Professionalizing peacebuilding

Inquire. Implement. Innovate.

In collaboration with American University’s School of International Service (SIS), the inaugural DC Symposium on the New Frontiers of Peacebuilding will provide advanced practical peacemaking and peacebuilding tools, with a special focus on innovative approaches to peace.

The complexity of existing threats to peace urges us to look for systemic answers, and emerging trends from various disciplines increasingly inform the peacebuilding approach.  Over a three-week period, you will undergo intensive training by the field’s premier political leaders, academic experts, practitioners, and advocates in the practical skills necessary to foster peace and security. You will inquire about the traditional and new frontiers of peacebuilding directly from the innovators themselves.  You will implement lessons-learned in dynamic experiential exercises that simulate the real-world challenges peacemakers face. You will interact with the world’s brightest minds and train on the core skills of conflict prevention, resolution, and reconciliation. You will graduate with the foundation to innovate as a peacebuilder.

As a participant, you will receive an IPSI Post-Graduate Certificate in “International Conflict Management” upon successful completion of the course.  If you choose to undertake additional rigorous assignments you will earn an IPSI Post-Graduate Certificate in “International Conflict Management with Distinction.” 

Applications Closed
View the New Frontiers Memoirs

A curriculum firmly grounded in experiential education.

This interactive skills-based course will introduce participants to emerging currents in thought and practice that are driving the new frontiers of peace and peacebuilding effectiveness, while building on the foundational skills needed to be a successful practitioner.

In addition to training on the fundamentals of mediation, negotiation, and facilitation, new frontiers topics include complex systems dynamics, social media and technology, countering violent extremism, neuroscience, “bottom-up” or hybridity in peacebuilding, venture peacebuilding, urban design, and healing and reconciliation through art.

As a participant, you will engage the academic content through facilitated workshops, collaborative problem solving, role-playing, complex simulations, interactive presentations, and other cutting edge adult learning methodologies. 

Download Readings

The world’s most effective peace & conflict resolution practitioners.

The DC Symposium is different. Through carefully designed activities by current world leaders and educators, including formal exercises, simulations, role-playing, and workshops, you will learn skills never taught in a typical classroom setting.

There are ample opportunities to interact with our world-renowned faculty outside the classroom including formal student-speaker dinners, informal meals and coffees, and site visits. Many of our participants also stress how much they learn from their peers. Our daily “Unconferences” and “P2Ps” provide peer learning opportunities that spark deeper conversations and action-oriented thinking. [pictured left: UN Deputy Secretary General Jan Eliasson]

2018 Faculty

Dr. Hrach Gregorian
Program Director, International Peace & Conflict Resolution, SIS

Chic Dambach
CEO, Operation Respect

Brig. Gen. (Ret.) Kimberly Field
Countering Violent Extremism Practice Area Director, Creative Associates; Former Deputy Assistant Secretary of State; Former Joint Staff Deputy Director for Political-Military Affairs for the Middle East

Dr. Terry Hopmann
Professor Emeritus, Conflict Management Program, Johns Hopkins University SAIS

Rajendra Mulmi
Country Director, Nigeria, Search for Common Ground

Johanna Mendelson Forman
Board Member, Creative Learning, Adjunct Professor, American University’s School of International Service

Dr. Joyce Neu
Former Team Leader, UN Standby Team of Mediation Experts

George Selim
Senior Vice President of Programs, ADL; Former Director, Office for Community Partnerships, Department of Homeland Security

Dr. Valerie Rosoux
Professor of International Negotiation, University of Louvain

Michael Shipler
Regional Director, Asia, Search for Common Ground

Dr. William Zartman
Professor Emeritus, Johns Hopkins University SAIS

+ Many More

Event Space: SIS in Washington, DC

Home to the many of the most influential political systems in the world, the city of DC has a long tradition of education, cultural heritage, and political vitality, as well as SIS. The School of International Service — a leading American graduate school in international affairs — offers a unique educational environment that answered President Dwight D. Eisenhower’s call to prepare students of international affairs to “wage peace.” The campus, an accredited arboretum, offers direct access to the history and current opportunities within DC.  As an IPSI student, you will have access to all SIS facilities including the library, computer lounges, wi-fi network, common areas, and classrooms.

Student-Trainer Network

By connecting participants to one another and to leading experts, IPSI provides an active and on-going forum for our alumni.  Relying on the power of dialogue, networking, and collaboration inherent in our programming, IPSI catalyzes constructive discussions regarding peacemaking, peacebuilding, and human security.  Through the diverse skills and regional expertise of its vast network, IPSI strives to be at the forefront of thought leadership in Peace & Security.  In addition, IPSI’s Staff, Boards, and lecturers are available to help you plan and execute long-term career goals. [pictured left: Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Jerry White]

Application Process

STUDENT SELECTIONThe IPSI DC Symposium strives to attract a diverse and accomplished student body from across the globe, especially peace and security leaders from conflict and post-conflict countries. A balanced and effective student body draws from a broad spectrum of regions, religions, and ethnicities. IPSI accepts young professionals, graduate students, and accomplished undergraduates, based on one or more of the following criteria:

  • Stellar academic and/or professional achievement
  • Keen interest in Peace & Security
  • Proven record of leadership positions in community affairs
  • Experience in/with government agencies
  • Demonstrated ability in undertaking social entrepreneurship ventures

NEW! Successful applicants that attend the Symposium have the option to be added to the internal professional employment/consultant roster of IPSI’s sister organization Creative Associates International. As alumni, you will have the inside track for jobs in one of the most well respected and successful international development firms in the world.

Questions? Please contact

HOW TO APPLY: To be considered for matriculation, you will need to provide the following materials via our online application form:

  • Résumé or Curriculum Vitae
  • Short statement (500 characters or less) on
    • WHY you would like to attend the DC Symposium & WHAT you intend to do with the training received

Tuition & Deadlines: IPSI accepts applications on a rolling basis (acceptances are merit-based and spots are limited). Your tuition includes all academics, trainings, educational materials, and special events.  Tuition does not include airfare, accommodations, or most meals.

Standard tuition: $3,299

Scholarship Applications Are Now Closed
Final Date to Apply: 15 June 2018

Limited scholarship funds available for exceptional peacemakers who meet our selection requirements:  LEARN MORE >>

Applications Closed

The DC Symposium

on the New Frontiers of Peacebuilding 
July 14-August 4, 2018 

Applications Closed

The Sarajevo Symposium

on Post Conflict Transitions & International Justice
July 7-21, 2018

Learn More