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

  • The Honorable 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 

  • The Honorable 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
  • The Honorable Nancy Lindborg, moderator
    President & 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

Ethiopia’s Problems Will Not End with a Military Victory

Ethiopia’s Problems Will Not End with a Military Victory

Tuesday, November 24, 2020

By: Aly Verjee

As violence continues over control of the northern Ethiopian region of Tigray, Ethiopia’s future remains unsettled, even if the conflict ends soon. Achieving the federal government’s security objectives in Tigray is unlikely to resolve both new and entrenched political challenges, and already delayed national elections, now expected in 2021, may prove a severe test of Ethiopia’s political order, and consequently affect broader regional stability. Reconciling the electoral process with efforts for reconciliation and national dialogue is now even more imperative.

Type: Analysis and Commentary

Conflict Analysis & Prevention

Human Rights Education as the Solution to Religious Persecution

Human Rights Education as the Solution to Religious Persecution

Monday, November 23, 2020

By: Knox Thames

Persecution on account of religion or belief confronts every community somewhere around the world—and it is an increasing trend. Challenges range from terrorist violence against minorities, such as ISIS’ depravations against Yazidis, to persecution by authoritarian governments, with China’s targeting of all faiths a prime example. To organize a defense of freedom of conscience and belief, the United States convened the Ministerial to Advance Freedom of Religion or Belief in 2018 and 2019, bringing together a virtual congress of nations and civil society activists from around the world. The third ministerial, organized by Poland, was held virtually in mid-November. Discussions identified challenges but also solutions. One consistent answer to the vexing problem of persecution was proffered: educating youth about human rights and pluralism.

Type: Analysis and Commentary

Religion; Education & Training

Afghanistan Withdrawal Should Be Based on Conditions, Not Timelines

Afghanistan Withdrawal Should Be Based on Conditions, Not Timelines

Thursday, November 19, 2020

By: Scott Worden

The Taliban’s tactic of running out the clock on the U.S. troop presence may bear fruit after the announcement on Tuesday that U.S. forces will reduce to 2,500 by January 15. The Trump administration successfully created leverage by engaging directly with the Taliban to meet their paramount goal of a U.S. withdrawal in exchange for genuine peace talks and counterterrorism guarantees. This strategy brought about unprecedented negotiations between Afghan government representatives and the Taliban in Doha. A walk down a conditions-based path to peace, long and winding as it may be, had begun.

Type: Analysis and Commentary

Peace Processes

Libya: Peace Talks Advance, But Will Need Local Support

Libya: Peace Talks Advance, But Will Need Local Support

Thursday, November 19, 2020

By: Nate Wilson

Libyans have taken an uncertain step toward ending nearly a decade of civil war, agreeing in U.N.-mediated talks to hold national elections in December 2021. The discussions, in the neighboring capital, Tunis, fell short of yielding a transitional government to oversee the elections and the establishment of a new constitution. The talks are shortly to resume. From Tunis, USIP’s Nate Wilson notes that the step is positive for a country that began 2020 with a surge in warfare and the involvement of foreign forces. Making this peace effort effective will require restraining that foreign involvement, he says, and will need to ground the talks in grassroots support.

Type: Analysis and Commentary

Peace Processes

View All Publications