The United States Institute of Peace (USIP) is seeking $56,300,000 for Fiscal Year (FY) 2024, to promote global peace and security in accordance with its Congressional mandate to help pre­vent, mitigate, and resolve violent conflict in countries where U.S. strategic interests are at stake.

Uyghur women, Opal village market, Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region, China.
Uyghur women, Opal village market, Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region, China.

The United States Institute of Peace (USIP) is seeking $56,300,000 for Fiscal Year (FY) 2024, to promote global peace and security in accordance with its Congressional mandate to help prevent, mitigate, and resolve violent conflict in countries where U.S. strategic interests are at stake.

USIP contributes distinctive capabilities to U.S. national security

As envisioned by Congress when it was established in 1984, USIP is a nonpartisan, independent public institute situated within the national security system. The Secretaries of State and Defense and the President of the National Defense University serve on USIP’s Board of Directors together with 12 distinguished Democratic and Republican leaders nominated by the President of the United States and confirmed by the Senate.

During its 40-year history, USIP has developed distinctive national security capabilities that help countries and people working for peace prevent violent conflict and resolve their own grievances before the United States is drawn in or U.S. interests are threatened.

These capabilities include prevention capabilities to help countries and communities deter recruitment into violent extremist forces, manage global shocks without resorting to violence, and de-escalate tensions before mass atrocities are committed or major conflicts erupt.

The Institute uses its mediation capabilities to help belligerents lay the groundwork for the cessation of hostilities and sequence realistic steps from ceasefire to disengagement to peace agreement. The Institute specializes in helping countries launch inclusive peace processes, structure national dialogues, and hold perpetrators of war crimes accountable.

In post-conflict environments, the Institute uses its transition and stabilization capabilities to guide parties on apportioning resources and power more democratically, disarming fighters and facilitating their reentry into civilian life, and accelerating the transition from military to civilian security, leading to more sustainable peace.

USIP works in partnership with U.S. departments and agencies to promote U.S. values and advance the country’s interests in a highly cost-effective way

The Institute’s distinctive capabilities reinforce and amplify the efforts of other U.S. departments and agencies. As a specialized public institution, USIP’s range and impact within the national security system are highly cost-effective, with more than 300 initiatives in Asia, Africa, Central and South America, Europe, and the Middle East and established teams in 19 countries.

USIP develops, facilitates, and relies on partnerships with a broad range of networks, institutions, organizations, and stakeholders in Africa, Asia, Europe, Latin America, and the Middle East to deepen its impact in war-torn and fragile countries and in regions where tensions are rising. These networks have multiple benefits: they drive peace efforts in their own countries, give depth to the Institute’s analysis, and enlarge the broad coalition of U.S. allies and friendly nations.

The Institute’s structure contributes to its impact. Programs are implemented directly, allowing the Institute to quickly learn what works and apply lessons immediately, avoiding the long lead times required by other agencies for redesign and rebidding. As a nonpartisan institute with strong bipartisan support, USIP is also able to develop objective analysis and provide policy guidance that incorporates multiple perspectives grounded in evidence and best practice.

USIP advances U.S. interests through a research-training-application-evaluation-policy cycle. The cycle starts with USIP experts who develop tools for preventing and resolving violent conflicts based on extensive research. USIP’s specialized trainers share these tools with peacebuilders across the world and the Institute’s field teams pilot and apply them in countries where USIP has an established presence. Program evaluators assess the impact of these tools over time and recommend changes in practice and policy based on these evaluations. Lessons and changes in policy are folded back into the peacebuilding literature, leading to a new cycle of research, training, application, evaluation, and policy.

USIP celebrates and promotes the unique American approach to peacebuilding

During its four decades as a U.S. public institution, USIP has helped to shape and professionalize the field of peacebuilding by assisting colleges and universities with the development of peace and conflict studies programs and by training diplomats, humanitarians, development workers, and other frontline peacebuilders.

USIP continues to share its knowledge and practice with other peacebuilding entities, including civil society networks, nongovernmental organizations, universities, military academies, foreign affairs councils and federations, specialized peacebuilding institutes in other countries, and U.S. departments and agencies, and it performs a series of functions and services within the national security system and among peacebuilding organizations that multiply the overall impact of these communities.

Strategic Pillars

USIP is reshaping its work in response to growing threats to U.S. national security and global stability from authoritarian regimes, rivalry between major powers, shocks, violent extremism, and anti-democratic ideologies.

In all of its initiatives, whether new or continuing, USIP is committed to promoting American soft power by demonstrating the United States’ highest ideals, including the country’s commitment to democracy, rule of law, and accountability, in the pursuit of peace.

During FY 2024, USIP will work in close partnership with departments, agencies, institutions, organizations, and networks committed to peace, focusing its efforts on three pillars.

Pillar One: Strategic Rivalry

USIP’s aim in this pillar is to help reduce the potential for violent conflict created by strategic rivalry between major powers—whether directly between competitors or between proxy forces—in areas where China and Russia are seeking to extend their influence to the detriment of regional and global peace. The Institute works to achieve this objective by helping to counter the impact of Chinese and Russian malign influence, facilitating communication between experts and policymakers, and reinforcing positive relations with allies and friendly nations. This work includes the following initiatives:

In support of U.S. efforts to restore stable security arrangements in Europe and beyond following Russia’s unprovoked war of aggression against Ukraine, USIP:

  • hosts a bipartisan Senior Study Group to formulate policy options to strengthen Euro-Atlantic security, promote trade and commerce, and advance energy and food security.
  • convenes a high-level, bipartisan Study Group on Strategic Security and Stability that engages with experts and counterparts to formulate policy recommendations for reducing risks from new cyber, space, hypersonic, and artificial intelligence technologies and from potential triggers that could escalate confrontations from conventional to nuclear conflict.
  • continues to assess options for reassembling experts and former officials from the United States, Russia, Ukraine, and Europe in track-two dialogues, if and as it makes sense to do so, in support of track-one diplomacy, and to explore possible options for U.S. policymakers in their efforts to protect civilians and restore full Ukrainian sovereignty.

In support of U.S. efforts to avoid unintentional escalation with China and Russia in strategic areas where competing interests overlap and are at stake, USIP:

  • tracks and analyzes the mechanisms Russia and China use for crisis management and deterrence and formulates policy options for reducing strategic risks, deescalating tensions, improving communications between Washington and Beijing and, if conditions permit in the future, between Washington and Moscow, as well as other U.S. allies and partners in Asia and Europe.
  • convenes track-1.5 discussions with current officials and experts from the United States and China, including on Taiwan, as well as a range of track-two dialogues with experts and current and former officials from the United States, China, Asia, and Europe on conflicts and tensions in Ukraine, the Taiwan Strait, Myanmar, Afghanistan, and South Asia.
  • hosts bipartisan Senior Study Groups to analyze and offer possible options for U.S. policymakers in their efforts to promote stability in countries and regions where the malign actions of China and Russia are undermining stability and peace, including Myanmar, North Korea, South Asia, the Freely Associated States of the Northern Pacific, as well as the broader regions of the Indo-Pacific, North Africa, West Africa, and the Red Sea.

As part of efforts to project positive U.S. engagement in countries where China and Russia are expanding their influence, USIP is:

  • collaborating with researchers around the world to generate recommendations to counter China’s role in fueling transnational crime, corruption, and conflict in Southeast Asia and the Pacific Islands, as well as on the growing influence of U.S. competitors in multilateral governance and human rights bodies.
  • launching initiatives to promote the American approach to peacebuilding in Papua New Guinea, key Pacific Island states, and Central and Coastal West Africa and supporting peacebuilding institutions and civil society organizations in countries and regions where democracy is under pressure from U.S. competitors, including the Sahel, North Africa, the Philippines, and Cambodia.
  • convening a bipartisan Senior Study Group, with representatives from African governments and the private sector to formulate policy options for ensuring good business practices during the extraction of critical minerals. supporting civil society and local-level peacebuilding and conflict resolution efforts in Libya, Nigeria, Sudan, the Central African Republic, Colombia, Pakistan, and Myanmar, where Chinese and Russian influence is undermining local stability and advancing authoritarian governance.

Pillar Two: Global Shocks and Fragility

USIP’s aim in this pillar is to help reduce the potential for violent conflict in unstable, fragile states of strategic importance to the United States, including states where terrorist forces and transnational criminal networks are expanding. The Institute works to achieve this objective by helping government officials and civil society manage tensions, address grievances, and reduce violence arising from global shocks and internal disruptions. This work includes the following initiatives:

In support of U.S. efforts to promote stability and reduce mass migration from northern Central America, USIP is:

  • piloting programs to counter violence in select districts in El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras including new initiatives that give options to youth leaders and bring security forces and communities in hard-hit districts together to discuss shared security goals.

In support of U.S. efforts to prevent a resurgence of violent extremist forces in areas of strategic importance, USIP is:

  • strengthening civil society networks in Mozambique, Nigeria, the Sahel, Tunisia, Libya, and the Red Sea region to resist extremist influence and resolve local conflicts before they are exploited by violent movements. The Institute is also continuing to engage traditional leaders in the Central African Republic to counter recruitment and hate speech in partnership with regional and frontline organizations and using research from the fields of psychology, neurobiology, and conflict resolution to develop innovative ways to promote nonviolent action as an alternative to extremism.
  • providing training and mentoring for women’s groups dedicated to preventing recruitment by extremist groups in Burkina Faso, Mali, and Niger in the Sahel, and in Tunisia, Sudan, Ethiopia, Uganda, Kenya, and Tanzania in North and East Africa.
  • facilitating the work of the RESOLVE (Researching Solutions to Violent Extremism) Network, a consortium of global experts and more than three dozen organizations focused on addressing the drivers of recruitment, building community resilience, and disengaging adherents from violent extremist movements.
  • developing and disseminating an action guide with concrete strategies and policy options for disengaging former fighters and their families from extremist organizations.
  • working in coordination with the Department of State and the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) to identify options for the reentry into civilian life for families of former Islamic State (ISIS) fighters in Iraq and Central Asian countries.
  • working in coordination with the Department of State to train government officials and civil society leaders from Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan to combat terrorist recruitment and radicalization on social media. In Iraq, USIP is continuing to train and mentor peacebuilding partners and support local-level peace agreements in communities vulnerable to extremist influence, and in Afghanistan, the institute is supporting women, youth, and religious leaders inside the country and in the diaspora in their efforts to promote transparency, inclusion, and justice.
  • supporting U.S. embassies and their partners in the countries and regions selected as pilots under the U.S. Strategy to Prevent Conflict and Promote Stability and co-leading a project in Sudan with the Department of State to field-test and refine strategies for implementing key components of the Global Fragility Act. The Institute is also convening experts from universities and the U.S. government to identify best practices for addressing state fragility, including inclusive governance, security sector reform, improved delivery of public services, and stronger public financial management.

In support of U.S. efforts to help prevent violent conflict linked to global shocks in countries of strategic importance to the United States, including environmental disruption, USIP is:

  • working with U.S. Africa Command (AFRICOM) to identify climate risks in regions of strategic importance to the United States. The Institute is also bringing rival groups together in Nigeria to jointly manage scarce land and water resources, supporting peacebuilding organizations working on resource governance in Myanmar and Tunisia, facilitating tripartite Israeli-Palestinian-Jordanian discussions on energy cooperation, and promoting strategies for managing shared water resources in South and Central Asia.
  • sponsoring research on resource and environment-related migration in countries of strategic importance to the United States, including the Philippines, Indonesia, and Vietnam. The Institute is convening policy discussions on the impact of militarized groups on conservation and the potential for conflict during the transition to diversified economies. USIP will be hosting a bipartisan Senior Study Group to formulate policy options for ensuring access to critical minerals and is assessing the effectiveness of existing institutions and frameworks to mitigate environmentally generated conflicts, including transboundary water frameworks that involve nuclear powers.
  • partnering with peacebuilding and academic institutions to develop methodologies for tracking the impact of shortages, shutdowns, and the breakdown of public systems in fragile states and offering possible options to U.S. policymakers for addressing the factors likely to further destabilize these countries. The Institute is also partnering with civil society networks to analyze the ways authoritarian governments are exploiting global shocks to centralize power.

Pillar Three: The American Approach to Peacebuilding

USIP’s aim in this pillar is to advance global security and prosperity by promoting U.S. peacebuilding norms and values, in contrast to alternate models offered by U.S. competitors. The Institute works to achieve this objective by promoting the American approach to peacebuilding—with its focus on de-escalation, dialogue, mediation, reconciliation, inclusiveness, political and religious freedom, justice, transparency, and the rule of law—as the most effective way of sustaining global stability. This work includes the following initiatives:

Recognizing that core American values, including international religious freedom, are the foundation for sustainable peace and security and that dialogue, mediation, and the search for shared goals and interests are essential elements of any peace process, USIP is:

  • engaging with peacebuilders, institutes, and partners across the world to find practical ways to embed American principles in all aspects of peacebuilding theory, policy, and practice.
  • providing specialized advice to the Department of State and USAID to help strengthen engagement with religious communities and advance religious freedoms in countries facing violence and fragility. USIP is also publishing research and practical guides for addressing the religious elements of conflicts.
  • continuing to help train and mentor civil society delegations involved in formal and informal negotiations in Cameroon, Colombia, Venezuela, Tunisia, Libya, South Sudan, Myanmar, the Philippines, and Ukraine. USIP is also continuing to provide direct support to official mediators upon request and is supporting peace and mediation initiatives led by the African Union in Ethiopia and the Horn of Africa and by the Economic Community of West African States in the Sahel.

Committed to promoting nonviolent action as one of the most effective ways of advancing social change and resolving grievances, USIP:

  • hosts the Congressionally mandated Gandhi-King Global Academy, which develops and shares best practices and tools for nonviolent action with peacebuilders on the front lines of conflict. USIP is also working to build the capacity of grassroots organizers and peacebuilders to use nonviolent action in Nicaragua, Bolivia, Colombia, Venezuela, Tunisia, Sudan, South Sudan, Ethiopia, and Myanmar.

Recognizing that reconciliation is more durable when former belligerents work together to address the legacies of war, USIP:

  • at the request of Congress, is supporting joint U.S. and Vietnamese efforts to account for Vietnamese combatants who remain missing in action. USIP is also assessing the role and impact of truth and reconciliation commissions as mechanisms for restorative justice.

Recognizing that accountability for atrocities and war crimes is a deterrent to future conflict and one of the most important pillars of post-conflict reconciliation, USIP is:

  • continuing to partner with experts, policymakers, and frontline peacebuilders to improve real-time documentation, advance cutting-edge investigative techniques, and mobilize support for the prosecution of atrocities, including war crimes, crimes against humanity, and genocide.

Committed to ensuring the involvement of women in all aspects of peacebuilding and to investing in and mentoring a new generation of peacebuilders, USIP is:

  • continuing to partner with the U.S. government and civil society leaders to strengthen implementation of the Women, Peace, and Security Act. USIP is also helping to elevate women’s leadership in peacebuilding by supporting, training, and mentoring frontline women’s organizations in countries where the Institute is engaged and by honoring exceptional women peacebuilders through the annual international Women Building Peace Award.
  • funding peacebuilding projects led by youth in more than a dozen countries, including Colombia, Venezuela, El Salvador, Honduras, the Philippines, Tunisia, Libya, Syria, Iraq, and Pakistan.

Country Programs

USIP is implementing more than 300 initiatives in 92 countries, including in 19 countries where the Institute has an established presence (these are shown on the map below).

USIP’s Established Field Presence map

America’s Enduring Commitment to Peace

The United States Institute of Peace was established by Congress in 1984 in response to a decades-long campaign led by combat veterans of World War II, faith-based groups, civic organizations, colleges and universities, and a citizens movement that sought to elevate America’s commitment to global peace and security by creating a public institution within the national security system dedicated to helping prevent, mitigate, and resolve violent conflict abroad.

USIP’s enabling legislation was introduced by Senator Spark Matsunaga of Hawaii, who obtained permission from President Franklin D. Roosevelt to form the 100th Infantry Battalion, served with the renowned 442nd Regimental Combat Team, and was twice wounded in battle during World War II. The legislation was co-sponsored by Senator Mark Hatfield of Oregon, who commanded Navy landing craft at the beaches of Iwo Jima and Okinawa and led the first U.S. survey in Hiroshima following the use of the atomic bomb. Congressional Medal of Honor laureate and Hawaii Senator Daniel Inouye joined his fellow Senators in securing passage of the bill.

Today, the vision of USIP’s founders is reflected in the Institute’s extensive partnerships with the Department of Defense. These include civilian-military exercises on emerging conflicts and specialized briefings for Combatant Commands and U.S. forces deploying overseas. USIP sponsors an annual military fellowship for selected officers from the Army and Marine Corps and partners throughout the year with U.S. and international officers from military academic institutions. USIP is proud to have hosted high-level reviews of defense strategies and to convene a Senior Military Advisory Group (SMAG) of retired, distinguished three and four-star officers who provide strategic guidance to the Institute on matters of peace and security.

Faith leaders and organizations across the country remain key partners of the Institute, bringing conversations around critical national security policies into their communities. John R. Dellenback, president of the Christian College Consortium and Coalition, was one of the original supporters of the campaign to establish a peace institute and a member of the Matsunaga Commission that created USIP. Reverend Sidney Lovett, the pastor at the Rock Spring Congregational United Church of Christ, was nominated by President Ronald Reagan to serve on USIP’s inaugural Board of Directors and remained a great friend of the Institute until his death in 2021. Father Theodore Hesburgh, recipient of the Presidential Medal of Freedom and the Congressional Gold Medal for his contributions to higher education and civil rights, served with distinction on the Institute’s Board from 1991 to 2000.