Dr. 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.

Dr. Graff 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

Prioritize Building Resilience at this Year’s U.N. General Assembly

Prioritize Building Resilience at this Year’s U.N. General Assembly

Wednesday, September 22, 2021

By:Corinne Graff, Ph.D.

World leaders are gathering in New York this week for the 2021 U.N. General Assembly against a backdrop of unprecedented global crises, including the continued spread of COVID-19 due to lack of access to vaccines; a growing hunger crisis as more people around the world die every day from starvation than from COVID-19; and the fact that roughly one percent of the world’s entire population — or one in every 97 people — is now forcibly displaced. These humanitarian challenges are compounded by a generational climate crisis and rising tensions with Russia and China that will need to be carefully managed. 

Type: Analysis and Commentary

Global Policy

Five Key Considerations To Make the U.S. Global Fragility Strategy Work

Five Key Considerations To Make the U.S. Global Fragility Strategy Work

Wednesday, July 28, 2021

By:Corinne Graff, Ph.D.;Tyler Beckelman

Even as the public debate over the U.S. military withdrawal from Afghanistan continues, the State Department and USAID are quietly putting plans in place to test a new approach to con-flicts overseas. Drawing on the hard-earned lessons from Afghanistan and Iraq over the past two decades, this approach would have the United States rely far less on military power and far more on sustained — but much less costly — diplomacy and closely coordinated development investments. If fully implemented, consistent with the recently enacted Global Fragility Act, this new effort promises to help stabilize countries in their recovery from COVID-19 and the knock-on shocks to their economies. 

Type: Analysis and Commentary

Fragility & Resilience;Conflict Analysis & Prevention

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, Ph.D.;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;Global Policy

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, Ph.D.;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

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