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

Implementing the Global Fragility Act: What Comes Next?

Implementing the Global Fragility Act: What Comes Next?

Thursday, April 7, 2022

By: Susanna Campbell;  Corinne Graff, Ph.D.

Amid the ongoing crisis in Ukraine, the Biden-Harris administration has quietly released a new policy that commits the United States to do more to “interrupt potential pathways to conflict” and reduce threats before they arrive on our shores. This new initiative comes at a difficult time for the United States and the world, given the full-blown crises that require the international community’s urgent attention, from COVID-19 to the climate crisis. Still, it represents an unprecedented and promising commitment at the highest levels of our government to apply the important lessons learned from decades of U.S. involvement in conflicts in Afghanistan, Iraq and elsewhere.

Type: Analysis and Commentary

Conflict Analysis & PreventionFragility & Resilience

To Counter COVID Amid Crises, Peacebuilding Steps Are Vital

To Counter COVID Amid Crises, Peacebuilding Steps Are Vital

Wednesday, March 23, 2022

By: Katherine Bliss ;  Corinne Graff, Ph.D.;  Erol Yayboke

As the world enters its third year fighting the COVID-19 pandemic, health care professionals have administered 10 billion-plus vaccine doses worldwide, protecting large majorities of people in rich countries. Yet few doses have reached those living in war zones or places affected by conflict or violence, who remain largely unvaccinated and vulnerable to the disease. Preventing those countries from falling further behind will require increasing the supply of vaccines, improving delivery and overcoming barriers to vaccine acceptance. It will also necessitate doing more to navigate the politics of vaccine administration, including through peacebuilding strategies that promote dialogue and trust with marginalized communities.

Type: Analysis and Commentary

Conflict Analysis & PreventionFragility & Resilience

How to Deliver for Citizens in Fragile States After the Democracy Summit

How to Deliver for Citizens in Fragile States After the Democracy Summit

Thursday, December 16, 2021

By: Corinne Graff, Ph.D.

Last week’s Summit for Democracy hosted by President Biden was a call to action. The first-ever international convening of its kind, it offered democratic leaders an opportunity to announce political commitments to reform over the coming year, and to begin to share experiences and learn from each other in a more deliberate way than has been the case to date. Given the unprecedented threats facing democratic systems worldwide, it was an important and timely step. What is less clear is what the summit entails for a particular subset of aspiring democracies: countries currently or recently affected by civil war that are transitioning to democracy. 

Type: Analysis and Commentary

Democracy & GovernanceGlobal Policy

What Afghanistan Teaches Us About Evidence-Based Policy

What Afghanistan Teaches Us About Evidence-Based Policy

Thursday, December 2, 2021

By: Corinne Graff, Ph.D.

Even as the debate over the lessons learned by the U.S. government in Afghanistan continues, several clear conclusions have emerged. One is that U.S. agencies repeatedly underestimated the time and resources needed to support a nation wracked by decades of war, while they failed to follow a consistent plan for civilian recovery efforts. U.S. personnel also lacked the training needed to be successful in the field, and monitoring and evaluation efforts did not receive the policy attention required to enable course corrections and learning. 

Type: Analysis and Commentary

Global PolicyFragility & Resilience

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

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