Academic Programs

The Academic Programs unit supports and intersects with each of the in-person and online training and education programs of the Auschwitz Institute for the Prevention of Genocide and Mass Atrocities (AIPG). Academic Programs is responsible for the scholarly and pedagogical framework that informs AIPG’s programming on atrocity prevention. In addition, we review every training and education program offered by AIPG to ensure they reflect our core principles and best educational practices.

Core Scholarly Principles

We believe that preventing genocide and mass atrocity is an achievable goal.  To that end, we focus on a continuum of training and educational strategies that prevent genocide from ever taking place, prevent further atrocities once genocide has begun, and prevent future atrocities once a society has begun to rebuild after genocide.  For AIPG, atrocity prevention is a multilayered approach running throughout the preconflict, midconflict, and postconflict cycle.

We understand the three forms of atrocity prevention as:

  • Upstream prevention is the “before” analysis of the longer-term governance, historical, economic, and societal factors that leave a country at risk for genocide and mass atrocities and the inoculation avenues open to mitigating those risk factors.  
  • Midstream prevention “during” the crisis captures the immediate, real-time relief efforts – political, economic, legal, and military – that are direct crisis management tactics to slow, limit, or halt the mass violence.
  • Downstream prevention refers to the “after” efforts to foster resilience by dealing with the acute long-term consequences of mass violence through pursuits of justice, truth, and memory to help stability, heal, and rehabilitate a post-atrocity society.

The training and educational strategies developed by Academic Programs, and used across the Auschwitz Institute’s broad range of programming, are grounded in this broad and diverse understanding of atrocity prevention.

Pedagogical Framework

Academic Programs emphasizes the “power of place” in training and education.  Beginning with our foundational partnering relationship with the Auschwitz-Birkenau State Museum in 2007, we recognized that holding our genocide prevention seminars at this internationally recognized site of memory and atrocity would give urgency to the preventive work which we were trying to advance in those seminars. To study atrocity prevention, at a place that gives direct evidence to the destructive reality of what happens when prevention fails, offers a unique and powerful immediacy to the teaching and learning experience.  Where possible, our regional and national programs replicate Auschwitz’s “power of place” by being physically and curricularly located around sites of memory.  These sites have included ESMA in Buenos Aires, the Whitney Plantation in Louisiana, Villa Grimaldi in Chile, and the Kigali Genocide Memorial in Rwanda. 


Dr. James Waller -

Mariana Salazar Albornoz -

Agendas of the Global Raphael Lemkin Seminar for Genocide Prevention.



Director of Academic Programs
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Dr. James Waller joined the Auschwitz Institute's staff in July 2012 as Director of Academic Program...

Academic Programs Associate, Latin America and International Law
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Mariana Salazar Albornoz joined the Auschwitz Institute as Latin America Academic Programs Officer i...

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