Our Story

The WPF redefines peace through research, advocacy and engagement that creates pathways for non-violent futures.

Image of the Nile River in Sudan taken from space.
The Nile River, Sudan (NASA/GSFC/Jacques Descloitres, 2001)


The World Peace Foundation was established by Edwin Ginn, a Boston-based publisher of educational texts and an advocate for international peace. Initially created as the International School of Peace on July 12, 1910, the WPF was tasked with educating a global audience about “the waste and destructiveness of war and of preparation for war, its evil effects on present social conditions and on the well-being of future generations.” In the language of its time, the mandate also included promoting “international justice and the brotherhood of man… peace and goodwill among all mankind.”

Today, WPF remains committed to the vision of collective action and nonviolence. It also seeks to learn from the limitations of the past by fostering more inclusive approaches to achieving and sustaining peace. Through justice-informed research, we aim to change public conversations on pressing issues related to envisioning, creating and sustaining nonviolent futures.

Our Values

Shadows on a wall in yemen
Shadows, Yemen (Rod Waddington/Flickr, 2013)

As an operating foundation, we have independent and secure funding. This allows us to determine our agenda and take bold positions on policy issues.


We are small, so we join forces with like-minded individuals and organizations to enhance our research capabilities, amplify impact, and foster community.


We critically engage with imagined solutions. Our research is grounded in the productive friction where ideas meet lived realities.


We combine research rigor with active engagement. We advocate for an inclusive approach to policymaking that extends beyond traditional decision-makers.


This means accountability, above all, to the individuals and communities who are directly impacted by the issues we address. This approach guides our collaborations.

Our History

At the Seventh Annual meeting of the Lake Mohonk Conference on International Arbitration, Edwin Ginn posed a poignant question, “We spend hundreds of millions a year for war; can we afford to spend one million for peace?” In those years, there was a real belief that world peace was within reach.

Ginn becomes the first American to dedicate a million dollars to support peacemaking activities when he created the World Peace Foundation, originally conceived as the International School for Peace.

The WPF campaigned for the League of Nations, publishing reports and articles, and a World Court. The Fletcher School was founded and housed the WPF’s library. Director Leland Goodrich played a leading role in the UN’s founding conference in San Francisco in 1945 and helped draft the statute for the International Court of Justice.

The WPF founded the journal International Organization and promoted American research on international conflict resolution and disarmament, championing the UN, the ICJ and international humanitarian law.

Led by Robert Rotberg, the WPF was located at Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government, the WPF convened researchers and policymakers for vibrant discussions of failed states, humanitarian crises, and violent non-state actors.

The WPF began a new affiliation with the Fletcher School, under a new director and staff.

The original WPF mandate, when it was conceived as the International School of Peace.
The original WPF mandate (Kelsey Henquinet/WPF, 2024)
Poster titled The Dawn of Peace Disarmament showing a person with arms raised above their head
1932 poster from the WPF archives (WPF, 2011).
Member countries' flags in front of the UN building in New York.
Flags of the United Nations Member States (UN Photo/Yutaka Nagata, 1969)
Stack of books authored by former WPF Director Robert Rotberg.
Books authored by former WPF Director, Robert Rotberg (Kelsey Henquinet/WPF, 2024)
The Fletcher School at Tufts University (Jake Belcher/ Tufts University, 2023)


Does the WPF provide grants to other individuals or organizations?

We work collaboratively with others as part of programs that we establish, but we do not support outside projects, nor do we have a research grant-making program.

Does WPF take on interns or research assistants?

Yes, we do! Through our affiliation with The Fletcher School at Tufts University, we work with many students every year – almost exclusively graduate students from The Fletcher School.

How can I become involved in the WPF’s work?

Stay in touch with us by signing up for updates, following our blog, joining us for events, and following us on social media.

Does the WPF support student activities?

Yes! Fletcher student organizations can apply for funding to support public events. Details announced via the student email list.

Is the World Peace Foundation hiring staff positions?

Hiring for the World Peace Foundation is done through Tufts University, and any available positions are posted on Tufts University platforms.

What is the World Peace Foundation?

The World Peace Foundation is a 501(c)3 private operating foundation.

How do I donate to the WPF? Are donations tax deductible?

Please contact us if you would like to make a gift. World Peace Foundation is a registered IRS-qualified 501(c)3 nonprofit organization and donations should be tax deductible, however all tax related questions should be directed to a knowledgeable tax accountant.

How do I get in touch?

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