Mass Violence and Atrocities | Readout and Recommendations

Structuring the US Government to Prevent Atrocities: Considerations for an Atrocities Prevention Board

December 2011


In August 2011, the Obama administration mandated the creation of a standing interagency Atrocities Prevention Board to coordinate a whole-of-government approach to mass atrocity prevention and response.

As part of its 52nd annual Strategy for Peace Conference, the Stanley Center convened some 30 US government officials and mass atrocity specialists recently to discuss the prospects and challenges confronting the ongoing interagency review that will inform the design and approach of this freshly mandated structure.

The dialogue, chaired by Ambassador David Scheffer, considered immediate and future needs of an Atrocities Prevention Board, as well as ways in which concurrent implementation of the State Department and the United States Agency for International Development’s (USAID) 2010 Quadrennial Diplomacy and Development Review (QDDR) might reinforce the Atrocities Prevention Board’s broader interagency process. Joining external expertise with perspectives that spanned the US government interagency structure, participants strove to isolate shifts that would most effectively promote US government efforts to prevent mass atrocity crimes.

This policy dialogue brief offers an overview of the conclusions and recommendations of roundtable participants.

About the conference:
Each year the Stanley Center convenes the Strategy for Peace Conference on a wide range of US national security and foreign policy issues with experts from the public and private sectors who meet in autonomous roundtables. These meetings are designed with an eye toward the future of American relations with the world, the results of which are published in nonattributed policy dialogue briefs and widely distributed.