Major Fellowship Activities: Berkman worked on the Stimson Center’s “Future of Peace Operations” program that looks for practical solutions to improve international peace operations and post-conflict reconstruction worldwide. Mr. Berkman’s research focused on three main project areas: improving peacekeeping in Africa; evaluating the operational readiness of international militaries to uphold the “Responsibility to Protect” civilians in cases of genocide, ethnic cleansing and mass death; and collecting data on international security spending for the UN High-level Panel on Threats, Challenges and Change.
For the project on building regional peacekeeping capacity in Africa, Berkman completed a 500-entry bibliography on African peacekeeping including sources from African, European and U.S. NGOs, scholarly journals, and various national governments. He also wrote summaries of all the current peace operations in Africa for the Stimson Center website, and helped organize a roundtable discussion with Dr. Joseph Collins, Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense, on the Global Peace Operations Initiative, a presidential initiative to train international peacekeepers, mostly within Africa.
The “Responsibility to Protect” project dealt with the protection of civilians from genocide, ethnic cleansing, and mass death. This project attempted to evaluate the operational capacity of national militaries and multinational organizations to engage in “civilian protection missions,” which would be carried out in non-permissive environments, where populations are at risk for large-scale violence. He helped to interview experts on the rule of law and military intervention, and conducted research for a paper evaluating the international response to cases of genocide and ethnic cleansing. He wrote or co-wrote and designed the section of the Stimson Center website on “Operational Capacities for Civilian Protection Missions.” He also organized a workshop with international military and civilian experts.
For the project on European Union peace operations, he wrote a Stimson Fact Sheet entitled “Funding for Post-Conflict Operations: NATO and the EU” and edited a number of Stimson publications. He also worked on a project for the UN High Level Panel on Threats, Challenges, and Change, collecting, organizing and evaluating statistics on global security spending in support of the Panel’s research division. Together with Stimson Senior Associate William Durch, he devised a comprehensive matrix for tabulating security spending worldwide that includes spending data on efforts to counter a number of security threats, from civil wars, to terrorism, to weapons of mass destruction. He was the primary author of a summary report of the statistical findings entitled Guide to Using the UN High-Level Panel Data CD. This analysis was recently utilized by the Panel in its recent report “A More Secure World: Our Shared Responsibility.”
He attended numerous conferences on peacekeeping and conflict in Africa. These included “The Great Lakes Policy Forum” with the Vice President of the Democratic Republic of the Congo Ruberwa, at SAIS; “Preventing the Next Wave of Conflict: The Political Instability Task Force,” “Sexual Violence in the DRC,” talks on the humanitarian situation in Darfur, Sudan and a talk by Rwandan President Paul Kagame, all at the Woodrow Wilson Center; “Planning for Peace in Sudan,” testimony from the House Foreign Relations Committee by Gen. Romeo Dallaire on lessons from the 1994 Rwanda genocide, and “Addressing Gaps in Disarmament, Demobilization & Reintegration: Cases from the Field,” both at CSIS; “Elections in Afghanistan,” and “The Lone Ranger: America and Post-Conflict Stability Operations,” both at the U. S. Institute of Peace; and several Congressional hearings. More recently he attended a conference on Responsibility to Protect at the Woodrow Wilson Center, the Great Lakes Policy Forum on rule of law in the Great Lakes region of Africa at SAIS, a U.S. military briefing on the situation in Afghanistan at CSIS, a Partnership for Effective Peace Operations meetings at CSIS May 19 and June 17, the Great Lakes Policy Forum at SAIS, a conference on constabulary forces in peace operations at CSIS, a conference at USIP on US civilian capacity for post-conflict operations, a conference on peacekeeping in Africa at USIP, and a Center for Global Development conference at SAIS on “Promoting Human Security and Development in Weak States.” He wrote a summary of each conference for the other members of the Future of Peace Operations project team.
Current Activities: Berkman is a Senior Associate with The Consensus Building Institute. His work focuses on helping organizations and stakeholders collaborate and manage disputes more effectively around difficult public issues, both domestically and internationally. He was previously an Associate at Jenner & Block LLP. He worked as a Law Clerk for the Honorable Denise Cote, United States Court for the Southern District of New York. He was an Associate with the Harvard Negotiation and Mediation Clinical Program (HNMCP) at Harvard Law School, where he taught and consulted on negotiation, dispute resolution, and conflict management. The goal of the HNMCP is to train a new generation of lawyers with the skills they need to help clients manage disputes efficiently and creatively. The program works with a variety of client organizations — government, non-profit, and private, both domestic and international. In 2010 he graduated magna cum laude from Harvard Law School and from the Harvard Kennedy School of Government, where he earned a Master of Public Policy and focused on international law, security, and dispute resolution. In summer 2010 he delivered a conflict resolution training program to teenage victims of political violence from countries around the world. He was a Notes Editor on the Harvard Law Review, and published a student Note entitled “The Pakistani Lawyers’ Movement and the Popular Currency of Judicial Power” in the May 2010 issue of the Harvard Law Review and another in February 2009 entitled “Compensating Victims of Wrongful Detention, Torture, and Abuse in the U.S. War on Terror.” He was awarded the Zuckerman Fellowship, a full scholarship to the Kennedy School. In summer 2009 he worked at the ACLU’s National Legislative Office in Washington, DC, doing work on national security and detention issues. In summer 2008 he worked at the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan in Lahore. He worked at the Special Court for Sierra Leone in summer 2007. Prior to entering graduate school he worked as a Research Assistant with the Stimson Center’s Future of Peace Operations Project since the completion of his fellowship. He researched the rule of law in peacekeeping operations, U.N. sanctions regimes, and arms control in regions of conflict. He co-authored two Stimson Center reports that were published in Fall 2006, Who Should Keep the Peace? Providing Security for 21st Century Peace Operations with William Durch and The Impossible Mandate? Military Preparedness, the Responsibility to Protect, and Modern Peace Operations with Victoria Holt.