(Washington, D.C.) – The U.S. Institute of Peace is pleased to announce the appointment of David W. Yang as the new vice president of the Center for Applied Conflict Transformation (ACT). Dr. Yang will lead ACT’s efforts to provide ground-breaking approaches for governments, civil society organizations, and individuals to prevent, mitigate, resolve and transform violent conflict in fragile states.

Under Dr. Yang’s direction, ACT will focus on seeking solutions to the common issues that underpin all types of violent conflict and developing insights and strategies that can be adapted across regional and cultural contexts.

“We are delighted to welcome Dr. David Yang to USIP,” said USIP President Nancy Lindborg. “He is a proven leader with great vision and a deep, personal commitment to democracy, human rights, and peace.”

For three decades, Dr. Yang has bridged the gap between theory and practice in peacebuilding, human rights, and poverty reduction. Prior to USIP, Dr. Yang served in USAID’s Bureau for Democracy, Conflict and Humanitarian Assistance, first as the director of the Center on Democracy, Human Rights and Governance (DRG) and later as the deputy assistant administrator in charge of DRG and peacebuilding.

In addition, Dr. Yang has served at UNDP as a senior advisor on peacebuilding and democratic governance, at the State Department as the senior coordinator for democracy promotion, as the executive director of PartnersGlobal, and as a research fellow at the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum’s Center for the Prevention of Genocide, where he analyzed atrocity prevention in fragile states.

“I’m honored and excited to join USIP’s talented and dedicated team of peacebuilders,” said Dr. Yang. “I share the Institute’s commitment to engaging with the entire peace process, from analysis to implementation, and I believe that USIP’s vital and dual role as a laboratory for peacebuilding and a working memorial to America’s commitment to peace is more important than ever.”

Dr. Yang received a B.A. in politics from the University of California at Santa Cruz, and an M.A. and Ph.D. in international relations at the School of Advanced International Studies of Johns Hopkins University. His doctoral research evaluated the contributions of social-contract theory to peacebuilding.

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