Al Fuertes

Al Fuertes

Al Fuertes

Associate Professor

Facilitation and dialog, global education, psychosocial trauma healing, conflict resolution, theology of struggle, anti-human trafficking and displacement issues

Dr. Al Fuertes was a recipient of the 2015 Spirit of King Award, the 2014 Oscar Mentoring Excellence Award, the 2008 GMU Teaching Excellence Award and the 2001 AT&T Asia-Pacific Leadership Award. Al is a field practitioner and consultant who specializes in community-based trauma healing as an integral component in peacebuilding and conflict transformation. He travels extensively around the world, particularly in places affected by war, armed conflict, and natural disaster. Al works with government, religious, military, and community leaders, as well as NGO development workers, school administrators, teachers, youth, refugees and internally displaced persons. He is the faculty director of the global education program in the Philippines, a 6-credit summer course in Human Trafficking, Environmental Issues, and Grassroots Peacebuilding through Mason's Center for Global Education (CGE), and in Cambodia, a 3-credit winter course in Post Genocide, Community Development, and Spirituality through the Social Action and Integrative Learning (SAIL). Al is an ordained minister with the United Church of Christ in the Philippines (UCCP). He currently works as a covenant minister of UCC Wellspring in Centreville, VA. 

Current Research

Voluntary repatriation of Karen refugees back to Burma.

Prosecution and conviction of human trafficking cases in the Philippines.

Peacebuilding in Sri Lanka, post-conflict.

Selected Publications

Fuertes, Al. 2016. "Karen Refugees Describe Peace within the Context of Displacement." Conflict Resolution Quarterly. Vol. 33, Issue 3, Spring, pp. 297-312.

Fuertes, Al 2016 (In Press). "Peacebuilders in Mindanao Describe Consciousness and Transformation Towards Effective Practice." Kinaadman, Xavier University.

Fuertes, Al and Wayland, Mary. 2015. “Cultivating Mindfulness through Meditation in a Classroom Setting from Students' Perspective.” Vol. 7. DOI :

Fuertes, Al B. 2012. "Transformative Impact of Storytelling on the IDPs in the Philippines." Conflict Resolution Quarterly, Volume 29 Number 3 Spring.

Fuertes, Al. 2010. "Peacebuilders in Southeast Asia Describe the Dynamic Interplay Between Consciousness and Transformation Towards Effective Practice." Alternative Perspectives in the Humanities and the Social Sciences. Ed. Otto F. von Feigenblatt. Journal of Alternative Perspectives in the Social Sciences, Inc., pp. 1-12.

Fuertes, Al. 2010. "Rethinking How We Channel Relief Assistance and Humanitarian Services to Refugees and Internally Displaced Communities in Southeast Asia." Development and Conflict in the 21st Century. Ed. Otto F. von Feigenblatt. Journal of Alternative Perspectives in the Social Sciences, Inc., pp. 4-26.

Fuertes, Al B. 2010. "Birds Inside A Cage: Metaphor for Karen Refugees." Social Alternatives. First Quarter, Volume 29:1: 2010.

Fuertes, Al. 2008. Community-based Warviews, Resiliency and Healing. VDM Verlag Dr. Mueller e.K.

Courses Taught

Cornerstones 101 Narratives of Identity

NCLC 140 Self as Citizen

NCLC 202 Public Speaking and Critical Thinking

NCLC 305 Conflict Resolution/Transformation

NCLC 314 Conflict, Trauma and Healing

NCLC 315 Spirituality and Conflict Transformation

NCLC 382 Human Dimensions in Conservation

NCLC 416 Refugee and Internal Displacement

NCLC 475 Forgiveness & Reconciliation in Divided Communities

NCLC 475 Human Trafficking and the International Community

NCLC 491 Senior Capstone Experience

GLOA 620 Human Systems

CONF 695 Psychosocial Trauma and Healing

Mentorship to students in their Individualized Studies programs


Ph.D. in Conflict Analysis and Resolution, George Mason University (2007)

M.A. in Peace Studies, Associated Mennonite Biblical Seminary, Elkhart, IN (1997)

Bachelor of Theology, Silliman University, Dumaguete, Philippines (1990)

Organizational Affiliations

Member/Reviewer, Scientific Board. Trauma, Memory and Healing in the Balkans and Beyond, 2015-present.

Member/Reviewer, Technical Committee of the 2016 5th International Conference on Social Science and Humanity (ICSSH 2016), Japan.

Association of Conflict Resolution, 2012.

Board of Directors, International Peace Research Association Foundation (IPRAF). 2006-present.

Member, Asia Pacific Peace Research Association (APPRA), 2006-present.

Member, Peace and Justice Studies Association (PJSA), 2007-present.

Member, Psychologists for Social Responsibility (US), Washington DC, 2002-present.