The U.S. Institute of Peace established the Gandhi-King Global Academy to directly assist peacebuilders in civil society and government within conflict-affected countries. The Gandhi-King Global Academy trains, educates, advises and convenes actors to resolve conflict without violence.

Martin Luther King and Mahatma Gandhi

USIP’s Gandhi-King Global Academy is rooted in a 2009 U.S. bipartisan delegation to India that marked the 50th anniversary of the historic five-week tour of India taken by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and Coretta Scott King in 1959.

Rep. John Lewis (D-GA), who co-led the delegation with Rep. Spencer Bachus (R-AL), introduced the Gandhi-King Scholarly Exchange Initiative Act, which was ultimately passed in December 2020 with strong bipartisan support after Rep. Lewis’s death. The act gave USIP a mandate to create the Gandhi-King Global Academy as a means to professionalize peacebuilding and provide a range of support to people working for peace across the world.

USIP’s Gandhi-King Global Academy assists peacebuilders across the world in the following ways:


The Gandhi-King Global Academy provides training to actors in conflict-affected countries and partners around the world. USIP’s specialized trainings offer tools, strategies and skills that partners can use in preventing and resolving conflict nonviolently. The Gandhi-King Global Academy works with security actors by providing training to peacekeepers from Africa and Asia prior to their deployment in peacekeeping missions and to border security officers who are deployed along the Kenya-Somalia border. The Gandhi-King Global Academy also trains social movements in Latin America and East Africa to use nonviolence as a way to resolve conflict.

Providing Online Practical Courses

The Gandhi-King Global Academy offers a suite of online self-paced and instructor-led practical courses designed to support the educational and training needs of frontline peacebuilders in conflict-affected countries. Courses cover negotiation, mediation, conflict analysis, nonviolent action and many more peacebuilding topics. All courses are free of charge and offer participants a certificate of completion. Select courses are offered in one or several of the following eight languages: Arabic, Burmese, Dari, French, Pashto, Armenian, Azeri and Spanish.

Advising on Mediation and Dialogue

The Gandhi-King Global Academy provides expert guidance and advice on the design, strategy, facilitation and implementation of a peace process. This support targets the full spectrum of peacemaking stages from the pre-talks intended to secure a mandate for political talks and establish a cease-fire, to the negotiation and mediation among the parties, to the signing of a peace agreement and its implementation. The Gandhi-King Global Academy works all over the world to train and mentor local and international negotiators, mediators, envoys, special representatives and peace delegations. The Gandhi-King Global Academy also facilitates and guides both informal and structured dialogue processes to reduce violence and build confidence between those engaged in conflict.


The Gandhi-King Global Academy develops strong values-based partnerships that allow it to convene actors across divides to share best practice and learn from each other. It facilitates roundtables and brings together security actors and community organizations to jointly address local security concerns. The Gandhi-King Global Academy facilitates peace games that bring together members of Congress and their staff, military personnel, government officials, and civil society organizations to examine the most pressing threats to peace and stability.