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, Hege 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, Hege 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. He 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, Hege was awarded a Fulbright scholarship to study the role of and work alongside religious organizations in conflict zones in Colombia. 

Hege has master's 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 bachelor's in theology and peace & justice studies at Boston College.

Publications By Steve

Colombia’s New Administration Raises Hopes for ‘Total Peace’

Colombia’s New Administration Raises Hopes for ‘Total Peace’

Tuesday, July 12, 2022

By: Sebastian Guerra;  Steve Hege

Hopes for lasting peace in Colombia are soaring. Last month, Gustavo Petro and Francia Márquez prevailed in Colombia’s runoff presidential election and will lead the country’s first-ever progressive government, as president and vice president, respectively. Their historic victory culminates an electoral cycle marked by a resounding rejection of Colombia’s establishment elites. Petro’s proposals for what he has coined “Total Peace” offer an ambitious approach to negotiating with armed groups, implementing prior peace accords, and pursuing national unity amid debilitating socio-political polarization. The country stands before an undeniable opportunity to lay the foundation to end its six-decade conflict, even if subsequent governments will have to sustain these efforts to truly reap the long-term benefits.

Type: Analysis and Commentary

Peace Processes

Mounting Security Challenges Await Colombia’s Next President

Mounting Security Challenges Await Colombia’s Next President

Thursday, June 2, 2022

By: Steve Hege

In the first round of Colombia’s presidential elections, long-standing opposition leader Gustavo Petro and newly emerged outsider Rodolfo Hernández both handily defeated the conservative establishment candidate Federico Gutiérrez. The latter’s third-place finish signals Colombians’ resounding rejection of the country’s status quo and a rebuke of the political establishment and predominant elites.

Type: Analysis and Commentary

Democracy & GovernanceJustice, Security & Rule of Law

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