Keith Mines is a senior advisor for Colombia and Venezuela in USIP’s Applied Conflict Transformation Center.

Mr. Mines joined USIP after a career at the State Department, where he was most recently director for Andean and Venezuelan affairs. In 32 years of diplomatic and military service, he has worked on governance and institution building in Central America; Middle East peace in Israel and the West Bank; post-conflict stabilization in Haiti, Iraq, and Afghanistan; global financial stability and the environment in Brazil; NATO expansion in Hungary; famine relief and tribal reconciliation in Darfur and Somali; and creating a culture of lawfulness as the first director of the Merida Initiative in Mexico City.

A frequent contributor to publications such as the Foreign Service Journal and Orbis, Mr. Mines has written extensively on post-conflict stabilization, measures short of war, and the roots of civil conflict. His book, “Why Nation Building Matters: Political Consolidation, Building Security Forces, and Economic Development in Failed and Fragile States” is due out in August 2020 by the University of Nebraska Press. Mr. Mines has a bachelor’s in history from Brigham Young University and a master’s in foreign service from Georgetown University.

Publications By Keith

Venezuela: Could the Coronavirus Threat Be an Opportunity?

Venezuela: Could the Coronavirus Threat Be an Opportunity?

Wednesday, April 8, 2020

By: Keith Mines; Steve Hege

Helping Venezuela resolve its political crisis will be vital to containing the potentially catastrophic COVID-19 pandemic there. A truce in the country’s power struggle is urgent, and last week’s U.S. proposal for a transitional government offers useful ideas, even for a naturally skeptical governing regime. Advancing them would benefit from mediation, perhaps by the Vatican or the United Nations, and will require cooperation among the major powers—the United States, Russia and China—involved in the crisis. If Venezuelans and outsiders can join against the common human threat of coronavirus, that could lay foundations for an eventual political solution to the decade of turmoil that has brewed the hemisphere’s worst humanitarian disaster.

Type: Analysis and Commentary

Global Health; Mediation, Negotiation & Dialogue; Peace Processes

As Venezuela’s Crisis Drags On, a Champion for Peace is Lost

As Venezuela’s Crisis Drags On, a Champion for Peace is Lost

Thursday, December 12, 2019

By: Keith Mines

Venezuela is in the midst of the greatest political, economic and humanitarian crisis that the Western Hemisphere has experienced in its modern history, with over 4.5 million migrants and refugees flooding the region. Norwegian-brokered talks between the opposition-led interim government of Juan Guaidó and the regime of Nicolas Maduro have been suspended for the last four months and it remains unclear as to how and under which conditions they might resume. An uneasy stalemate has ensued as all sides try to reconfigure the internal and regional political landscapes to their advantage while social protests in neighboring countries, including most recently in Colombia, have led to an alarming increase in xenophobia against migrants and refugees.

Type: Blog

Mediation, Negotiation & Dialogue

Next Steps on Israeli-Palestinian Peace

Next Steps on Israeli-Palestinian Peace

Friday, May 26, 2017

By: Keith Mines

At each stop on President Trump’s recent visit to the Middle East—Riyadh, Jerusalem and Bethlehem—he reiterated his seriousness about moving forward on Middle East peace. The theme continued in his visit to the Vatican, where the Pope gave the President a small sculpted olive tree and told his guest: “It is my desire that you become an olive tree to construct peace."

Type: Blog

Mediation, Negotiation & Dialogue; Peace Processes; Religion

Trump Trip: Time to Dust off the Arab Peace Initiative?

Trump Trip: Time to Dust off the Arab Peace Initiative?

Thursday, May 18, 2017

By: Keith Mines

President Trump’s upcoming summit with Saudi Arabia’s King Salman bin Abd Al-Aziz rounds out his meetings with the five most powerful friendly leaders in the region. The first four in Washington with the heads of state from Egypt, Jordan, Turkey and Israel all produced common themes: the campaign against ISIS and terrorism, the challenge of Iran, the turmoil of collapsing states in Syria and Yemen. But in the immediate background is the Israeli-Palestinian peace process which the president has said is a top priority for his administration.

Type: Analysis and Commentary

Violent Extremism

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