Steve Hege has nearly two decades of professional experience working on issues related to peace processes, human rights, security sector reform, local governance, and natural resource-related organized crime. He currently leads USIP’s efforts in Colombia in support of the implementation of the peace accord with the FARC rebels, the dialogues with the ELN, as well as local peacebuilding and security transformations in municipalities previously under rebel control or influence. Additionally, Steve serves as an advisor in the peace process in Myanmar providing technical assistance to ethnic armed groups and political parties on security structure design and the merging of non-state actors with government institutions. Over the last four years, he has also supported or managed USIP security and justice reform programs in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), Tanzania, Central African Republic, Myanmar and Colombia.

Prior to joining the Institute, Steve was appointed for three years as coordinator and armed groups expert of the U.N. Group of Experts on the DRC investigating and reporting on arms embargo violations for the Security Council's Sanctions Committee, including researching military integration challenges, illicit trade in natural resources and egregious human rights violations. Steve has previously served as an external advisor on security reforms and transitional arrangements in support of peace processes in Nepal and Lebanon with the Peace Appeal Foundation, as well as an analyst on the impact of organized crime on communities in Mexico and Colombia for the Norwegian Refugee Council, and managed programs on security sector reform in Central Africa and Southeast Asia with NYU’s Center on International Cooperation. He similarly held positions as a DDR officer within the U.N. Peacekeeping Mission in the DR Congo and a policy officer for Jesuit Refugee Service in Burundi. From 2002 to 2004, Steve was awarded a Fulbright scholarship to study the role of and work alongside religious organizations in conflict zones in Colombia. 

Steve has masters degrees in international law/affairs and conflict resolution from Columbia University (New York), Sciences-Po (Paris) and Universidad de Los Andes (Bogotá) in addition to his undergraduate degree in theology and peace & justice studies at Boston College.

Publications By Steve

COVID-19 and Conflict: Colombia

COVID-19 and Conflict: Colombia

Thursday, August 6, 2020

By: Steve Hege

Though a 2016 peace agreement ended Colombia’s decades-long conflict with the FARC, armed strife continues to strain the country’s political and security institutions, making an effective pandemic response all the more challenging. Violence against social leaders and former combatants has risen at an alarming pace, and the implementation of much-needed reforms outlined in the peace accord has stalled. Meanwhile, armed groups have capitalized on the virus to bolster their influence by imposing their own repressive local lockdowns and consolidating control over illicit trade. In this #COVIDandConflict video, our Steve Hege looks at how the virus has impacted Colombia and what opportunities may still exist to advance peace.

Type: Blog

Global Health

Venezuela: Could the Coronavirus Threat Be an Opportunity?

Venezuela: Could the Coronavirus Threat Be an Opportunity?

Wednesday, April 8, 2020

By: Keith Mines; Steve Hege

Helping Venezuela resolve its political crisis will be vital to containing the potentially catastrophic COVID-19 pandemic there. A truce in the country’s power struggle is urgent, and last week’s U.S. proposal for a transitional government offers useful ideas, even for a naturally skeptical governing regime. Advancing them would benefit from mediation, perhaps by the Vatican or the United Nations, and will require cooperation among the major powers—the United States, Russia and China—involved in the crisis. If Venezuelans and outsiders can join against the common human threat of coronavirus, that could lay foundations for an eventual political solution to the decade of turmoil that has brewed the hemisphere’s worst humanitarian disaster.

Type: Analysis and Commentary

Global Health; Mediation, Negotiation & Dialogue; Peace Processes

Steve Hege on the Latest in Venezuela and Colombia

Steve Hege on the Latest in Venezuela and Colombia

Wednesday, October 2, 2019

By: Steve Hege

The crisis in Venezuela and increasing tensions between the Colombian government and the Maduro regime threaten the security of the region and the implementation of Colombia’s 2016 FARC peace accord. USIP’s Steve Hege discusses recent obstacles to implementation of that accord and how the U.S. can support a democratic transition in Venezuela.

Type: Podcast

Fragility & Resilience; Peace Processes; Conflict Analysis & Prevention

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