In February 2021, President Biden issued a memorandum for advancing the human rights of LGBTQI+ persons around the world — with the first U.S. government interagency report on its implementation released in April of this year. The memorandum directed executive departments and agencies to ensure that diplomacy and foreign assistance both promote and protect the human rights of LGBTQI+ persons and affirmed a government focus toward a reduction of violence and discrimination. Meaningful protection efforts are critical to peacebuilding and important to mitigating and preventing violence, especially for gender and sexual minorities who may be the targets of violence or may be seen by violent actors as symbolic of other social trends.

An LGBTQ rally in Warsaw, Poland, July 27, 2019. (Anna Liminowicz/The New York Times)
An LGBTQ rally in Warsaw, Poland, July 27, 2019. (Anna Liminowicz/The New York Times)

Join USIP for a conversation on the vulnerabilities of gender and sexual minorities in conflict settings and the path toward their meaningful inclusion in peacebuilding. The discussion will look at how protection of LGBTQ+ persons can be integrated into broader initiatives on civilian security and violence mitigation and prevention — including engagement with security sector actors — as well as the challenges facing peacebuilders on the ground.

Take part in the conversation on Twitter using #InclusivePeaceUSIP.


Lise Grande, opening remarks
President and CEO, U.S. Institute of Peace 

Jessica Stern, introductory remarks
U.S. Special Envoy to Advance the Human Rights of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer and Intersex Persons

Kathleen Coogan 
Senior Advisor for Atrocities Prevention and Gender, Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs, U.S. Department of State

Jay Gilliam 
Senior LGBTQI+ Coordinator, USAID

Neela Ghoshal 
Senior Director, Law, Policy and Research, OutRight Action International

David W. Yang, moderator
Vice President, Applied Conflict Transformation Center, U.S. Institute of Peace

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