Note From a Proud Founder

   •    June 12, 2018


Nearly two decades ago, we brought together more than 100 activists from around the globe for the first Women Waging Peace Colloquium at Harvard, my academic home base, to reinvent the way decisions are made about war and peace. For the Kennedy School’s then dean, Joseph Nye, this was an example of what he coined “soft power.”

Since then, we’ve helped build access for women to halls of power on multiple continents. Our network has grown to include thousands of dynamic leaders. And our Washington-based program, Inclusive Security, has given its name to the ever-spreading doctrine that women’s inclusion at decision-making tables is key to achieving lasting peace and stability.

Decades ago, the idea that security policy should take into account the unique experiences and contributions of women was novel; there’s now an entire field with interest and capacity dedicated to advancing the concept of inclusive security. We pioneered a wide array of global and country-specific strategies related to advocacy, research, coalition building, trainings, and more. Every one of those is a building block for what we’re doing next.

Due largely to financial changes, we’re evolving.

Times like this are difficult and include saying goodbye to a number of brilliant colleagues with whom I’ve been privileged to work. I couldn’t be more impressed by Inclusive Security’s team—current and former staff members—who have traveled the world (many times over)! While transitions are woven with sorrow, I’m confident in the strides they will continue to make, on this and so many other vital issues.

I’m continuing to speak, write, advocate, and teach in the US and around the world; just a few weeks ago, I gathered with students and diplomats in DC, London, Stockholm, and Vienna. While he will pursue other endeavors as well, Inclusive Security’s co-founder and vice chair, Miki Jacevic, is maintaining our focus on national action plans, ensuring that countries around the world design, implement, and measure the day-to-day differences these policies make.

We’re determined to make the resources we developed over 20 years of field work broadly accessible. For example, on our website you can access hundreds of pages of our curricula and our newly released peace process simulation.  Browse through decades of our research and publications on topics such as violent extremism, constitution reform, and the exemplary rise of Rwandan women. Website resources will remain available—including our often-cited “why women” feature and hundreds of stories and videos about the impact of women leaders.

Committed partners are ensuring much of this work lives on. In December, the Kroc Institute for Peace and Justice at the University of San Diego warmly welcomed the Women Waging Peace Network to a new home. Similarly, Heartland Alliance International is supporting the Taskforce for the Engagement of Women in the Sudan peace process, a group we helped form in 2010. We look forward to others—likely and unlikely allies—building on our strong foundation, making the concept of inclusive security the norm.

I welcome your ideas and comments.

The world needs your determination.


Ambassador Swanee Hunt
Chair, Hunt Alternatives | Founder, Inclusive Security
Eleanor Roosevelt Lecturer of Public Policy, Harvard Kennedy School of Government

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