Frederick S. Tipson

Former Special Advisor, PeaceTech Initiative

Note: This is an archived profile of a former U.S. Institute of Peace expert. The information is current as of the dates of tenure.

Frederick Tipson is special advisor to the PeaceTech Initiative. In 2011-2012, he was a Jennings Randolph senior fellow at the Institute, writing on natural disasters as threats to the peace. Tipson came to USIP after four years as director of the Washington office of the U.N. Development Programme. He has also been a senior policy counsel at Microsoft, a director at the Markle Foundation, and a senior fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations. From 1984 to 2000, he spent 16 years in the telecommunications industry with AT&T and Cable & Wireless/Hong Kong Telecom, including five years in Asia, and work in more than 25 countries. From 1979 to 1984, he was counsel to the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, the first two years as minority counsel under ranking member Jacob K. Javits and the last three as chief counsel under the chairmanship of Charles H. Percy. Tipson received his bachelor’s degree in history from Stanford University, his master’s degree in international relations from Yale, and doctorate and law degrees from the University of Virginia, where he was editor-in-chief of the Virginia Journal of International Law and a lecturer in law. He and his wife Laura have three grown children and two grandchildren.


  • “China and the Information Revolution,” in China Joins the World, Michael Oksenberg and Elizabeth Economy (eds.) (Council on Foreign Relations, 1999).
  • “Culture Clash-ification: A Verse to Huntington's Curse,” Foreign Affairs, March/April 1997.
  • National Security Law. ed. with John Norton Moore and Robert F. Turner, Carolina Academic Press, 1990.

Articles & Analysis from this Expert

April 30, 2013

New technologies can be effective tools for preventing conflicts, but they have to be part of a coordinated strategy rather than the driving factor for a prevention effort, according to findings from an examination of cases in multiple countries on three continents.


February 15, 2013
As natural disasters and extreme environmental events increase in severity, it is time to consider how vulnerabilities brought on by population growth, urbanization, economic fragility, and climate change could lead to deadly conflict. This new report argues that policymakers should look beyond the familiar, more imminent threats and make plans to deal with the natural security implications of less likely but higher impact scenarios.