Katherine Wood is senior arts advisor in the Center for Applied Conflict Transformation. She joined USIP with more than 25 years of experience in public diplomacy and higher education. Her areas of expertise are international cultural policy, cultural heritage, and the roles of the arts, media, education, religion, and civil society in conflict and peace. Ms. Wood authored the lead article and edited The Arts and Peacebuilding: An Emerging Approach, USIP Insights Newsletter, Summer 2015.
Ms. Wood was Chief of the Exchanges Section at the U.S. Embassy in Berlin during the immediate post-Cold War period, and subsequently served as Senior Program Officer in the U.S. Information Agency’s Office of Citizen Exchanges, where she managed a large NGO grants program to promote democratic governance, economic reform, rule of law, and independent media in Russia, the Caucasus region, and Central Asia. Later she was Director of International Outreach at National Defense University, with responsibility for new exchange initiatives, and Chief of the Afghanistan Service at the Voice of America, where her innovative programming was recognized with an award from the Chairman of the Broadcasting Board of Governors.
Ms. Wood served as spokeswoman on the role of the arts and cultural heritage in public life and international affairs as Deputy and Acting Director of Communications at the National Endowment for the Arts, and Director of External Relations for the President’s Committee on the Arts and the Humanities. She also held management positions involving cultural exchanges at the Smithsonian Institution and Georgetown University, and directed international and interfaith programs at Virginia Theological Seminary. She is a member of the Public Diplomacy Council and serves on the board of the Initiative to Educate Afghan Women. She has master’s degrees from the Boston University School for the Arts and Harvard Divinity School.