Peter Ackerman is the Chairman of the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University, Boston. However, he is related to a number of other organizations such as International Center on Nonviolent Conflict (Chairman), Freedom House, Council on Foreign Relations, etc. Peter Ackerman was born 6 November 1946 in New York City. As an undergraduate he attended Colgate University. After he graduated from Colgate, he attended the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy where in 1976 he earned a PhD in International Relations. One of Dr. Ackerman's advisor was Gene Sharp. Dr. Ackerman's thesis, Strategic Aspects of Nonviolent Resistance Movements examined the nonviolent strategy and tactics used by people who are living under oppression and have no viable military option to free themselves.
After he received his PhD, Dr. Ackerman joined Drexel Burnham Lambert where he worked as investment banker for 15 years. Ackerman's wife is Joanne Leedom-Ackerman, "a writer and journalist who has worked as an adviser on the documentary version of her husband's book. She is currently a director of the International Center for Journalists (which receives funding from the NED, the Center for International Private Enterprise, Boeing and Coca-Cola, amongst many others), and has served on the board of the Albert Einstein Institution."
In 1990 Ackerman moved to London where he was a visiting scholar at the International Institute for Strategic Studies. During this time he co-authored with Christopher Kreugler the book Strategic Nonviolent Conflict. Dr. Ackerman was also a content advisor on the Emmy-nominated documentary A Force More Powerful: A Century of Nonviolent Conflict and co-authored with Jack DuVall a book of the same title. In 2002 Dr. Ackerman also helped produce the documentary Bringing Down A Dictator, the sequel to A Force More Powerful, which chronicled the fall of Serbian leader Slobodan Milosevic by nonviolent means.
A recent Tufts Univ. biography summarized his other exploits:
- Peter Ackerman is the Managing Director of Crown Capital Group Incorporated, a private investment firm. For the past decade, Crown has made successful direct investments in such diverse fields as propane distribution, ball bearings, textiles, auto part remanufacturing, publishing, variable life insurance and internet-based food retailing. From 1978 to 1990 he was the Director of International Capital Markets at Drexel Burnham Lambert where he structured, financed, and invested in hundreds of recapitalizations including the largest and most complex leveraged acquisitions of that period.
- Dr. Ackerman is a member of the boards of CARE, Colgate University and the Cato Institute. He is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations and the Executive Council of the International Institute for Strategic Studies. He co-authored Strategic Nonviolent Conflict, published in 1994, and A Force More Powerful: A Century of Nonviolent Conflict. The latter volume was a companion book for the Emmy nominated documentary of the same title that appeared on PBS in September 2000, for which Dr. Ackerman served as the series editor. Most recently, Dr. Ackerman has co-produced a documentary on the fall of Slobodan Milosevic in Serbia for PBS, which won the Peabody Award.
- After earning a B.A. from Colgate University in 1968, Dr. Ackerman studied at the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University, earning an M.A. in 1969, M.A.L.D. in 1971 and a Ph.D. in 1976. He joined the Board of Overseers to the Fletcher School in 1993 and has served as chair since 1996. He was elected to the Tufts University Board of Trustees in 1996 and currently chairs the Investment Committee.
The current thinking among US elites is that most "regime changes" can be accomplished utilizing civic groups to spearhead change. Ackerman is one of the theoreticians of this type of thinking and he likes to posture that the movements he fosters are "non-violent" and revolutionary. A succint explanation of his theories can be found here:
- Indicative of the common objective are the comments of the theoreticians of the post modern coup, for example, Dr. Peter Ackerman, the author of Strategic Nonviolent Conflict. Writing in the National Catholic Reporter on April 26, 2002, Dr. Ackerman offered the following corrective to Bush's Axis of Evil speech targeting Iraq, Iran, and North Korea, which he otherwise approved: "It is not true that the only way to 'take out' such regimes is through U.S. military action."
Speaking at the "Secretary's Open Forum" at the State Department on June 29, 2004, in a speech entitled, "Between Hard and Soft Power:The Rise of Civilian-Based Struggle and Democratic Change," Ackerman elaborated on the concept involved. He proposed that youth movements, such as those used to bring down Serbia, could bring down Iran and North Korea, and could have been used to bring down Iraq – thereby accomplishing all of Bush's objectives without relying on military means. And he reported that he has been working with the top US weapons designer, Lawrence Livermore Laboratories, on developing new communications technologies that could be used in other youth movement insurgencies. "There is no question that these technologies are democratizing," he stressed, in reference to their potential use in bringing down China, "they enable decentralized activity. They create, if you will, a digital concept of the right of assembly."
There is a simple misconception by these CIA/NED operators that the manipulation of civic society and the use of youth agitators to transform governments constitutes "democracy". Democracy implies a manifestation of the will of a large mass of people. What Ackerman and his cohorts is suggesting is that a small group can be organized, poison the political climate, overwhelm the opponents message, and score well at the ballot box. This manipulated outcome is just that: a powerful foreign group manipulating a sector of civic society to impose its will on a weaker society. The will of the people is not allowed to be reflected in the political process. It also cannot be considered as "non-violent", and this is an abuse of this type of terminology.
- The Albert Einstein Institution
- CARE (former board member)
- Cato Institute
- Council on Foreign Relations
- Crown Capital Group
- Democracy & Security International Conference – participant
- Drexel Burnham Lambert (where he made his fortune)
- Freedom House
- Herzliya Conference (2008) - participated in a round table discussion entitled "The Challenge of Radical Islam".
- International Center on Nonviolent Conflict – Chairman
- International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS) — Executive Council
- Tufts University
- Peter Ackerman and Christopher Kruegler, Strategic Nonviolent Conflict: The Dynamics of People Power in the Twentieth Century, Westport, Connecticut: Praeger, 1994, ISBN 0275939162
- Peter Ackerman and Jack DuVall, A Force More Powerful: A Century of Nonviolent Conflict, Palgrave Macmillan, October 2001. ISBN 0312240503
Articles by Ackerman
- Peter Ackerman and Jack DuVall, "The secret to success in Ukraine", International Herald Tribune, December 29, 2004. Quote:
- "…instead of celebrating these events, many pundits and policymakers on both sides of the Atlantic have been debating the propriety of U.S. and European funding for democracy-building in Ukraine. That debate misses the reality of how the Orange Revolution succeeded. Like all victories of people power in the past 25 years, it was achieved, not by foreign assistance, but by the indigenous force of ordinary citizens applying their own strategy to challenge autocratic power."
- Comment: If US organizations poured $150m+ to manipulate the elections, then it can hardly be said that this was an insignificant contribution. Furthermore, it is appropriate discuss whether the US or its cohorts should be engaged in this type of activity – something Ackerman is suggesting that we shouldn't do.
- Tufts, "Office of the Trustees: Peter Ackerman", accessed March 2005.
- Jonathan Mowat, "The new Gladio in action?: Ukrainian postmodern coup completes testing of new template", Online Journal, March 19, 2005. Contains references to Ackerman and the institutes he's connected with.
- Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy
- A Force More Powerful
- Franklin Foer, "Regime Change, Inc.: Peter Ackerman's quest to topple tyranny", The New Republic, April 14, 2005.
- Freedom House, "Biography", Accessed 12 May 2007.
- The Annual Herzliya Conference Series: on the Balance of Israel's National Security (2008) Conference Conclusions. Accessed 12th August 2008