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Daniel Serwer

Director of American Foreign Policy

Director of Conflict Management


Also a scholar at the Middle East Institute, Daniel Serwer is the author of Righting the Balance (Potomac Books, November 2013), editor (with David Smock) of Facilitating Dialogue (USIP, 2012) and supervised preparation of Guiding Principles for Stabilization and Reconstruction (USIP, 2009). Righting the Balance focuses on how to strengthen the civilian instruments of American foreign policy to match its strong military arm. Facilitating Dialogue analyzes specific cases and best practices in getting people to talk to each other in conflict zones. Guiding Principles is the leading compilation of best practices for civilians and military in post-war state-building. 

As vice president of the Centers of Innovation at the United States Institute of Peace (USIP), Serwer led teams working on rule of law, peacebuilding, religion, economics, media, technology, security sector governance and gender. He was also vice president for peace and stability operations at USIP, overseeing its peacebuilding work in Afghanistan, the Balkans, Iraq and Sudan and serving as executive director of the Hamilton/Baker Iraq Study Group. 

As a minister-counselor at the U.S. Department of State, Serwer directed the European office of intelligence and research and served as U.S. special envoy and coordinator for the Bosnian Federation, mediating between Croats and Muslims and negotiating the first agreement reached at the Dayton Peace Talks; from 1990 to 1993, he was deputy chief of mission and chargé d’affaires at the U.S. Embassy in Rome, leading a major diplomatic mission through the end of the Cold War and the first Gulf War.

Serwer is a graduate of Haverford College and earned masters degrees at the University of Chicago and Princeton, where he also did his PhD in history. 

Serwer, D. (2018). From war to peace in the Balkans, the Middle East and Ukraine. Basingstoke, Hampshire: Palgrave Pivot.

Serwer, D. (2013). Righting the balance: How you can help protect America. Lincoln, NE: Potomac Books




  • Afghanistan
  • Balkans
  • Eastern Europe
  • Iraq
  • Italy
  • Middle East
  • Northern Africa
  • Pakistan
  • South Asia
  • Western Europe


  • American Foreign Policy
  • Conflict Resolution and Negotiation
  • Energy Issues
  • European Union and Transatlantic Relations
  • Foreign Aid and Global Poverty
  • Governance
  • Nation-building and Democratization
  • Peacekeeping
  • Strategic and Security Issues


  • Italian

In the News

Biden’s victory is good for Bosnia’s path to NATO.

Daniel Serwer quoted in Sarajevo Times, 11/12

Dayton 2.0: Deal that ended Bosnian War needs rewriting, but how?

Daniel Serwer quoted in Balkan Insight, 11/02

COVID-19 and Trump’s polling prospects.

Daniel Serwer quoted in Ahram Online, 10/15

Potential for violent unrest after U.S. election.

Daniel Serwer quoted on Mehr News Agency, 10/12

U.S. renews call for Gulf countries to resolve rift.

Daniel Serwer quoted on Voice of America, 9/14

Trump's Nobel Peace Prize nomination spurs debate over foreign policy record.

Daniel Serwer quoted on Sinclair Broadcast Group, 9/9

Leaders of Kosovo, Serbia agree to work toward improving economic ties.

Daniel Serwer quoted in Los Angeles Times, 9/4

Help Lebanon help itself.

Daniel Serwer wrote in Foreign Affairs, 8/28