Keith Mines is director of the Latin America program at USIP.

Mines joined USIP after a career at the State Department, where he was most recently director for Andean and Venezuelan affairs. In 32 years of diplomatic and military service, he has worked on governance and institution building in Central America and Colombia; Middle East peace in Israel and the West Bank; post-conflict stabilization in Haiti, Iraq and Afghanistan; global financial stability and the environment in Brazil; security sector reform in Hungary; famine relief and tribal reconciliation in Darfur and Somali; and creating a culture of lawfulness as the first director of the Merida Initiative in Mexico City.

A frequent contributor to publications such as the Foreign Service Journal and Orbis, Mines has written extensively on post-conflict stabilization, peacebuilding and negotiations, and the roots of civil conflict. His book, “Why Nation Building Matters: Political Consolidation, Building Security Forces, and Economic Development in Failed and Fragile States,” was published by the University of Nebraska Press in 2020. Mines has a bachelor’s in history from Brigham Young University and a master’s in foreign service from Georgetown University.

Publications By Keith

A Plan for Haiti’s Growing Fragility: U.N. Action That’s Equal to the Challenge

A Plan for Haiti’s Growing Fragility: U.N. Action That’s Equal to the Challenge

Thursday, September 30, 2021

By: Keith Mines; Nicolas Devia-Valbuena

When throngs of Haitian migrants rushed the U.S. border recently, it was only the latest manifestation of a society battered by trauma. In just the previous two months, Haiti had seen the murky assassination of its president, devastating floods and an earthquake that killed thousands and wiped out nearly 140,000 homes. As fragile states go, Haiti is in a league all its own. To avoid a repetition of the scene at the border — or one that’s worse throughout the hemisphere — it is time to consider a long-term, robust U.N. mission that matches the scale of the challenge with the size and persistence of the international response. 

Type: Analysis and Commentary

Fragility & Resilience

Is there a Negotiated Path to Democratic Coexistence in Venezuela?

Is there a Negotiated Path to Democratic Coexistence in Venezuela?

Monday, August 2, 2021

By: Keith Mines

The scale of the Venezuela crisis is unique in recent history, with wartime indicators of hunger, refugees, and human rights abuses but conventional violent conflict largely absent. At the heart of the crisis is a 20-year struggle between the Chavista regime and the democratic opposition, characterized for most of these two decades by each side attempting to eliminate the other from the political map. Negotiations are seen by most outside observers as the only way the conflict will definitively end and there have been consistent efforts to bring the two sides to the table, most recently in Barbados and Oslo in 2019.

Type: Analysis and Commentary

Mediation, Negotiation & Dialogue

Keith Mines on the Future of U.S. Latin America Policy

Keith Mines on the Future of U.S. Latin America Policy

Thursday, November 12, 2020

By: Keith Mines

Intense polarization in Bolivia, Venezuela, and Colombia will present Washington with significant challenges in the years ahead. But USIP’s Keith Mines says, for the most part, leaders in those countries “are looking for a way forward … there’s a more realistic framework of coexistence that’s emerging.”

Type: Podcast

Global Policy

COVID-19 and Conflict: Venezuela

COVID-19 and Conflict: Venezuela

Thursday, July 9, 2020

By: Keith Mines

As Latin America emerges as a global epicenter for COVID-19, Venezuela’s political uncertainty, crumbling health care system and widespread food insecurity leave the country particularly susceptible to the pandemic. Yet the urgent threat of the virus could force cooperation between the country’s competing governing bodies, particularly on health and humanitarian issues. Our Keith Mines outlines the pandemic’s toll on Latin America, Venezuela’s response to COVID-19 so far and what opportunities exist for ending the country’s political impasse.

Type: Blog

Democracy & Governance; Global Health

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