Dr. Kathleen Kuehnast is the director of Gender Policy and Strategy at the U.S. Institute of Peace. She also leads the Institute’s Grants and Fellowships program.
As a sociocultural anthropologist, Kuehnast brings scholarship and field experience to focus on the different gendered impacts of violence and conflict on men, women, and gender and sexual minorities. In this capacity, Dr. Kuehnast co-edited the volume, “Women and War: Power and Protection in the 21st Century” (2011). She has been a part of the international vanguard of introducing the concept of “peaceful masculinities,” which is focused on inclusive gender analysis. The concept is outlined in her co-authored publication, “Gender Inclusive Framework and Theory: A Guide for Turning Theory into Practice," which has been translated into seven languages.
Prior to USIP, Dr. Kuehnast in the international development field for 15 years, primarily with the World Bank, where she conducted research and project management on the thematic streams of women and poverty, social capital, and community-driven development in fragile and post-conflict societies. Her regional expertise is Central Asia; she lived in Kyrgyzstan for several years while completing her doctoral dissertation research, which resulted in a number of publications on the impact of post-Soviet transition on Muslim women.
Dr. Kuehnast is the 2015 recipient of the Perdita Huston Human Rights Award from the United Nations Association of the National Capital Area. She is a recipient of the postdoctorate Mellon Foreign Fellowship at the Library of Congress, and also a former postdoctorate Kennan Institute Fellow at the Wilson Center. She received her doctorate in sociocultural anthropology from the University of Minnesota. She is also a lifetime member of the Council on Foreign Relations.