USIP Timeline

1976 Senators Vance Hartke and Mark Hatfield introduce a bill to create the George Washington Peace Academy. Congress agrees the idea warrants exploration.
1979 President Jimmy Carter appoints eight members to a commission to conduct further research into the establishment of a National Peace Academy. Senator Spark Matsunaga chairs the commission, which explores theories, approaches, and organizations involved with the resolution of international conflicts.
1981 The commission issues its report recommending the creation of a national peace academy. Senators Mark Hatfield, Spark Matsunaga and Jennings Randolph, along with Congressman Dan Glickman, sponsor bills based on the recommendation.
1984 Congress passes the United States Institute of Peace Act as an amendment to the Defense Authorization Act.
1986 The Board of Directors holds first meeting. A staff of three opens the Institute’s first office at 730 Jackson Place in Washington, D.C.
1987 The first National Peace Essay Contest winners come to the nation’s capital.
1992 The 90s were s crucial decade in the development of the headquarters project. In 1992 the Institute’s legislation is amended to authorize it to accept private donations to build a headquarters facility.
1994 Ronald Reagan and Jimmy Carter receive the Spark M. Matsunaga Medal of Peace. USIP’s first major conference, "Managing Global Chaos," is held this year as well.
1995 USIP mobilizes a Bosnia Special Project to help implement the Dayton Peace Agreement.
1996 Congress authorizes the Navy to transfer a portion of its Potomac Annex facility on the Navy Hill facility at 23rd St. and Constitution Ave. to USIP for use as the Institute's future permanent headquarters.


"Virtual Diplomacy," a landmark two-day conference exploring the impact of the technological revolution on international conflict management, is held in April. Also, USIP Press publishes "Managing Global Chaos," its first in a series of edited volumes on conflict management by Chester A. Crocker, Fen Osler Hampson, & Pamela Aall.

USIP’s "Balkans Initiative" supports the end to violence caused by the Yugoslav wars.

2001 The first "Passing the Baton" conference marks the transition from the Clinton to the Bush administration.
2004 USIP expands Iraq activities with the support of a $10 million congressional appropriation. USIP focuses its initiative in Iraq on reducing interreligious violence and hastening stabilization and democratization.
2005 Congress appropriates $100 million for the USIP permanent headquarters project.
2006 The Institute facilitates the "Iraq Study Group." The resulting report informed policymakers as well as the public and was downloaded over 1 million times from USIP's Web site.
2008 President George W. Bush, Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, and former Secretary of State George P. Shultz participate in the groundbreaking ceremony for the Institute’s new headquarters, just north of the Lincoln Memorial. This year also features the first Dean Acheson Lecture.
2009 On October 19, 2009, USIP celebrated its 25th anniversary.
2011 On March 21, USIP moved into its new headquarters building on the National Mall.
2012 Former U.S. Congressman Jim Marshall becomes USIP's fourth president on September 14.