Larissa Fast


Assistant Professor, Sociology
Ph.D.: George Mason University, 2002

Research and Teaching Interests

Conflict analysis and transformation, humanitarian security, international development and peacebuilding.


Larissa Fast is a AAAS Fellow at the USAID Global Development Lab as part of the Digital Development/Digital Inclusion Team. She is also Assistant Professor of Conflict Resolution at the Kroc Institute and Department of Sociology at the University of Notre Dame, and a faculty fellow at Notre Dame’s Kellogg Institute. Fast is a scholar and practitioner, working at the intersection between research, policy, and practice related to humanitarianism, conflict, violence and peacebuilding.

Dr. Fast is an expert on the causes of and responses to violence against conflict interveners, such as aid workers and peacebuilders. She has published expensively on the topic in both academic and policy-focused formats. Her book, Aid in Danger: The Perils and Promise of Humanitarianism (2014, University of Pennsylvania Press) explores and critiques humanitarianism through the lens of narratives about violence against aid workers and aid agency responses to the violence. Fast has published her research in the European Journal of International Relations, Conflict Resolution Quarterly, and Disasters as well as with the Berghof Centre for Conflict Transformation and Save the Children ( In 2008, Fast co-founded the Aid in Danger project ( and the Security in Numbers Database (SiND), a dataset tracking threats to and incidents of violence against aid workers and aid delivery. She and her co-authors have published on their findings with Insecurity Insight, the European Interagency Security Forum, and the SMI at the Geneva Center for Security Policy. In addition to this work, Fast has written on monitoring and evaluating conflict transformation and peacebuilding. Her research has been funded by the Swiss Development Corporation, the United States Institute of Peace, and the US Agency for International Development.

Outside of her academic responsibilities, Fast has consulted and worked for aid agencies and other international organizations, primarily in North America and Africa. She worked on capacity-building projects for Catholic Relief Services in West Africa, co-wrote a training manual on peacebuilding for Caritas Internationalis, and has lectured or trained individuals on conflict resolution, peacebuilding, and humanitarianism in Rwanda, Georgia and North America. Fast has designed and facilitated dialogue processes for non-governmental organizations and universities.

Dr. Fast received her PhD from George Mason University’s School for Conflict Analysis and Resolution. She is also a member of numerous professional associations, including the International Studies Association, International Association of Humanitarian Studies, American Association for the Advancement of Science, Association for Conflict Resolution, and the American Sociological Association.


Phone: (574) 631-6970
Fax: (574) 631-9238
Office: 308 Hesburgh Center