Araceli (Arancha) Garcia del Soto is affiliated with the Institute of Humanitarian Affairs (IIHA) of Fordham University in New York City (where she was the Helen Hamlyn Senior Fellow´ in 2006-2009). Previously, she was the Director of Refugee Initiatives, at the Solomon Asch Center of the University of Pennsylvania, in Philadelphia (2002-2006). A Doctor Member of the Center for the Advanced Studies of the Social Sciences, CEACS, at the Juan March Foundation in Madrid, Spain, she does community psychosocial work with populations impacted by violence mostly in Colombia and Sri Lanka, teaches short courses to graduates in Masters, and mentors Ph.D. work on Humanitarian work and Migration in three different continents. She supports research, trainings and applied work on (1) Psychosocial work and community well-being, (2) Gender and SGBV- Sexual Gender based Violence, and (3) Human Rights .
She holds a B.A. in Social Psychology (1983-1988), a degree in Family Counseling from the Universidad Pontificia de Salamanca (1983-1985), a Masters in Social Sciences (1991-1993) from the Center of Advanced Social Studies of the Juan March Foundation in Madrid, which also funded her Ph.D. work, and a Ph.D. in Sociology, from the University of Salamanca in Spain (1998).
Currently she is a member of the INEE (Network for Education in Emergencies) Gender-Task-Force, and in 2002-2007, Dr. Garcia del Soto was a member of the International Psychosocial Working Group, been involved in the formulation of International Standards for Psychosocial work (Sphere Project in 2004, and IASC Guidelines 2007 and 2010). From 1996-2001, she taught at various Spanish Universities on topics of Social Structure, Development and Human Rights. She has published and lectured in Europe, Sri Lanka, Colombia, Peru, Africa and the USA on humanitarian action programmes and psychosocial interventions with survivors of violence. Since 1991, she has collaborated with International and Local NGOs and CBOs formulating projects for different funding agencies and has implemented psychosocial projects in the Balkans (since 1993), West Africa, Latin America, Iraq and Sri Lanka.
Working with survivors of violence, her interests are focused on the best practices in International Work (forced migration, natural disasters and ethnic violence), the linkages among disciplines (Psychology, Sociology, Political Science, Law, Medicine, etc.), and between academy and applied field work (the knowledge of practice), as well as gender and generational differences, and grassroots organizations’ participation, when working with survivors of different types of violence (economic, political and ethnic) and Human Rights violations.