About USIP

The United States Institute of Peace works to prevent, mitigate, and resolve violent conflict around the world. USIP does this by engaging directly in conflict zones and by providing analysis, education, and resources to those working for peace. Created by Congress in 1984 as an independent, nonpartisan, federally funded organization, USIP’s more than 300 staff work at the Institute’s D.C. headquarters, and on the ground in the world’s most dangerous regions

Download About the United States Institute of Peace factsheet (PDF)

USIP brings together experts and practitioners to:

  • Identify the best ways to counter violent extremism and promote religious tolerance.
  • Develop practical tools to improve the rule of law in chaotic, post-conflict settings.
  • Rigorously test approaches to conflict prevention and peacebuilding to ensure the U.S. is using the most constructive and cost effective tools to protect U.S. interests without violence.
  • Use traditional media, social networking and emerging technologies to track, prevent, and resolve violent conflict

USIP’S work advancing peace and U.S. national security interests includes:

  • In Afghanistan, USIP works to promote peaceful elections through support of community radio, helping coordinate local candidate and electoral forums, and engaging youth. USIP maintains an office in Kabul to remain connected to local equities as American troops come home.
  • In Colombia, USIP is active in the peace process that is bringing an end to a decades-long conflict. USIP has provided local organizations with technical and financial assistance, ensured that women and youth are part of the peace process, and serves as a trusted liaison among all parties.
  • In Africa, USIP implements Generation Change, a program dedicated to empowering and building the capacity of emerging youth leaders in their communities. In Nigeria, USIP organized the first ever Northern Nigeria Governors Forum which addressed important peace and stability issues, and in South Sudan USIP has created a radio drama intended to help young people respect differences.
  • USIP’s Academy trains U.S. and international military, civil society leaders, and practitioners in Washington, in the field and online on effective peacekeeping, community building, conflict management and humanitarian operations necessary for sustained peace.

Founded in 1984, USIP is funded by the U.S. Congress, and is governed by a 15-person bipartisan board made up of the Secretary of State and the Secretary of Defense, the President of the National Defense University, and 12 others appointed by the President of the United States and confirmed by the U.S. Senate.

USIP’s headquarters on the National Mall symbolizes our nation’s commitment to peace. Designed by renowned architect Moshe Safdie, the award winning building faces the Lincoln Memorial and stands adjacent to the Korean War and Vietnam Veterans memorials.\

USIP Centers

USIP coordinates its work through six main centers:

Center for Applied Research on Conflict

The Center for Applied Research on Conflict (ARC) publishes research and analysis on conflict prevention, mitigation, and resolution. ARC aims to bridge the gap between theory and practice through timely and impactful policy-relevant reports, practitioner toolkits, and lessons learned exercises.

Center for Governance, Law and Society

The Center for Governance, Law and Society (GLAS) designs, develops and pilots innovative and multidisciplinary approaches to conflict transformation and peacebuilding. It conducts research and analysis that is relevant for policymakers, and assessments that rigorously inform practice. It develops and tests strategies and tools for transforming conflict and building just, inclusive and sustainable peace. As the USIP Strategic Plan 2014–2019 explains, accomplishing these tasks requires the GLAS team to implement activities in conflict zones around the world, in close partnership with the country teams, and also produce analysis and practical toolkits to help others address these challenges.

Center for Learning and Evaluation

The goal of the Learning and Evaluation Team (LET) is to help USIP programs have greater impact and to demonstrate that impact with evidence. USIP works in complex environments on difficult challenges. As a result, learning and evaluation must be infused into every phase of our work, from program design, to monitoring and evaluation, to learning lessons that are applied to next generation of programs.

Center for the Middle East and Africa

The policy and peacebuilding challenges and opportunities in the Middle East and Africa are increasingly interconnected. The Center for the Middle East and Africa (MEA)manages the Institute's work in these regions, with an eye to regional themes and linkages. The Center focuses particularly on countries in transition, the Horn of Africa, Iran, and the Arab-Israeli conflict. With an eye to both internal and cross-border conflict, the Center directs and coordinates analysis, field operations, outreach, and grant making across the MEA region in support of peaceful dispute resolution, conflict prevention, civic engagement, and good governance.

Center for South and Central Asia

Center for South and Central Asia (SCA) works to promote peace and stability in this strategically important but conflict-ridden region of the world. With experts based at headquarters and working from field offices in Afghanistan and Pakistan, the Center:

  • conducts and supports policy-relevant research and analysis on conflict dynamics;
  • provides grants to civil society organizations to test innovative conflict-resolution initiatives;
  • develops the capacity of government and non-government institutions through education and training activities to peacefully resolve conflicts.

The Center also supports dialogues on inter-state conflicts between influential actors from countries in the region, and hosts a wide range of public and private events in Washington.

Academy for International Conflict Management and Peacebuilding

The Academy for International Conflict Management and Peacebuilding is the education and training leader of the United States Institute of Peace. In the field, in the classroom, and online, staff from the Academy provide education, training, tools and resources. The Academy

  • equips U.S. and international civilian, military, and nongovernmental practitioners with skills for effective peacebuilding
  • provides decision-makers with the understanding and tools for crafting sound policies for conflict management and peacebuilding
  • gives government officials and civil society leaders in conflict zones the skills, tools, and practice to build peace
  • strengthens the capacity of educational institutions and civil society organizations to prepare future conflict managers and peacebuilders