Corinne Graff is a senior advisor at USIP, where her work focuses on long-term strategies and policies to prevent the outbreak or escalation of conflict in fragile states. From 2018-2019, she was a senior policy advisor to and member of the staff of the Task Force on Violent Extremism in Fragile States.

Prior to joining USIP, she served as a deputy assistant administrator for Africa at the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID). In this capacity, she oversaw Sudan and South Sudan programs and Africa Bureau efforts on countering violent extremism and security governance.

Prior to joining USAID, she was director for development and democracy at the National Security Council, where she coordinated U.S. global development policy priorities, as well as the establishment of an interagency policy planning process to anticipate and respond earlier to crises and violent extremism. From 2010-2013, she was a senior advisor to the U.S. Permanent Representative to the United Nations (USUN), where her portfolio included sub-Saharan Africa and global development policy.

Before joining government, Dr. Graff was a fellow at the Brookings Institution where she co-edited a book on Confronting Poverty: Weak States and U.S. National Security (Brookings Press, 2010), co-directed a project leading to a report on education and extremism, and helped develop the Brookings Index of State Weakness in the Developing World.

She received her doctoral degree in international relations from the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies (Switzerland), and her bachelor's from Smith College. She lives in Washington, D.C. with her husband and three children.

Publications By Corinne

Conflict Prevention in the COVID Era: Why the U.S. Cannot Afford to Go it Alone

Conflict Prevention in the COVID Era: Why the U.S. Cannot Afford to Go it Alone

Wednesday, August 26, 2020

By: Corinne Graff; Laura E. Bailey

As the United States and other international actors assess the wreckage reaped by the coronavirus pandemic around the world, estimates are that an unprecedented level of aid will be needed to mitigate its worst impacts in fragile states. Given the ballooning costs of COVID-response efforts, the U.S. will need to deepen its partnerships with other international donors and local actors to bolster accountable and inclusive institutions and prevent conflicts and violence from escalating. Equally important, but less discussed, these international efforts will need to focus on managing a more complex global risk landscape that is emerging from the pandemic.

Type: Analysis and Commentary

Fragility & Resilience; Global Health

Amid COVID, We Need Enhanced International Coordination to Build Peace

Amid COVID, We Need Enhanced International Coordination to Build Peace

Thursday, July 23, 2020

By: Jonathan Papoulidis; Corinne Graff; Tyler Beckelman

As the humanitarian and economic toll of the COVID-19 pandemic continues to grow, so does the risk that this crisis will fuel new conflicts around the world, while stymying prospects for resolving ongoing ones. The global health crisis is triggering devastating levels of food insecurity and unemployment, especially in the world’s most fragile states, where the social contract between citizens and the state is severed and societies are fragmented and vulnerable to violence. These trends will almost certainly lead to a future spike in instability across these countries, unless concerted international action is taken.

Type: Analysis and Commentary

Global Health; Fragility & Resilience

Putting the Global Fragility Act into Action Can Save Money and Lives

Putting the Global Fragility Act into Action Can Save Money and Lives

Thursday, July 2, 2020

By: Corinne Graff; Elizabeth Hume

The U.S. government (USG) is preparing to unveil a new strategy over the coming months to tackle the underlying causes of fragility and conflict in vulnerable countries around the world. The strategy comes at an important time, just as the United States and other international donors seek to respond to rapidly increasing health, food, and other emergency needs as a result of the coronavirus outbreak. It will be critical that in line with the new strategy, this aid does not inadvertently stoke new tensions.

Type: Analysis and Commentary

Fragility & Resilience

COVID-19 and Conflict: Implications for Fragile Societies

COVID-19 and Conflict: Implications for Fragile Societies

Thursday, June 4, 2020

By: Corinne Graff

As countries around the world contend with the immediate impacts of COVID-19, the pandemic poses an urgent threat to fragile societies where the bonds between citizens and government are frayed or broken. In these places, the virus threatens to exacerbate conflict, trigger severe humanitarian crises, and disrupt global coordination on public health issues. Our Corinne Graff examines the potential effects of COVID-19 in fragile states and outlines how the international community can calibrate efforts to address conflict and fragility amid the pandemic.

Type: Blog

Global Health; Fragility & Resilience

Diplomacy, Development and Defense Officials Pledge To Advance U.S. Fragility Strategy

Diplomacy, Development and Defense Officials Pledge To Advance U.S. Fragility Strategy

Thursday, May 21, 2020

By: Corinne Graff; Amanda Long

The United States is committed to advancing the Global Fragility Act (GFA) as part of its global response to the coronavirus pandemic, senior State Department, USAID and Department of Defense officials said on Wednesday at a virtual gathering of development and peacebuilding organizations and experts convened by the U.S. Institute of Peace to facilitate discussions on how to implement the legislation.

Type: Analysis and Commentary

Fragility & Resilience; Global Health

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