Najeeba Syeed

Associate Professor of Interreligious Education Active Faculty, Claremont Graduate University B.S. Guilford College; J.D., Indiana University-Bloomington

Professor Syeed is recognized as a leader in peacebuilding and twice received the Jon Anson Ford Award for reducing violence in schools and in the area of interracial gang conflicts and was named Southern California Mediation Association’s “Peacemaker of the Year” in 2007. She has chaired national conferences on Muslim and Interfaith Peacebuilding, served as a mediator in many cases, started mediation programs in many institutions including University of Southern California and several middle and high schools. Schools have reported a drop in disciplinary referrals and violence. Her track record as a peacemaker has made her sought out advisor for state, federal and White House initiatives, and in international conflicts in Guam, Afghanistan, Israel, Palestine, India and France.


She was formerly the executive director of the Western Justice Center Foundation founded by Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals Judge Dorothy Nelson and previous to that appointment was the executive director of the Asian Pacific American Dispute Resolution Center. Under her directorship the organizations grew significantly in the areas of school based interracial conflict resolution, anti-bullying initiatives, cross cultural conflict resolution training, officer involved shooting community/police mediation, gang intervention community engaged design, and served a range of clients including the Coca-Cola company, UCLA, USC, Arts Center College for design, LAUSD and the Department of Justice.


Her research articles have focused on: 1) Mediation between law enforcement and communities 2) Intersections of law with religious minority communities 3) Interfaith just peacemaking. Along with colleagues she has developed training modules in Islamic conflict resolution and mediation presented at Harvard Law School. She serves as an advisor to local and federal agencies on interfaith dialogue, cooperation and public engagement and was most recently engaged at advisory convenings sponsored by the Interfaith Youth Corps collaboration with the White House Challenge: The President’s Interfaith and Community Service Campus Challenge: The President’s Interfaith and Community Service Campus Challenge.


She has facilitated conflict resolution processes for conflicts in many school, community and environmental and public controversies. She serves as the co-chair of the American Academy of Religion’s Religion and Politics Section and is a member of the Academy’s Religion, Social Conflict and Peace Section. She is a past board member of the National Association for Community Mediation, National Coalition for Dialogue and Deliberation and serves on the Higher Education Advisory Council for Interfaith Youth Corps, and Advisory Council for Peace and Conflict Resolution at the Tanenbaum Center and past chair of the Pasadena Commission on the Status of Women. She served on the Teaching Team for the Luce American Academy of Religion Summer Seminar on Religious Pluralism and Comparative Theologies.
She is a regular blogger for Muslim Voices, Feminist. Com, Huffington Post and has been featured in the Los Angeles Times, on NPR, PBS, on the Tavis Smiley show and has been quoted by print and news media around the globe. Her speaking schedule has included keynotes and named lectures around the country at major universities including La Sierra University, University of Southern California, Harvard University, Boston Theological Seminary, University of Toledo, Eastern Mennonite University and her alma mater, Guilford College.


She is a 1995 graduate of Guilford College where she received the Oexmann Fellowship for community based mediation and was awarded the 2012 Young Alumni Achievement Award. She is a 2000 graduate of Indiana University Maurer School of Law where she was a teaching fellow in the area of mediation and ran the university’s mediation program. She also has appointments as extended faculty at Claremont Graduate School of Religion.


B.S., Guilford College
J.D., Indiana University School of Law