With a global upsurge in violent conflict, environmental degradation, great power competition, and technological change, the challenges facing the peacebuilding community have never been greater or more urgent. In response to these challenges, USIP was pleased to partner with the Alliance for Peacebuilding to host the largest annual gathering of peacebuilding practitioners in the United States: PeaceCon 2019. This critical and timely discussion of today’s complex conflict dynamics explored conflict prevention amid a rapidly evolving global landscape and offered ways the peacebuilding community can advance innovative efforts amid these disruptions.

Eminent members of the peacebuilding community, diplomats, scholars, business leaders, military strategists and other specialists gathered from hundreds of organizations across dozens of countries at PeaceCon 2019. Take part in the conversation on social media with #PeaceCon2019.

Video recordings of additional sessions are below.

Agenda

8:45am - 9:00am: Welcome

  • Nancy Lindborg
    President & CEO, U.S. Institute of Peace
  • Dylan Matthews
    Chief Executive, Peace Direct and Board Chair, Alliance for Peacebuilding
  • Uzra Zeya
    President and CEO, Alliance for Peacebuilding

9:00am - 9:30am: Morning Plenary Speaker Address

  • H.E. Ellen Johnson Sirleaf 
    Nobel Peace Prize Laureate and Former President of Liberia

9:30am - 10:30am: Navigating Disruption: A Conversation with Stephen J. Hadley and Avril D. Haines 

  • Stephen J. Hadley
    Former National Security Advisor, Chair, U.S. Institute of Peace Board of Directors
  • Avril Haines
    Former White House Deputy National Security Advisor
  • Nancy Lindborg, moderator
    President and CEO, U.S. Institute of Peace

10:30am - 11:00am: Break

11:00am - 12:15pm: Concurrent Breakout Sessions

Reorienting International Aid to Fragile and Conflict-Affected States: Toward More Strategic and Preventive Approaches 

  • Caroline Bahnson
    Senior Operations Officer, World Bank Fragility, Conflict, and Violence Group 
  • Peter Quaranto
    Senior Advisor for Peace and Security, Office of U.S. Foreign Assistance Resources, U.S. Department of State
  • Mark Segal
    Senior Advisor, Stabilisation Unit, United Kingdom Government
  • Katy Thompson
    Team Leader, Rule of Law, Security, and Human Rights, United Nations Development Program
  • Ambassador Mary Ann Peters, moderator
    CEO, The Carter Center

People Power and Peace Processes 

  • Aden Abdi
    Horn of Africa Program Director, Conciliation Resources
  • Nadine Bloch
    Training Director, Beautiful Trouble
  • Dr. Veronique Dudouet
    Jennings Randolph Senior Fellow, U.S. Institute of Peace; Program Director for Conflict Transformation Research, Berghof Foundation
  • Palwasha Kakar
    Senior Program Officer for Religion and Inclusive Societies, U.S. Institute of Peace
  • Maria Stephan, moderator
    Program Director for Nonviolent Action, U.S. Institute of Peace

The Role of Russia and China in Peace Processes

  • Heather Conley
    Senior VP for Europe, Eurasia, and the Arctic, Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Chris Robinson
    Deputy Assistant Secretary, Bureau of European & Eurasian Affairs, U.S. State Department
  • Jake Stokes
    Senior Policy Analyst, China, U.S. Institute of Peace
  • Robert Faucher, moderator
    Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary for the Bureau of Conflict and Stabilization Operations, U.S. State Department

12:15pm - 2:00pm: Lunch

1:00pm - 1:45pm: PeaceTech Speed Geeking: Rapid Fire Learning about Tech Tools for Peacebuilding (Seating limited)

  • Zeluis Teixeira, Director of Acceleration & Operational Excellence, PeaceTech Lab

2:00pm - 3:15pm: Concurrent Breakout Sessions

The U.S. Government’s Capabilities for Responding to Violent Conflict: Progress, Challenges, and Opportunities

  • Richmond Blake
    Director for Policy and Advocacy, Mercy Corps
  • Adam Mausner
    Senior Policy Advisor, Office of the Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Stability and Humanitarian Affairs, U.S. Department of Defense
  • Tess McEnery
    Senior Advisor for Conflict Prevention, Bureau of Conflict and Stabilizations Operations, U.S. State Department
  • Peter Quaranto
    Senior Advisor for Peace and Security, Office of U.S. Foreign Assistance Resources, U.S. Department of State
  • • Julie Werbel
    Senior Policy Coordinator of Conflict and Violence Prevention, Office of Conflict Management and Mitigation, USAID

Building Digital Peace

  • Kate O’Sullivan
    General Manager, Digital Diplomacy, Microsoft
  • Ambassador Jarmo Sareva
    Ambassador of Innovation, Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Finland
  • Lisa Schirch
    Senior Research Fellow, Toda Peace Institute; Senior Fellow, Alliance for Peacebuilding
  • Brett Solomon
    Executive Director, Access Now
  • Alexandria Walden
    Global Policy Lead for Human Rights and Free Expression, Google
  • Sheldon Himelfarb, moderator
    President and CEO, PeaceTech Lab

Women, Peace, and Security at 20: Challenges and Opportunities

  • Sanam Anderlini
    Founder and Executive Director, ICAN
  • Gary Barker
    President and CEO, Promundo
  • Bonnie Jenkins
    Executive Director, Women of Color Advancing Peace, Security and Conflict Transformation
  • Dr. Chantal de Jonge Oudraat
    President, Women In International Security
  • Alex Arriaga
    Founder and Managing Partner, Strategy for Humanity
  • Kathleen Kuehnast, moderator
    Director, Gender Policy and Strategy, U.S. Institute of Peace

3:15pm - 3:45pm: Break

3:45pm - 5:00pm: Keynote | American Diplomacy in a Disordered World

  • Ambassador William J. Burns
    President, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
  • Uzra Zeya, moderator
    President and CEO, Alliance for Peacebuilding 

Latest Publications

Scott Smith on What’s Next in the Afghan Peace Process

Scott Smith on What’s Next in the Afghan Peace Process

Thursday, November 14, 2019

By: Scott Smith

The Afghan government and Taliban announced an agreement on a prisoner exchange this week, but it remains unclear what comes next. With the presidential election still undecided, “The question is if this is the beginning of a new peace strategy on the part of President Ghani, will he be the president a few months from now to carry that strategy forward?” asks USIP’s Scott Smith.

Type: Podcast

Peace Processes

Nobel Laureate Abiy Ahmed’s Next Peacebuilding Project Should be at Home

Nobel Laureate Abiy Ahmed’s Next Peacebuilding Project Should be at Home

Thursday, November 14, 2019

By: Susan Stigant

Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed has remained in the news in the weeks following his 2019 Nobel Peace Prize—but not for the reasons you’d expect. An estimated 86 people have died in violence sparked by an alleged assassination attempt against a prominent political opposition leader. This tragedy is symptomatic of Ethiopia’s fragile transition and demonstrates the urgency for Dr. Abiy to focus his energies at home to deliver a peaceful transition for the 105 million Ethiopians counting on his leadership.

Type: Analysis and Commentary

Democracy & Governance; Peace Processes

As Protests Continue in the Street, Iraq Reaches a Crossroads

As Protests Continue in the Street, Iraq Reaches a Crossroads

Friday, November 8, 2019

By: Sarhang Hamasaeed

Tens of thousands of Iraqis have been protesting in Baghdad and southern provinces against the failure of the Iraqi government and the political class in delivering basic services, providing jobs, fighting corruption, and more. Iraqi security forces and armed groups reportedly linked to Iran have used lethal force in response to the protests, leaving over 260 dead and over 10,000 injured. As the protests have progressed, demands have expanded to include calls for regime change, the resignation of Prime Minister Adel Abdul Mahdi, early elections, pushing back against Iranian influence, and accountability for killing peaceful protesters.

Type: Analysis and Commentary

Democracy & Governance; Fragility & Resilience

A Month After U.S. Withdrawal, What is the State of Play in Syria?

A Month After U.S. Withdrawal, What is the State of Play in Syria?

Thursday, November 7, 2019

By: Mona Yacoubian

In the month since President Trump’s October 6 phone call with Turkish President Erdogan and the announced U.S. withdrawal from northeast Syria, the picture on the ground has changed immensely. Moscow has emerged as the key power broker in Syria. The Kurds, looking for protection from Turkish forces, are in Russian-brokered talks with the Assad government. These discussions could pave the way for an expanded Syrian government presence in the northeast for the first time in years. Successive agreements with Turkey negotiated first by the United States (October 17) and then by Russia (October 22) to halt Ankara’s fighting with the Kurds have been marred by violations.

Type: Analysis and Commentary

Conflict Analysis & Prevention

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