Center for Conflict Management


International Conference on

“Negotiation: Dispute Resolution and Conflict Management in a Changing World”

April 10-12, 2014
Kennesaw State University, Kennesaw (Atlanta Suburb)
1000 Chastain Road, Kennesaw, Georgia 30144 USA


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Keynote Speaker: Dr. Mitchell R. Hammer


Plenary Speaker: Ambassador Chudi Okafor


dR. Mitchell R. Hammer


mitch r. hammer

Mitchell R. Hammer, Ph.D. has achieved an international reputation as a social innovator, developing powerful ideas and innovative practices that improve people’s lives throughout the world by addressing some of our most difficult social problems. Dr. Hammer is a person who propels social change at the intersection of cultural differences: Solving problems and resolving conflicts, building intercultural competence, and saving lives under conditions of violence and threat. He is a creative problem solver, moving conversations around racism and prejudice to cross-cultural understanding and empathy. He has transformed armed conflicts, interpersonal violence, and suicide situations into peaceful resolution. Dr. Hammer’s personal involvement in difficult and often dangerous dialogue has resulted in healing where hurt festered, cooperative relations where mistrust existed, and safety in situations where violence dominated.


Dr. Hammer is the founder of several organizations that focus on intercultural competence development, conflict resolution, and critical incident management and crisis negotiation and resolution. He is also professor emeritus of International Peace and Conflict Resolution in the School of International Service at the American University in Washington D.C. His work spans a wide range of organizations including private corporations, not-for-profit organizations, state and local law enforcement agencies, and federal agencies, including NASA Johnson Space Center, The Federal Bureau of Investigation, and the National Institutes of Health. Dr. Hammer’s cutting edge work has resulted in (1) the Intercultural Development Inventory®, an assessment instrument and process that is used throughout the world to build intercultural competence, (2) the Intercultural Conflict Style (ICS) Inventory®, a theoretical model and assessment tool used by mediators, trainers, managers and counselors to bridge cultural differences in solving problems and resolving disagreements and conflict, and (3) the SAFE Dialogue™ approach to crisis intervention and hostage negotiation used by universities, organizations and federal and local agencies.

Dr. Hammer has served by appointment by the Director of the National Institutes of Medicine (NIH) as a Charter member of the Cancer Advisory Panel for the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine. Dr. Hammer provided advisement on negotiation strategies concerning the hostage crisis in Peru to the Government of Japan as well as Japanese private-sector representatives who had employees taken hostage and has also advised negotiators involved in successfully securing the release of an American taken hostage in Latin America. Dr. Hammer has advised the Behavior and Performance Laboratory of the NASA Johnson Space Center for the International Space Station Program. on cross-cultural communication. In 1996, Dr. Hammer, along with four associates, identified a set of letters with the writing of the so-called “Unabomber Manifesto” helping identify Ted Kaczynski as the “Unabomber.”


Dr. Hammer’s book, Saving Lives (2007) presents a comprehensive explanation of the innovative S.A.F.E. approach for resolving crisis situations. Saving Lives was given the annual award for Outstanding Scholarly Book in Applied Communication by the National Communication Association in 2008. His previous book, Dynamic Processes of Crisis Negotiation (1997), was honored with the “Outstanding Book Award” in 1998 by the International Association of Conflict Management. He has published widely, with 3 books, 73 articles, 145 conference papers and presentations, and been honored with 55 professional awards and keynote addresses, including the “Senior Interculturalist Award of Achievement” by the Society of Intercultural Education, Training and Research. Dr. Hammer frequently provides expert analysis for the media, including NBC News, CNN, FOX National News, CTV in Canada, NHK television in Japan, Voice of America, Agence France Presse, Associated Press, United Press International, Reuters, USA Today and the Washington Post.



Ambassador Chudi Okafor


Ambassador Chudi Okafor


H.E. Mr. Chudi Okafor is the Ambassador of the Federal Republic of Nigeria to the Kingdom of Thailand and Myanmar (Burma). He is also Permanent Observer at the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP), Bangkok. Before his ambassadorial appointment in November 2011, Mr. Chudi Okafor was the Chief of Staff to the Secretary to the Government of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.


Ambassador Okafor holds a Master of Science degree in Conflict Management from Kennesaw State University, Atlanta, Georgia, USA; a Master’s degree in International Law and Diplomacy from the University of Lagos, Nigeria; a Certificate in International Relations, Law and Diplomacy, from Foreign Service Academy, Lagos, Nigeria; and B.Sc. in Political Science (Second Class Upper Division) from University of Nigeria, Nsukka.


At the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Headquarters in Nigeria, from the early 1980s, Ambassador Okafor has served with dedication and distinction in various departments namely; Consular, Administration, Economic Affairs, Africa, and International Organizations. He has worked with three Permanent Secretaries at a senior management level, overseeing Headquarters and Overseas Missions administration before his appointment as Consul General.


Before his appointment as Nigeria’s Consul General to Atlanta, USA, in 2006, he was Minister Counsellor, Economic and Trade Desk at the Embassy of Nigeria, Moscow, Russian Federation, in the late 1990s. In early 1990s, he was Senior Counsellor at the Nigeria High Commission, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Also, he was Head of Chancery at the Nigeria High Commission, Port-of-Spain, Trinidad and Tobago in the early 1980s.


In the area of international negotiations, Ambassador Okafor has participated in many conferences and meetings of the United Nations, Commonwealth, and World Trade Organization in New York, Washington, Atlanta, Geneva, and other locations for the past 30 years.


In the course of his diplomatic service, he has received many awards. Among them are the award from the Alliance of Nigerian Organizations in Georgia (ANOG), USA; commendations for his work from prominent personalities including the former Governor of the State of Georgia, former Mayor of Atlanta and Permanent Representative of USA to the United Nations, Ambassador Andrew Young, as well as the former President Jimmy Carter of the USA. He was also given the Key to the City of Savannah, GA by the former Mayor, Dr. Ottis Johnson.


Ambassador Okafor enjoys reading, lawn tennis, jogging, and listening to jazz music.