United States Institute of Peace

United States Institute of Peace

The United States Institute of Peace or USIP, established in 1984, is an independent, nonpartisan, national institution established and funded by the United States Congress. Its goals are to help:

* Prevent and resolve violent international conflicts;
* Promote post-conflict stability and development;
* Increase conflict management capacity, tools, and intellectual capital worldwide

Designed to be nonpartisan and independent, the Institute aims to produce research and engage in training and active peacebuilding initiatives.cite web | url=http://www.usip.org | title=United States Institute of Peace | accessdate=2007-02-03]

The Institute’s primary operating model is powerful and straightforward. USIP conducts or sponsors relevant research on violent conflict, its causes, and ways to mitigate it. Drawing on this intellectual capital, Institute staff identify promising models, approaches, and practices, and develop innovative conflict management tools. USIP specialists share these tools with others through a variety of vehicles, including publications, the web, and training programs. At the same time, staff employ this robust and growing toolkit in peacebuilding projects around the world.


The Institute has leveraged its expertise, partnerships, and contacts into a broad range of successful programs that span the globe. Examples of recent and ongoing USIP programs are listed below.

* Working with community leaders to build peace neighborhood-by-neighborhood in Iraq.
* Working with tribal chiefs, educator, and civil society leaders in support of peacemaking in Sudan.
* Training hundreds of young Nigerian religious leaders, women, and youth from all over the country to be peacemakers; and helping bring peace to large parts of Plateau State.
* Working with the National Security Council to convene a series of working sessions to help develop a U.S. counter-terrorism strategy.
* Strengthening the peacemaking capacity of religious leaders and faith-based organizations through research, technical assistance, facilitated dialogues, and operational support.
* Helping establish the rule of law, a fundamental building back to peace in places like Afghanistan, Iraq, Liberia, Palestine, and Nepal.
* Producing a preeminent book series on cultural negotiating behavior, field-defining textbooks on conflict management, and online training available across the globe.
* Investing in and working with non-governmental organizations in 75 countries on customized peacebuilding projects.

The Institute also serves as a critical source of expertise to policymakers. Examples include:

* Facilitating the bipartisan Iraq Study Group.
* Leading a congressionally mandated, bipartisan task force on United Nations reform.
* Developing a proposal for a comprehensive settlement of the Korean War, which was drawn upon by U.S. government officials in preparation for the Six Party talks.
* Conducting a study of the U.S. government’s state-building capacity that contributed to the creation of the Office of Reconstruction and Stabilization (ORS) in the State Department.
* Developing a strategy to support Serbian civil society that gained congressional and administration support and helped lead to the defeat of Slobodan Milosevic at the polls and to his peaceful departure from power in 2000.


The USIP has various programs housed in different research departments:
*Center for Conflict Analysis and Prevention [ [http://www.usip.org/cap/index.html Official Website, USIP Center for Conflict Analysis and Prevention] ]
*Center for Mediation and Conflict Resolution [ [http://www.usip.org/mediation/index.html Official Website, USIP Center for Mediation and Conflict Resolution] ]
*Center for Post-Conflict Peace and Stability Operations [ [http://www.usip.org/peaceops/index.html Official Website, USIP Center for Post-Conflict Peace and Stability Operations] ]
*Centers of Innovation [ [http://www.usip.org/excellence/index.html Official Website, USIP Centers of Innovation] ]
*Rule of Law [ [http://www.usip.org/ruleoflaw/index.html Official Website, USIP Projects to uphold the Rule of Law] ]
*Religion and Peacemaking [ [http://www.usip.org/religionpeace/index.html Official Website, USIP Activities concerning Religion and Peacemaking] ]
*Virtual Diplomacy [ [http://www.usip.org/virtualdiplomacy/index.html Official Website, USIP Projects on Virtual Diplomacy] ]
*Education and Training Center/International and Domestic [ [http://www.usip.org/ed/index.html Official Website, USIP Education Program] ]
*Training Program [ [http://www.usip.org/training/index.html Official Website, USIP Training Program] ]
*Muslim World Initiative [ [http://www.usip.org/muslimworld/index.html Official Website, USIP Muslim World Initiative] ]

The USIP offers free online certificate training courses in conflict analysis and resolution [ [http://www.usip.org/training/online/index.html Official Website, USIP Online Conflict Analysis Certificate Course] ] and holds events that are open to the public (audio archives of events are frequently available). [ [http://www.usip.org/events Official Website, USIP Events for the Public] ] Moreover, the USIP sponsors an annual national peace essay contest [ [http://www.usip.org/ed/npec/index.html Official Website, USIP National Peace Essay Contest for High School Students] ] for high school students.

Courses include actual case studies of genocide in Rwanda and escalating armed conflict in Kosovo. [ [http://www.usip.org/training/online/index.html Official Website, USIP Online Conflict Analysis Certificate Course] ]

Iraq Study Group (ISG)

On March 15, 2006, Congress announced the formation of the Iraq Study Group, facilitated by USIP and supported by the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS), the Center for the Study of the Presidency(CSP), and the James A. Baker III Institute for Public Policy. The task force delivered an independent assessment of the situation in Iraq, the Iraq Study Group Report, on December 6, 2006. [ [http://www.usip.org/events Official Website, USIP Events for the Public] ]

The ISG was led by co-chairs James Baker III and Lee Hamilton and was composed of five Republicans and five Democrats.cite web | url=http://www.usip.org | title=United States Institute of Peace | accessdate=2007-02-03]


Establishment of an official government institution dedicated to the cause of international peace can be traced back to debates by the framers of the United States Constitution. In 1976, the first cornerstone for the campaign that led to the creation of the U.S. Institute of Peace, though, was laid when Senator Vance Hartke of Indiana and Senator Mark Hatfield of Oregon introduced a bill to create the George Washington Peace Academy. After hearings in the Senate on the Hartke-Hatfield bill, it was decided that further study was needed. In 1979, a provision was successfully added to the Elementary and Secondary Education Appropriation Bill for the establishment of the Commission on Proposals for the National Academy of Peace and Conflict Resolution.cite web | url=http://www.usip.org | title=United States Institute of Peace | accessdate=2007-02-03]

Consisting of appointees named by President Jimmy Carter and the leadership of the House and Senate, the Commission worked for over a year and half. Chaired by Senator Spark Matsunaga of Hawaii, the Matsunaga Commission, conducted a wide survey and study of the theories, techniques, and institutions involved in the resolution of international conflicts. The commission met with military and government officials, leading educators, conflict resolution professionals, and representatives from various religious, ethnic, and scientific communities. In addition to these sessions, the commission heard from thousands of citizens through a series of public meetings held across the nation that resulted in over 6,000 pages of transcripts.cite web | url=http://www.usip.org | title=United States Institute of Peace | accessdate=2007-02-03]

In 1981, after the completion of its deliberations, the Matsunaga Commission issued a final report recommending the creation of a national peace academy. Based upon the recommendations included in the report, bills were subsequently introduced in both houses of Congress under the bipartisan sponsorship of Senators Mark Hatfield, Spark Matsunaga, and Jennings Randolph, and Congressman Dan Glickman.cite web | url=http://www.usip.org | title=United States Institute of Peace | accessdate=2007-02-03]

A vigorous public campaign led by Milton C. Mapes of the National Peace Academy Campaign supported these efforts. Mapes died before the bill passed.cite web | url=http://www.usip.org | title=United States Institute of Peace | accessdate=2007-02-03]

Robert J. Conlan was hired and reorganized the campaign under his leadership in The National Peace Institute Foundation. After considerable debate about the appropriate form of the new institution, the United States Institute of Peace Act was finally passed and signed into law by President Ronald Reagan in 1984.cite web | url=http://www.usip.org | title=United States Institute of Peace | accessdate=2007-02-03]


The Institute is governed by a bipartisan Board of Directors appointed by the President of the United States and confirmed by the Senate. The president and executive officers of the Institute are in turn selected by the Board of Directors.cite web | url=http://www.usip.org | title=United States Institute of Peace | accessdate=2007-02-03]

Board of Directors
* J. Robinson West, (Chairman), Chairman, PFC Energy, Washington, D.C.
* María Otero (Vice Chairman), President, ACCION International, Boston, MA
* Holly J. Burkhalter, Vice President of Government Relations, International Justice Mission, Washington D.C.
* Anne Hessing Cahn, Former Scholar-in-Residence, American University
* Chester A. Crocker, James R. Schlesinger Professor of Strategic Studies, School of Foreign Service, Georgetown University
* Laurie S. Fulton, Williams & Connolly, Washington, D.C.
* Charles Horner, Senior Fellow, Hudson Institute, Washington D.C.
* Kathleen Martinez, Executive Director, World Institute on Disability
* George E. Moose, Adjunct Professor of Practice, The George Washington University
* Jeremy A. Rabkin, Professor, George Mason University School of Law
* Ron Silver, Actor, Producer, Director, Primparous Productions, Inc.
* Judy Van Rest, Executive Vice President, International Republican Institute

Members ex officio
* Condoleezza Rice, Secretary of State
* Robert M. Gates, Secretary of Defense
* Richard H. Solomon, President, United States Institute of Peace (nonvoting)
* Frances C. Wilson, Lieutenant General, U.S. Marine Corps, President, National Defense University

Senior Staff
* President, Richard H. Solomon
* Executive Vice President and Chief Executive Officer, Patricia P. Thomson
* Vice President, Charles E. Nelson
* Center for Conflict Analysis and Prevention (acting), Scott Lasensky
* Center for Mediation and Conflict Resolution, David R. Smock
* Center for Post-Conflict Peace and Stability Operations, Daniel. P. Serwer
* Education and Training/Domestic, Pamela Aall
* Education and Training Center/International, Michael Lekson
* Grants and Fellowships, Steven Heydemann Centers of Innovation
* Religion and Peacemaking, David R. Smock
* Rule of Law, Neil Kritz
* Economies and Conflict, Raymond Gilpin
* Media, Conflict, and Peacebuilding, Sheldon Himelfarb
* Science, Technology, and Peacebuilding, Sheldon Himelfarb
* Management, Michael Graham

Headquarters Project

By act of Congress, USIP has secured an extraordinary site in Washington, D.C. for its permanent headquarters facility. Located at the northwest corner of the National Mall at the intersection of Constitution Avenue and 23rd Street NW, the site faces the Lincoln Memorial and is adjacent to the Korean War and Vietnam Veterans memorials.

The headquarters will serve the American people, the federal government, and the international community as a national center for research, education, training, and policy development on issues of international conflict prevention, management, and resolution. The building will contain working spaces for program and administrative staff and research fellows, a research library and archives, a state-of-the-art conference center that includes classrooms and professional training rooms, and a public education center. Designed to appeal to people of all ages from the United States and abroad, the Public Education Center will offer a wide range of exhibits that engage and inform citizens about the issues critical to global security and international peacemaking.

The architectural firm for the headquarters is Moshe Safdie and Associates. Safdie’s design reflects his vision that the headquarters, given its location, is a symbolic structure on the capital’s skyline representing the striving for peace. The building’s roofs form a series of wing-like elements. Constructed of steel frame and white translucent glass, they will be white on the exterior during the day and glow from light within at night. The roof structures will be visible from many locations along the National Mall as well as from the roads and bridges into the city that cross the Potomac River. The building will be a LEED certified green building.

Funding for the project is a public-private partnership, in keeping with the Institute’s mission to serve the federal government and the American people. Congress has provided $100 million to the Institute for construction of the facility. Private funds are being raised to complete the project. The current schedule is to break ground in early 2008 and complete construction by the first quarter of 2010.


* "Peacemaking in International Conflict" [http://bookstore.usip.org/books/BookDetail.aspx?productID=120606] (1997) I. William Zartman, J. Lewis Rasmussen Eds.


ee also

* Department of Peace
* Peaceworkers UK : British NGO providing training for potential peaceworkers in nonviolent, civilian techniques of conflict transformation

External links

* [http://www.usip.org U.S. Institute of Peace Web site]
* [http://www.usip.org/aboutus/history/index.html History of USIP]
* [http://www.usip.org/isg/ Iraq Study Group]
* [http://rightweb.irc-online.org/groupwatch/usip.php Group Watch Profile for the "United States Institute of Peace"]

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