Riak Joins Center for Reconciliation

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Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Abi RiakAbikök (“Abi”) Riak has been named manager of operations and programs in the Center for Reconciliation, effective Nov. 18. This new position is part of a planned restructuring and expansion of the center led by the center’s co-directors Emmanuel Katongole and Chris Rice and supported by a new foundation grant.

Riak comes to Duke after 12 years with World Vision International, most recently as director of external engagement in the new country of South Sudan. She also has served as World Vision’s regional peacebuilding coordinator in the Asia Pacific region (based in the Philippines), and in World Vision’s Washington, D.C., office as a director of operations and program effectiveness.

She attended high school in Kenya and attended college and graduate school in the U.S., receiving a B.A. in Economics and History from Bluffton University and an M.A. in Regional Planning from UNC-Chapel Hill.

“We’re excited to have someone with her background and knowledge in this key role,” said Rice. “Abi’s diverse international and cross-cultural experience, along with her administrative skills, will greatly enhance the work of the center.”

As part of the restructuring, Katongole will transition into a new role as senior strategist when he returns from his sabbatical next fall, allowing him more time to spend on his teaching and scholarship. Rice will continue in his role as director of the center and will work closely with Riak to oversee the center’s programs during this time of growth and transition.