Alison Giffen

Former Senior Associate

This is the profile of a former staff member, affiliate, intern, or guest author. Biographical information is not maintained and may be out of date.

Alison Giffen is a Senior Associate and Co-director of Stimson’s Future of Peace Operations program and leads Stimson’s Civilians in Conflict project. Giffen is an expert on peace operations and the prevention of violence against civilians, including in its most extreme manifestation: mass atrocities. She has more than 15 years of policy, advocacy, and research experience. Giffen joined Stimson in 2009 after working in Sudan to design, implement, and coordinate an international NGO’s global strategy to secure civilian rights to protection. As a policy analyst for the Open Society Institute, Giffen promoted multilateral US foreign engagement and US support of UN reform initiatives. She was Project Director of a groundbreaking study on ex-combatants in Sierra Leone, and was the founding director of the US Office on Colombia, an international coalition of groups monitoring military assistance to and promoting peace and human rights in Colombia.

Giffen received her MA in international affairs from the School for International and Public Affairs at Columbia University, and received her BA in diplomacy and world affairs from Occidental College.

 

 

Selected Publications

‘Will They Protect Us for the Next 10 Years?’ Challenges Faced by the UN Peacekeeping Mission in South Sudan,” Stimson Center and Sudd Institute, 2014.

UN Facing Unprecedented Challenge in South Sudan,” CNN Opinion, 2014.

Kerry Should Use First African Visit to Shore Up Support for Peacekeeping Missions,” Stimson Center, 2014.

How the UN Should Handle South Sudan,” CNN World, 2013.

Community Perceptions as a Priority in Protection and Peacekeeping,” Stimson Center, 2013.

UN Integration and Humanitarian Space: An Independent Study Commissioned by the UN Integration Steering Group,” ODI/HPG and Stimson Center, 2011.

Addressing the Doctrinal Deficit: Developing Guidance to Prevent and Respond to Widespread or Systematic Attacks on Civilians,” Stimson Center, 2010.

Enhancing the Protection of Civilians in Peace Operations: From Policy to Practice (A Background Paper Prepared for the Australian Government’s Asia Pacific Civil-Military Centre of Excellence),” Stimson Center, 2011.

Challenges of Strengthening the Protection of Civilians in Multidimensional Peace Operations,” International Forum for the Challenges of Peace Operations, 2010.

Research & Writing

Stimson in the News
Alison Giffen quoted in The Associated Press on the U.N. zero tolerance policy

The U.N. peacekeepers arrive; months later, some leave infants behind. Now the United Nations has quietly started to offer DNA testing to help prove paternity claims and ensure support for the so-called “peacekeeper babies.” -snip- “I don’t see any dow…

Stimson in the News
Alison Giffen quoted in 100 Reporters on UN Sex Crimes

Activists in New York called Wednesday for the lifting of immunity for United Nations peacekeeping staff accused of sex crimes, saying the current system was permitting human rights abuses in conflict zones around the world. The campaign by the organiz…

Report
“Will They Protect Us For The Next 10 Years?” Challenges Faced By UN Peacekeeping Mission

The United Nations faces an unprecedented challenge in South Sudan. The country has been devastated by the civil war that broke out in December 2013, just two and a half years after South Sudan gained its independence from Sudan. It is alleged that arm…

Issue Brief
Community Perceptions as a Priority in Protection and Peacekeeping

By Alison Giffen – Perceptions influence judgment, decision-making and action. They inform an individual’s decision to flee from or submit to violence, to denounce a perpetrator despite risk of retaliation, or to take justice into their own hands. The…

Report
UN Integration And Humanitarian Space

An Independent Study Commissioned by the UN Integration Steering Group For over two decades, the United Nations has developed policies and practices to create greater coherence within the UN system . Today, UN integration is a formal policy aimed at ma…

Report
Addressing the Doctrinal Deficit

For a number of years, Stimson research has focused on identifying the obstacles that multilateral organizations and individual states face in preventing and responding to widespread and systematic violence against civilians. The research found that th…

Report
Addressing the Doctrinal Deficit: Developing Guidance to Prevent and Respond to Widespread or Systematic Attacks Against Civilians

For a number of years, Stimson research has focused on identifying the obstacles that multilateral organizations and individual states face in preventing and responding to widespread and systematic violence against civilians. The research found that th…

Book
Military Planning to Protect Civilians: Proposed Guidance for United Nations Peacekeeping Operations

For a number of years, Stimson research has focused on identifying the obstacles that multilateral organizations and individual states face in preventing and responding to widespread and systematic violence against civilians. The research found that th…

Research Pages
Addressing The Doctrinal Deficit

For a number of years, Stimson research has focused on identifying the obstacles that multilateral organizations and individual states face in preventing and responding to widespread and systematic violence against civilians. The research found that th…

Policy Paper
Considerations for a New Peacekeeping Operation in South Sudan

Following the secession of South Sudan on July 9, 2011, preventing violence against civilians in the new state and along its northern border will remain a priority – if not the primary challenge – for the international community. South Sudan is rife wi…

Policy Paper
Challenges of Strengthening the Protection of Civilians in Multidimensional Peace Operations

Over the last decade, UN peacekeeping operations have more frequently been deployed into complex environments where there is little but an unstable peace to keep and where former belligerents and other armed groups regularly visit violence upon civilia…

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