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 National Strike: Inequality and Legitimacy Crises Drive Unrest

Colombia’s National Strike: Inequality and Legitimacy Crises Drive Unrest

Thursday, May 27, 2021

By: Steve Hege

After Colombia’s government proposed new tax hikes, social organizations and movements called for a national strike on April 28 across the country. Protesters believed the new fiscal policy — which the government said was aimed at mitigating the pandemic’s economic impact — would disproportionately hurt poor and vulnerable sectors of society. Although the marches and mass gatherings were initially widespread and peaceful, security forces cracked down on demonstrators accused of taking part in vandalism, killing at least 43 and injuring hundreds more. Meanwhile, pre-existing and resulting anger among some groups of protesters led to attacks on security forces and police stations, setting off a cycle of violence.

Type: Analysis and Commentary

Democracy & Governance

Steve Hege on Venezuela’s Elections

Steve Hege on Venezuela’s Elections

Thursday, December 10, 2020

By: Steve Hege

Last weekend’s legislative elections proved to be “by no means fair or credible,” says USIP’s Steve Hege. To get the country back on track, Hege says a new U.S. administration will “have to work with the opposition and generate within the Venezuelan people some degree of belief in electoral politics.”

Type: Podcast

Democracy & Governance

After a Year of Turmoil, Bolivia’s Election Offers Chance to Reduce Divides

After a Year of Turmoil, Bolivia’s Election Offers Chance to Reduce Divides

Thursday, October 22, 2020

By: Steve Hege

Bolivians took part on Sunday in one of the country’s most decisive and historic general elections, in which the former governing party Movement Toward Socialism (MAS) and its candidate Luis Arce garnered a resounding victory. The vote culminated nearly 12 months of instability since elections in October 2019 led to allegations of fraud, followed by massive street protests and the departure of former President Evo Morales after nearly 14 years in power. Bolivia has not experienced a peaceful transition of power since 2002, but a window of opportunity has opened for the ethnically diverse Andean nation to emerge from the paralyzing polarization that has plagued it over the past years.

Type: Analysis and Commentary

Democracy & Governance

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

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