Joe Pirri, PhD

Faculty, Film Studies and Human Rights

Academic Experience

Dr. Joe Pirri received his Bachelor of Science in Communication from Emerson College, Boston, his MA degree in English from SUNY Albany (New York), and his Phd in English from the University of Wisconsin, Madison, where he was a teaching assistant for four years.


Dr. Pirri has taught professionally at the American College of Switzerland in Leysin, Yarmouk University in Jordan, the University of Geneva, the Lebanese American University in Beirut and Byblos, Lebanon, teaching courses in Cultural Studies, English Literature, Television and Radio Production, and Writing. He has been at Webster University Geneva since 2002. He teaches courses in Human Rights, Film Studies, Literature, and Writing. For the past four years he has taken students on a study trip to Bosnia and Herzegovina as part of his course in Film and Genocide.


Dr. Pirri was Head of the Department of Humanities at the American College of Switzerland and at the Lebanese American University and served as Dean for Academic Affairs at the American College of Switzerland, as well as Acting President, and is Dean of the Graduate School of Governance in Geneva.
He is currently an Academic Adviser at Webster University Geneva and Founding Member of the Webster Humanitarian Association.

Professional Experience


March – May 2002. European Commission, Daphne Project:
Researcher and writer-participant for Europe Against Violence: Messages and Materials from Daphne, funded by the Daphne Programme of the European Commission.

February – April 2001. WSP International (War-torn Societies Project, UNRISD):
Writer of “Guidelines for Researchers, Editors, and Publishers,” used by field researchers and editors working on WSP projects.

January 2001 – December 2001. Armenian Catholicosate of Cilicia, Lebanon:
Writer and narrator of the English version of the film, Journey of Hope, which documents the struggle for survival of the Armenian people.

1990 – present. Armenian Catholicosate of Cilicia, Lebanon:
Editor-in-chief of publications in English.

June 2000 – September 2000.  War-torn Societies Project:
Editor and writer-participant for Rebuilding Somalia: issues and possibilities for Puntland, (published 2001 by HAAN Associates).

January - September 1995. The Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC), Bern, UNHCR, Geneva, the Swiss Refugee Agency, Lausanne, HRD Group, Rolle, Switzerland:
Participant planner of and editor for Sourcebook for Refugee Skills Training (used in the field, worldwide, by UN agencies’, governments’ and international NGO personnel).

September 1991 – September 1995. The Human Resources Development (HRD) Group, Rolle, Switzerland:
Administrator, Researcher, Editor. Administrative Responsibilities: Setting up of database. Studying and assessing projects. Coordinating, communicating, and relating with industries, NGOs, consultancies, and donor organizations. Supervising computer system. Budgeting.
October 1993 – January 1994. Field Research Services, Geneva, Switzerland:
Sub-contracted as Researcher. Responsibilities: Undertaking, for the UNHCR, a survey of information and research institutes in Western Europe engaged in research and monitoring activities in the former USSR. This project was a sub-project of a larger one related to the establishing of a field-based information and research service in the former USSR.  Designing a database (on CDS Micro ISIS) reflecting the findings of the study is housed at the Documentation Centre of the UNHCR.
September 1993 – October 1993. International Labor Organization, Geneva, Switzerland:
Editor of terminal reports.
May 1993 – July 1993.  The World University Service, Geneva, Switzerland:
Researcher for and editor of Education for All project.

September 1974 – June 1976. Communication Strategies, Albuquerque, New Mexico:    
Consultant. Responsibilities : Elaboration of teaching methodologies. Design, elaboration, assessment, and review of curricula. Taught courses in communication, including writing, speaking, and listening, to managers and professionals.