Our Mission

Advancing Multilateral Solutions for a Peaceful Planet

The International Peace Institute is an independent, non-profit organization working to strengthen inclusive multilateralism for a more peaceful and sustainable planet. Through its research, convening, and strategic advising, IPI provides innovative recommendations for the United Nations System, member states, regional organizations, civil society, and the private sector.

IPI inspires countries and people to work together. We see windows of opportunity to bring together great minds and diverse perspectives from across the globe to find solutions to the world’s most pressing problems. We work alongside policymakers and practitioners and help them develop pragmatic, multilateral approaches that account for both the geopolitical context and on-the-ground realities.

As we weigh the challenges of today, we are compelled to do more. Our plans call for strengthening effective and collaborative leadership; creating inclusive systems; and increasing international cooperation to make the world a safer, more peaceful, and more prosperous place.

We hope you will join us in supporting our mission.

  Our History

IPI was founded in 1970 by US philanthropist Ruth Forbes Young and Indian Major General Indar Jit Rikhye, in close consultation with then-UN Secretary-General U Thant. They recognized that a thoroughly independent institution, free from official constraints, could make a unique contribution to multilateral efforts to prevent and resolve armed conflict around the world.

With staff from around the world and a broad range of academic fields, IPI’s main office is strategically located directly across from UN headquarters in New York, giving the Institute unparalleled access to member state representatives and UN officials at the highest levels. The Institute maintains a unique niche in the UN community as a close, trusted, yet critical friend of the United Nations and its member states, as well as the broader multilateral system. IPI regularly convenes international events and has a global presence through its regional office in Manama (Middle East and North Africa office) and consistent engagement in Geneva.

IPI is well positioned to contribute to the creation of informed and effective policies, due to our long-standing track record over the past five decades of engaging and informing policy- and decision-makers, including the United Nations, other institutional actors, regional organizations, national governments, local governments, and civil society actors.

Read more about IPI’s 50th Anniversary in 2020>>


Known as the International Peace Academy until early 2008, the International Peace Institute was founded by a group of individuals from within and outside of the United Nations who believed that a thoroughly independent institution, free from official constraints, could make a unique contribution to multilateral efforts to prevent and settle armed conflicts around the world. The vision of the founders, coupled with the hard work and dedication of IPI’s four presidents, has resulted in a dynamic international research institute.

Watch our history film “40 Years of IPI”

Important moments in our institutional history include:

Founded in 1970.

Principal inspiration came from then UN Secretary-General U Thant (left) and Ruth Forbes Young (far left), a deeply committed philanthropist.

Founding president Major General Indar Jit Rikhye (India) focused IPI on the training of military and civilian professionals in peacekeeping as well as selective facilitation efforts.

The Honorable Olara Otunnu (Uganda) assumed leadership of the organization from 1990 to 1998 and expanded IPI’s focus to include hands-on work with regional organizations and actors, particularly the Organization of African Unity; original policy research on the UN’s rapidly evolving experience with multi-dimensional peacekeeping; expanded training activities; and more proactive outreach and education.

Ambassador David Malone (Canada) took the helm from 1998 to 2004 and spearheaded a tremendous growth in IPI’s publications and an expansion of IPI’s policy agenda to broader dynamics of conflict and resolution, including economic agendas in civil wars, conflict prevention, sanctions, civilian protection, and statebuilding.

Ambassador Terje Rød-Larsen (Norway) became IPI president in 2005 after more than a decade of service as a UN envoy in the Middle East. Rød-Larsen expanded IPI’s regional focus to the Middle East and Asia alongside Africa; involved IPI in intensive policy support for ongoing UN reform efforts and developed a new research and policy agenda to address transnational peace and security challenges and global response capacities beyond the UN.

On March 24, 2008, after nearly forty years of operation, the International Peace Academy (IPA) changed its name to the International Peace Institute (IPI). The new name was chosen to better reflect the organization’s evolution from its early role as a training academy to its mature identity as a policy-driven institute for best thinking and practice across the UN’s broad peace and security agenda.

Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein (Jordan), former UN High Commissioner for Human Rights and a Jordanian diplomat, was named President and CEO of IPI in March 2021. Among his early priorities, he has been bringing a renewed focus on climate change and climate diplomacy to IPI.