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The School of International and Public Affairs (SIPA) at Columbia University has launched the Kent Global Leadership Program on Conflict Resolution with the ambition to help prepare the next generation of global practitioners for the complexities of contemporary conflict. Conflicts are increasingly multi-layered, impacted by geopolitical, regional and local dynamics that challenge traditional strategies of conflict resolution. Global trends such as climate change and resource competition create additional stress. Multiple actors, public and private, are involved, generating opportunities as well as obstacles for conflict resolution.

That evolution of conflict calls for new thinking. The Kent Program will explore innovative responses, among them how to harness the power of public institutions, civil society and business so that they form a "Golden Triangle" that contributes effectively to conflict resolution and peaceful societies. The program will combine the knowledge and academic rigor of the faculty of Columbia University with the experience of practitioners who can share the real-life situations they are confronting.

The program's flagship event is an intensive week-long Summer Training for professionals from governments and inter-governmental institutions held annually in New York City. With its emphasis on case studies and simulations, and the active participation of government, civil society and business leaders, it will help the peacemakers of tomorrow build the broad array of practical skills they need to address contemporary conflict. Over the coming years, the Kent Global Leadership Program will develop a global network of alumni, instructors, scholars, and practitioners devoted to advancing our understanding of ways to enhance conflict resolution.

In addition to the summer training for mid-career diplomats, the program also sponsors on-campus events and workshops during the academic year, a visiting professorship, fellowships for outstanding SIPA graduate students, and original research in conflict and peacebuilding.

The Kent program is the brainchild of the late Ed Luck; Merit Janow, the former dean of SIPA; and our generous donor Muhtar Kent. The program is now directed by Jean-Marie Guéhenno.

Read the Kent Program Concept Paper by Ed Luck