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from this school 
To prepare students, alumni, staff, faculty, and community   members to fulfill President McKay’s prophecy.
The David O. McKay Center for Intercultural Understanding helps BYUH students,faculty, staff and alumni fulfill that prophecy by functioning as a cross-cultural peacebuilding laboratory that:
1. Educates BYUH students, faculty, staff and alumni with the theoretical and practical tools they need to be leaders and peacebuilders
2. Sponsors practical community building and cross cultural leadership opportunities in the university, community and the world

The McKay Center is engaged in a number of projects at the University, in the community and internationally in its efforts to further intercultural
understanding. They include:

Intercultural Peacebuilding Certificate
Anatomy of Peace Workshops
Peace in the Home Workshops
Kawaihiola (Edible School Yard)
BYU-Hawaii Peer Mediation Program
Community Service Projects
Forums and Special Events
Peer Mentoring Program
Student Internships

On February 12, 1955, David O. McKay, President and Prophet of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints stood in the middle of a sugar cane field in the tiny village of Laie, on the north shore of Oahu. With a shovel in his hand, he broke ground on what was then called The Church College of Hawaii – a culmination of a vision he had in 1921 when visiting the island of Hawaii as an apostle. In the dedicatory remarks, McKay invoked a grand vision for the school and this tiny village…
“This is the beginning of the realization of a vision I saw 34 years ago when one morning President Hugh J. Cannon, President E. Wesley Smith, others and I witnessed a flag raising ceremony by students of the Church school here in Hawaii in Laie. In that little group of students were Hawaiians, what do you call them — Haoles, Chinese, Japanese, Portuguese, and Filipinos. We listened to each one, a representative from each of these groups, pay tribute to the stars and stripes as the flag was pulled up there on the flagpole and all vowed allegiance. That ceremony brought tears to my eyes… You mark that word, and from this school, I’ll tell you, will go men and women whose influence will be felt for good towards the establishment of peace internationally.” 
In 2005,the David O. McKay Center for Intercultural Understanding was founded as way of helping BYUH students gain the knowledge and practical tools necessary to be those influences for peace that President McKay foresaw. 
Since those humble beginnings, the Center has grown rapidly. We now have over 150 students participating in our innovative Intercultural Peacebuilding Certificate program. Hundreds more participate in dozens of peacebuilding projects on campus, in the community and internationally. Every year we are graduating more and more students determined to establish peace in their homes, their communities and in the world. 


Chad Ford


Chad Ford

Director: David O. McKay Center for Intercultural Understanding


Contact Information:

fordc@byuh.edu--(808)-675-3605--Office: MCK 206 


  • COMM 110H: Intercultural Communication
  •  COMM 252: Groups, Leadership & Conflict
  • COMM 454: Culture & Conflict
  •  IPB 300: Intercultural Peacebuilding
  • IPB 400: Cultural Mediation & Facilitation
  •  IPB 450: Advanced Cultural Mediation & Facilitation 



J.D.: International Law, Georgetown University 2000.
M.S.: Conflict Analysis & Resolution, George Mason 2000.
B.A.: History & Political Science, Brigham Young Univeristy Hawaii 1995.


Research Interests:

 Sustainable peacebuilding between ethnic & religious groups; Worldview Conflicts; Indigenous Conflict Resolution Methods in the Pacific; Sports, Nationalism & Conflict


Chad Ford is an assistant professor of International Cultural Studies and Director of the McKay Center for Intercultural Understanding at BYU-Hawaii.  His emphasis has been in intercultural peacebuilding and mediation.  

He has led peacebuilding workshops and mediations around the world, including in the Middle East, Africa, Northern Ireland, England, Cyprus, Australia, New Zealand and the United States.

Currently he's working on a major project in the Middle East with the Arbinger Institute and PeacePlayers International to create sustainable peace among Israeli and Palestinian communities.

Chad has a bachelor's degree in History, a master's degree from the Institute for Conflict Analysis and Resolution at George Mason University in Conflict Analysis and Resolution and a Juris Doctorate from Georgetown University Law School.

Chad is the author of a number of articles about peacebuilding in both academic journals and the popular press.

He and his wife, Joanie, were married in Hawaii nearly 20 years ago and he has four children, Makena, TK, Emerald and Summer.  He enjoys the ocean and playing basketball in his spare time.



Rand Blimes

Rand Blimes

 Assistant Professor of Political Science                                                                                      


Jodie Chowen

Jodi Chowen,

Career Services Director, BYU-Hawaii

Max Purcell

Max Purcell,

former President of the Laie Community Association

Rose Ram

Rose Ram,

Director Outreach for the Joseph F. Smith Library

Dale Robertson

Dale Robertson,

Professor of Political Science

Richard Vial

Richard Vial,

Vial Fotheringham LLP

David Whippy, Student Assistant 

Senior, Intercultural Studies: Communications                                                       


Carla Rada, Student Intern  

Alumni, Intercultural Studies: Communication  


Alayna Lesuma, Student Assistant

Senior, Education 


Taylor Rippy, Student Assistant

Junior, Intercultural Studies: Anthropology


Julie Hawke

Asia Rikard, Student Assistant 

Senior, Interdisciplinary Studies and Business


Zach Tilton

Zachary Tilton, Student Assistant

Senior, Interdisciplinary Studies