The Carter School Partners with Rotary to Scale Up Peacebuilding

Dean Ozerdem and Professor Ozerdem at signing with John Hewko and Sarah Crawford of Rotary International
Dean Özerdem at the signing with John Hewko, CEO of Rotary International, Sarah Crawford, Director of Programs and Grants at Rotary International, and Dr. Charles Davidson of the Carter School.

The Jimmy and Rosalynn Carter School at George Mason University, the top-ranked national public institution for peace and conflict resolution, has partnered with Rotary International, one of the largest global membership service organizations, to provide education and develop modalities to assist Rotary clubs in promoting local, regional, and global peace.

For nearly a year, Carter School faculty have met with Rotary to identify areas in which their missions overlap and where each organization may benefit from the expertise of the other.

Through this partnership, the Carter School and Rotary will incubate new peacebuilding ideas and accelerate existing ideas to make them more effective. The Carter School will also assist in developing replicable modalities of peacebuilding – peacebuilding action “templates” that can be duplicated and applied to address the needs of different conflicts. 

“This critical partnership will open many opportunities for both organizations as they can build on each other’s strengths and expertise in peacebuilding,” said Alpaslan Özerdem, dean of the Carter School.  “We have taken our time in forming this partnership as we wanted to ensure that it is a bottom-up process and incorporated a vast body of viewpoints in shaping how it would be transformational with its impact on peace. We are ready to scale up our efforts to build more peaceful societies worldwide. Knowing that we will take this transformational journey with an organization like Rotary fills me with confidence, excitement, and hope.”

Additionally, the Carter School will tap into its Better Evidence Project (BEP) expertise, which hosts an online depository of peacebuilding research and applied successes.  Under this partnership, Rotary’s peacebuilding efforts will be integrated into the BEP database, making their organization’s work accessible to other peacebuilders.  Plans include an online forum, tying Rotary into a global community of researchers and practitioners where peacebuilders can strategize and discuss their work.

Dean Ozerdem at signing with Gordon McInally, President of Rotary International
Dean Ozerdem at the signing with Gordon McInally, President of Rotary International.

Taking advantage of its expert faculty, the Carter School will provide educational strategies to equip Rotary members and their leaders to be more effective peacebuilding practitioners.  In addition to seminars, the Carter School will host several “Peace Salons,” intimate gatherings to raise awareness and build networks with Rotary members in peacebuilding practice.  In Fall 2024, Rotary and the Carter School will host the first Peacebuilding Praxis Conference, illustrating the nexus of theory and practice.

“Creating peaceful, welcoming, and inclusive societies is at the heart of what Rotary is about,” said Rotary International President Gordon McInally. “We’ve made peacebuilding the cornerstone of our global mission with everything we do, from fighting disease to supporting education, building toward the optimal conditions for more peaceful and resilient societies. But we can’t do this alone. Through our partnership with the George Mason University’s Jimmy and Rosalynn Carter School for Peace and Conflict Resolution, we will help empower, educate, and increase the capacity of our members and participants to become even more effective catalysts for peace.”

Charles Davidson, a Carter School professor specializing in local peacebuilding and partnerships between international and local constituents, will facilitate connections between Rotary members and faculty with expertise in a geo region or peacebuilding specialty.  “With the global reach of Rotary and the world-renown expertise of the Carter School, I believe this collaboration will innovate peacebuilding efforts at both the local and global levels with specific but far-reaching impact and education,” Davidson said.


About the Jimmy and Rosalynn Carter School for Peace and Conflict Resolution

George Mason University’s Jimmy and Rosalynn Carter School for Peace and Conflict Resolution is a community of faculty, students, staff, alumni, and partners with a fundamental commitment to building peace. Through the development of cutting-edge theory, research, education, and practical work, we seek to identify and address the underlying causes of conflict and provide tools for ethical and just peacebuilding on the local, national, and global stages.  For more information, visit

About George Mason University

George Mason University is Virginia’s largest public research university. Located near Washington, D.C., Mason enrolls more than 40,000 students from 130 countries and all 50 states. Mason has grown rapidly over the past half-century and is recognized for its innovation and entrepreneurship, remarkable diversity, and commitment to accessibility. In 2023, the university launched Mason Now: Power the Possible, a one-billion-dollar comprehensive campaign to support student success, research, innovation, community, and stewardship. Learn more at

About Rotary International

Rotary unites a global network of volunteer leaders dedicated to tackling the world’s most pressing humanitarian challenges and creating lasting change. Rotary connects 1.4 million people of action from more than 46,000 Rotary clubs in almost every country in the world. Their service improves lives both locally and internationally, from helping those in need in their own communities to working toward a polio-free world. For more information, visit