The Global Center on Cooperative Security works to achieve lasting security by advancing inclusive, human rights–based policies, partnerships, and practices that address the root causes of violent extremism.

Traditional approaches to combating violent extremism have too often failed to address its root causes, such as systemic inequality, corruption, and breakdowns in state-society relations. Abusive, heavy-handed, and violent state responses routinely do more to drive these tensions than to alleviate them, and violent extremists capitalize on legitimate grievances and fragile social systems to recruit citizens to their cause. They have also largely been reactive rather than preventive, failing to confront structural drivers.

The Global Center was born out of a recognition that addressing violent extremism requires innovative approaches that are equitable, non-violent, and shaped by those who are most affected by conflict and injustice. Since our founding in 2004, we have remained steadfast in this approach.

Violent Extremism and Our Response

The Global Center’s work focuses on four mutually reinforcing objectives:

Our dynamic, multidisciplinary, and international team of staff, consultants, Advisory Council, and network of experts draws from lived and professional experience in peacebuilding, justice and security sector reform, financial integrity, human rights, and governance.

We have mobilized experts around the world to train thousands of police, prosecutors, judges, and corrections officials to improve governance and the rule of law in order to more effectively counter terrorism and serve the needs of affected communities. We utilize a combination of policy advocacy, institutional training, and direct financial support to strengthen the ability of local civil society organizations to build and sustain resilience to violent extremist recruitment in their communities. We collaborate with the private sector to combat terrorism financing while advancing transparent and accountable systems that root out corruption and illicit funds.

The Global Center has a growing track record of success. We implement approximately $4.5M USD in programs annually and have provided over $5M USD to fund more than 100 initiatives across Africa, Asia, and the Middle East over the last six years. Notably, 97% of our funders have reinvested in our projects. We were recently awarded the Innovators Award in Global Affairs. The impact of our partners across the world is further testament to our work. Together, we reform institutions, mobilize communities, and set domestic and international security policies that prioritize human rights and rule of law.

The Need

Today, the world is at a dangerous crossroads. The Covid-19 pandemic is exacerbating inequality and creating a vacuum for criminal and terrorist groups to exploit. The infiltration of far-right violent extremists in security and criminal justice sectors in the United States, Germany, and elsewhere is further cause for serious concern. While the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant has suffered territorial defeat, the threat of terrorism overall continues to grow more diverse, diffuse, and decentralized. The rise in nationalist and authoritarian tendencies, coupled with rampant disinformation, is fueling violence and hate and limiting the space for civil society to flourish. Simultaneously, the proliferation of new technologies is being utilized to target and surveil groups already marginalized and abused by repressive governments. These tectonic shifts coincide with waning support for multilateralism, resulting in an increasingly fractured and divided international community.

Request for Support

As one of the most trusted partners in the field of preventing violence, our work in more than 50 countries has helped save lives and transform communities. Yet the rapidly evolving dynamics around us demand we redouble certain efforts while expanding others. From rising inequality and resource scarcity to mass displacement and other threats multiplied by climate change, the harm of these intractable issues on human well-being is immense. Such realities require the very human security-centric innovation and collaboration that the Global Center has long championed—but we cannot do it alone.

We seek partners who share our vision for a more just and secure world. With your help, we are shifting the paradigm from short-term assistance to agile, sustained, and forward-looking investments in the communities best positioned to catalyze lasting change.

In this next stage of our growth and development, we invite corporations, foundations, and individuals to join the Global Center to help deepen our impact and reach. Together, we will more effectively address the drivers of extremist violence, protect human rights, build equitable financial systems, and propel inclusive security policies. In an incredibly complex and unstable world, the Global Center’s mission is more important than ever—and we need your support!


For additional information, please contact Laurie Smolenski, Development Director of the Global
Center, at lsmolenski@globalcenter.org.

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