Error message

In honor of former Secretary of State Dean Acheson’s service to the United States and the cause of peace and innovation in peacemaking, USIP initiated this lecture series to deal with the important topics of the day. The lecture series helps call attention to topics that further the mission of USIP: preventing and resolving violent international conflicts, promoting post-conflict stability and development, and increasing conflict management capacity, tools, and intellectual capital worldwide.

USIP Board Chair Stephen J. Hadley and former Secretary of State George P. Shultz
USIP Board Chair Stephen J. Hadley and former Secretary of State George P. Shultz

2015: Secretary of State George Shultz 

U.S. Secretary of State George Shultz received the 6th Acheson Award. 

Leon Panetta

2012 Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta

U.S. Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta gave the 5th Acheson Lecture at USIP. In his speech, Panetta outlined a bold plan to build the capacity of other countries and thereby reduce the strains on the U.S. when it comes to solving the world’s security problems. Following his remarks, he was presented with the Acheson Award.

Senator John McCain

2011: Senator John McCain

U.S. Senator John McCain (R-AZ) received the 4th Acheson Award and delivered the Acheson Lecture at USIP. After receiving the award, Senator McCain discussed the status of U.S. interests in the Middle East during a time of revolution and upheaval.

Senator George J. Mitchell

2010: Senator George J. Mitchell

U.S. Senator George J. Mitchell, special envoy for the Middle East, delivered the 2010 the USIP Dean Acheson Lecture, on Monday, May 24 in front of a packed audience.

Senator Mitchell spoke about lessons learned from Northern Ireland and how, despite the vast differences between that conflict and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, certain truths about international conflict still hold. | Read more

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton

2009: Secretary of State Hillary Clinton

In remarks focused on nuclear nonproliferation and timed to coincide with the Institute’s 25th anniversary, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton delivered the 2009 Dean Acheson lecture. In addressing the United States Institute of Peace, U.S. Secretary of State Clinton talked about the important work we are doing in the area of non proliferation, including the recent report issued by the Congressional Commission on the Strategic Posture of the United States, chaired by former Secretary of Defense William J. Perry with James R. Schlesinger as vice chairman. The report examined key issues related to national security, arms control and nuclear technology. | Read more

Secretary of Defense Robert M. Gates

2008 Lecture: Secretary of Defense Robert M. Gates

On October 15, 2008, U.S. Secretary of Defense Robert M. Gates delivered the keynote speech at the U.S. Institute of Peace’s first Dean Acheson Lecture. In his address, Gates called for the United States to develop national security institutions better able to respond to increasingly complex challenges in international conflict settings. | Read more

Related Publications

South Asia: Rising Extremism Opens Way for ISIS

South Asia: Rising Extremism Opens Way for ISIS

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

By: Fred Strasser

Across South Asia, complex strains of extremism are opening the way for the Islamic State and destabilizing governments. From elements in the Afghan Taliban to the ascent of Hindu nationalism in India, extremists are drawing the region deeper into volatile internal and external conflicts, according to experts on religion and extremism speaking recently at the U.S. Institute of Peace. There are no quick ways to reverse the trend, they said. But steps that could slow radicalization include bolstering free speech, attacking terrorists’ financial networks and undermining the myth that a long-ago caliphate ruled over a perfect society.

Violent Extremism; Global Policy

Beneath the Saudi-Iran Proxy War in Yemen, Part 2

Beneath the Saudi-Iran Proxy War in Yemen, Part 2

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

By: Sarhang Hamasaeed

The strategic clash between Saudi Arabia and Iran in Yemen masks multiple layers of conflict underneath that have deepened—and in some ways altered—the country’s fractures in local politics, society and security. The chaos has devastated Yemen, one of the world’s poorest countries, and has the potential to burst beyond the nation’s borders and further destabilize an already troubled region. It also allows the likes of the Islamic State (ISIS) and Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) to thrive.

Violent Extremism; Global Policy; Fragility and Resilience

Beneath the Saudi-Iran Proxy War in Yemen, Part 1

Beneath the Saudi-Iran Proxy War in Yemen, Part 1

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

By: Sarhang Hamasaeed

Looking at the maneuvers by Iran and the Saudi-led coalition in Yemen from afar, the battlefield looks a lot like a black-and-white contest for regional power. But as the U.S. considers escalating its role in the conflict—and Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis visits Riyadh this week—it is essential to understand how local realities can get lost in a proxy war.

Global Policy; Violent Extremism; Fragility and Resilience

View All Publications