Dr. Kathleen Kuehnast is the director of Gender Policy and Strategy at the U.S. Institute of Peace, where she has worked since 2008. She is also a member of the Council on Foreign Relations. As a socio-cultural anthropologist, Kuehnast has focused on the different gendered impacts of violence and conflict on both men and women. In addition, her efforts have focused on the U.N. Security Council Resolution 1325, including the critical role women should play in all aspects of peacebuilding. In this capacity, Kuehnast co-edited the volume, “Women and War: Power and Protection in the 21st Century” (2011). She has been a part of the international vanguard of introducing the concept of engaging men in conflict countries in the championing of women’s rights.

Prior to USIP, Kuehnast worked 15 years in the international development field, primarily with the World Bank, where her role as a senior social scientist included research and project management on the thematic streams of women and poverty, social capital and community driven development in fragile and post-conflict societies. Kuehnast’s regional expertise is Central Asia, where she lived for several years in the post-Soviet country of Kyrgyzstan completing her doctoral dissertation research, which resulted in a number of publications on the impact of post-Soviet transition on Muslim women, including the co-edited volume, “Post-Soviet Women Encountering Transition: Nation Building, Economic Survival, and Civic Activism” (2004).

Dr. Kuehnast is a recipient of the post-doctorate Mellon Foreign Fellowship at the Library of Congress, and also a former post-doctorate Kennan Institute Fellow at the Wilson Center. Kuehnast is the 2015 recipient of the Perdita Huston Human Rights Award of the United Nations Association of the National Capital Area. Kuehnast holds a doctorate in socio-cultural anthropology from the University of Minnesota.

Publications By Kathleen

Kathleen Kuehnast on Women in Conflict Zones

Kathleen Kuehnast on Women in Conflict Zones

Tuesday, July 9, 2019

By: Kathleen Kuehnast, Ph.D.

At a recent USIP event, Nobel laureate Nadia Murad discussed her efforts to end sexual violence and human trafficking—two criminal practices that Kathleen Kuehnast says “have been institutionalized and militarized.” To disincentivize these human rights abuses, Kuehnast says we must reinforce that these heinous but often lucrative practices are “not a livelihood—this is criminality.”

Type: Podcast

Gender; Human Rights

Marking Progress on International Women’s Day

Marking Progress on International Women’s Day

Thursday, March 7, 2019

By: Kathleen Kuehnast, Ph.D.; Mena Ayazi

The annual celebration of International Women’s Day engages citizens from all corners of the globe to recognize how far women have come in society—and how much more needs to be done. Next year marks the 20th anniversary of the implementation of U.N. Security Council Resolution (UNSCR) 1325, a time for the international community to analyze the impact of the Women, Peace and Security (WPS) Agenda.

Gender

Kathleen Kuehnast on the 2018 Nobel Peace Prize Winners

Kathleen Kuehnast on the 2018 Nobel Peace Prize Winners

Thursday, December 20, 2018

By: Kathleen Kuehnast, Ph.D.

Highlighted by the 2018 Nobel Peace Prize award to Dr. Denis Mukwege and Nadia Murad—advocates for survivors of wartime sexual violence—the issue of sexual abuse has gained international recognition. USIP’s Kathleen Kuehnast attended the ceremony, saying, “People were standing in solidarity to what they were hearing. We can no longer be indifferent about this type of criminal activity.”

Type: Podcast

Gender

Gender Inclusive Framework and Theory

Gender Inclusive Framework and Theory

Thursday, August 23, 2018

By: Kathleen Kuehnast, Ph.D.; Danielle Robertson

The Gender Inclusive Framework and Theory (GIFT) guide is an approachable and thorough tool that facilitates the integration of gender analysis into project design. Because peacebuilding work is context dependent, the GIFT puts forth three approaches to gender analysis – the Women, Peace and Security Approach; the Peaceful Masculinities Approach; and the Intersecting Identities Approach – that each illuminate the gender dynamics in a given environment to better shape peacebuilding projects.

Type: Tools for Peacebuilding

Gender

Our Dangerous Children: The Global Risks of Neglect

Our Dangerous Children: The Global Risks of Neglect

Wednesday, July 11, 2018

By: Kathleen Kuehnast, Ph.D.

Intermittently, images spring from the news to shock us with the suffering of children brutalized by war or their families' desperate flight as refugees. Three years ago, the body of Alan Kurdi, a Syrian boy drowned on a Turkish beach, administered that shock. Central American children uprooted by the violence of Honduras or El Salvador now underscore the same message—that amid the world's people scarred by war and violence, a special danger is children. Among the 65 million people torn from their homes, most by warfare, roughly half are children.

Type: Analysis and Commentary

Gender; Global Policy; Youth

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