Hal Saunders, as director of international affairs at the Kettering Foundation, plays a key role in the foundation’s international studies. These have included the Dartmouth Conferences, the US/China dialogue, and the International Civil Society Exchange.
Saunders, who was US assistant secretary of state for Near Eastern and South Asian Affairs between 1978 and 1981, is the architect of Sustained Dialogue, “a public peace process” designed to change relationships among those in deep-rooted human conflicts. As chairman and president of the International Institute for Sustained Dialogue (IISD), he conducted peace-making and peace-building dialogues during and following the civil war in Tajikistan, 1993–2007, as well as a three-year dialogue to improve relationships between the Muslim Arab heartland and the West. IISD is currently conducting a dialogue with participants from Armenia and Azerbaijan over Nagorno Karabakh, as well as a dialogue on national reconciliation with participants from across the political spectrum in Iraq. IISD continues to transfer Sustained Dialogue to the Institute for Democracy in South Africa and is the institutional base for the Sustained Dialogue Campus Network, now operating on some 15 college campuses.
Saunders is the author of A Public Peace Process: Sustained Dialogue to Transform Racial and Ethnic Conflicts (St. Martin’s Press, 1999) and Politics Is about Relationship: A Blueprint for the Citizens’ Century (Palgrave Macmillan, 2005).
Saunders received an AB from Princeton University and a PhD from Yale University.