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

Xi Jinping’s Visit to Myanmar: What Are the Implications?

Xi Jinping’s Visit to Myanmar: What Are the Implications?

Thursday, January 23, 2020

By: Jason Tower; Jennifer Staats

From January 17-18, the chairman of China’s Communist Party, Xi Jinping, travelled to Myanmar to promote bilateral ties and advance construction of the China-Myanmar Economic Corridor (CMEC). The visit saw the two sides commit to an ambitious economic agenda and building what China terms a “community of shared destiny.” The declarations of cooperation, however, failed to provide any clarity on how CMEC will address the countless questions and concerns that Myanmar has struggled with since its independence in 1948—issues likely to profoundly affect the two countries’ joint endeavors.

Type: Analysis and Commentary

Global Policy

Amid the Central African Republic’s search for peace, Russia steps in. Is China next?

Amid the Central African Republic’s search for peace, Russia steps in. Is China next?

Thursday, December 19, 2019

By: Leslie Minney; Rachel Sullivan; Rachel Vandenbrink

The 2017 National Security Strategy refocused U.S. foreign and defense policy to address resurgent major power competition with Russia and China. In U.S. foreign policy, Africa has emerged as a frontline for this competition, as in recent years both Moscow and Beijing have sought to expand their influence and promote their interests on the continent. Nowhere is the role of major powers more apparent than in the Central African Republic (CAR), where Russia has emerged as a key power broker amid a civil war that has simmered since 2012. Despite concerns about the need to counter other major powers, the best course for U.S. policy in CAR is to not allow competition with Russia and China to distract from the fundamental priority of supporting a democratic, inclusive path to peace.

Type: Analysis and Commentary

Conflict Analysis & Prevention; Global Policy

Nancy Lindborg on the Role of People Power in Global Security

Nancy Lindborg on the Role of People Power in Global Security

Wednesday, November 27, 2019

By: Nancy Lindborg

Returning from the Halifax International Security Forum, USIP President and CEO Nancy Lindborg explains why the growing number of “people power” movements around the world have left her optimistic, saying “the notion of what constitutes national security continues to evolve…security includes governments that are responsive to the needs of their people.”

Type: Podcast

Nonviolent Action; Global Policy

In Libya, Peace is Possible if Foreign Interference Ends

In Libya, Peace is Possible if Foreign Interference Ends

Tuesday, November 19, 2019

By: Adam Gallagher

If foreign powers ceased their involvement in Libya, the country’s protracted civil war could come quickly to an end, said Mohamed Syala, the foreign minister of the Government of National (GNA), in an interview with the U.S. Institute of Peace. The role of outside powers in Libya’s conflict has garnered renewed international attention in recent weeks as Russia has ramped up its support for Field Marshall Khalifa Haftar’s forces.

Type: Analysis and Commentary

Conflict Analysis & Prevention; Global Policy

View All Publications