Lauren Van Metre

Director, Peace, Climate and Democratic Resilience

Lauren Van Metre is a peace and security expert, having worked on major diplomatic initiatives and peace and conflict resolution processes at the Pentagon, the State Department, the US Institute of Peace and the Atlantic Council.  She joined NDI in 2018 and, in 2022, was asked to lead the Institute's Peace, Climate and Democratic Resilience division, which will develop innovative democracy and governance approaches to some of democracy's major challenges -- malign influence, the climate crisis and violence.  Dr. Van Metre is a leading expert on community and democratic resilience, having conducted research and led field initiatives on building the strength and capacity of communities and governments to resist different forms of shock, such as violent extremism, hybrid warfare and environmental degradation.  She has published frequently on issues of governance and fragility, including, most recently, Solving the Failure of Governments to Respond to the Climate Crisis, Strengthening Democracy is a Better Counterterrorism Strategy, Strengthening Democracy with the Global Fragility Act,  A Typology of Community-Based Armed Groups:  From Self-Defense to Vigilantism, Community Resilience to Violent Extremism in Kenya, and two Issue Briefs for the Atlantic Council -- The Trip from Donbas:  Ukraine's Pressing Need to Defend its Veterans and Ukraine's Internally Displaced Persons Hold a Key to Peace.

Dr. Van Metre is a non-resident Senior Fellow at the Atlantic Council where she writes frequently for Ukraine Alert, and, an Associate Fellow at the University of Louvain la Neuve in Belgium.  She is also an adjunct professor at The Elliott School of International Affairs at George Washington University where she teaches on strategy and leadership in the Master's in International Policy and Practice program.  

Dr. Van Metre holds a Ph.D. from Johns Hopkins University's School for Advanced International Studies and an M.A. in Russian and East European Studies from Georgetown University.

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