Cell Phone: (540) 383-4859
Main Campus, Harrisonburg
Office Location: WH 2nd
Lisa Schirch is Director of Human Security at the Alliance for Peacebuilding. Schirch connects policymakers with global civil society networks, facilitates civil-military dialogue and provides a conflict prevention and peacebuilding lens on current policy issues. Schirch is also a Research Professor at the Center for Justice and Peacebuilding at Eastern Mennonite University.
Schirch is currently working with a global network to write a Curriculum on Security Sector and Civil Society Engagement for Human Security. Schirch is also currently working for the Swiss Federal Department of Foreign Affairs, Department of Human Security as the Lead Researcher on Civil-Military Guidance via the University of Notre Dame’s Kroc Institute for International Peace Studies.
A former Fulbright Fellow in East and West Africa, Schirch has conducted conflict assessments and participated in peacebuilding planning alongside local colleagues in over 20 countries in conflict prevention and peacebuilding including Afghanistan, Pakistan, Iraq, Sri Lanka, Indonesia, Kenya, Ghana, and Fiji. Schirch has published five books and dozens of chapters and articles on a range of themes including the design and structure of a comprehensive peace process in Afghanistan, civil-military relations, and the role of the media in peacebuilding.
Schirch’s most recent book is Conflict Assessment and Peacebuilding Planning: Toward a Participatory Approach to Human Security published by Kumarian/Lynne Reinner Press in May 2013. The website for the book can be found at www.Conflict-Assessment-and-Peacebuilding-Planning.org
Schirch works primarily with small local NGOs and civil society organizations. As large institutions begin their own peacebuilding programs, Schirch also has worked as a consultant on conflict assessment and peacebuilding planning for the United Nations Development Program, the World Bank, several branches of the US government, the US Foreign Service Institute and many other international organizations.
Schirch is an advisor for the UN Development Program’s International Advisory Group on Infrastructures for Peace and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Netherlands’ International Advisory Committee on Security and Rule of Law (SRoL) in Fragile and Conflict-Affected Settings.
Schirch holds a B.A. in International Relations from the University of Waterloo, Canada, and a M.S. and Ph.D. in Conflict Analysis and Resolution from George Mason University.
B.A. in Political Science and International Relations, University of Waterloo
Ph.D., M.S. Institute for Conflict Analysis and Resolution, George Mason University
- Conflict Assessment and Peacebuilding Planning: Toward a Participatory Approach to Human Security
- Little Book of Dialogue on Difficult Subjects
- Little Book of Strategic Peacebuilding
- Ritual and Symbol in Peacebuilding
- Civilian Peacekeeping: Preventing Violence and Making Space for Democracy
- Women in Peacebuilding Resource and Training Manual
RECENT CHAPTERS & REPORTS
- “Research Gaps on Civil-Military Policy Trends.” Schirch, L. in Humanitarian Exchange. Issue 61. May 2014.
- “Whole of Society Conflict Prevention: A Case Study on Kenya’s Success Contrasted with Failures in Afghanistan and Iraq.”Schirch, L. in Understanding Complex Military Operations: A case study approach. Edited by Karen Guttieri, Volker Franke, Melanne Civic. New York, NY: Routledge, 2014.
- “Separate Tracks, Common Goals: Preventing Genocide and Conflict” Schirch, L. in Building Peace. September 2013. pp. 17-20.
- “Formal and Informal Governance in Afghanistan.” Schirch, L. and Karim Merchant in Strategic Realities in Irregular Conflict. Center for Naval Analysis and the National Defense University, January 2013.
- “Lessons Learned in Conflict Prevention: “The Whole of Society” Comprehensive Approach.” Schirch, L. in Strategic Realities in Irregular Conflict. Center for Naval Analysis and the National Defense University, January 2013.
- “Frameworks for Understanding Women as Victims and Peacebuilders.” Schirch, L. in DefyingVictimhood: Women and Post-Conflict Peacebuilding." Ed. Albrecht Schnabel and Anara Tabyshalieva. UN University Press, 2012.
- “From Protection of Civilians to Human Security: Comparing and Contrasting Principles, Distinctions, and Institutionalization.” Schirch, L. 3P Human Security. July 30, 2012.
- Designing a Comprehensive Peace Process for Afghanistan.Schirch, L. Washington, D.C. U.S. Institute of Peace. PeaceWorks, September 2011.
- “Human Rights and Conflict Transformation: A Peacebuilding Framework.” In Human Rights and Conflict: Exploring the Links between Rights, Law, and Peacebuilding. Edited by Julie Mertus and Jeffrey Helsing. Washington DC: US Institute of Peace Press, 2006, pp. 63-96.
- Peacebuilding in a Divided, Pacifist Church. with Verne Schirch.The Mennonite. August 1, 2014
- From Solferino to Peacebuilding – A Family Tradition of Humanitarianism. InterCross: Blog of the International Committee of the Red Cross. June 23, 2014.
- Civil-Military Interaction for Peacebuilding. University of Notre Dame. On-line Peace Policy Journal. March 24, 2014.
- Military Support to Peacebuilding. Policy Brief for the Alliance for Peacebuilding. November 14, 2013.
- Getting Off the Wheel of Misfortune: US Policy & Syrian Suffering Schirch, L. Huffington Post. August 29, 2013.
- She Didn’t Have a Gun… She had MLK’s Dream Schirch, L. Huffington Post. August 23, 2013.
- Training military forces in local capacity." Schirch, L. Local First. January 8, 2013.
- On Massacres, Masculinity, Human Rights and Gun Rights." Schirch, L. Huffington Post. December 17, 2012.
- “Having it All” Myths: An Addendum to Ann Marie Slaughter." Schirch, L. Huffington Post. September 7, 2012.
- “9 Costs of Drone Strikes.” Schirch, L. Huffington Post. June 28, 2012.
- Kony 2012 and the Failed Fantasy of Firepower." Schirch, L. Huffington Post. March 10, 2012.
- Qur’an burnings indicate need for mission overhaul" Schirch, L. and Karim Merchant. Common Ground News Service. 28 February 2012
- “Can the Tribes of NATO help the Tribes of Afghanistan?”. Schirch, L. Huffington Post. October 12, 2011.
- Six Things to Grieve on 9/11 Anniversary.”
Schirch, L. Huffington Post. September 11, 2011.
- Beyond “Beneficiaries”: The Changing
Landscape of Local Civil Society Development. Schirch, L.
Washington, D.C.: InterAction. July 2011.
- U.S. Drones Mobilize Pakistani Nonviolent Movement Huffington Post .April 2011.
- A 3D Approach to US Foreign Policy Huffington Post. February 2011.
- Confessions of a modern day pacifist The Mennonite. January 2011.
- Egypt and the US “We Know Best” Syndrome Huffington Post. January 2011
- Reconciliation in the War of Symbols: Ground Zero, the Islamic Center and the Florida Church Huffington Post.September 2010.
- Civil Society-Military Relations in Afghanistan. US Institute of Peace. September 2010.
- What Washington Should Learn From the Death of Aid Workers in Afghanistan Huffington Post. August 2010.
- Supreme Court Ruling Impacts Peacebuilding in Afghanistan Huffington Post. July 2010.
- Civil Society and the US Government in Conflict-Affected Regions: Building Better Relations for Peacebuilding. Woodrow Wilson Center. June 2010.
- Peacebuilding in US Foreign Assistance . February 2010.
- A Diplomatic Surge in Afghanistan? Common Ground News Service. 26 January 2010.
- Missing Elements of a Comprehensive Strategy in Afghanistan . Huffington Post. November 2009.
- God’s Security Strategy. Sojourners Magazine.November 2009.
- The Costs of Drone Strikes </a. Huffington Post. October 2009.
- Quantum Blur: Bringing Clarity to Civil-Military Relationships in a 3D World Monday Developments InterAction. August 2009.
- “God’s Security Strategy: Reconciliation Up, Out, and Down” Yale Divinity School Reflections May 2009.
- Security from the Ground Up: Civil Society and the Security-Development Nexus Journal of International Peace Operation. May 1, 2009.
- Afghan civil society speak out on US policy. Common Ground News Service. February 3, 2009.
- A “right” to defence is not a “strategy” for peace. Common Ground News Service.15 January 2009.
- Climate Change and Conflict Prevention: Hope for the Best, Prepare for the Worst. Monday Developments InterAction. July 2008.
- Negotiation –not strikes – needed for Iran
- Strategic Arts-based Peacebuilding
- The Two Wars in Iraq: Ours and Theirs
- When and Why to Use the Media for Peacebuilding
- Civilian foreign-aid agencies neglected as DoD role grows
- Redeeming the Powers, Redeeming Ourselves
- Security and Coexistence
- Leveraging “3D” Security: From Rhetoric to Reality
- Military Support to Peacebuilding. Reserve Officer’s Association. George Mason University. November 14, 2013.
- Where Religion and Peacebuilding Meet National Security. Keynote Speaker. Washington Theological Consortium Tachmindji Event for Interfaith Dialogue. American University. October 20, 2013.
- Civil Society and the US Governments Strategic Dialogue. Panelist. Woodrow Wilson Center for International Scholars. May 17, 2012.
- Civil Society and the US Military: Problems and Prospects. April 13, 2012.
- Designing a Comprehensive Peace Process in Afghanistan. Panelist. Chatham House, London. February 20, 2012.
- An Afghan Peace Process. London School of Economics. February 2012.
- National Security from the Outside In. Panelist. Stimson Center in Washington DC. December 5, 2011.
- International Models for Stability Operations. Panelist. National Defense University’s annual conference. November 30, 2011
- Designing an Afghan Peace Process in Comparative Perspective. Panelist. US Institute of Peace. November 29, 2011.
- “Rethinking US National Interests after 9/11” James Madison University. 9/11 Conference. October 10, 2011.
- “US Support for an Afghan Peace Process” Congressional Testimony in front of House Progressive Caucus. October 6, 2011.
- “Afghan Civil Society and a Comprehensive Peace Process.” Panelist. Washington, DC: U.S. Institute of Peace. July 7, 2011.
- “Religion, Peacebuilding & Feminism.” Presenter. Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic. June 26, 2011.
- “Civil Society Peacebuilding and Human Security.” Panelist. Kingston, Jamaica: World Council of Churches. May 23, 2011.
- “Civil Society: Confronting Terrorists & Tyrants” Congressional Briefing. Charity and Securiy Network. Panelist. Washington DC. April 4, 2011.
- “A Comprehensive Peace Process in Afghanistan.” Keynote Address. University of San Diego. March 30, 2011.
- “Complex Emergencies and the Responsibility to Protect” in Partnering for Change conference. Winnipeg, Manitoba. March 18, 2011.
- “Civil-Military Roadmap on Human Security” Conflict Prevention and Resolution Forum. Panelist. Washington DC. March 8, 2011.
- “Civil Society Conflict Management and Whole of Government National Security”. Kennesaw State University. February 24-25, 2011.
- “How a Mennonite Came to Work with the Military” Keeney Peace Lecture. Keynote. Bluffton College. January 25, 2011.
- “Civil Society-Military Transitions and Human Security” Transitions Conference. Army War College. Panelist. November 18, 2010.
- “Civil Society Peacebuilding: Security From the Ground Up.” Vaclav Havel Symposium. Keynote. Minneapolis/St. Paul. October 6, 2010.
- “Conflict Management and Civil Society” Air Force Conference. Panelist. Washington DC. September 24, 2010.
- “A Comprehensive Peace Process for Afghanistan” National Defense University. Panelist. March 2010.
- “A Comprehensive Peace Process for Afghanistan” Pathways to Peace Conference. Panelist. Kabul, Afghanistan.April 2010.
- “A New Security Framework.” Panel Moderator. Conflict Prevention and Resolution Forum. Washington, DC. April 14, 2009.
- 3D Security and Peacebuilding. Keynote Speaker. University of Notre Dame Peace Conference. April 3, 2009.
- Peacebuilding and the Federal Government. Panelist. Department for Peace Campaign/Peace Alliance National Conference. Arlington, Virginia. March 20, 2009.
- Whole of Government Conflict Prevention. Panelist. Joint Urban Warriors/Joint Forces Command.
- Military Support for Reconciliation. Joint Forces Command. Quantico, Virginia. February 24-25.
- 3D Security. Keynote speaker. Mary Baldwin College. Staunton, Virginia. November 4, 2008.
- Whole of Community Conflict Prevention. Moderator. 3D Security Initiative Conference. Capital Hill, Washington, DC. October 30, 2008.
- “Prospects for Peace in Iraq.” Panel with Guardian journalist Jonathan Steele and USIP Paul Hughs. Search for Common Ground/John Hopkins University. Washington DC. 75 attendees. March 18, 2008.
- “Security, Policy, and the Middle East.” Lecture and Dialogue. James Madison University. 100 attendees. Harrisonburg, Virginia. March 11, 2008.
- “Using Aikido in Congress: Human and Environmental Security” Keynote Address. Ecumenical Advocacy Days. Washington DC. 1000 attendees. March 8.
- “Peacebuilding in Iraq.” Lecture and Dialogue. Mennonite Peace and Justice Network. 40 attendees. Washington DC. March 7, 2008.
- “Conflict Prevention and Security.” Keynote Woolman Peace Lecture Series. George Fox University. Oregon. March 4, 2008.
- “Dancing in the Dragon’s Jaws: A Pacifist Amongst the Policymakers” Chapel Presentation. George Fox University, March 4, 2008.
- “Conflict Prevention and Immigration” Catholic Social Ministry Conference. Washington DC. 200 attendees. February 26, 2007.
- “3D Security and Conflict Prevention” Quaker Annual Meeting, Dayton, Virginia. 50 attendees. November 10, 2007.
- “3D Security and Conflict Prevention” Lyceum Keynote. Harrisonburg, Virginia. 70 attendees. November 9, 2007.
- “Climate Change and Conflict Prevention” Panelist. Fulbright Annual Conference. Washington DC. 500 attendees. November 3, 2007.
- “Diplomacy and Development in Security” University of Pittsburgh. 250 attendees. October 12, 2007.
- “3D Security and US Foreign Policy” Young Leaders Summit. Lexington, Virginia 100 attendees. July 12, 2007.
- “Inter-religious Peacebuilding” Harvard Divinity School. 100 attendees. May 22, 2007.
- “Strategies for peace in Iraq and the world”. Rockhill Community Center., Perkasie, Pennsylvania. 250 attendees. May 20, 2007.
- “UN Peacebuilding and US Security” Quaker Pennwoods Retirement Community. 40 attendees. May 21, 2007.
US Foreign Policy and How It Affects Americans. Harrisonburg, Virginia. 130 attendees. April 10, 2007.
- “Conflict Prevention and Peacebuilding” Ecumenical Advocacy Days Conference. Washington DC. 75 attendees. March 11, 2007.
- “Forum on Iraq: Encouraging Partnership, Creating Movement.” Panel Discussion at Eastern Mennonite University. 150 attendees. February 19, 2007.
- “3D Security: Development, Diplomacy and Defense.” Presentation to Peace Alliance Annual Conference. 740 attendees. February 4, 2007.
- “3D Security and the US Peace Movement.” Presentation to Veterans for Peace, Rockingham County, Virginia. December 7, 2006.
- “3D Security in the Next Congress” Panelist. Princeton University, New Jersey. November 12, 2006.
- “3D Security: From Rhetoric to Reality in US Foreign Policy” University of Maryland. November 2, 2006.
- “Civil Society’s Role in the U.N. Peacebuilding Commission.” Opening Address. United Nations Seminar. New York City. September 5, 2006.
- “Balancing the Security Toolkit.” Mahatma Gandhi Keynote Lecture. James Madison University, Harrisonburg, Virginia. April 12, 2006.
- “Balancing the Security Toolkit.” Harvard Law School. Boston, MA. April 5, 2006.
- “Dancing in the Dragon’s Jaws.” Brandeis University. Boston, MA. April 5, 2006.
- “Peacebuilding Terminology and Communications Strategy.” International Studies Association Annual Conference. San Diego, CA. March 21, 2006.
- “Balancing the Security Toolkit.” Methodist Peace and Justice National Conference. Washington, DC. March 9, 2006.
- “Dancing in the Dragon’s Jaws.” Peacebuilding Conference. University of Toronto, Canada. February 4, 2006.
- “Widening the Security Lexicon: The 3D Approach.” Keynote speaker. Peace and Security Legislative Strategy Retreat. Airlie House, Virginia. January 9, 2006.
- “Youth and Peacebuilding.” Panel discussant. Academy for Educational Development. Washington, DC. November 21, 2005.
- “How Conflict Prevention Organizations Work in Post-War Contexts.” Panel presentation at Closing the Gap between Early Warning and Early Action to Prevent Conflict: Towards a Common Agenda. Roundtable Co-Sponsored by the Department of State’s Office for the Coordinator of Reconstruction and Stabilization, U.S. Institute of Peace, Washington, DC. November 8, 2005.
- “Peacebuilding and Environmental Sustainability.” Panel presentation at Working Group on Environment and the Future. Washington, DC. November 4, 2005.
- “Civil-Military Coordination: Reflections from Iraq” Panel presentation at Civil-Military Coordination Working Group. National Defense University, Fort McNare. October 28, 2005.
- “Building Peace: Beyond Pacifism?” Keynote Address. Historic Peace Church Conference. The Courage to be Nonviolent. Indianapolis, Indiana. September 8, 2005.
- “Economic and Political Security: A Human Security Perspective.” Panel presentation at Human Security session at United Nations Department of Political Information-NGO Conference. New York City. September 7, 2005.
- “Conflict Prevention Security Strategies” Invited lecture at Governor’s School for International Studies. University of Pittsburgh. Pennsylvania.. July 7, 2005.
- “Inter-Faith Peacebuilding.” March 8, 2005. Public speech and dialogue. Ecumenical Centre for Research, Education, and Advocacy. Suva, Fiji.
- “Patriotism and Dialogue Post 9-11: Rethinking Security” April 21, 2004. Invited public lecture in Community Conversations since 9/11 series. Montgomery College, Maryland.
- “Moralizing Language and Security: Good and Evil in Political Rhetoric.” December 1, 2003. Invited public lecture in Community Conversations since 9/11 series. Montgomery College, Maryland.
- “Frameworks for Strategic Peacebuilding” November 5-7, 2003.Workshop at New Paths for Peace: Interfield Collaboration Conference. University of Minnesota, Milwaukee.
*Pax Bellissima: Photography, Painting and Pottery as Reflective Arts in Peacebuilding
Art show at Eastern Mennonite University, November 5, 2012
Art show at Alliance for Peacebuilding, Washington DC December 10, 2012
Shalom Mennonite Church Sunday School teacher
UN Development Program
Member, International Advisory Group on Infrastructures for Peace
Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Netherlands.
Member, International Advisory Committee, April 2014-present
-Reviewer for proposals to the Security and Rule of Law (SRoL) in Fragile and Conflict-Affected Settings (FCASand the Knowledge Platform Security & Rule of Law
US Institute of Peace
Reviewer, Afghanistan Grant Program
Women Donors Network
Rockefeller Brothers Fund
Connect US Fund
Fulbright Fellow 2002-2003
Ploughshares Foundation Mother for Peace 2007
DIY Foreign Policy Hero, Yes! Magazine, May 19, 2008
Vaclev Havel Civil Society Fellow 2010
George Mason University School for Conflict Analysis & Resolution Alumni of the Year, 2012
Conrad Grebel University College Alumni of the Year, 2014
Alliance for Peacebuilding
Global Partnership for the Prevention of Armed Conflict
Association for Conflict Resolution