Francesca Freeman is a PhD student in Peace Studies and History with the Kroc Institute at the University of Notre Dame. She holds an M.A. in Holocaust and Genocide Studies from the University of Amsterdam and a B.A. in Anthropology and Comparative Race and Ethnic Studies from the University of Chicago. Her Master’s thesis, which was awarded the University of Amsterdam Faculty of Humanities Thesis Prize, analyzed rescuing during the Rwandan Genocide at the micro-, meso-, and macro- levels of Rwandan society.

Previously, Francesca worked at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) supporting randomized evaluations of social interventions to address poverty, and at the Social Science Research Council, supporting a fellowship for African Ph.D. students studying peace and security. Francesca also has extensive experience supporting low-income international students, particularly students from conflict zones, applying to college. She also runs a mentorship program for Syrian girls.

At the Kroc Institute, Francesca plans to continue studying rescuing narratives during and after mass atrocities. She intends to study how regional and international state actors in the modern Middle East established themselves as altruistic rescuers, but then used the morally absolute definition of rescuing to deny or rationalize involvement in subsequent war crimes, crimes against humanity, and genocide.

Francesca is a Notre Dame Presidential Fellow.