Cameron Chisholm

President, International Peace & Security Institute  President and Founder of the International Peace & Security Institute (IPSI), an international nongovernmental organization dedicated to training leaders in the peace and security fields to be ready for the challenges that confront them in the real world.  IPSI curricula are designed to be rigorous, substantive learning experiences that provide trainees with the tools they need to make peace reality. Cameron also works with large-scale institutions, governments, and multilateral organizations to develop policies and procedures on best leadership and peacebuilding practices, then designs high-impact tailored training materials (both face-to-face and online) to operationalize that vision. Providing the strategic leadership for IPSI, he built and maintains a high-level Board of Directors and Board of Advisors consisting of the conflict field’s elite theoreticians and practitioners; he is in constant communication with Boards to remain on the cutting edge of thought and practice in the field, then translates that into high-impact adult education structures. Cameron is Chief Editor of the "Peace & Security Report," a weekly free e-publication that provides executive style briefs on global peace and security news; in its 5th year, the publication has an estimated global readership of between 40-60k per week. Before founding IPSI, Cameron worked with the World Bank, CEWARN, the U.S. Department of State, and The Carter Center.  He has a B.A. from Emory University and a M.A. from the University of Bradford, UK.  Cameron is an adjunct professor at the George Washington University and Georgetown University; he is a Rotary World Peace Fellow Alumnus.  Cameron was named as one of the 2012 "top 99 under 33" most influential foreign policy professionals and is a Fellow at the Truman National Security Project.
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Empowering the next generation of peacemakers

Cameron Chisholm didn't waste any time deciding how he would provide others with the skills he was gaining as a 2006-08 Rotary Peace Fellow. During his fieldwork in Ethiopia, he drafted a plan for a peace advocacy organization.

"I had been studying early conflict warning systems and thought I had it figured out," says Chisholm, who studied at the University of Bradford, England, sponsored by the Rotary Club of Corpus Christi, Texas, USA. "I realized when I got to Addis Ababa that it wasn't so cut and dried -- you are dealing with communities in conflict facing issues that do not fit into a cookie cutter."

The fellowship's mix of practical and theoretical application, says Chisholm, was the catalyst for establishing his own program.

"I asked myself how I could create this for other people to allow them to experience these things," Chisholm says.

In 2009, while working as a global security analyst and watch officer for the World Bank, Chisholm founded the International Peace and Security Institute (IPSI), based in Washington, D.C., to raise public awareness of peace and security issues.

In cooperation with Johns Hopkins University, IPSI hosted a month-long symposium in Bologna, Italy, in part of June and July, attended by 55 people, including three Rotary Peace Fellows. Students and practitioners from 28 countries learned mediation and peacekeeping techniques from current and former representatives of the United Nations, International Criminal Court, and other institutions and governments.

"Although I had participated in conflict resolution trainings, I had never been exposed to such comprehensive simulations and role playing," says 2009-11 peace fellow Katharine Mote. "They gave me the opportunity to practice skills I had learned both prior to and during the symposium."

Mote says she also appreciated the opportunity to learn how students from different geographical areas approach peace-building.

"As much training went on outside of the classroom as in it," says Chisholm, who recruited instructors and approved the attendees, including peace workers from conflict and post-conflict countries.

Participants also received instruction on social entrepreneurship -- using entrepreneurial principles to make social change -- and were invited to submit proposals for funding. IPSI awarded funding to Canadian Craig Vandermeer, founder of the nonprofit Schools Building Schools, for his proposal to provide graduates of vocational trade schools in southern Uganda with microloans and follow-up consultation with local business advisers starting next summer.

"I was able to network with many professionals in the field, who provided advice on how to move forward and create a successful project," Vandermeer says.