Council Member 2017 - 2020
Katya Migacheva holds a Ph.D. in Social Psychology, with the concentration in Psychology of Peace and Violence from the University of Massachusetts Amherst. In her research, she sought to understand psychological factors that contribute or present obstacles to harmonious intergroup relations. With the support of multiple grants and a dissertation fellowship, using a variety of methodologies, Katya researched ways to foster positive contact between racial and ethnic groups and, on the example of ethnic Russians and Ukrainians in Ukraine, investigated how drastic societal transformations (e.g., dissolution of the Soviet Union) affect intergroup relations. Upon completion of her doctorate, Katya was awarded a James Marshall Public Policy Fellowship and served as a Senior Fellow on the Tom Lantos Human Rights Commission in the U.S. Congress. In this position, she advised Members of Congress on human rights and foreign policy, liaised with the U.S. and foreign governments, NGOs, and research institutes, wrote legislation and oversaw implementation of the existing laws, directed a team of human rights professionals in organizing congressional hearings. At RAND, Katya has applied her diverse methodological and subject matter expertise and participated in and led projects on a wide range of topics, including religion and conflict, challenges in societies undergoing transition, hate speech and hate crime, and countering violent extremism. Katya continues to actively pursue avenues for application of social scientific knowledge through disseminating her research to practitioners and policy makers, through her engagement with SPSSI, and by working closely with national and international civil-society organizations.