Our Mission

The mission of the Ford Institute for Human Security is to promote effective responses to severe threats faced by individuals and their communities as a result of conflict and deprivation. To that end, the Institute conducts research on the causes and consequences of political violence and economic underdevelopment, and works to advance the idea that governments have a sovereign responsibility to protect their people.

Upcoming Events
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Director's Message

Human security draws on studies of economics, governance, human rights, justice, peace and war to address a fundamental question: how can we protect people from severe threats to their lives and livelihoods?

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Featured Video
GSPIA's Ford Institute presents Dr. I. William Zartman

The Ford Institute welcomed guest lecturer Dr. I. William Zartman, the Jacob Blaustein Distinguished Professor Emeritus of International Organization and Conflict Resolution and former Director of the Conflict Management and African Studies Programs, at the Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies, Johns Hopkins University, Washington, DC.

Recent News
October 06, 2015

By Jennifer Bert, (PhD student & MPIA '10)

On Sept. 21, 2015, the Ford Institute for Human Security welcomed Dr. Des Gasper to give this year’s Saul M. Katz Lecture titled “Human Security and Human Rights: Competitive or Complementary?” Dr. Gasper is a professor at the International Institute of Social Studies (ISS) in The Hague, part of Erasmus University Rotterdam in the Netherlands. He delivered a talk to a standing-room only crowd based his current paper-in-progress responding to a recent article by Rhoda E. Howard-Hassmann entitled “Human Security, Undermining Human Rights?” that draws also on two recent studies for the UN Development Programme and on research projects exploring human security approaches to migration and climate change. 

October 02, 2015

By Allison Reefer, (MID '15)

The Ford Institute for Human Security recently kicked-off its annual fall speaker series by welcoming alumnus Neal Walker (MPIA ‘82) to GSPIA.  Walker currently serves as the Humanitarian Coordinator, UN Resident Coordinator, and Representative of the UN Development Program (UNDP) in Ukraine. His son, Neal S. Walker, is currently a second-year student in the MID program. 

September 28, 2015

GSPIA Professor and former director of the Ford Institute for Human Security, Taylor Seybolt, was recently quoted in Deutsche Welle (DW), Germany's international broadcaster. The article discusses western intervention in Syria and the strategy of using air strikes to protect citizens. According to the article, Dr. Seybolt insisted that, "Bombing people to save them isn't really a good practice. The talk about humanitarian bombing is not focused on a particular safe area or population, it's just sort of a broad statement that we're going to try to help people so that they stay were they are rather than come across to Europe."

September 23, 2015

GSPIA professor Jennifer Murtazashvili co-authored a United States Institute of Peace (USIP) Special Report this week entitled "Women's Leadership Roles in Afghanistan." The report examines the state of women's leadership in Afghanistan and is based on interviews with more than two hundred academics, politicians, entrepreneurs, journalists, teachers, students, and civil society activists.

September 10, 2015

Associate Professor Shanti Gamper-Rabindran will speak at the Climate Change conference at Duquesne University on Sept. 30 and Oct. 1. The conference, which is free and open to the public, addresses scientific, economic, political, legal and ethical issues related to climate change. The conference is timely with the imminent 2015 Paris Climate Conference, which “will, for the first time in over 20 years of UN negotiations, aim to achieve a legally binding and universal agreement on climate, with the aim of keeping global warming below 2°C.” Presenters are prominent scholars from across the United States, including Mary Wood, Director of the, Environmental and Natural Resources Law Program, University of Oregon, and Richard Alley, Professor of Environmental Science, Penn State University.

Faculty Research
Counting Civilian Casualties: An Introduction to Recording and Estimating Nonmilitary Deaths in Conflict (Studies in Strategic Peacebuilding)

June 2013 marked the publication of Counting Civilian Casualties by Oxford University Press, in both hard cover and paperback editions.  GSPIA faculty member Taylor Seybolt was co-editor of the book.  He also authored the chapter: “Significant Numbers: Civilian Casualties and Strategic Peacebuilding”, as well as co-authored the Introduction and Conclusion.  The purpose of the book is to make the science of casualty recording and estimation more assessable to the practitioners who need it (e.g. human rights organizations, truth and reconciliation commissions, humanitarian relief agencies).

Alumni Spotlight
Lindsay Angelo Writes Award Winning Grant for Bright Kids Uganda

Thanks to a summer internship and the writing skills of Lindsay Angelo, (MPA ’15), a research assistant with the Ford Institute for Human Security, Bright Kids Uganda has been awarded a $50,000 grant from the Diehl Family Foundation.  The grant will be used as “seed money” to fund new programs designed to help Bright Kids become more financially self-sustainable. 


Ford Institute for Human Security
3930 Wesley W. Posvar Hall, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 15260