The United States Institute of Peace (USIP) is seeking $55,459,000 for Fiscal Year (FY) 2025 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 is a nonpartisan, independent institution funded through public monies. The Institute is part of the broad national security system, working alongside and with U.S. agencies and civil society organizations to prevent conflict and promote America’s unique approach to peacebuilding.

The Secretaries of State and Defense and the President of the National Defense University serve on USIP’s Board of Directors, with 12 distinguished Democratic and Republican leaders nominated by the President of the United States and confirmed by the Senate.

USIP’s Role

Congress established USIP in 1984 to help people in high-priority countries resolve their own grievances and conflicts before the United States is drawn in or U.S. interests are threatened.

Present in countries for years at a time, USIP’s cost-effective programs are force multipliers, demonstrating the positive impact of democratic values for resolving conflict, enlarging the U.S.-led coalition of allies and friendly nations, and helping to counter the malign influence of U.S. adversaries.

USIP fulfills its mandate by:

  • Implementing effective peacebuilding programs and initiatives in countries of strategic importance.
  • Supporting frontline peacebuilders through USIP’s Congressionally mandated Gandhi-King Global Academy.
  • Offering practical options to policymakers on conflict-related priorities.
  • Engaging the public on America’s enduring commitment to global peace.

USIP aligns its priorities with U.S. foreign and national security policy. During FY 2025, the Institute is focused on:

  • Countering the tactics used by U.S. adversaries to incite conflict and undermine U.S. influence in countries of strategic importance.
  • Reducing violence and addressing other factors, including organized crime, that destabilize communities and fuel migration from Central and South America, the Caribbean, and other regions.
  • Promoting democratic transitions and counteracting violent extremism in strategic regions, including West Africa, the Sahel, and East Africa.
  • De-escalating tensions in the areas of the Middle East, Europe, Africa, and the Indo-Pacific where deterrence mechanisms are underdeveloped, under stress, or breaking down.

USIP’s way of working strengthens U.S. national security. The Institute’s impact derives from its ability to:

  • Establish a long-term, on-the-ground presence in strategic countries, giving USIP a field-based perspective on important conflict issues and unique access to policymakers at national, district, and local levels.
  • Implement initiatives directly, allowing USIP to start operations quickly, learn what works, and adapt strategies in real time, avoiding the long lead times required by other agencies for design and bidding. Because of USIP’s flexible protocols, the Institute adds particular value in countries where American officials have restricted movement.
  • Invest in deep and positive relationships over decades with a broad range of influential networks, practitioners, institutions, organizations, and stakeholders, many of which are not represented within national security channels. These partnerships have multiple benefits: they drive peace efforts in their own countries; give depth to the Institute’s analysis; and create bonds of shared purpose with communities across the globe.
  • Offer practical policy options and objective analysis that incorporate multiple views and perspectives based on evidence, best practices, and on-the-ground realities.
  • Use its nonpartisan convening role to reinforce shared purpose on national security priorities.

National security departments and agencies count on USIP’s specialized capabilities to increase their own impact. These include:

  • Deterring recruitment into violent extremist forces.
  • Reducing violence against women, minorities, and vulnerable populations.
  • De-escalating tensions before mass atrocities are committed or major conflicts erupt.
  • Mediating confidence-building measures between parties.
  • Sequencing realistic steps from ceasefire to cessation of hostilities and disengagement of forces.
  • Structuring peace processes and national dialogues and facilitating the role of civil society in resolving conflicts.
  • Facilitating the reentry of former soldiers into civilian life; and accelerating the shift from military to civilian security.

USIP’s Fieldwork

During FY 2025, USIP’s field teams are focused on two priorities: promoting the American approach to peacebuilding in countries where U.S. adversaries are inciting conflict and undermining U.S. influence; and working with partners on programs that mitigate the drivers of extremism, migration, instability, and fragility.

USIP promotes the American approach to peacebuilding by:

  • Demonstrating the positive impact of democratic values on conflict resolution: this includes training communities, leaders, and officials on tools for resolving conflict; facilitating dialogues to resolve disputes and address grievances; and showcasing the positive benefits of American partnerships with their focus on communities, the private sector, and civil society in contrast to the “statist cooperation models” used by U.S. adversaries.
  • Demonstrating the effectiveness of institutions for preventing violence and conflict: this includes working with authorities at national and local levels to establish peacebuilding institutions modeled on USIP and other American entities, including world affairs councils and peace academies.
  • Building broad coalitions that work toward peace: this includes convening businesses, faithbased and religious organizations, youth networks, media, and women’s groups around issues of peace, democracy, stability, and prosperity.
  • Establishing enduring bonds: this includes connecting people and institutions working for peace in strategically important countries with leaders, officials, and organizations in Washington, D.C., and across America
  • Establishing positive relations with peace institutions: this includes sharing research, arranging academic exchanges, and undertaking joint studies.
  • Sharing the benefits of American education: this includes providing online courses through USIP’s Gandhi-King Global Academy on American approaches to peace, democracy, stability, and prosperity.
  • Building a shared understanding of threats to peace and security: this includes facilitating roundtables that bring practitioners, leaders, researchers, and policymakers together; and supporting independent local researchers as they investigate and publicize the malign practices and criminal activities, including those linked to U.S. adversaries, that incite and drive conflict.

USIP addresses fragility and helps people counter violent extremism in their own countries by:

  • Using “structured dialogues”—a highly specialized form of mediation—to bring together security forces and communities to discuss security priorities and agree on concrete action.
  • Training police and security forces on best practices for community engagement.
  • Training elected representatives and communities to use nonviolent mechanisms to resolve grievances and disputes before they erupt into armed clashes and conflict.
  • Facilitating community compacts between businesses, elected representatives, faith leaders, tribal elders, women and youth leaders, security forces, and law enforcement to establish shared priorities and agree on concrete action.
  • Facilitating interfaith and community dialogues to reduce tensions and promote coexistence.
  • Supporting networks of women who work with law enforcement and security forces to prevent extremist attacks.
  • Facilitating tribal compacts and engaging student leaders in initiatives to counter mobilization efforts by extremist movements.

USIP’s Gandhi-King Global Academy

The Congressionally mandated Gandhi-King Global Academy provides a range of services and support to people working for peace across the globe, including peacekeepers, military staff, negotiators, mediators, and civil society practitioners. USIP’s services contribute to the professionalization of peacebuilding and differ significantly from the “transactional peacebuilding support” provided by U.S. adversaries and competitors.

USIP is the only institution in the national security system to offer the following range of peacebuilding services

Strategic Gaming: A specialized unit within USIP facilitates a wide range of tabletop simulations to identify gaps in U.S. responses to the destabilizing tactics and actions of U.S. adversaries. Simulations include Congressional Peace Games for Members of Congress;

Working Level Peace Games for Congressional staff; and specialized games with U.S. Combatant Commands facilitated with either Cornell University or the Diplomatic Studies Foundation. The unit also hosts the annual Interorganizational Global peace game with the Department of Defense Joint Staff, one of the largest games of its kind involving Combatant Commands, the Department of State, USAID, nongovernmental organizations, and representatives from the African Union and Organization of American States.

Training: Specialized teams provide a range of training, including pre-deployment training for African and Asian peacekeepers in international operations; community-engagement training for border security forces deployed along high-risk corridors; and training in nonviolent action for grassroots peacebuilders in Nicaragua, Colombia, Bolivia, Tunisia, Sudan, South Sudan, Ethiopia, and Burma.

Mediation: A specialized unit within USIP trains, guides, and mentors local and international networks of mediators in 31 countries. The unit provides mediation support to envoys, special representatives, and peace delegations and is currently supporting official and informal peace talks in five countries.

Gandhi-King Online: This unique peacebuilding academy offers 30 online courses covering negotiation, mediation, conflict analysis, and nonviolent action—of which 24 are available in Arabic, Burmese, Dari, French, Pashto, Armenian, Azeri, and Spanish. More than 120,000 practitioners have benefited from the courses including professionals from NATO and the armed services; peacekeepers in Africa and Asia; frontline peacebuilders; diplomats; and thousands of teachers and students at U.S. schools and universities.

Civil-Military: USIP experts facilitate roundtables on conflict prevention and peacebuilding with U.S. and international officers at the military’s advanced leadership institutions, including the Army War College, the Air Force Special Operations School, and the Advanced Strategic Leadership Studies Program at Fort Leavenworth. USIP experts brief specialized Army and Navy units before deployment and are working with two Combatant Commands, at their request, on specialized strategies for preventing and mitigating climate-related risks.

Dialogue: USIP experts currently facilitate more than 100 conflict-related dialogues and informal channels across Africa, Asia, Latin America, and the Middle East. Specialized dialogues, the composition of which varies depending on conflict dynamics, are underway in 20 strategically important countries and regions including Cameroon, South Sudan, Ethiopia, Armenia, Mindanao, Papua New Guinea, and Ukraine. “Structured dialogues,” which USIP pioneered a decade ago and are used to reduce violence and build confidence between citizens and security officials, are underway in 14 countries.

The Institute Honors the Legacy of USIP’s Founders

Congress established USIP in 1984 following a decades-long campaign led by combat veterans, religious and faith-based groups, and a citizens movement that sought to elevate America’s commitment to global security and peace by creating a public institution dedicated to preventing and resolving violent conflict abroad.

USIP’s enabling legislation was introduced by Hawaii Senator Spark Matsunaga, who served with the renowned 442nd Regimental Combat Team in World War II and was twice wounded in battle, and co-sponsored by Oregon Senator Mark Hatfield, who commanded Navy landing craft in 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.

The vision of USIP’s founders is reflected in the Institute’s continuing partnerships with the Department of Defense and faith leaders across the country. USIP has hosted high-level reviews of U.S. National Defense Strategies and benefits from a Senior Military Advisory Group of retired threeand four-star officers who provide strategic guidance to the Institute on matters of peace and security. The Institute continues to welcome faith-based groups for prayer and discussion and is proud to have had Father Theodore Hesburgh, recipient of the Presidential Medal of Freedom and the Congressional Gold Medal, serve on the Institute’s Board from 1991 to 2000.

Security and Efficient Functioning of USIP Facilities

USIP’s headquarters on the National Mall includes a five-story flagship building and two historic Potomac Annex buildings, which were administratively transferred to the Institute in the FY 2007 John Warner National Defense Authorization Act. During FY 2025, USIP plans to receive as many as 30,000 visitors at its campus.

As a Federal Level IV facility, USIP’s campus is integrated into the national security information-sharing and threat-management system. Security is managed using video surveillance and electronic monitoring, and includes a 24/7 armed physical presence.

USIP’s facilities are maintained through a combination of in-house expertise and contracted service providers. Management contracts are awarded through a competitive bidding process, with priority given to preventive maintenance, sustainability, and energy conservation and efficiency. USIP remains Gold certified in the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design rating system for sustainable buildings.