||The National Peace
666 Eleventh Street Northwest
Washington, DC 20001
President and Chair of the Board - Sarah
Vice Chair of the Board and
Director of Middle East Programs - W.
Vice President and Deputy
Director of Operations and Communication - Kathleen
Our mission is to strengthen the
foundations for peacebuilding, peace education and conflict resolution
by promoting democratic justice through partnerships, intercultural
exchanges and citizen networks.
History and Purpose: The National Peace Foundation has
its roots in the peace academy idea that was born in the minds of many
people and ripened into a grassroots movement that became known as the
National Peace Academy Campaign. The Campaign was founded in 1976 as a
public service organization, with the objective of establishing a
federally chartered educational institution dedicated to peacemaking and
conflict resolution. By 1984, the Campaign had grown to 45,000 members.
Through the efforts of the Campaign, Congress
established a bipartisan commission in 1979 to study the feasibility of
creating a U.S. Academy for Peace and Conflict Resolution. The
Commission was chaired by the late Senator Spark M. Matsunaga of Hawaii
and its vice-chair was the late Dr. James H. Laue, later the first chair
of the Foundation.
After holding hearings throughout the United States
in 1980, the Commission submitted a preliminary report to President
Carter and the Congress in September 1980, recommending the
establishment of the Peace Academy. In 1981, the final report was
submitted to President Reagan and a bill with bipartisan sponsorship was
introduced in both Houses of Congress to carry out the provisions of the
In 1982, the National Peace Institute Foundation was
formed as the educational affiliate of the National Peace Academy
Campaign to develop educational programs to promote public understanding
of the need for the Peace Academy and to create the institutional
relationships that would enable the Academy to function effectively.
The Campaign and Foundation succeeded in winning 55
Senator and 177 Representative as co-sponsors, and the endorsement of 14
state legislatures and 40 national professional organizations. The
Campaign ushered the Peace Academy Bill through several Congressional
hearings, floor debates and final passage as the U.S. Institute of Peace
Act in 1984.
With the passage and signing of the Peace Institute
legislation, the lobbying-oriented National Peace Academy Campaign drew
to a close. In 1985, the Foundation undertook a lead role in a public
education program about the U.S. Institute of and the following year the
Foundation began to play its new role in public education on conflict
resolution. The Foundation began its newsletter, the Peace Reporter,
reporting on Foundation programs, peace education, the growth and
progress of the U.S. Institute of Peace, and other peace-related issues
to its members. The Foundation also published a bibliography of
literature containing the basic background for international peacemaking
and conflict resolution and ran a trial a computer conference in
The Foundation began its Peacemaker/Peacebuider
Awards project in 1989. Recipients of the first awards were: Father
Theodore Hesburgh, president emeritus of Notre Dame -- a lifetime award
for his lifelong efforts to build peace and reconciliation among groups
both within the U.S. and internationally; U.N. Secretary General Pérez
de Cuéllar -- for his work to resolve the Iran-Iraq conflict and
facilitate the Soviet withdrawal from Afghanistan; Senator Mark Hatfield
(R-OR) and the late Senator Spark Matsunaga (D-HI) -- for their work to
establish the U.S. Institute of Peace; Peace Links founder Betty
Bumpers, and Marion O'Malley founder of the North Carolina Center for
Peace Education in Chapel Hill, NC.
The Foundation's second Peacemaker/Peacebuilder
Awards were made in 1997 as part of its 15th Anniversary celebration.
Recipients were: International Peacemaker -South Africa's Archbishop
Desmond Tutu; National Peacemaker for her support and encouragement of
conflict resolution education; regional peacemakers -- Attorney General
Janet Reno; Lifetime Peacemakers to three longtime Foundation Advisors -
Frances Humphrey Howard, George W. Hill, and Libby Rouse; and Regional
Peacemakers - Bishop Thomas J. Gumbleton, Detroit; James Mang, Western
New York Peace Center, Buffalo, NY; Barbara Simmons, Bucks County Peace
Centers, Langhorne, PA; and Barbara Wiedner, Grandmothers for Peace, Elk
In June 2000 the third Peacemaker/Peacebuilder Awards
were presented to former Senator George Mitchell for his extraordinary
efforts to bring peace to Northern Ireland. Other awards were presented
to Landrum Bolling for Lifetime Achievement; William Lowrey, Mary Okumu
(Women Waging Peace), Joyce Neu, and Sudanese Women's Peace (Rebekah
Okwaci and Amira Adam) for Peacebuilding efforts in Africa; and Deborah
K. Welsh for peacebuilding in the South Caucasus.
In 1990-91, the Foundation began its international
conflict resolution training programs in Armenia and Russia. Current
Foundation projects include conflict resolution training projects in
Russia, Armenia, Georgia, and Azerbaijan and collaboration with national
conflict-resolution educational organizations in establishing training
scholarships and conflict resolution training programs in urban schools
in the U.S.
These efforts are designed to support the development
of a climate of understanding that the United States has many options
besides using its armed capacity in international conflict, and to
promote international peace and the resolution of conflicts among
nations without recourse to violence.
To reflect this evolution of the Foundation's mission
and programs beyond the support for the development of the U.S.
Institute of Peace, the Foundation's Board of Directors approved a name
change to National Peace Foundation in June 1991.
All funding for the National Peace Foundation comes
from members, tuition fees, private grants and contributions. The
Foundation is an independent organization and is not affiliated with the
U.S. Institute of Peace.
Programs: The National Peace Foundation’s programs
help people and their leaders develop citizen networks, advance peace
education, and promote democratic values through international
Domestic (USA) - NPF-UNF
Initiative, Peaceable Schools Programs
- Library of Congress Open World
, NPF Russian
Africa: Institute of Peace Leadership and Governance
Civic Network Project, South Caucasus' Women's Dialogue
Latin America and the Caribbean: U.S.
- Cuba - Canada Electronic Dialogue
Middle East: NPF
- IWA Education for Peace and Community Building, Violence Prevention
NPF- UNF Cooperation Continues:
The request from the United Nations Foundation (UNF)
to the National Peace Foundation (NPF) for support of the October
Citizens Forums on U. S. foreign policy continues a pattern of
cooperation between the two organizations. UNF's charter calls for it to
support programs of the United Nations and its agencies. In this role,
UNF has often encouraged UN agencies to work with non-governmental
agencies and build on their experience. In 1999-2000, UNF President
Wirth asked NPF to assist the United Nations Development Fund for Women
develop its plans for a new program of women as peace builders in the
South Caucasus - which was based on the National Peace Foundation's
model that had been in place for six years. UNF was engaged as a
consultant for the proposed project, assisted in its design and helped
secure from the UN Foundation a grant of $1.4 million to begin the
program, which since 2001 has continued successfully in Armenia,
Azerbaijan and Georgia. Senator Wirth also joined in the National Peace
Foundation's 20th anniversary celebration in December 2002, helping
present NPF's Lifetime PeaceBuilder Award to Ambassador Andrew Young.