Generations of American leaders from across the political spectrum have supported the goal of a bipartisan foreign policy. The U.S. Institute of Peace, a congressionally funded national institute, advances this objective with a series of Bipartisan Congressional Dialogues. USIP brings together leaders from both political parties in public discussions to develop solutions for urgent national security and foreign policy problems.

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In each dialogue of the series, Republican and Democratic members of Congress discuss their shared interest in a specific foreign policy challenge and examine ways to address the problem with USIP leaders.

Bipartisan Congressional Dialogues have tackled such hot-button national security topics as the role of human rights in global peace and stability, terrorism and evolving cybersecurity threats, negotiations with North Korea, Russia’s role in Europe, preventing wildlife poaching and trafficking and China's growing international influence.

This series furthers USIP’s congressional mission to reduce violent conflict abroad in accordance with America’s national interests and values. USIP, an institution that symbolizes the United States’ commitment to peace, provides a unique, nonpartisan, foreign policy forum for these discussions.

Past Events

Representatives Ami Bera (D-CA), left, and Lee Zeldin (R-NY), right, talk with U.S. Institute of Peace President Nancy Lindborg, May 10, 2019.

Diplomacy and Development in a Complex Global Landscape

May 10, 2019

Representatives Ami Bera (D-CA) and Lee Zeldin (R-NY), leaders of the House Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations, discussed how U.S. diplomacy and development are working to achieve America’s goals and adapt to the changing global landscape at USIP’s eighth Bipartisan Congressional Dialogue. Rep. Bera is the chairman and Rep. Zeldin is the ranking member of the Oversight and Investigations Subcommittee, which oversees U.S. diplomacy and development. 

Rep. Francis Rooney (R-FL), Nancy Lindborg, and Rep. Don Beyer (D-VA)

Soft Power in a Sharp Power World: Countering Coercion and Information Warfare

November 28, 2018

Former U.S. ambassadors Rep. Francis Rooney (R-FL) and Rep. Don Beyer (D-VA) discussed their views on how soft power tools can and should be used to counter sharp power employed by global adversaries at USIP’s seventh Bipartisan Congressional Dialogue on Wednesday, November 28. Rep. Rooney is the vice chair of the House Foreign Affairs Committee and former U.S. ambassador to the Holy See. Rep. Beyer is the vice ranking member of the Science, Space and Technology Committee and former U.S. ambassador to Switzerland and Liechtenstein. 

Chris Stewart (R-UT), Nancy Lindborg, and Dutch Ruppersberger (D-MD)

China: Managing Conflict and Competition

September 27, 2018

Representatives Chris Stewart (R-UT) and Dutch Ruppersberger (D-MD) discussed preserving U.S. national security interests with China’s growing international influence at USIP’s sixth Bipartisan Congressional Dialogue. Both representatives are members of the House Appropriations Subcommittee on State, Foreign Operations and Related Programs. Stewart serves on the House Intelligence Committee and Ruppersberger is a former ranking member of the committee.

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Countering Illicit Funding of Terrorism: A Congressional Approach

April 17, 2018

Representatives Steve Pearce (R-NM) and Jim Himes (D-CT) discussed evolving cybersecurity threats to U.S. interests at USIP’s second Bipartisan Congressional Dialogue on a bipartisan approach to evolving cybersecurity threats. Representatives Pearce and Himes are both Members of the House Financial Services Subcommittee on Terrorism and Illicit Finance, and Representative Pearce is the Chairman of this Subcommittee.

Latest Publications

Payton Knopf on the Stakes in Sudan

Payton Knopf on the Stakes in Sudan

Thursday, May 23, 2019

By: Payton Knopf

What’s at stake in Sudan as tense negotiations between the Transitional Military Council and protesters continue? “We need to see a swift transition to civilian-led rule,” says Payton Knopf. “Otherwise I’m afraid what will result is increased instability … or potentially a catastrophic failure of the state.”

Conflict Analysis & Prevention

Syria’s Ghalia Rahal: Surviving War, Building Peace

Syria’s Ghalia Rahal: Surviving War, Building Peace

Thursday, May 23, 2019

By: Palwasha L. Kakar; James Rupert

Amid the traumas of Syria’s war, women like Ghalia Rahal are building an unprecedented role in peace talks over their country’s future. Rahal—the founder of a network of women’s centers in northwest Syria—has helped energize a Syrian women’s movement despite threats from extremists, attacks on her workplaces, and the assassination of her son, a journalist. Now, Rahal and her women’s network in Syria’s Idlib Province face an extreme threat—the Syrian government military offensive against the province that has killed hundreds and displaced nearly 200,000 people.

Gender

Belquis Ahmadi on the Afghan Peace Process

Belquis Ahmadi on the Afghan Peace Process

Thursday, May 16, 2019

By: Belquis Ahmadi

Reflecting on recent conversations in Doha and Kabul, USIP’s Belquis Ahmadi says that Afghans told her they want peace, but are not willing to sacrifice the hard-won gains of the last 18 years to get there. As U.S.-Taliban talks move forward, the extent of the Taliban’s evolution on issues like women’s rights remains in question. “I’ll believe it when I see it,” says Ahmadi.

Gender; Peace Processes

Amid Rising Sahel Violence, Burkina Faso Builds a Response

Amid Rising Sahel Violence, Burkina Faso Builds a Response

Thursday, May 16, 2019

By: James Rupert

A perfect storm of violence is breaking upon Africa’s Sahel. Since late 2018, communal conflicts—many over access to food, water or productive land—have produced thousands of deadly attacks. Across the region, nearly 4,800 people died in conflicts from November to March, according to the violence-monitoring group ACLED. The greatest surge in bloodshed is in Burkina Faso, where communal militias or religious extremists killed 500 people over five months. But amid the dire headlines, governments and civic groups in Burkina Faso and other Sahel countries cite progress in stabilizing communities with a basic step that simply has seldom been undertaken: broad, local dialogues among community groups, police forces and officials. Community leaders and government officials say they are now expanding those dialogues to improve national security policies to help counter the tide of violence.

Fragility & Resilience; Justice, Security & Rule of Law

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