Sheldon Himelfarb

President and CEO, PeaceTech Lab

Sheldon is the President and CEO of the PeaceTech Lab. The Lab was created by the U.S. Institute of Peace as a separate entity to further advance USIP's work at the intersection of technology, media, and data to help reduce violent conflict around the world. Sheldon Himelfarb joined USIP from The Corporate Executive Board, where he was on the Technology Practice Leadership Team, working with chief information officers from governments, universities and multi-national corporations. Prior to this, he served as foreign policy adviser to a member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, the head of North American Documentary Development for Yorkshire TV and the CEO/Executive Producer for Common Ground Productions, the media division of Search for Common Ground. He is an award-winning filmmaker, former commentator for National Public Radio (Sunday Morning Edition) and author of numerous articles on politics, popular culture and conflict. He has managed peacebuilding programs in numerous conflicts, including Bosnia, Iraq, Angola, Liberia, Macedonia, Burundi and received the Capitol Area Peace Maker award from American University. He holds a doctorate from Oxford University and a bachelor's degree in political science from Johns Hopkins University. He has held visiting or guest scholar positions at the Brookings Institution, Harvard University and the Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies at Johns Hopkins University.

Expert In the News

Articles & Analysis from this Expert

January 27, 2015

To make their mark, the architects of peacebuilding's bleeding edge need to leave the government payroll and start their own industry.

July 23, 2014
Sheldon Himelfarb
April 25, 2014
Sheldon Himelfarb
January 17, 2014
Sheldon Himelfarb and Sean Aday


November 15, 2010
The United States Institute of Peace, in conjunction with Mobile Accord, TechChange, the UN-mandated University for Peace, and the National Defense University, hosted a Smart Tools for Smart Power event on June 24, 2010, entitled “Can You Help Me Now? Mobile Phones and Peacebuilding in Afghanistan.” The meeting brought together a cross section of the leading innovators in the use of mobile phones in difficult environments with Afghanistan specialists and government policymakers. This report summarizes the key points addressed during the meeting and expands on them with additional research and analysis.
October 6, 2011
Experts lay out a set of common principles for assessing how media programs in conflict zones help or hinder peacebuilding.
May 6, 2011
In February 2009, the United States Institute of Peace hosted a daylong conference, “Media as Global Diplomat,” that explored the changing orientation of public diplomacy and the importance of international cross-cultural exchange to public diplomacy. This report explores how access to international study and cultural exchange could be broadened by combining new media with established processes and pedagogy for cross-cultural engagement.
April 29, 2011
The methodology defined in this work helps a media assessment team understand the causes of conflict in a society, identify changes that could reduce that conflict, and create media interventions that help realize those changes.