Nealin Parker is Executive Director of Search for Common Ground USA and a Lecturer at Princeton University’s School of Public and International Affairs. She teaches courses on political polarization and conflict transformation, refugees, and management of aid in countries in crisis. She was most recently Co-Director of the Bridging Divides Initiative, before serving as the founding member of BDI's Advisory Council in 2021.
Nealin has helped lead large, complex organizations across the public and private sectors. She served in high-level appointments throughout the Obama Administration: as Chief of Staff for the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and the Acting Director of the Office of Transition Initiatives at the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID/OTI). OTI was established after the fall of the Berlin Wall to provide rapid response to political crises globally. Among its portfolio during her tenure were programs in Afghanistan, Burma, Kenya, Libya, and Syria.
Nealin has brought to these endeavors over 10 years of experience working on issues of conflict, poverty and health with governments, non-governmental organizations, and think tanks, including the Carter Center, IFES, the Bobst Center on Peace and Justice, the Treatment Action Campaign, the Center on International Cooperation, and the Brookings Institution.
Nealin earned a Master’s in Public Affairs from Princeton University’s School of Public and International Affairs and a Bachelor of Arts in Religion from the University of Virginia.