Areas of expertise: Economic sanctions; peacebuilding; security; human rights; United Nations; North Korea; peace studies program development
George A. Lopez is the Rev. Theodore M. Hesburgh, C.S.C., Professor Emeritus of Peace Studies at the Kroc Institute for International Peace Studies. He is a leading expert on economic sanctions, peacebuilding, and various peace-related issues. During 30 years of affiliation with the Kroc Institute, Lopez has engaged in a diverse set of policy and public roles. He has served as the Vice President of the Academy for International Conflict Management and Peacebuilding at the United States Institute of Peace (USIP) in Washington, D.C. and also on the United Nations Panel of Experts for monitoring and implementing UN Sanctions on North Korea. He held a Senior Jennings Randolph Fellowship at the USIP from 2009-10. As a senior research associate at the Carnegie Council on Ethics and International Affairs in New York City, he assisted with the Council’s post-9/11 public programming throughout the U.S.
Since 1992, Lopez has advised the United Nations, various international agencies, and governments regarding sanctions issues, ranging from limiting their humanitarian impact to the design of targeted financial sanctions. He has written more than 40 articles and book chapters and authored or edited six books (often with David Cortright), including The Sanctions Decade: Assessing UN Strategies in the 1990s and Putting Teeth in the Tiger: Improving the Effectiveness of Arms Embargoes (Rienner, with Michael Brzoska). Lopez and Cortright’s research detailing the unlikely presence of weapons of mass destruction in Iraq was published before the 2003 Iraq War as “Disarming Iraq” in Arms Control Today and after the war as “Containing Iraq: the Sanctions Worked” in Foreign Affairs. Lopez is currently conducting research with United Nations University for an edited volume titled The Sanctions Enterprise: Assessing a Quarter-Century of UN Action for Peace, Security and Human Rights.
Lopez is founding director of the Kroc Institute’s annual Summer Institute on Teaching Peace in the 21st Century, an faculty institute. This program has assisted the development of peace research and studies programs in more than 100 higher education institutions across five continents. Lopez also led the creation of the Global Campus online peacebuilding education program at the United States Institute of Peace, where he also was the lead creator and instructor in a course on strategic peacebuilding.
From 1988-1998, Lopez chaired the Selection Committee of the Research and Writing Grants Committee for the MacArthur Foundation’s Program in Peace and International Cooperation. He also has served as interim executive director of the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, chaired its Board of Directors, and presided over the Doomsday Clock. He recently served as a judge for the MacArthur Foundation program 100&Change and currently is a senior adviser to The Sentry and The Enough Project in Washington, D.C.