United States Institute of Peace

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The United States Institute of Peace is – to quote the Institution's web site – an:

independent, nonpartisan federal institution created and funded by Congress to strengthen the nation's capacity to promote the peaceful resolution of international conflict.
In 1981, a congressionally chartered commission recommended the creation of a national peace academy. The United States Institute of Peace was signed into law in 1984 by President Ronald Reagan.

Established in 1984, the Institute meets its congressional mandate through an array of programs, including grants, fellowships, conferences and workshops, library services, publications, and other educational activities. The Institute's Board of Directors is appointed by the President of the United States and confirmed by the Senate.[1]

In 2004, Chester A. Crocker (USIP's chairman for the previous 12 years) noted that:

"The Institute has been enriched by many individuals who have served on this board and made important contributions to its work. I cannot do justice to their service—past and continuing—but I am compelled to mention some of them: in particular, Elspeth's predecessor, John Norton Moore, who played a central role in establishing our institutional life and shaping our substantive programs; Dennis Bark whose rigorous focus on issues of governance and accountability gave us the high standards we cherish; Max Kampelman, my former vice-chair, who helped us master the art of finding solutions (to our own problems as well as to those of other people) and trained us to focus on what makes us unique; Sid Lovett and Mary Louise Smith, whose enthusiasm and essential sense of fairness inspired us all to work for the common good; Scott Thompson, Allen Weinstein, Bill Kintner, Holly Burkhalter, Steve Krasner, and Charles Horner, whose rigorous interest in the central role of ideas in our public life has enriched our programs; Father Ted Hesburgh for consistently raising our aspirations and helping us develop institutional traction in our outreach and Capital campaigns; and two ex officio directors who have played a special role in mentoring and supporting our growth: Erv Rokke and Paul Gaffney, former presidents of the National Defense University." [2]

He went on to add to "mention some people who were here on staff and some who are still here when I joined as a board member in November 1991" which included: Chick Nelson who joined the USIP in 1988 and "has done more to build, create, nurture and protect this institution"; Joe Klaits, "who said his farewell just last week"; Sheryl Brown; David Smock; Neil Kritz; April Hall; Hrach Gregorian; Chris de Paola; Bernice Carney; and George Foote, "our external counsel since 1986". Other former staff included, Robert Oakley, Sam Lewis, John Richardson, Ken Jensen, Michael Lund, Graeme Bannerman, Greg McCarthy, and Dan Snodderly. [3]

  • Peter Ackerman is on "the U.S. Advisory Council of the United States Institute of Peace." [4]

For examples of groups that have received USIP funding see their online Grants Database.

Current and Past Leadership

Accessed November 2008: [1]

President and Chief Executive Officer

Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer


"In 1976, the first cornerstone for the campaign that led to the creation of the U.S. Institute of Peace 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.

"A nonpartisan group 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, as it came to be known, 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 interested citizens through a series of public meetings held across the nation that resulted in over 6,000 pages of transcripts.

"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.

"A vigorous public campaign led by Milton C. Mapes of the National Peace Academy Campaign supported these efforts. 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.

"The Institute's Board of Directors was installed in February 1986 and held its first meeting. In April of that same year, an initial staff of three people opened the Institute's first office at 730 Jackson Place NW, Washington, D.C." [2]


In 2006 it was reported that the USIP was "working together with radical Islamists promoting fundamentalism under the guise of their new 'Muslim World Initiative'." [5]


"The $87 billion Emergency Supplemental Appropriations Act for Defense and for the Reconstruction of Iraq and Afghanistan, 2004, signed by President Bush on November 6, 2003 (Public Law 108-106) made available to the United States Institute of Peace $10 million for “activities supporting peace enforcement, peacekeeping and post-conflict peacebuilding” in Iraq."

"The Institute has received $10 million from Congress that it plans to use for programs to prevent sectarian violence, promote the rule of law, train and educate a new generation of Iraqi leaders, and prepare American civilians for assignment in Iraq. In coordination with CPA’s Office of National Security, the Institute has already organized training for dozens of senior Iraqi diplomats, military, and police officials at the National Defense University focused on negotiation, consensus, and team-building skills. Over a two-year period, the Institute plans to train approximately 750 senior Iraqi officials. The Institute is also organizing training workshops for developing Iraqi leaders at the provincial level, with an emphasis on conflict management skills and coalition building with pragmatic, problem-solving workshops focused on intergroup issues. Additionally, interviews were conducted to capture the lessons learned by key U.S. personnel as they return from Iraq. This project aims to debrief civilian and military personnel who have worked on a range of reconstruction projects." [6]

USIP Specialists



Grant Program Staff

Accessed January 2008: [3]

Program Director and Area Specialists

Technical, Programmatic, and Administrative Staff

Board of Directors

Current Board (2008)

Accessed November 2008: [4]

  • J. Robinson West (Chairman) - Chairman, PFC Energy
  • George E. Moose (Vice Chairman) - Adjunct Professor of Practice, The George Washington University
  • Anne H. Cahn - Former Scholar in Residence, American University
  • Chester A. Crocker - James R. Schlesinger Professor of Strategic Studies, School of Foreign Service, Georgetown University
  • (NEW) Ikram U. Khan - President, Quality Care Consultants, LLC
  • (NEW) Kerry Kennedy - Human Rights Activist
  • (NEW) Stephen D. Krasner - Graham H. Stuart Professor of International Relations, Stanford University
  • Kathleen Martinez - Executive Director, World Institute on Disability
  • Jeremy A. Rabkin - Professor, George Mason School of Law
  • Ron Silver - Actor, Producer, Director, Primiparous Productions, Inc.
  • Judy Van Rest - Executive Vice President, International Republican Institute
  • (NEW) Nancy Zirkin - Executive Vice President, Leadership Conference on Civil Rights

Members ex officio

  • Robert M. Gates - Department of Defense
  • David J. Kramer - Assistant Secretary of the Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor, Department of State
  • Richard H. Solomon - President, United States Institute of Peace (nonvoting)
  • Frances C. Wilson - Lieutenant General, U.S. Marine Corps, President, National Defense University

Accessed August 2008: [5]

Board (2006)

Other board members in July 2004

Source (Announced, but eventually not approved.)

Other board members in September 2002


Members ex officio (2006)

  • Michael M. Dunn, Lieutenant General, U.S. Air Force, President, National Defense University
  • Barry Lowenkron, Assistant Secretary of State for Democracy, Human Rights and Labor
  • Peter W. Rodman, Assistant Secretary of Defense for International Security Affairs
  • Richard H. Solomon, President, United States Institute of Peace (nonvoting)

Other Members ex officio (2004)

  • Lorne W. Craner, Assistant Secretary of State for Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor


Other Members ex officio (2002)


Members 1990

(Source: Diamond and Hatch, 1990)

Members 1985

Nine of the eleven non-Government members were:

The two others members being considered in 1985 were:



Web: www.usip.org

Resources and articles

Related Sourcewatch articles


  1. Current and Past Leadership, USIP, accessed November 10, 2008.
  2. History, USIP, accessed February 12, 2008.
  3. Grant Program Staff, USIP, accessed January 8, 2008.
  4. Directors, United States Institute of Peace, accessed August 10, 2008.
  5. Directors, United States Institute of Peace, accessed August 10, 2008.

External links