Renowned peacebuilder joins University of Manchester

09 Aug 2013

The Secretary General of one of the world’s leading peacebuilding organisations is to join The University of Manchester’s Humanitarian and Conflict Response Institute.

Dan Smith
Dan Smith

Dan Smith OBE, who has lead International Alert since 2003, will become a part-time Professor of Peace and Conflict in January 2014, over four years.

He will be teaching students taking the Institute’s MA in Peacebuilding, as well as developing HCRI’s collaboration with International Alert.

International Alert is a 27-year-old NGO, which works with people affected by violent conflict, to improve their prospects of peace.

It has successfully advised governments, international organisations like the UN and multinational companies on how to improve their the policies and ways of working to increase the prospects of peace.

Dan Smith has held a number of senior positions, most notably as Director of the International Peace Research Institute in Oslo from 1993 to 2001.

He has also held fellowships at the Norwegian Nobel Institute and Hellenic Foundation for Foreign and European Policy, and was for over a decade the Chair of the Institute for War and Peace Reporting.

Dan has authored, co-authored and edited sixteen books including successive editions of The Atlas of War and Peace and The State of the World Atlas.

Responsible for over 100 journal articles and chapters in anthologies he is also regularly invited to advise governments and international organisations on policies and structures for peacebuilding.

In January this year he gave a seminar as part of the Institute’s 2012/13 speaker series, in which he looked at the flaws in the common understanding of peacebuilding that is often held by international donors.

He said: “I feel very honoured by this of course, but the most important thing about it is the partnership we are going to build with HCRI, linking research and action for peacebuilding, so we are better able to contribute to people’s well-being. Knowledge, analysis and understanding are a big part of our work and this will make them even stronger.”

Professor James Thompson, Executive Director of HCRI said: “The Humanitarian and Conflict Response Institute is delighted to welcome Dan Smith, Secretary General of International Alert to The University of Manchester. Dan has recently been appointed Professor of Peace and Conflict, and will contribute to MA teaching as well as research planning and design, bringing his lengthy experience of peacebuilding policy and practice to HCRI. HCRI and International Alert will be developing a range of innovative projects as part of their new relationship henceforth.”

Professor Keith Brown, Vice-President and Dean of the Faculty of Humanities said: “We'd like to welcome Dan Smith, Secretary General of International Alert, to The University of Manchester. As part of our strategy of appointing high profile public and policy figures to work alongside our academics and with our students, our relationship with IA will also bring new opportunities to advance research and practice in the field of peacebuilding and development.”

Notes for editors

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