Fragility Study Group

The Fragility Study Group is an independent, non-partisan initiative, jointly convened by the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace (CEIP), the Center for a New American Security (CNAS) and the U.S. Institute of Peace (USIP), to improve the U.S. government’s approach to reducing global fragility. 

Chaired by William Burns, Michèle Flournoy and Nancy Lindborg, the Study Group will provide recommendations to the next U.S. presidential administration and the next Congress on strategic approaches to preventing and addressing the interrelated security, humanitarian and development threats posed by fragile states. The Study Group is advised by a group of more than 20 former U.S. government officials, members of Congress, academics and private sector leaders.

Leadership

Burns
 
​Ambassador William J. Burns – President, CEIP; former U.S. deputy secretary of state.

“The upheaval we’ve seen over the past few years, from the Arab uprisings to the spread of extremism, and the global displacement crisis to the Ebola outbreak, underscore the stakes and urgency of addressing fragility with renewed emphasis.”
Honorable Michèle Flournoy – CEO and co-founder, CNAS; former U.S. undersecretary of defense for policy.

“After the 2016 elections, the new Congress and next administration – regardless of political affiliation – should demand better ideas about whether and how to engage, prioritize and invest in these challenges”
Lindborg Honorable Nancy Lindborg – President, USIP; former assistant administrator for the Bureau for Democracy, Conflict and Humanitarian Assistance, U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID).

“More than a billion people now live in states deemed fragile, which is where conflict, violence and poverty are deeply concentrated.”

Objective

To advise the next Administration and Congress on how to meaningfully improve United States foreign policy for addressing fragility.

Products

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The Study Group will produce a report composed of:

  • A joint high-level paper from the three chairs that will outline principles for engagement and prioritization in fragile environments.
  • A series of policy briefs authored by institutional scholars that build on the chair report to discuss the implications of fragility on existing U.S. tools, strategic interests, and challenges.

Launch

The public launch of the Fragility Study Group took place on September 12, 2016. It featured two panels: the first featured the three chairs, moderated by David Ignatius, and the second featured three policy brief authors, and was moderated by executive director Alexa Courtney. For more information about the event discussion, please see the USIP analysis, Burns, Flournoy, Lindborg Press Urgency of Fragile States

Membership

The Study Group includes the Chairs, institutional points of contact, institutional scholars and a specifically dedicated staff.

Senior Advisors

The former U.S. government officials, members of Congress, academics and private sector leaders who will help the Study Group frame relevant and bi-partisan recommendations include:

  • Gen (ret.) John Allen: Co-director and senior fellow, The Brookings Institution Center for 21st Century Security and Intelligence; Former special envoy for the global coalition to counter ISIL.
  • Hon. Howard Berman: Senior advisor, Covington and Burling, LLP; former U.S. representative (D-CA).
  • Ambassador Johnnie Carson: Senior advisor, U.S. Institute of Peace; former assistant secretary of state for African affairs.
  • Jared Cohen: Founder and director, Google Ideas; former member, Policy Planning Staff at U.S. Department of State.
  • Ambassador Elizabeth Cousens: Deputy chief executive officer, United Nations Foundation; former U.S. ambassador to U.N. Economic and Social Council.
  • David Crane: Professor of practice, Syracuse University College of Law; former chief prosecutor of the special court for Sierra Leone.
  • Dr. Chester Crocker: James R. Schlesinger professor of strategic studies, Georgetown University’s Walsh School of Foreign Service; former assistant secretary of state for African affairs.
  • Dr. Paula Dobriansky: Senior fellow with the Future of Diplomacy Project, Harvard University’s Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs; former senior vice president, Thomson Reuters and Undersecretary of state for democracy and global Affairs.
  • Diana Farrell: Founding president and CEO, JPMorgan Chase Institute; former global head of McKinsey Center for Government.
  • Stephen J. Hadley: Chairman, U.S. Institute of Peace Board of Directors and principal, RiceHadleyGates; former national security advisor to President George W. Bush.
  • Gen (ret.) Carter Ham: Chairman, National Commission on the Future of the U.S. Army; former commander, U.S. Africa Command.
  • Neal Keny-Guyer: CEO, Mercy Corps; former director, Save the Children Middle East, North Africa and Europe.
  • Christopher Kojm: Visiting professor of the practice of international affairs, George Washington University Elliott School; former chairman, National Intelligence Council.
  • Dr. Stephen Krasner: Graham H. Stuart professor of international relations, senior associate dean for the social sciences, School of Humanities & Sciences, and the deputy director of Freeman Spogli Institute (FSI), Stanford University; former director of policy planning, U.S. Department of State.
  • Clare Lockhart: Co-founder and director, Institute for State Effectiveness.
  • David Miliband: President and CEO, International Rescue Committee; former secretary of state for foreign affairs, United Kingdom.
  • Ambassador George Moose: Vice chairman, U.S. Institute of Peace Board of Directors; former assistant secretary of state for African affairs and U.S. permanent representative to the European Office, United Nations.
  • Michael Morell: Senior counselor, Beacon Global Strategies LLC; former deputy director, Central Intelligence Agency.
  • Andrew Natsios: Executive professor and director, Scowcroft Institute of International Affairs at Texas A&M University; former administrator, (USAID).
  • Ambassador Thomas Pickering: Vice chairman, Hills & Company; former undersecretary of state for political affairs.
  • Emma Sky, OBE: Director, Yale World Fellows and senior fellow, Yale University Jackson Institute for Global Affairs.
  • Hon. Vin Weber: Partner, Mercury; former U.S. representative (R-MN).
  • Dr. Jeremy Weinstein: Professor of political science and senior fellow at the Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies, Stanford University; former deputy to the U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations.

Institutional Scholars

Each partner institution has identified scholars who will author, or contribute to, additional chapters exploring in greater depth particular themes and policy tools related to fragility. The chapter list will be forthcoming.

Additional Consultations

In addition to the Senior Advisors Group, Study Group staff has undertaken consultations with various experts, scholars and sitting government officials on background. If you are interested in speaking with our team, please contact the Study Group assistant, Noah Sheinbaum, at nsheinbaum@usip.org, or at 202-429-4761.

Study Group Staff

The study group staff serve as the secretariat for the Study Group, and are based at USIP.

Institutional Points of Contact