School of Public and International Affairs
Ph.D., George Mason University
M.A., American University of Paris
B.A., University of Pennsylvania
Sarah Federman integrates business savvy with peacebuilding wisdom to understand the role of businesses in mass atrocity and amends-making. She came to the University of Baltimore after completing her doctorate at George Mason University’s School for Conflict Analysis and Resolution as a Presidential Scholar. Federman is also a Fulbright Specialist in Peace and Conflict and a regular guest instructor at the Foreign Service Institute at the U.S. Department of State. She has taught courses at SciencesPo and Grinnell College and given invited talks at Harvard University, Johns Hopkins University, McGill University, and others.
Her book, The Last Train to Auschwitz: The French National Railways and the Journey to Accountability (2021), considers the role of the French National Railways (SNCF) in the World War II Holocaust deportations and the conflict that continued in the United States over whether the company has done enough to make amends. Her findings draw on archival research, over 120 interviews and pro bono work with the U.S. House of Representatives and U.S. Department of State. Fondation pour la mémoire de la Shoah, Kathryn Davis Foundation, George Mason University, the Carey Institute for Global Good and the Amtrak Writing Residency provided support. She has a related piece in the Harvard Business Review, How Companies Can Address Historical Transgressions. For the Harvard IdeaCast podcast version click here.
When writing about corporate accountability, Federman draws on her decade-long career as a senior advertising executive. Based first in Manhattan and then in Paris, Federman negotiated with companies throughout North America, Europe, the Middle East, Africa, and Asia. She has presented at Google, NFL, Viacom, Expedia, Discovery, and most of the world’s largest advertising agencies. She completed Harvard Business School’s Key Executive Program.
Federman is fluent in French.
Current Research Interests:
- Corporate accountability for mass atrocity
- The role of narratives in entrenching and/or transforming conflict
- The social construction of victims and perpetrators
Her website Language of Conflict discusses the role of language in framing conflicts and as a result, the approaches taken for their resolution.
“Corporate Leadership and Mass Atrocity,” The Journal of Business Ethics. (2020)
“The Ideal Perpetrator. Considering the social-construction of accountability: a study of the French National Railways (SNCF)” Security Dialogue (2018)
Introduction to Conflict Resolution: Discourses and Dynamics. London: Rowman & Littlefield (August 2019)- Book
“Keeper of the Violin.” Smithsonian Folklife Magazine, May 1, 2019
"Genocide Studies and Corporate Social Responsibility: The Contemporary Case of the French National Railways (SNCF)," Genocide Studies and Prevention. (2017)
- “Narrative Approaches to Understanding and Responding to Conflict.” International Journal of Conflict Engagement and Resolution (2016)
- Studying Mass Atrocity, from Institutions to Individuals
Carter School for Peace & Conflict Resolution, George Mason University
- The French National Railways: A Lieu de Mémoire in Motion
Holocaust Research Institute
National Railway Museum, York, UK.
- Engaging Corporations in Transitional Justice: From the Holocaust to US Slavery
Law & Society Annual Conference
- Making Sense of the Conflict Resolution Field:
A Framework for Learning & Practice
International Studies Association Annual Meeting
- Corporate Accountability and the Slave Trade
Law & Society Annual Conference
- Central Sahara Peace Dialogues
The Centre for Human Rights and Legal Pluralism
McGill University Faculty of Law