International Center for Conflict Resolution

Group of students presenting on a group project

Resolving Conflict on a Global Level

Mission Statement

The International Center for Conflict Resolution (IC4CR) provides decision makers with an in-depth understanding of the negotiating positions of all parties and recommends implementation guidelines, based on preferences and priorities, to facilitate resolution of otherwise intractable conflicts.


An Example of What the Center Can Accomplish:

The Pittsburgh Initiative

For over seven years, small groups of distinguished Israeli and Palestinian experts met under the auspices of conflict resolution researchers from the University of Pittsburgh. At the core of this privately-funded project is the application of an advanced “trade-off” model based on the “Analytic Hierarchy Process” (AHP) developed by the late mathematics Professor Thomas L. Saaty. The Pittsburgh Initiative produced a preference-based-priority road map for resolving the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, made available to national leaders and decision makers.

The Foundation of the Center

The Center approach to conflict resolution is based on the Analytic Hierarchy Process. The tradeoff model is based on following seven ideas:

1. Each party identifies a set of concessions (trade-offs);

2. Each trade-off that a party gives away yields for that party a set of costs (not necessarily monetary) and a perceived set of benefits for the party receiving it;

3. Each trade-off that a party receives generates a set of benefits and a perceived set of losses for the party giving it away;

4. The benefits, costs, perceived benefits and perceived costs are prioritized using the AHP;

5. The trade-offs are evaluated according to the benefits, costs, perceived benefits, and perceived costs;

6. The trade-offs of the parties are paired to decide which pairs are acceptable. Acceptable means both parties benefit from the trade-off and that they receive more than they lose from the trade-off they give away. Acceptability of a pair of trade-offs is implemented using the gain-loss ratio. Gain-loss ratios are not symmetric for the parties. This is not a zero-sum game;

7. Acceptable pairs of trade-offs are identified with the additional condition that the gain-loss ratio of a pair of concessions is as close as possible to each other for the parties (i.e., within a small percentage of each other) yielding the desired for balanced agreement.



H. Jerome Zoffer, Dean Emeritus and Professor of Business Administration, The Joseph M. Katz Graduate School of Business, University of Pittsburgh, Executive Director

Luis G. Vargas, Professor of Business Analytics and Operations, The Joseph M. Katz Graduate School of Business, University of Pittsburgh, Managing Director

Amos N. Guiora, Professor of Law, S. J. Quinney College of Law, University of Utah, Distinguished Fellow and Counselor

Marcel C. Minutolo, Professor of Management, School of Business, Robert Morris University, Distinguished Fellow

Madhury (Didi) Ray, M.D., M.P.H., Director of Data Analytics for Child Care, NYC Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (DOHMH).

Elena Rokou, Chief Research Director, Creative Decisions Foundation, Pittsburgh, PA.

Jodi Marie Tamewitz, Executive Director in charge of day to day operations (


  • Study of the Middle East conflict
  • Study of police-community relations
  • Impact of gun laws/policies on lawful owners of firearms
  • Study of the NATO-Russia confrontation
  • Study of China-U.S. relations


  • Saaty, T. L. and H. J. Zoffer (2011). “Negotiating the Israeli Palestinian Controversy from a New Perspective.” International Journal of Information Technology and Decision Making 10(1): 5-64.
  • Saaty, T. L. and H. J. Zoffer (2012). “A New Approach To The Middle East Conflict: The Analytic Hierarchy Process.” Journal of Multi-Criteria Decision Analysis 19(5-6): 201-225.
  • Saaty, T. L. and H. J. Zoffer (2013). “Principles for Implementing a Potential Solution to the Middle East Conflict.” Notices of the American Mathematical Society 60(10): 1300-1322.
  • Saaty, T. L., L. G. Vargas and H. J. Zoffer (2015). “A structured scientific solution to the Israeli–Palestinian conflict: the analytic hierarchy process approach.” Decision Analytics 2(7) 1-53.
  • Guiora, Amos N.(2010). “Negotiating Implementation of a Peace Agreement: Lessons Learned from Five Years at the Negotiating Table.” Cardozo J. Conflict Resol., Vol. 11, 2010. Available at SSRN:
  • Guiora, Amos N. (2012). “Intervention in Libya, Yes; Intervention in Syria, No: Deciphering the Obama Administration” (January 27, 2012). University of Utah College of Law Research Paper No. 32. Available at SSRN: or
  • Guiora, Amos N. (2013). “Humanitarian Intervention and Sovereignty Under the Umbrella of Geo-Politics.” University of Pennsylvania Journal of International Law, Vol. 34, No. 2, 2013; University of Utah College of Law Research Paper. Available at SSRN:
  • Guiora, Amos N. (2014). Modern Geopolitics and Security: Strategies for Unwinnable Conflicts, CRC Press, Taylor & Francis Group.
  • Guiora, Amos N. (2018). “Disproportionate Force in Gaza? Context Matters.” Foreign Policy Research Institute, Program on the Middle East, May 23.
  • Amos N. Guiora. #70: Law, Ethics, Politics and Occupation.
  • Overcoming the Retributive Nature of the Israeli Palestinian Conflict, Thomas L. Saaty, H. Jerry Zoffer, Luis G. Vargas, and Amos N. Guiora. Springer (forthcoming October 2021).
  • “Conflict Resolution in the Era of Cognitive Multicriteria Decision Making: AN AHP-Retributive Approach,” L.G. Vargas, J.M. Moreno-Jimenez and C. Moreno-Loscertales. International Transactions in Operational Research, May 2021 (forthcoming).
  • “Measuring U.S. Foreign Policy Effectiveness,” A.N. Guiora, M.C. Minutolo, and L.G. Vargas, Journal of Behavioral & Applied Management 21, 1 (2020) 17-31.
  • “Measuring U.S. Influence in the world,” A.N. Guiora, M.C. Minutolo, and L.G. Vargas, Journal of Multi-Criteria Decision Analysis 1, 2 (2021) 68-84.
  • “Applying AHP in Conflict Resolution” L.G. Vargas and H.J. Zoffer. International Journal of the Analytic Hierarchy Process 11(1) (2019) 143-147.
  • Report on an Analytic Network Process (ANP) Model to Estimate the Benefits, Opportunities, Costs, and Risks (BOCR) that Gun Policies and Violence Prevention Interventions Have on Legal Users of Firearms,” Luis G. Vargas, Amos N. Guiora and Marcel C. Minutolo. International Journal of the Analytic Hierarchy Process 13(2) (2021) 355-394.
  • Saaty, T.L., H.J. Zoffer, L.G. Vargas and A.N. Guiora (2022). Overcoming the Retributive Nature of the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict, Springer.
  • Minutolo, M.C., L.G. Vargas, A.N. Guiora, and M. Ray (2022). “Applying the AHP to Conflict Resolution: A Russia—NATO Case Study,” Group Decision and Negotiation


As a Professional MBA student, I enjoy being able to work with other part-time students with industry knowledge and expertise. I’m always learning something new, hearing a different perspective, or gaining insights from part-time students in other industries, companies, and corporate cultures.

Tyler Wilson

MBA '19

The Experienced-Based Learning courses provided a hands-on experience that helped me to develop leadership qualities, improve my communication abilities, and sharpen my critical thinking skills through real-world application.

Wenjia Huo

MBA '17