Vanessa Johanson

Country Director, Myanmar

Vanessa Johanson is USIP’s country director for Myanmar, based in Yangon. Vanessa has worked since 1996 in Asia and the Middle East on peacebuilding, peace processes, governance and media development. She has held director-level positions with international organizations including Search for Common Ground, The Asia Foundation, BBC Media Action and Internews. She has carried out training and analysis on fragile states, conflict, mediation and dialogue, and women, peace and security for the Australian government, U.N. agencies and INGOs. Immediately prior to joining USIP she worked as senior advisor on Peacebuilding and Peace Processes in Myanmar with USAID/OTI through DAI.

Vanessa speaks Bahasa Indonesia fluently, as well as conversational Myanmar, and has lived and worked in Myanmar, Indonesia, Afghanistan, Yemen, Cambodia, Timor Leste, Sweden and Thailand, as well as carrying out numerous short-term assignments elsewhere. She holds a Bachelor’s degree in Politics and Literature (Latrobe), a Graduate Diploma in Journalism (RMIT) and a Masters in Participatory Development (ANU).

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Articles & Analysis from this Expert

September 15, 2016

Four days of talks last week restarted Myanmar’s peace process almost a year after a Nationwide Ceasefire Agreement was signed by some but not all of the country’s armed groups. The process, known as the 21st Century Panglong Conference, or Union Peace Conference, is intended to convene every six months and aims to end the decades-long conflicts between and among the Myanmar army and an array of rebel groups. Vanessa Johanson, the Myanmar country director for the U.S. Institute of Peace, examines the results.