Cortright named policy director at Kroc Institute

Author: Joan Fallon

David Cortright

David Cortright has been named director of policy studies at the University of Notre Dame’s Kroc Institute for International Peace Studies.

In his new position, Cortright will work to raise the visibility and strengthen the impact of the policy-relevant research of Kroc faculty and fellows among key decision-makers in government, the United Nations and other national and international policy-making bodies.

Cortright is a graduate of Notre Dame, an Army veteran and a long-time scholar, teacher and advocate of nonviolence. He is an expert on nuclear weapons policy, prevention of conflict through economic sanctions and counter-terrorism.

Cortright plans to expand work in these areas, while encouraging the development of new policy studies on issues critical to peace and human security. He will assume his new role at the Kroc Institute in July, and already is planning a major conference on nuclear nonproliferation, to be held in Helsinki, Finland, in October.

“I’m thrilled to take this position at Kroc at a time when faculty and fellows are generating so much new insight into the causes of war and ways to build peace,” Cortright said. “There’s never been a more important time to address the problems of armed conflict and nuclear danger. We have a real opportunity to make significant progress.”

Cortright is stepping down from his position as director of the Fourth Freedom Forum in Goshen, Ind.; he will become chairman of the Forum’s board of directors. He replaces Gerard F. Powers, who will become director of Catholic peacebuilding studies at the Kroc Institute.

Cortright will continue to teach Notre Dame courses in peace studies and nonviolent social change for undergraduate and graduate students.

“Policy work enriches education, because students are hungry for teaching that is relevant to the real world,” he said. “They want to know: What’s going on at the U.N.? How are governments dealing with Iraq and Iran? What should we do in Afghanistan? These are the topics of the most enthusiastic classroom discussions.”

At the same time, students enrich policy research, Cortright said.

“When my students conduct research and write about issues such as training the military and peacebuilders to prevent conflict in the Philippines, or the impact of natural resource extraction on the war in the Congo, I learn as much from them as they do from me.”
Cortright is the author or editor of 15 books, including “Uniting Against Terror: Cooperative Nonmilitary Responses to the Global Military Threat” and “Peace: A History of Movements & Ideas.” He has advised various agencies of the United Nations, the Carnegie Commission on Preventing Deadly Conflict, the International Peace Academy and the MacArthur Foundation. Along with his research collaborator and Kroc professor George A. Lopez, he has provided research and consulting services to the Foreign Ministry of Sweden, the Norwegian Institute of International Affairs and the Foreign Ministry of Germany.

Contact: David Cortright, 574-298-8584 (international cell) or