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Carter Center Names Former Mediator as New Conflict Resolution Program Director


Deborah Hakes, 404-420-5124

Atlanta...Hrair Balian, an attorney with background in international conflict mediation and democratic governance for organizations including the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, United Nations, and International Crisis Group, is the new director of the Carter Center's Conflict Resolution Program.

As director, Mr. Balian will oversee the Program's efforts to monitor conflicts around the world and work with other Carter Center programs on human rights, democracy, the Americas, and China. Recent and planned Conflict Resolution Program initiatives include assisting post-conflict reconciliation in Liberia, confidence building among former enemies in Nepal, encouraging Middle-East peace processes, post-election mediation in Latin America, and conflict resolution capacity building at the African Union. 

"Hrair Balian's background in conflict resolution, human rights, and democratic governance fit well with the Center's work in fragile states and developing democracies," said John Stremlau, vice-president for Peace Programs at The Carter Center. "His experience will complement the integrated work of all our Peace Programs."

Mr. Balian most recently served as director for the office of the U.N. Secretary-General's High Representative for the Elections in Cote d'Ivoire, where he focused on facilitating and certifying democratic elections. Actively involved in crisis mitigation, Mr. Balian assisted in overcoming major political impediments and helped pave the way for political agreement and eventual elections.

Mr. Balian also led field activities in Bosnia for the International Crisis Group, specifically focusing on early warning of conflict resumption and promotion of sustainable stability.

At the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe's Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights, he directed electoral assistance and observation programs. He also developed programs to mitigate long-standing differences between authorities of participating states and opposition leaders.


Carter Center Peace Programs are currently working to observe the April 2008 constituent assembly elections in Nepal, encouraging rule of law and respect for human rights in post-conflict Liberia and the Democratic Republic of the Congo, helping citizens and governments fight corruption by supporting access to information laws in the Americas and Africa, strengthening the voices of human rights defenders internationally through an annual human rights defenders policy forum, and working at the forefront of efforts to develop a new international election observation methodology for electronic voting technologies as part of a project to develop standards for democratic elections. Read more about The Carter Center at

Read More About the Carter Center's Conflict Resolution Program >>

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