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Ms. Priscilla Clapp is currently a senior advisor to the U.S. Institute of Peace and the Asia Society. She is a retired Minister-Counselor in the U.S. Foreign Service.

During her 30-year career with the U.S. Government, Ms. Clapp served as chief of mission and permanent charge d’affaires at the U.S. Embassy in Burma (1999-2002), deputy chief of mission in the U.S. Embassy in South Africa (1993-96), principal deputy assistant aecretary of state for Refugee Programs (1989-1993), deputy political counselor in the U.S. Embassy in Moscow (1986-88), and chief of political-military affairs in the U.S. Embassy in Japan (1981-85).  She also worked on the State Department's Policy Planning Staff, in the East Asian, Political Military and International Organizations bureaus, and with the U.S. Arms Control and Disarmament Agency.

Prior to government service, Ms. Clapp spent ten years in foreign policy and arms control research, with the MIT Center for International Studies and as a Research Associate at the Brookings Institution.  She is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations and the International Institute for Strategic Studies.

Ms. Clapp’s books include: with Morton Halperin, "Bureaucratic Politics and Foreign Policy" (Brookings, 2006), with I.M. Destler et al., "Managing an Alliance: the Politics of U.S.-Japanese Relations" (Brookings, 1976), with Morton Halperin, "U.S.-Japanese Relations in the 1970's" (Harvard, 1974).  She is a frequent media commentator and the author of numerous publications on Burma and U.S. Burma policy with USIP, the Brookings Institution, the East-West Center, Australia National University, the Asia Society, the National Bureau of Asian Research, Singapore’s ISEAS and others. 

Publications By Priscilla A.

Killing of Suu Kyi Advisor Reflects Burma’s Divides

Killing of Suu Kyi Advisor Reflects Burma’s Divides

Thursday, April 6, 2017

By: Priscilla A. Clapp

The cold-blooded assassination of prominent constitutional lawyer U Ko Ni, an advisor to Aung San Suu Kyi, is emblematic of the deep political and social divisions that challenge democratic governance and political stability in Burma. As information has emerged about the case, the impact is inevitable on efforts to reform the country’s structures and unify its people.

Religion; Reconciliation; Democracy & Governance

Myanmar’s Elusive Peace

Myanmar’s Elusive Peace

Thursday, November 19, 2015

By: Priscilla A. Clapp

When Myanmar’s National League for Democracy leads a new government into office in coming months, it will inherit a peace process in which the outgoing government last month signed a cease-fire with eight of the 17 ethnic armed groups that have been part of the country’s 60-plus years of civil warfare. The October cease-fire was a limited advance in peacemaking that may bring greater stability to the Thai border area. But as mediators work to consolidate and broaden that cease-fire accord, th...

Mediation, Negotiation & Dialogue; Peace Processes; Reconciliation

Securing Myanmar’s Impending Elections

Securing Myanmar’s Impending Elections

Thursday, November 5, 2015

By: Priscilla A. Clapp

Myanmar is preparing for parliamentary elections on Nov. 8, posing a major test of the government’s reform program and potentially producing significant shifts in the country’s political landscape.  Although the political structures created by the military constitution of 2008 and many of the conditions that govern these elections give the government party an advantage, the opposition is buoyed by the opportunity to campaign relatively freely compared with past experience.

Conflict Analysis & Prevention; Justice, Security & Rule of Law; Electoral Violence

Myanmar Election Season Makes Dramatic Start

Myanmar Election Season Makes Dramatic Start

Friday, August 21, 2015

By: Priscilla A. Clapp

Myanmar’s 2015 election season is off to a dramatic start. Massive flooding and complaints about inaccurate voter lists have caused delays in early procedural deadlines. In a midnight raid on the headquarters of the governing Union Solidarity and Development Party (USDP) party, ministers from the president’s office, accompanied by soldiers and police, deposed the speaker of parliament, Thura U Shwe Mann, as head of the party. Meantime, when the list of candidates was released for the National...

Conflict Analysis & Prevention; Electoral Violence; Democracy & Governance

S.E. Asian Migrant Emergency Cries for Global Solution

S.E. Asian Migrant Emergency Cries for Global Solution

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

By: Priscilla A. Clapp

It is a mistake to view the desperate boat migration currently unfolding in Southeast Asia’s Andaman Sea and the Bay of Bengal as simply a manifestation of the sad plight of the Rohingya Muslim minority in Myanmar, and thereby to conclude that the solution lies only in Myanmar. In fact, it is a much wider regional and even global problem that will require a complex set of separate but related actions to bring about a humanitarian solution.

Conflict Analysis & Prevention; Global Policy; Human Rights

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