Wilson Center

Institution: ]

Wilson Center (1968; Washington; ~150 staff; wilsoncenter.org)

Also known as the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars this globally engaged research institution has been founded as the official memorial to President Woodrow Wilson. It looks into relevant global issues like environmental security and peace building, sustainable development and climate resilience, as well as population and environmental dynamic.

Major Programs and Projects:

A number of programs, including:

  • The Digital Futures Project – Dedicated “to understanding the ways in which emerging technologies shape policymaking.” This project tries to be “a map to the constraints and opportunities generated by innovations around the corner – a resource for policymakers navigating a world they didn’t build.”
  • The Global Risk and Resilience ProgramSeeks “to support the development of inclusive, resilient networks in local communities facing global change.” They provide “a platform for sharing lessons, mapping knowledge, and linking people and ideas” to “empower policymakers, practitioners, and community members to participate in the global dialogue on sustainability and resilience” The program contains four main components: The Environmental Change and Security Program,  the China Environment Forum, the Maternal Health Initiative, and the Urban Sustainability Laboratory.
  • Global Women’s Leadership Initiative: A platform that tries to connect “current and emerging women leaders, raising the profile of critical issues, advancing inclusive policies, and bringing new research to the forefront in support of the goal of 50% of all decision-making positions in public service held by women by 2050.”
  • History and Public Policy Program: Focuses “on the relationship between history and policy making and seeks to foster open, informed and non-partisan dialogue on historically relevant issues. The Program manages DigitalArchive.org, an award-winning research tool with over 10,000 primary source documents; publishes the popular international history blog Sources and Methods and other long-form works; and regularly convenes public events, academic conferences, and graduate student training sessions on historical topics, including the weekly Washington History Seminar series, the Summer Institute on Conducting Archival Research, and the Nuclear History Boot Camp.” The program includes the Cold War International History Project (CWIHP),  the North Korea International Documentation Project (NKIDP), and the Nuclear Proliferation International History Project (NPIHP).
  • Science and Technology Innovation Program: Focuses “on understanding bottom-up, public innovation; top-down, policy innovation; and, on supporting responsible and equitable practices at the point where new technology and existing political, social, and cultural processes converge. Project areas include: AI, biodiversity, citizen science,  cybersecurity,  and serious games.”


  • Digital Archives
  • A video on demand platform with briefings, conversations, and reports
  • Multiple series of podcasts on global issues
  • New Security Beat – A blog concerned with the interconnection of sustainability and security
  • A extensive library of books published through the Woodrow Wilson Center Press
  • The Wilson Quarterly – This online magazine takes “a deep and satisfying dive into a single topic or theme that is shaping our world, presenting a compelling range of angles, voices, and visuals.”
  • Environmental Change and Security Program Publications -Bridging Research and Policy on Climate Change and Conflict
    • Navigating Complexity: Climate, Migration, and Conflict in a Changing World (Nov. 2016, 44p.) – Climate change is expected to contribute to the movement of people through a variety of means. There is also significant concern climate change may influence violent conflict. The understanding of these dynamics is evolving quickly and sometimes producing surprising results. This report tries to clear up some misconceptions about why people move, how many move, and what effects they have.
    • Backdraft: The Conflict Potential of Climate Change Adaptation and Mitigation (May 2013, 60p.)- Focuses on how efforts to reduce the carbon footprint and lower humanities vulnerability to climate change could exacerbate existing conflicts. It asks the questions “How do we ensure mitigation and adaptation strategies do not create new conflicts? How can policymakers anticipate and minimize these potential risks? More ambitiously, can these efforts actually help build peace?”
    • Harvesting Peace: Food Security, Conflict, and Cooperation (Sep. 2013, 56 p.) –  This report looks into the “potential influence of global food prices on social and political instability. Compelling and provocative headlines have suggested that there is a direct relationship between food insecurity and conflict. However, Harvesting Peace: Food Security, Conflict, and Cooperation – the latest edition of ECSP Report – finds that the story is more complicated than those claims often imply.”

Leadership: Jane Harman (Director, President, CEO)
Budget: ~$32.9m

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