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

U.S.-Taliban Deal is a “Massive Opportunity,” Says U.S. Negotiator

U.S.-Taliban Deal is a “Massive Opportunity,” Says U.S. Negotiator

Thursday, February 20, 2020

By: Adam Gallagher

After a year and a half of negotiations, the U.S. and Taliban have reached an interim agreement to reduce violence for a period of seven days. If that agreement holds, the two sides will formalize a pact that would lead to intra-Afghan negotiations and a phased U.S. troop withdrawal. Although the reduction in violence is an important achievement, it is but one step on a long, rocky road to peace, noted current and former senior U.S. officials on February 18 at the U.S. Institute of Peace.

Type: Analysis and Commentary

Peace Processes

A Sustainable Approach for Disengaging Violent Extremists

A Sustainable Approach for Disengaging Violent Extremists

Thursday, February 20, 2020

By: Chris Bosley

Governments and communities worldwide are facing the increasingly daunting challenge of what to do when citizens who participated in violent extremist conflicts return home. With ISIS’s territorial caliphate extinguished, more than 100 countries could face the task of not only having to reintegrate their citizens, but also preparing their communities for a future with them living next door. This is a society-wide challenge that will engage a cross-cutting spectrum of stakeholders deploying a range of peacebuilding and other tools to build communities and individuals who are more resilient to violent extremism.

Type: Analysis and Commentary

Reconciliation; Violent Extremism

Scott Worden on Afghan Elections and the Peace Process

Scott Worden on Afghan Elections and the Peace Process

Wednesday, February 19, 2020

By: Scott Worden

Amid news of an interim U.S.-Taliban deal, Afghanistan’s election commission announced President Ashraf Ghani has won reelection—a result his opponent has openly rejected. USIP’s Scott Worden warns this kind of political infighting weakens the government’s negotiating position ahead of possible intra-Afghan talks, saying “the Taliban profit from political chaos.”

Type: Podcast

Peace Processes

Rethinking Transnational Terrorism: An Integrated Approach

Rethinking Transnational Terrorism: An Integrated Approach

Wednesday, February 19, 2020

By: Martha Crenshaw

The 2011 civil war in Syria attracted thousands of fighters from at least seventy countries to join the Islamic State. Al-Shabaab carried out large-scale attacks on civilian targets in Uganda and Kenya as retribution for the deployment of peacekeeping forces in Somalia. In this report, Martha Crenshaw considers the extent to which civil war and foreign military intervention function as a rationale for transnational terrorism, and how understanding the connections between terrorism, civil war, and weak governance can help the United States and its allies mount an appropriate response.

Type: Peaceworks

Global Policy

U.S.-Taliban Deal: The Beginning of the End of America’s Longest War?

U.S.-Taliban Deal: The Beginning of the End of America’s Longest War?

Wednesday, February 19, 2020

By: Scott Smith

American officials announced on Friday that the United States and the Taliban agreed to a seven-day “reduction of violence” that, if adhered to, would be followed by a signed agreement. The deal would pave the way for intra-Afghan talks and a phased withdrawal of U.S. troops. USIP’s Scott Smith examines the U.S.-Taliban deal and what comes next.

Type: Analysis and Commentary

Peace Processes

View All Publications