About USIP

The United States Institute of Peace (USIP) was established by Congress in 1984 as an independent, federally-funded national security institution devoted to the nonviolent prevention and mitigation of deadly conflict abroad.

USIP achieves its mission through its active engagements in the world’s conflict zones, teaching and training, research and analysis, and global grant-making.   

The Institute’s independence gives it unique access, credibility, and convening power among a variety of stakeholders, including governments, civil society, militaries, private businesses and scholars worldwide.  Its small size enables flexibility, agility, and a non-bureaucratic approach to conflict management.

USIP operates in the world’s most challenging conflict zones, and conducts active programs in Afghanistan, Iraq, Pakistan, Sudan, Libya, Burma, and elsewhere.  On a daily basis, our staff mediate among parties in conflict, build local conflict management skills in fragile states, support the development of the rule of law in post-conflict environments and strengthen civil society.

USIP also serves as an important convener.  The Institute welcomes world leaders to present their vision for peace, brings together bipartisan leaders to address difficult issues like genocide prevention, and fosters dialogue and collaboration among U.S. government agencies, non-governmental organizations, and the private sector.

Importantly, the United States Institute of Peace also is a powerful symbol, representing America’s commitment to peace and our country’s abiding interest in avoiding the staggering costs of war—both human and fiscal.    

USIP coordinates its work through five main centers:

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.

The Center for Governance, Law, and Society (GLAS) focuses on the Institute’s thematic emphases. The Center encompasses Economics, Gender, Rule of Law, Religion, Media and Technology. These programs conduct research, identify best practices and develop new peacebuilding tools within their areas of expertise. The Center collaborates with the other Institute Centers to undertake peacebuilding projects in conflict zones around the world.

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.

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.

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