A Message from the Fred J. Hansen Peace Chair


Promoting Peace

The importance of efforts to promote peace and justice have never been clearer with the tumult of the past few years: the COVID-19 pandemic, escalating conflicts, and a looming environmental crisis. The Fred J. Hansen Peace Chair was founded on the notion that working together toward a common goal can help avert conflict and promote understanding. Since its founding in 1998, this has been one of SDSU’s key platforms to engage and work toward peace and justice in the local San Diego/Tijuana region as well as across the wider world. 

My Vision

For the next two years, the work of the Hansen Chair will be thematically organized around the intersections of climate change, migration and conflict. These are three critically important and interconnected topics. For example, conflict has been a major driver of migration, as evidenced by millions of refugees fleeing Syria and Ukraine. Mass movement of people can then lead to conflict, often over scarce environmental resources. Climate change has increasingly become a driving force for both migration and conflict (tragically exemplified in the Darfur conflict).

We will be launching a series of lectures on these topics with leading experts from around the world visiting the SDSU campus. In addition, the Hansen Chair will also serve as a hub to connect and foster a community of scholars working on world peace. Researchers (faculty and students) from the greater San Diego transborder region are invited to become “Hansen Peace Affiliates” and will have their research featured on our website and social media feeds. I am also excited to work with refugee organizations in San Diego as well as student groups on campus connected to migrant communities, climate change, and peace.

About Me

I served as the chair of the economics department from 2018-2023 and am excited to take on this new opportunity. My research areas are migration and economic development. Recent publications include an evaluation of the impact of border wall construction in the US on crime and the effects of birthright citizenship policy in Ireland on migrant characteristics. I have taught a wide range of courses connected to world peace including development economics, economics of the Middle East, the economics of immigration, health economics, and economic inequality. I have also been a core member and major advisor of the SDSU Center for Islamic and Arabic Studies since 2006. 

Hisham Foad, Hansen Chair