For Immediate Release:
Contact: Paul Johnson, 202-429-7174

(Washington) – The U.S. Institute of Peace announces policy and communications professional Salih Booker as its new vice president for external relations.  Booker will lead the outreach and public communications strategy of the Institute and will oversee the public affairs, public outreach, congressional relations and development portfolios.

Booker’s long experience gives him wide-ranging expertise in U.S. foreign policy, especially on issues related to Africa, development, global governance and international human rights, as well as powerful credentials in philanthropy, strategic planning and communications, development and execution. In addition to his U.S.-based posts, Booker has spent more than a third of his career abroad.

“Salih Booker brings to USIP, at an opportune moment, tremendous leadership, communications and management experience along with a creative, positive spirit,” said institute President Nancy Lindborg.

Most recently, Booker served as an advisor to the executive secretary of the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. In the prior decade, Booker served as executive director of the Centre on Housing Rights and Evictions in Geneva, Switzerland and as executive director at both Global Rights and Africa Action in Washington, D.C.

Booker’s expertise in Africa began early in his career when he was a professional staff member on the House Committee on Foreign Affairs, Subcommittee on Africa (1983-86; 1990).  Between stints on Capitol Hill, he served as a Ford Foundation program officer for Eastern and Southern Africa, based in Nairobi (1986–88). He later became a senior fellow and director of the Africa Studies Program at the Council on Foreign Relations (1995-2000).

“My combined past experiences from Capitol Hill to the practice of international philanthropy as well as leadership roles at think-tanks, NGOs and international institutions will help me to communicate the important role of USIP as it furthers its critical peacebuilding work around the world,” said Booker.

Booker has commented frequently in the media on CNN, NPR, PBS NewsHour and BBC.  He also has appeared in the New York Times, the International Herald Tribune and Le Monde among other publications. 


USIP is the country's global conflict management center, created by Congress to prevent, mitigate and resolve violent international conflict through nonviolent means. To learn more, visit

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