peace and Security Outcomes: A Cross-National study
▪ Article: Datasets on Women: Competing Methodologies
▪ Article: Intersectionality and Truth Commissions: Do institutional-designers, academics, and datasets
analyze the multiple identities of truth commission statement-makers?
▪ Book Chapter: Women in Urban Poverty in Colombia
▪ Law Review Article: Global Domestic Violence Laws: The Best and Worst National Coverage and How Countries Reduce Domestic Violence Without Fulling Banning It