Ismael Muvingi, Ph.D., is a native of Rhodesia, now Zimbabwe. He trained as a lawyer at the University of Rhodesia and when the war for liberation from colonization intensified, he went to work for a social justice NGO, the Catholic Commission for Justice and Peace in Rhodesia. Part of his work entailed going into the war zones to investigate and report on the atrocities committed by both the colonial government's forces as well as the liberation fighters on the civilians that were caught in the middle of the fighting. Such work inevitably raised the ire of the government and he had to leave the country in 1978. He moved to the United States and enrolled in the government and international relations program at the University of Notre Dame, in the United States.
When Rhodesia gained its independence, he returned to his native country and joined in the nation building effort. He first worked as an Assistant Secretary in the Ministry of Justice, setting up a new system of primary courts in the country, and later was moved to the Attorney General's office to work as a government attorney. In 1986, he left government service to set up his own law firm of Muvingi and Machaya, with offices in three cities. Meanwhile, the national liberation promise was faltering, political conflict escalated into violence and in 1999, when Notre Dame University offered him a scholarship to study peace and international studies, Ismael moved back to the U.S. and obtained another master's degree.
In 2001, he joined Catholic Relief Services (CRS), first heading an awareness and legislative appropriations campaign on HIV-AIDS and conflict resolution and later was appointed the Institutional Relations Officer, spearheading collaborative development initiatives between CRS and a select group of universities. While working for CRS he pursued a doctorate in Conflict Analysis and Resolution at George Mason University. His dissertation was a comparative study of the Conflict Diamonds Campaign and the Capital Market Sanctions Campaign (on Sudan) in the U.S. Dr. Muvingi moved to Winnipeg, Canada, in 2004 to teach conflict resolution at Menno Simons College, which is affiliated with the University of Winnipeg. He wrote the book Oil, Diamonds and Human Rights in the Marketplace, as well as scholarly articles on Zimbabwean politics and on transitional justice. His areas of research are human rights, African politics and transitional justice with a special focus on Africa.
Dr. Muvingi has always been actively engaged in communities. He was awarded the Goodwill Ambassador award by the South Bend Homeless Center in 2000. In Winnipeg, he was active in the local community and served as the secretary of World Peace Partners, a Rotary International initiative. He was also a member of the Board of Governors and the Director of International Service for the Winnipeg Rotary Club.