Will O'Brien

Will O'Brien


Will O’Brien is a PhD student in the joint Peace Studies and History program with the Department of History and the Kroc Institute for International Peace Studies. He holds an M.A. in Religion in Global Politics from SOAS, University of London and a B.A. in Religion and a minor in Arabic from the University of Rochester. His master’s thesis analyzed the differing historical narratives of the dissolution and departure of the American Presbyterian Mission to Egypt and the ramifications of these narratives on the study and practice of international development in Egypt.

Previously, Will worked in foreign policy and international development in Washington, DC; London, England; and Cairo, Egypt. In his most recent roles, he served as a speech writer, research assistant, and executive assistant for senior leaders at the Atlantic Council and the United States Institute of Peace.

At Notre Dame, Will plans to historicize the influence of Western Christianity’s expansion into North Africa and the Middle East and interrogate the subsequent wave of secularization on political systems, religious actors, and development theologies in conflict and post-conflict settings.

Will is a Notre Dame Presidential Fellow, a juggler, and a banjo player.