The International Center on Nonviolent Conflict (ICNC) mourns the loss of Dr. Peter Ackerman, ICNC’s Founding Chair, who died on April 26, 2022.
Peter was a visionary in the field of civil resistance, earning his PhD in 1976 from the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy. His dissertation, titled “Strategic Aspects of Nonviolent Resistance Movements,” focused on a topic that would animate his work in this field for over forty years. Author of several key publications on the role of strategy and skills in civil resistance campaigns, he passionately committed himself to advance knowledge and understanding of how civil resistance can achieve rights, freedom, and justice around the world.
Peter’s activities and philanthropy touched people internationally. He co-founded the Albert Einstein Institution in 1983 to further develop the field of civil resistance, and went on to co-found the International Center on Nonviolent Conflict in 2002. He supported groundbreaking research, workshops, the development of award-winning documentary films, translations of educational resources, a growing community of practitioners and scholars, and decades of projects and programs related to civil resistance, democracy, and human rights.
ICNC Senior Advisor Hardy Merriman stated: “Peter dedicated himself to one of the greatest drivers of freedom and human rights in the world. His contributions, partnership, and bedrock support of this field are a part of his vast legacy. I know that dissidents, organizers, scholars, and members of the policy community will continue to draw from the resources that he created and enabled, and they will be more effective as a result.
“Peter will be deeply missed. This field has lost a giant. To me and so many others, Peter was a colleague, a mentor, and a dear friend. It was a privilege to work with him as he championed his causes fearlessly. We honor his life by doing the same for a more just and democratic world. Thank you Peter.”