Leader in International Development and Humanitarian Response will be Fifth President

For Immediate Release, February 2, 2015
Contact: Allison Sturma, 202-429-4725

(Washington) – Nancy Lindborg today became the fifth president of the U.S. Institute of Peace. In its 30th year, the Institute works in Washington and in some of the world’s most volatile regions, including Iraq, Afghanistan, Syria, Libya, Sudan and South Sudan.

USIP’s board chairman, Stephen Hadley, presided during Lindborg’s swearing-in at the organization’s iconic headquarters on the National Mall. The Honorable Vanessa Ruiz, judge of the D.C. Court of Appeals, administered the oath of office.

Lindborg told dignitaries  and Institute staff that her 20 years of working in and around conflict has led her to an “unshaken conviction that we must be focused on all the ways to prevent, to mitigate, to help people in communities around the world recover from violent conflict.” Lindborg has served as president of Mercy Corps and as assistant administrator at the Agency for International Development.

Lindborg underscored the confluence of crises that, in 2014, overburdened the available humanitarian response. She cited the wars in Syria, South Sudan, and the Central African Republic, and the world’s biggest outbreak of the Ebola virus, as reasons why.

“Every one of those crises had their roots… in the kind of devastation that happens when there is violent conflict,” Lindborg said. “Ebola was, in particular, a wake-up call for why we need to pay attention to global conflict as the virus raged through countries that had only recently emerged from conflict and then threatened the U.S. and other countries.”

Hadley, who served as the U.S. national security advisor from 2005 to 2009, introduced Lindborg. “As USIP works to advance the cause of peace in fragile democracies from Afghanistan to South Sudan, Nancy is the ideal leader to take the organization forward,” he said after the ceremony.

Lindborg concluded by calling the Institute an “essential, enduring institution that is the expression and the voice of the American people’s commitment to peace.”

Lindborg has spent her career working on issues of transition, democracy and civil society, conflict and humanitarian response, most recently as the assistant administrator of the Bureau for Democracy, Conflict and Humanitarian Assistance at the Agency for International Development.  She served as president of Mercy Corps, which she spent 14 years helping to build into a globally respected organization known for innovative programs in the most challenging environments.

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