Robert M. Perito

Former Director, Security Sector Governance Center of Innovation

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.

Robert M. Perito directs USIP's Security Sector Governance Center of Innovation.  He also directs the Institute's Haiti program.  He is an expert on security sector transformation and police reform in post-conflict societies and countries impacted by the Arab Spring. Before joining the Institute, he was a career foreign service officer with the Department of State, retiring with the rank of minister-counselor. He was deputy executive secretary of the National Security Council (1988-1989). Perito received a Presidential Meritorious Service Award in 1990 for leading the U.S. delegation in the Angola peace talks and two State Department superior honor awards.

Perito led the International Criminal Investigative Training Assistance Program at the U.S. Department of Justice, which trained police in international peace operations (1995-2001). Perito was a Peace Corps volunteer in Nigeria (1965-67). Perito has taught at Princeton, American and George Mason universities. He holds a bachelor’s degree in international relations from Denver University and a master’s degree in peace operations policy from George Mason University.


  • Police in War: Fighting Insurgency, Terrorism and Violent Crime, co-author with David Bayley, Lynne Rienner, 2010.



Articles & Analysis from this Expert

July 31, 2013

USIP Academy instructors taught two courses on policing for countering violent extremism (CVE) at Hedayah, the International Center of Excellence for CVE, located in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates from June 24 through 27.

February 14, 2013
Robert Perito
February 5, 2013
Donald J. Planty and Robert M. Perito


April 24, 2013
Pakistan’s police officers face tremendous challenges in combating violent extremism. A challenge just as large is building trust among citizens, who view them as corrupt, high-handed, and abusive. But by adopting innovative solutions for improving police-community relations, Pakistan can also increase the effectiveness of their efforts to counter terrorism, according to this new Special Report.
July 1, 2013
Where Is the Lone Ranger? Second Edition examines the evolution of U.S. policy toward peace and stability operations through the prism of U.S. experiences with police and constabulary forces in Bosnia, Kosovo, Iraq, and Afghanistan.
February 5, 2013
The Afghan National Police is a militarized force that has been trained and equipped to conduct counterinsurgency operations and not law enforcement. Before the withdrawal of NATO and U.S. forces, two years remain in which to help the ANP transform into a police service capable of enforcing the rule of law.
May 14, 2012
This report describes the efforts of the NATO-led coalition forces in Afghanistan to create an Afghan constabulary force to control urban violence and serve as a counterinsurgency force.