The United States Institute of Peace works to prevent, mitigate, and resolve violent conflict around the world. USIP does this by engaging directly in conflict zones and by providing analysis, education, and resources to those working for peace. Created by Congress in 1984 as an independent, nonpartisan, federally funded organization, USIP’s more than 300 staff work at the Institute’s D.C. headquarters, and on the ground in the world’s most dangerous regions.

USIP brings together experts and practitioners in peacebuilding to

  • Improve global efforts to counter violent extremism and promote religious tolerance.
  • Strengthen the rule of law in chaotic, post-conflict settings.
  • Rigorously test approaches to conflict prevention and peacebuilding to ensure the United States is using the most constructive and cost-effective tools to protect U.S. interests
  • Use traditional and social media and emerging technologies to improve the tracking, prevention and resolution of violent conflict.

USIP works to advance peace and U.S. national security:

  • In Iraq, USIP and its partners facilitated peace agreements in Mahmoudiyah (2007) and Tikrit (2015) that reduced communal warfare in those regions and the need for U.S. or Iraqi troops. Hundreds of thousands of displaced residents returned home and reduced the need for U.S. or foreign troops. USIP is expanding its Iraqi partners’ capacity for such peacemaking and recently supported a pact that aims to avert violence at Hawija following its recapture from ISIS..
  • In Afghanistan, USIP supports grassroots movements to oppose corruption, counter extremist messages, and promote peaceful elections. The Institute helps universities develop courses in conflict resolution, including in areas where the Taliban and ISIS are active. USIP assists the government in improving legal mechanisms to resolve land disputes
  • In Pakistan, USIP has helped develop a national strategy for community policing against violent extremism, and better responses by police and courts to terrorism cases. USIP supports local partners who use film, public art, and peace education in schools to oppose the growing intolerance of diversity.
  • In Colombia, USIP expanded the role of women and minorities in the negotiations that ended 50 years of civil war in 2016. The Institute trains and supports local organizations to devise peaceful solutions for the inevitable conflicts that arise with implementation.
  • In Nigeria, USIP is convening government officials—notably the country’s influential state governors—with civic leaders and scholars to build a national consensus on strategies to reduce the causes of violent conflicts in the north, such as the Boko Haram insurgency.
  • Across Africa and the Middle East, USIP’s Generation Change program builds the skills of emerging youth leaders working for peace in communities across a dozen countries, from Nigeria to South Sudan to Yemen. USIP recently expanded the program to Colombia to build young Colombians’ ability to support the difficult implementation of the peace accord.

Founded in 1984, USIP is funded by Congress and governed by a bipartisan Board of Directors. USIP staff work abroad or at the Institute’s headquarters in Washington, which faces the Lincoln Memorial and the Vietnam Veterans Memorial, and symbolizes our nation’s commitment to peace.

Latest Publications

Payton Knopf on the Geopolitical Tensions in the Red Sea

Payton Knopf on the Geopolitical Tensions in the Red Sea

Wednesday, August 15, 2018

Both the eastern and western shores of the Red Sea increasingly function as a common political and security arena in which the U.S. has significant interests, including the free flow of $700 billion in commerce and competition for influence from external powers like China and Iran. To address the region’s interlinked challenges requires a comprehensive U.S. strategy, says Payton Knopf.

Global Policy

Mona Yacoubian on Syria

Mona Yacoubian on Syria

Thursday, August 9, 2018

By:

As the Assad regime consolidates power across Syria, Mona Yacoubian says that regime change is increasingly unlikely seven years into the civil war. But, the conflict remains complex, as the U.S. and coalition forces continue to work to eradicate remnants of ISIS and Israel becomes increasingly concerned over Iran’s military presence in neighboring Syria.

Violent Extremism; Global Policy

What will Pakistan’s Foreign Policy Look Like Under Imran Khan?

What will Pakistan’s Foreign Policy Look Like Under Imran Khan?

Thursday, August 9, 2018

By: Moeed Yusuf; USIP Staff

As Pakistan faces a number of vexing regional and international challenges, Prime Minister Imran Khan will come into office with little foreign policy experience. Whether it’s repairing deteriorating U.S.-Pakistan relations or managing nuclear tensions with India, Khan’s ability to steer foreign policy will depend on his relations with...

Global Policy

After Voting and Violence, What’s Next for Zimbabwe?

After Voting and Violence, What’s Next for Zimbabwe?

Wednesday, August 8, 2018

By: Susan Stigant; Davin O'Regan; USIP Staff

Zimbabwe’s election last week offered hope for more democratic and stable governance following the removal last year of President Robert Mugabe after his 37 years in power. But the country’s direction is uncertain following the disputed election result and the violent suppression of protests by...

Electoral Violence

View All Publications