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The National Peace Foundation

666 Eleventh Street Northwest
Suite 202
Washington, DC 20001

Telephone: 202.783.7030
Fax: 202.783.7040
President and Chair of the Board - Sarah Harder
Vice Chair of the Board and Director of Middle East Programs - W. Landis Jones
Vice President and Deputy Director of Operations and Communication - Kathleen Lansing

Mission Statement: 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 Commission report.

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 peacemaking.

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 Grove, CA.

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 exchanges.

Domestic (USA) - NPF-UNF Initiative, Peaceable Schools Programs

International - Library of Congress Open World , NPF Russian Leadership Program

Africa: Institute of Peace Leadership and Governance
Russian 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 Workshops

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.

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