Melissa Sinclair


Melissa Sinclair has worked at the nexus of conflict and international development for 20+years. Her career began as a volunteer with World Hope International, assisting with refugees in Albania during the war in Kosovo. Shortly after the peace agreement was signed, she returned to the ethnically divided city of Mitrovica, Kosovo as a short-term missionary with Global Partners (2000-2002). In 2003, she moved to Washington, D.C. to serve as the assistant to Jo Anne Lyon, founder and Executive Director of World Hope International. Melissa then accepted a position as a Research Associate at the National Defense University where her research focused on post-war stabilization and reconstruction and she also managed the daily operations of a 35-person, $9M/year research center (2004-2011). From 2011-2015 she served with the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), starting with a two-year tour in Afghanistan followed by nearly three years at the Office of Civilian-Military Cooperation in Washington, D.C. Melissa left government service in 2015 to focus full-time on researching and writing her dissertation… and to move to Pittsburgh to marry Sangki Oak, the charming U.S. Navy corpsman assigned to the base where she worked in Afghanistan in 2011. Melissa and Sangki now live in Boston where Sangki is a surgical resident at Brigham and Women’s Hospital. They have one young son and hope to move overseas, preferably to conflict-prone, low-resource communities, to assist with community development work when Sangki finished his training as a trauma surgeon. 

Melissa holds a BA in Christian Education and Global Ministries (Kingswood University, 1999), MS in Peace Operations (George Mason University, 2008), and Ph.D. in Conflict Analysis andResolution (George Mason University, 2019). She has taught graduate-level courses at theNational Defense University, George Washington University, and is currently adjunct faculty at the School of International Service at American University.



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