Steven Riskin

Senior Program Officer for Grants, Center for Governance, Law and Society, and Director, Funders Initiative

Steven M. Riskin is a senior program officer for grants, Center for Governance, Law and Society, and director of the Funders Initiative. A Middle East specialist, Riskin came to the Institute in 1994 from the Ford Foundation, where he was responsible for program development and grantmaking in Israel, focusing on human rights, social justice and conflict resolution. With the foundation’s Cairo office, he also engaged in program development in the Arab world. He has traveled extensively throughout the region.

Riskin has been a consultant to the Robert F. Kennedy Memorial Center for Human Rights and several foundations seeking to advance social justice and peace in the Middle East. He was a researcher at the Brookings Institution, a foreign affairs analyst at the Congressional Research Service of the Library of Congress and a co-founder of the International Human Rights Funders Group, an international network of over 300 foundations funding in the human rights field. He is also a member of the Board of Directors of the Compton Foundation, a California-based philanthropy that focuses its grantmaking on peace and security, environment and sustainability, and reproductive health and rights.


January 20, 2015
On the heels of last summer’s Israel-Gaza war, tensions between Jewish and Arab citizens within Israel have escalated significantly. In such a context of deep divisions, the extent to which police internalize fair and effective policing—and that citizens see that as a reality—are crucial factors in preventing a downward spiral of violence. Supported by a USIP grant, The Abraham Fund Initiatives (TAFI) has been tackling this issue through its Arab Society-Police Relations Initiative. 
December 1, 1999
The purpose of this Peaceworks is to highlight some of the Institute-funded programs focusing on Bosnia and Herzegovina and to share some of the lessons gleaned from policy-related research covering foreign aid, human rights and rule of law, and programs devoted to reconciliation and civil society institutions in Bosnia.

Articles & Analysis from this Expert


The U.S. Institute of Peace (USIP) has awarded a grant to The Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health to support a pathbreaking effort to systematically track attacks on health care workers and facilities in Burma—creating an analytical tool that ultimately can be used globally and that should become a foundation for efforts to prevent such attacks and promote accountability for those perpetrating them.