• Academic
  • Valerie M. Hudson and Hilary Matfess, "In Plain Sight: The Neglected Linkage between Brideprice and Violent Conflict," International Security, Vol. 42, No. 1 (Summer 2017), pp. 7–40.
  • Jason Warner and Hilary Matfess, "Exploding Stereotypes: The Unexpected Operational and Demographic Characteristics of Boko Haram’s Suicide Bombers," West Point Combatting Terrorism Center. (August 2017).
  • "Conflict Analysis of Northeast Nigeria: Biu, Bursari, Gombi, Hawul, Hong, Jakusko, Jere and Kaga Local Government Areas," For USAID Feed the Future​, (September 2017) with Chitra Nagarajan.
  • Matfess, H., (2016). Institutionalizing Instability: The Constitutional Roots of Insecurity in Nigeria’s Fourth Republic. Stability: International Journal of Security and Development. 5(1), p.13. DOI: http://doi.org/10.5334/sta.458
  • "The March Is Not Linear: Big Party Politics and the Decline of Democracy Worldwide" with Francis Fukuyama in "Beyond Convergence: A World Without Order." CCO (2016). Available here.
  • "Ethiopia: Counter-Terrorism Legislation in Sub-Saharan Africa." Small Wars Journal. April 11, 2017.
  • "Women's Rights in Nigeria under a Trump Administration." In "Trump Meets Africa." Published by the Center for Democracy and Development. April 2017. 
  • "Sub-Saharan Africa" in "Charting a New Course Strategic Choices for a New Administration". INSS (2016). Available here.
  • "Women as Symbols and Swords in Boko Haram’s Terror" with Mia Bloom. PRISM. 6.1(2016). Available here.
  • “Rwanda and Ethiopia: Developmental Authoritarianism and the New Politics of African Strong Men.” African Studies Review 58.2 (2015): 181-204. Available here. 


  • Journalism
  • "Navigating Human Terrain with GPS (Gender, Peace, and Security) in Western Africa," with Arnel David. Real Clear Defense. April 23, 2018. 
  • "Fixing Ethiopia Requires More Than a New Prime Minister," Lawfare. April 22, 2018.
  • "Gender Quotas and Backlash." Stratfor. March 19, 2018. 
  • "No Justice, No Peace: Why Justice Sector Reform is A Critical Part of Counter-Terrorism." Stratfor. February 12, 2018. 
  • "Strategic Hamlets in Nigeria." Stratfor. January 11, 2018. 
  • "Do women matter to international security? Trump just changed the U.S. government's answer to that question." Washington Post Monkey Cage Blog. January 4, 2018. 
  • "Chad’s Inclusion in the ‘travel ban’ Jeopardizes Stability in the Sahel." Stratfor. December 11, 2017. 
  • "In Partnering With Nigeria’s Abusive Military, the U.S. Is Giving Boko Haram a Lifeline." World Politics Review. October 24, 2017. 
  • "How Nigeria's Boko Haram Crackdown Harms Local Economies." Foreign Affairs. July 17, 2017. 
  • "Violence Against Female Politicians."  CFR Women Around the World. July 11, 2017.
  • "Boko Haram's War on Women." Newsweek. February 8, 2016. 
  • "Here’s the case against Trump selling Super-T planes to help Nigeria’s battle with Boko Haram." Quartz. April 17, 2017. 
  • "Three Years Later, A Look at the #BringBackOurGirls Catch-22." The Daily Beast. April 14, 2017. 
  • "The Vigilantes Fighting Boko Haram With Magic Amulets." The Daily Beast. March 9, 2017. 
  • "Women’s empowerment meets male resistance, sexual exploitation in Nigeria camps." IRIN. February 22, 2017. 
  • "Nigeria's Suffering Civilians." Foreign Affairs. January 30, 2017. 
  • "Boko Haram's Resilience." Foreign Affairs. December 19, 2016. 
  • "China in Africa: Economic Myths and Soft Power." Africa Watch. December 15, 2016. 
  • "A Forgotten Emergency: The Humanitarian Crisis in the Lake Chad Basin." Africa Watch. December 8, 2016. 
  • "Boy Soldiers, Girl Victims: Gender Misconceptions and Women in War." Africa Watch. November 9, 2016.
  • "Who Joins Boko Haram and Why?" Africa Watch. October 13, 2016. 
  • "Democracy Delayed in Somalia." Africa Watch. September 29, 2016. 
  • "The Obstacles to Consolidating Democracy in Gabon are Shared Throughout Region." September 22, 2016. 
  •  "Status of Boko Haram." Africa Watch. September 8, 2016. 
  • "Securing the Virtual Savannah: Global Implications of African Cybercrime." Africa Watch. September 1, 2016.
  • "Ethiopian Intifada? Anti-Government Protests Shake the Ethiopian People's Revolutionary Democratic Front." Africa Watch. August 25, 2016.
  • "Boko Haram's Internal Rift probably isn't Good News. Here's Why." Washington Post. August 24, 2016. 
  • "In the Fight Against Boko Haram, What's the Role of the Multi-national Joint Task Force?" Africa Watch. August 18, 2016.
  • "The Wives of Boko Haram." Foreign Affairs. August 17, 2016.
  • "Efforts at Pan-African Integration: New Variations on an Old Theme?" Africa Watch. August 11, 2016. 
  • "Strangers in a Familiar Land: A Referendum on Ivoirite?" Africa Watch. August 4, 2016.  
  • "Miscalculating Security: Obstacles to Reliable Data in Sub-Saharan Africa and Their Implications." Africa Watch. July 28, 2016. 
  • "Urbanization in Sub-Saharan Africa: Perils and Potential." Africa Watch. July 28, 2016. 
  • "PM Netanyahu's African Pilgrimage: Leveraging the Present to Overcome the Past." Africa Watch, July 21, 2016. 
  • "Unstable Foundations -- Constitutional Insecurity and the Crisis in South Sudan." Africa Watch, July 21, 2016. 
  • "Fulani Militants in Nigeria: Mischaracterization Obscures Threat and Impedes Response." Africa Watch, July 14, 2016. 
  • "Nigeria's Breaking Point." Foreign Affairs. July 19, 2016. 
  • "Why Nigeria’s military make bad aid workers." IRIN. July 5, 2016.
  • "Nigeria's Unbalanced Budget." Foreign Affairs. May 23, 2016. 
  • "Political Violence is as Concerning as Genocide." The Cipher Brief. May 11, 2016
  • "Here’s why so many people join Boko Haram, despite its notorious violence." The Washington Post Monkey Cage Blog. April 26, 2016. 
  • "Bringing Back Chibok Girls Only Start of Nigeria’s Challenge". IPI Global Observatory. April 25, 2016. 
  • "Chibok Girls -- Do We Really Care?" IRIN. March 31, 2016. 
  • "Nigeria must declare total war on Boko Haram." Al Jazeera America. February 19, 2016. 
  • "Amid Oil Crash, Could Farming Offer Nigeria a Lifeline?" IPI Global Observatory. February 11, 2016.
  • "Nigeria’s social media bill follows a trend of African governments keeping tabs on civil society" Quartz. December 9, 2015.
  • "Nigeria's Oil Curse." Al Jazeera America. November 25, 2015. 
  • “Is Burundi Inching Towards War?” IPI Global Observatory. October 21, 2015.
  • "Don’t repeat mistakes against Boko Haram in Cameroon." Al Jazeera America. October 3, 2015. 
  • "Tanzania’s Election Run-Up Suggests Backsliding Away From Democracy." IPI Global Observatory. September 30th. 
  • "Should You Worry About China's Investments in Africa?" Monkey Cage Blog, The Washington Post. September 9, 2015. 
  • "As Nigeria Seeks Security, Are More Weapons Really the Answer?" IPI Global Observatory. August 27, 2015. 
  • "Obama's Africa Trip Was a Missed Opportunity." Al Jazeera America. August 4, 2015. 
  • "Nigeria needs more military reforms to take on Boko Haram—not more weapons." Quartz. July 24, 2015.
  • "Nigeria’s Justice System Needs Reform, Not Expansion." The Global Observatory. July 22, 2015. 
  • “Nigeria’s Buhari Hasn’t Been Able to Curtail Boko Haram’s Deadly Affect – Yet.” Quartz. June 30, 2015.  “After Peace Agreement Development Remains Key to Mali’s Progress.” The Global Observatory. June 30, 2015.
  • "Down but Not Out: How to Fight Back Against Boko Haram's Newest Strategy." Foreign Affairs. June 19, 2015. 
  • “Buhari Must Hold Corrupt Military Officials Accountable.” Al Jazeera America. June 13, 2015.
  • “Responses Fall Short as Violence Displaces More Nigerians.” The Global Observatory. June 11, 2015.
  • “The Tripartite Free Trade Area Agreement in Africa is Bound to Disappoint.” Quartz. June 10, 2015.
  • “Electoral Unrest Threatens Burundi’s Nascent Democracy.” The Global Observatory. April 28, 2015.
  • "Looming Challenges in Niger Delta Could Threaten Nigeria’s Election Afterglow." The Global Observatory. April 17, 2015. 
  • "It is Survival of the Fittest Here." Foreign Policy. April 3, 2015. 
  • "To Understand Why West Africa is Finally Teaming up Against Boko Haram, Follow the Money." Quartz. March 24, 2015. 
  • "ISIL and Boko Haram Just Allied -- What's next for Nigeria?" Quartz. March 13, 2015.
  • "US Support for Chad may Destablize Sahel." Al-Jazeera America. March 6, 2015. 
  • "What's Next for Nigeria's Democracy." The Washington Post. February 18, 2015. 
  • "African Union Forces may Exacerbate Boko Haram Threat." Al-Jazeera America. February 7, 2015. 
  • “Boko Haram is Not Al Qaeda.” The Washington Post. January 13, 2015.
  • “The Boko Haram Insurgency By the Numbers.” The Washington Post. October 4, 2014.
  • “Ethiopian Activists Fight US-Backed Land Seizures.” The Nation and Foreign Policy in Focus. September 9, 2014.
  • “Shadow Justice in Nigeria.” Warscapes. June 27, 2014;
  • "Rwanda’s Twenty-Year Transformation." Social Science Research Network African Futures. ​April 28, 2015.
  • “Responsibility Without Capacity.” Warscapes. April 27, 2014;
  • “Orwell in Nairobi.” Warscapes. April 15, 2014.
  • “Kony 2014?” The Atlantic. March 28 2014.
  • “Rwandan Bonsais.” The Nation and Foreign Policy in Focus. January 23, 2014.
  • “Can the Central African Republic’s First Female Leader Fend off Genocide?” The Atlantic. January 24, 2014;
  • “Are We Pivoting to Africa Rather than Asia?” The Atlantic. October 6, 2013;
  • “What does the Nairobi Massacre Mean for Terror in Africa?” The Atlantic. September 25, 2013.

SELECTED PUBLICATIONS

PhD Student at Yale University, Author 'Women and the War on Boko Haram,' Research Analyst, and Freelance Journalist


  • ​Academic
  • International Studies Association annual Conference, "Brideprice and Social Stability." April 2018. 
  • Africa Research Institute. "History and Memory in Boko Haram." October 5, 2016.
  • American Political Science Association 2015 Conference. Panel on Insurgencies in Comparative Perspective. Boko Haram: A Mixed Method's Approach. Presented with the Nigerian Social Violence Project.
  • Futures Without Violence. "Linking the Security of Women and the Security of States." April 27, 2016. 
  • Georgetown African Studies Program "​Origins and Options: Extremism in the Sahel." April 14, 2016. 
  • Policy Oriented
  • Center for Global Development, "Women and the War on Boko Haram," May 30, 2018. 
  • Ralph Bunch Library Speaker Series at the Department of State, "Women and the War on Boko Haram," May 24, 2018. 
  • AFRICOM. "Women, Peace, and Security Conference" in conjunction with Operation Flintlock." April, 2018. 
  • Futures Without Violence, "Implementing Women, Peace, and Security Legislation." March 2018. 
  • AFRICOM, "Gender and Insurgency in Nigeria." ​May 2017. 
  • Foreign Service Institute Africa Course. "Boko Haram and the Lake Chad Basin." Spring 2016, Fall 2016. 
  • AFRICOM Women Peace and Security Conference. "The Gender Politics of Boko Haram." ​May 2016. 
  • Senate Human Rights Caucus "Boko Haram's Humanitarian Consequences." April 26, 2016

  • Media Appearances
  • Connect the World CNN. August 10, 2017. 
  • The Majority Report With Sam Seder. ​December 7, 2015.
  • PRI "To the Point." ​November 20, 2015. 
  • CTV News. November 20, 2015. 
  • NBC News. April 14, 2015. http://www.nbcnews.com/watch/live-video/watch-live-lostgirls-a-look-back-at-nigeria-s-missing-schoolgirls-322484291648
  • World Affairs Council. April 7, 2015. "A Conversation with Ambassador Robin Sanders."
  • Canada AM. ​August 4, 2014. http://canadaam.ctvnews.ca/video?clipId=671027&playlistId=1.2500989&binId=1.815911&playlistPageNum=1&binPageNum=1
  • Canada AM. February 11, 2015. http://canadaam.ctvnews.ca/video?playlistId=1.2230908
  • Straight Talk with Jerry Agar. January 19, 2015.  http://www.sunnewsnetwork.ca/video/3998525859001
  • CTV News. January 18, 2015. http://www.ctvnews.ca/video?clipId=533371
  • Straight Talk with Jerry Agar. January 15, 2015. http://www.sunnewsnetwork.ca/video/search/matfess/boko-haram-a-quiet-radicalization/3991678105001
  • The Maya Akai Show. January 15, 2015.
  • Public Radio International's To the Point. January 14, 2015. 
  • Straight Talk with Jerry Agar. January 12, 2015.  http://www.sunnewsnetwork.ca/video/featured/straight-talk-and-hard-news/868018287001/boko-harams-most-deadly-attack/3984919435001
  • CTV News. January 10, 2015. http://www.ctvnews.ca/video?clipId=528294 
  • HuffPo Live. January 9, 2015. http://huff.lv/1xMbCsdCTV. 

PRESENTATIONS AND MEDIA APPEARANCES

I am a PhD student at Yale University, a freelance journalist, and a contributor to the Nigeria Social Violence Project at the Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies. My research focuses on the nexus of security, gender, and governance, with a focus on sub-Saharan Africa. 

 I have conducted field work in Tanzania, Rwanda, Nigeria, and Ethiopia. My current research focuses on social violence and the Boko Haram insurgency in Nigeria. I am the author of "Women and the War on Boko Haram," available for purchase here

ABOUT 

Hilary Matfess

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