Prof. William B. Farrell

William Farrell is Principal Consultant at Swordfish Consulting International. Farrell and the team at Swordfish work globally on situation analysis, strategy formulation, impact articulation, and influence mapping in fragile and transitional countries. Particular expertise is on countering violent extremism and conflict.

In addition, Farrell serves as cooperating faculty at the Maine Business School and at the University of Maine’s School of Policy and International Affairs, where he researches jihadi organizations. He is a member of the Maine Advisory Committee of the U.S. Global Leadership Coalition.

A graduate of Tufts University and of the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy and currently completing his PhD at the University of Maine, Farrell has worked in leadership positions in multilateral organizations, the United States Government, and implementing organizations over the past two decades. His experience in fragile countries has given him significant background in confronting the challenges of instability through evidence-based policy guidance and high-impact program design.

Seconded by the United States Department of State to the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, Farrell was substantially involved in the formal peace negotiations between Georgians and South Ossetians as well as between Tajiks, during the civil war in Tajikistan. His work with the United States Agency for International Development in Central Asia helped communities and governments develop stronger partnerships to enhance the lives and well-being of citizens. He has worked in support of emergency response in Sudan. And he has conducted field research in large parts of the Sahel, Caucasus, and Central Asia for concrete ways in which development assistance can be used to counter violent extremist activity, build stability, and support national cohesion.

Farrell regularly speaks internationally and domestically on topics of fragility.