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

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Keith Mines on the Future of U.S. Latin America Policy

Thursday, November 12, 2020

By: Keith Mines

Intense polarization in Bolivia, Venezuela, and Colombia will present Washington with significant challenges in the years ahead. But USIP’s Keith Mines says, for the most part, leaders in those countries “are looking for a way forward … there’s a more realistic framework of coexistence that’s emerging.”

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Final Report and Recommendations of the Senior Study Group on Peace and Security in the Red Sea Arena

Final Report and Recommendations of the Senior Study Group on Peace and Security in the Red Sea Arena

Thursday, October 29, 2020

By: Senior Study Group on Peace and Security in the Red Sea Arena

Between May 2019 and September 2020, the United States Institute of Peace convened a bipartisan senior study group to consider the factors that have reshaped the Red Sea arena. The study group determined that, in recent years, the geopolitical and geo-economic dynamics of the Horn of Africa have become tied to the Middle East and broader Indian Ocean in a manner unprecedented in the last century. However, U.S. strategy in this evolving environment has struggled to keep pace with these interconnected, complex, and transregional dynamics and to account for the region’s increased relevance to U.S. interests. The final report of the senior study group defines U.S. interests within a hierarchy of priorities to assist policymakers in calibrating diplomatic, development, humanitarian, and security interventions and provides recommendations for defending and advancing these interests.

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Kathleen Kuehnast on the 20th Anniversary of UN Resolution 1325

Kathleen Kuehnast on the 20th Anniversary of UN Resolution 1325

Wednesday, October 28, 2020

By: Kathleen Kuehnast, Ph.D.

Two decades after the passage of the landmark resolution on women, peace and security, USIP’s Kathleen Kuehnast points to the 86 countries that have taken action to address the unique experience of women in conflict as proof of progress, but says that getting women more involved in peace processes is “a long game … it is difficult to find room for women at any table.”

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Four Lessons for Cease-fires in the Age of COVID

Four Lessons for Cease-fires in the Age of COVID

Thursday, October 1, 2020

By: Amanda Long; Tyler Beckelman

During his opening remarks at the 75th U.N. General Assembly, Secretary-General António Guterres renewed his appeal for a global humanitarian cease-fire, urging the international community to achieve one in the next 100 days. But in the roughly 180 days since his initial appeal, most conflict parties have not heeded the secretary-general’s plea. What can peacebuilders do to advance the secretary-general’s call? Four key lessons have emerged over the last six months on how cease-fires can be achieved—or stalled—by COVID-19.

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