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

Bourgeois Jihad: Why Young, Middle-Class Afghans Join the Islamic State

Bourgeois Jihad: Why Young, Middle-Class Afghans Join the Islamic State

Monday, June 1, 2020

By: Borhan Osman

Ever since the Islamic State in Khorasan Province emerged in Afghanistan in 2015, policymakers and security forces have regarded it as an “imported” group that can be defeated militarily. This approach, however, fails to take into account the long-standing and complex historical and sociological factors that make the group’s ideology appealing to young, urban Afghan men and women. Based on interviews with current and former members of ISKP, this report documents the push and pull factors prompting a steady stream of young Afghans to join and support ISKP.

Type: Peaceworks

Violent Extremism

Beijing Legislation Reignites Hong Kong Protests

Beijing Legislation Reignites Hong Kong Protests

Thursday, May 28, 2020

By: Patricia M. Kim; Rachel Vandenbrink

In Hong Kong, protesters have once again taken to the streets to push back against China’s efforts to assert further control over the territory. After a year of intense demonstrations calling for greater autonomy from the mainland, Hong Kong is now facing proposed legislation from Beijing that would broadly curtail citizens’ rights and freedoms. USIP’s Patricia Kim and Rachel Vandenbrink examine the proposed legislation, how the coronavirus pandemic is affecting the situation, and what the U.S. can do in response.

Type: Analysis and Commentary

Democracy & Governance

Illicit Drug Trafficking and Use in Libya: Highs and Lows

Illicit Drug Trafficking and Use in Libya: Highs and Lows

Thursday, May 28, 2020

By: Fiona Mangan

This report explores how illicit drug trafficking and drug use in Libya has shaped and been shaped by the country’s ongoing conflict. Drawing on hundreds of interviews and dedicated research, it examines Libya’s pre-2011 illicit economy, delves into the social impact of drugs, and focuses on drug use on the frontlines of Libya’s ongoing conflict, the corrosive impact of drug trafficking and use on the justice and security sector, and how trafficking and organized crime undercut peacebuilding and state consolidation.

Type: Peaceworks

Justice, Security & Rule of Law

Coronavirus and ISIS: The Challenge of Repatriation from Al-Hol

Coronavirus and ISIS: The Challenge of Repatriation from Al-Hol

Thursday, May 28, 2020

By: Julia C. Hurley

It was just over a year ago, in March of 2019, that the United States and coalition forces declared the territorial defeat of ISIS following the fall of its last stronghold in Baghouz, Syria. Male fighters over 15 were placed in Kurdish run detention centers throughout northeast Syria, while tens of thousands of women and children who were living among the terrorist organization streamed into the al-Hol camp, giving rise to an unprecedented mix of humanitarian and security challenges. If left unaddressed, the camp could easily serve as the breeding ground for the next generation of ISIS, which is already beginning to reemerge in parts of Syria and Iraq.

Type: Analysis and Commentary

Global Health; Violent Extremism

Is the Afghan Peace Process Back on Track?

Is the Afghan Peace Process Back on Track?

Thursday, May 28, 2020

By: Scott Smith

A three-day cease-fire between the Taliban and Afghan government over Eid al-Fitr expired on Tuesday. This was only the second such cessation of hostilities in the nearly two-decade war. And just two weeks ago, President Ashraf Ghani and his rival, Abdullah Abdullah, agreed to share power after a monthslong dispute over the 2019 presidential election. These developments have injected renewed hope that a political solution, negotiated among Afghans, is still possible. USIP’s Scott Smith looks it all means for the peace process, when we can expect the vital intra-Afghan negotiations to begin, and what, if any, impact COVID-19 has had on peace.

Type: Analysis and Commentary

Peace Processes

View All Publications