Peter Ackerman, the founding chair of the International Center on Nonviolent Conflict (ICNC), has announced that the Center has a new president – Hardy Merriman, former vice president of the organization. On January 1, 2015 he succeeded Jack DuVall, who was president for 13 years since the organization was founded in January 2002.
“When we established ICNC,” Dr. Ackerman said, “we wanted to create new ways to teach and disseminate everywhere the critical knowledge of how civil resistance movements and campaigns can win rights, democracy, justice and freedom. We’ve done that, and more – with the vital leadership of outgoing president Jack DuVall, the dedicated staff at ICNC, and the help of civil society leaders, scholars, teachers, organizers, activists and independent journalists in more than 70 countries around the world.
“In Hardy Merriman, we have a new president with extensive knowledge, experience and vision to lead ICNC into a new decade of growth. He is one of the top thinkers on civil resistance who combines both practical and theoretical knowledge. His nearly 13 years of work in the field has been marked by deep competence and versatility – from leading workshops for activists, presenting to scholars and publishing writing for diverse audiences.”
Hardy Merriman stated: “I am honored to serve as President of ICNC, and thank Peter Ackerman for his confidence and myriad of contributions to the field of civil resistance. I also want to thank Jack DuVall for his strong, creative leadership in growing ICNC from its beginning to its present status as the leading international organization focusing on civil resistance. I am committed to furthering ICNC’s support of groundbreaking research, knowledge sharing and development of educational resources about civil resistance, one of the most powerful means there is for oppressed people to struggle for rights, freedom and justice.”
Among ICNC’s many collaborative programs have been its annual Summer Institute in the Advanced Study of Nonviolent Conflict at the Fletcher School of Law & Diplomacy at Tufts University; the James Lawson Institute for Nonviolent Civil Resistance in Nashville, Tennessee; the Oxford University Project on Power Politics & Civil Resistance (2007-2012); online courses in the dynamics of nonviolent conflict with Rutgers University and the U.S. Institute of Peace; support for research that has led to books such as Why Civil Resistance Works: The Strategic Logic of Nonviolent Conflict, by Drs. Erica Chenoweth and Maria Stephan (Columbia University Press) and Curtailing Corruption: People Power for Accountability and Justice, by Shaazka Beyerle (Lynne Rienner Publishers); support for documentary films produced by Steve York, including Orange Revolution and Confronting the Truth; field seminars for activists and organizers from Egypt, Guatemala, Palestine, Syria, Tibet, West Papua, Western Sahara and more than 20 other countries; and academic seminars at more than 30 institutions such as Cambridge University, Central European University, Collegium Civitas (Warsaw), the International Peace & Security Institute’s Bologna Symposium, Peace Research Institute Oslo (PRIO), Sydney University, the University of Hong Kong, Universidad del Rosario (Bogota, Colombia) and Yale University.
In passing the baton of leading the center, Jack DuVall said that “Hardy Merriman will give ICNC both the vigor and steadiness which it needs to meet the challenges ahead. He has the intelligence, the practicality and the drive to shift ICNC into a higher gear and be a fair as well as a spirited leader. I don’t have to wish him the best because I know he’ll achieve it.”
For more on Mr. Merriman, you can read his biography here.