Special Representative Zalmay Khalilzad on the Prospects for Peace in Afghanistan

February 11, 2019

The U.S. has redoubled its efforts to facilitate a peace process that will end the conflict in Afghanistan, protect U.S. national security interests, and strengthen Afghanistan’s sovereignty. USIP was pleased to host Special Representative for Afghanistan Reconciliation Ambassador Zalmay Khalilzad for his first public event since becoming the special representative. 


Nancy Lindborg
President, U.S Institute of Peace

Zalmay Khalilzad
Special Representative for Afghanistan Reconciliation, U.S Department of State

Stephen J. Hadley
Chair, Board of Directors, U.S Institute of Peace


The Elusive Consensus on Peace in Colombia (Spanish-Only)

December 13, 2018

Since taking office in August 2018, Colombia’s government has sought to devise new strategies to advance peace and security in a country long plagued by armed conflict and organized criminal violence. Political consensus around peace, however, has remained elusive. 

The United States Institute of Peace, the Inter-American Dialogue, and the Woodrow Wilson Center on Tuesday, December 11th hosted a conversation with three prominent members of the Colombian Senate’s Peace Commission.

Roy Barreras
Senator, Partido de la Unidad Nacional

Michael Camilleri
Director, Peter D. Bell Rule of Law Program, The Inter-American Dialogue

Iván Cepeda
Senator, Polo Democrático Alternativo

Paloma Valencia
Senator, Centro Democrático

Steve Hege, moderator
Senior Expert on Colombia, U.S. Institute of Peace


Resilience in Conflict

December 13, 2018

The world’s most violent conflicts are being fought within its most youthful populations. In the five countries that suffered nearly 80 percent of recent deaths from violent extremism, half of all people were younger than 22. The youth in these countries are also some of their communities’ most effective peacebuilders and best hopes for breaking cycles of violence.

On December 12, USIP streamed a forum with thought leader and youth leader participants from USIP’s Youth Leaders’ Exchange with His Holiness the Dalai Lama discussing what it takes to build inner resilience and how to apply it to peacebuliding.

Wadi Ben-Hirki
Founder, Wadi Ben-Hriki Foundation (Nigeria)

Jimmie Briggs
Executive Director, Leave Out Violence-U.S., (U.S.)

Meron Kocho
Member of Council, MESPO-Iraq (Iraq)

Maya Soetoro-Ng
Advisor, Obama Foundation (U.S.)

Gregg Zoroya
Editorial Writer, USA Today (U.S)


Bridging the Data-Policy Gap on Counter-terrorism

December 11, 2018

Trends in global terrorism change every year. From fragile states to urban megacities, data shows how many societies are impacted by violence. But, how does this data help prevent and counter violent extremism?  The findings of the sixth annual edition of the Global Terrorism Index (GTI) provide data on the evolving trends of global terrorism that are useful for policy, programming and research.


Ending Sexual Violence - From Policy to Practice

December 7, 2018

Over the last two decades, policy frameworks like the Women, Peace and Security agenda, provide a valuable platform for advocacy efforts. Yet such approaches do not tackle the underlying issue of gender inequality. As researchers have documented, where there is less gender equality there is less peace. 

The U.S. Civil Society Working Group on Women, Peace and Security and the U.S. Institute of Peace hosted this discussion examining how policies and programs can be shaped to better prevent the use of sexual violence and re-establish secure environments when it does occur. 


Building Peace from the Bottom Up

November 30, 2018

Do postwar peacebuilding interventions work to keep peace? How do we measure the effectiveness of such international interventions? Join former USIP Jennings Randolph Senior Fellow Pamina Firchow as she discusses her findings on how to measure the impact of local-level interventions on communities affected by war. 


Soft Power in a Sharp Power World - A Bipartisan Congressional Dialogue

November 29, 2018

Global adversaries, especially states like Russia, China and Iran, use sharp power tools of coercion, disinformation and proxy campaigns to achieve their geopolitical goals and weaken Western influence. 

Former U.S. ambassadors Rep. Francis Rooney (R-FL) and Rep. Don Beyer (D-VA) discussed their views on how soft power tools can and should be used to counter sharp power employed by global adversaries at USIP’s seventh Bipartisan Congressional Dialogue

Rep. Francis Rooney (R-FL)
19th Congressional District of Florida, U.S. House of Representatives

Rep. Don Beyer (D-VA)
8th Congressional District of Virginia, U.S. House of Representatives

Nancy Lindborg, moderator
President, U.S. Institute of Peace


How to Rehabilitate and Reintegrate Violent Extremists

November 28, 2018

As the loss of ISIS territory drives thousands of “foreign terrorist fighters” to return home, and hundreds of people convicted of terrorism-related offenses are scheduled for release over the next several years, communities worldwide are faced with rehabilitating and reintegrating people disengaging from violent extremism.

USIP hosted this discussion of how policies and programs can address trauma and reduce stigma to foster cross-cutting affiliations and social learning, enable rehabilitation, and ease reintegration for people disengaging from extremist violence.


Jesse Morton
Founder and Co-director, Parallel Networks, and co-author of the forthcoming report, “When Terrorists Come Home: The Need for Rehabilitating and Reintegrating America’s Convicted Jihadists”

Dr. James Gordon
Founder and Executive Director, The Center for Mind-Body Medicine

Dr. Sousan Abadian
Franklin Fellow, Office of International Religious Freedom, Department of State

Stacey Schamber
Senior Program Officer, International Civil Society Action Network

Colette Rausch, moderator
Senior Advisor, U.S. Institute of Peace


A Conversation with Secretary of Defense James N. Mattis

October 31, 2018

The 2018 National Defense Strategy asserts that the United States is emerging from a post-Cold War period of “strategic atrophy.” On October 30, 2018, the U.S. Institute of Peace hosted a discussion with Secretary Mattis on how the National Defense Strategy seeks to meet the shared challenges of our time through strengthening and evolving America’s strategic alliances and partnerships. 


What Really Works to Prevent Election Violence

October 30, 2018

One in five elections worldwide is marred by violence—from burned ballot boxes to violent suppression of peaceful rallies, to assassinations of candidates. A USIP study of programs to prevent violence suggests focusing on improving the administration and policing of elections. The study, of elections in Kenya and Liberia, found no evidence that programs of voter consultation or peace messaging were effective there.  A series of speakers discussed these findings.

Pat Merloe
Senior Associate and Director for Election Programs, NDI

John Tomaszewski
Africa Director, IRI

Joshua Changwony
Deputy Executive Secretary, Constitution and Reform Education Consortium (CRECO, Kenya)

Oscar Bloh
Chairman, Elections Coordination Committee (ECC, Liberia)

Inken von Borzyskowski
Assistant Professor, Florida State University

Jonas Claes, facilitator
Senior Program Officer, Center for Applied Conflict Transformation, USIP

Debra Liang-Fenton, facilitator
Senior Program Officer, Center for Applied Conflict Transformation, USIP