The world is experiencing a 25-year peak in violent conflict, trapping millions of innocent men, women and children in cycles of poverty and displacement. More than 550,000 people die from violence every year in places like Syria, Yemen and South Sudan, while the annual humanitarian need globally has increased from $3.5 billion to over $20 billion since 2004. In 2016, only 2 percent of official development assistance to fragile countries was dedicated to conflict prevention. Yet, we know these programs work: they enhance security and promote stability that can break devastating cycles of violence.
Congress has introduced the Global Fragility and Violence Reduction Act of 2018 to help solve this problem. This landmark bipartisan legislation would create for the first time a U.S. government-wide strategy to prevent and reduce violent conflict in some of the world’s most fragile environments.
The panelists have spent their careers at the highest levels of the U.S. government and on the frontlines of conflict zones working to prevent and resolve deadly violence through diplomacy, defense, and humanitarian and development work. They will share reflections from their experiences working in complex environments and offer ideas for preventing violent conflict globally.
ABOUT OUR PANELISTS
Ambassador Ryan Crocker served 37 distinguished years in the U.S. Foreign Service, including as U.S. Ambassador to Afghanistan, Iraq, Pakistan, Syria, Kuwait and Lebanon as well as Dean of the Bush School of Government and Public Service at Texas A&M University. Ambassador Crocker received the Presidential Medal of Freedom, America’s highest civilian award, in 2009, and he was elected to the Mercy Corps Board of Directors in 2013.
William McRaven is a retired U.S. Navy four-star admiral, who served as the commander of U.S. Special Operations Command where he led a force of 69,000 men and women and was responsible for conducting counter-terrorism operations worldwide. He is a recognized national authority on U.S. foreign policy and has advised presidents George W. Bush and Barack Obama and other U.S. leaders on defense issues. He also previously served as the University of Texas System chancellor.
Dafna H. Rand leads Mercy Corps’ policy and advocacy and research teams, manages the organization’s research agenda, and oversees Mercy Corps’ engagement with global institutions. Prior to joining Mercy Corps, Dr. Rand held a number of leadership positions in government and academia, most recently as the Deputy Assistant Secretary, Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor at the U.S. Department of State.
**Refreshments will be provided**