New York University’s Center on International Cooperation (CIC) has appointed Sarah F. Cliffe, who has held leadership positions at the United Nations and the World Bank, as its new director.


Cliffe replaces Bruce Jones, who now is the deputy director of the Brookings Institution’s Foreign Policy Program.

“I can attest to her passion for the issues, her dedication to her team and the people she works with, and her strategic and management skills,” says Jones, who was recently appointed to serve on the UN Secretary-General’s High-level Independent Panel of Experts on Peace Operations. “Her career has been concentrated where CIC has too, at the intersection between conflict and development; she brings the intellectual breadth, depth, and curiosity needed to help CIC grow.”

From 2002 to 2007, Cliffe headed the World Bank’s unit handling conflict-affected states and was centrally involved in helping the bank articulate a more effective policy toward peace-building and development. From 2007 to 2009, she was director of strategy and operations for the bank’s East Asia division.

From 2010 to 2011, Cliffe served as director for the World Bank’s World Development Report (WDR) process that resulted in the 2011 WDR on Conflict, Security, and Development. The document is widely considered to be a seminal work not only for the World Bank but also within the larger community dealing with the intersection between conflict and development.

That report was also recognized within the UN system as containing cutting-edge analysis and recommendations about how to organize nationally and internationally for both development and security.

Cliffe recently served as special advisor and assistant secretary general at the UN, leading discussions on reform around civilian capacity and institution building for peace operations. Cliffe, who held this post from 2011 to 2013, has continued working closely with critical country support operations, from Mali and Somalia to Myanmar.

Cliffe, who will also hold the position of senior fellow at CIC, will begin her tenure as CIC director on January 1st 2015. CIC’s acting director is Barnett Rubin.

Cliffe has a bachelor’s degree in history from Cambridge University and a master’s degree in international relations and international economic policy from Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs.

Recently, CIC has added the following to its fellows and staff:

• Sarah Hearn, associate director of Global Development Program (expertise: fragile states, peace building, and development)
• Jason Stearns, fellow (expertise: Democratic Republic of Congo)
• Varad Pande, fellow (expertise: sustainable development)
• Jorge Laguna-Celis, fellow (expertise: sustainable development)
• Ben Oppenheim, fellow (expertise: fragile states and transnational threats)
• Sagal Abshir, fellow (expertise: Somalia peace building)

Editor’s Note:
The Center on International Cooperation (CIC) creates the ideas, analysis and policies needed to transform international cooperation on leading global challenges, such as increasing peace and security, strengthening fragile states, securing strategic resources and tackling climate change. For more, please visit


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