Rotary Peace Centers


For information on Rotary Peace Fellowship applications or for gifts to the Rotary Peace Centers please contact:

PDG Chris Offer,

Rotary Peace Centers Major Gifts Initiative Committee
Endowment/Major Gift Adviser for Zone 24 (West) 2014-15

Phone 604-940-9365  Cell 604-897-8758


Why was the Rotary Peace Centers program established? What are the goals of the program?

  • In 1996, a committee was formed to consider the concept of an educational center, institute, or university dedicated to Paul Harris as a way of commemorating the 50th   anniversary of his death. A variety of academic models were explored. In 1999, the Trustees approved the plan to partner with universities to establish the Rotary Centers for International Studies in peace and conflict resolution.
  • The goals include:
    • Supporting and advancing research, teaching, publication and practical field experience on issues of peace, goodwill, causes of conflict, and world       understanding;
    • Inspiring people to       work for a culture of peace and tolerance while enhancing their capacity,  knowledge and skill by generating interaction between practitioners and academics;
    • Providing advanced international educational opportunities in the area of peace and conflict resolution;
    • Providing a means for The Rotary Foundation and Rotarians to increase their effectiveness in promoting greater tolerance and cooperation among peoples, leading to world understanding and peace.

What was the first year of the Rotary Peace Centers program?

  • The first class of      Rotary Peace Fellows started in 2002.       The first class graduated in 2004. The first class of the      certificate program started in 2006.

How much does it cost to send each Rotary Peace Fellow at a two-year institution?  At the certificate program?

  • Each Rotary Peace Center has different costs; the average cost is $75,000 for the two-year fellowship. The cost covers tuition, fees, incidentals, housing, and      transportation.  The three-month certificate program costs are approximately US$11,000 per fellowship.

How many Rotary Peace Fellows enroll each year?

  • Currently Rotary grants up to 100 Rotary peace fellowships each year.

How many are in each Center class?

  • Each year Rotary generally enrolls 10 peace fellows in each of the the master’s degree programs and an additional 25 peace fellows per class (with two classes      each year) in the professional development certificate program.

What do the Peace Fellows do for their field experience?

  • For the master’s      degree programs, Peace Fellows seek out their own applied field      experience. They have the opportunity for extended study and research as well as actual contact and mentoring in the United nations, government agencies, and the major players in international affairs. For the certificate eprogram, the class travels together to the Thai-Burma border,  Nepal or Cambodia to work in conflict areas. Rotary Peace Fellows engage in a variety of different activities for their Applied Field Experiences.
  • The length of these internships last 2-3 months and are generally conducted in the developing world. Many of the Rotary Peace Fellows go to work in communities doing grassroots work and some of the decide to intern      with multi-lateral institutions such as the World Bank, United Nations,      and others.

What percentage of Peace Fellows actually work in a field related to peace and conflict resolution?

  • Based upon Rotary’s alumni information, more than 90% of peace fellow alumni work in fields that relate to peace and conflict resolution. This includes work for      United Nations agencies and other large multi-lateral institutions, small      grassroots NGOs, government agencies, teaching and studying in fields relating to peace and conflict resolution, journalism, law, and law enforcement.

How many countries do they work in?

  • Rotary Peace Fellows currently work in 102 countries on every continent except Antarctica.

How were the six Rotary Peace Centers in the seven universities selected?

  • A committee of Rotary volunteer leadership and staff oversaw a selection process that included  site visits to selected campuses.  This process was followed with subsequent selections, as occasionally Centers have changed. The Rotary Peace Centers were selected based upon a number of factors, including quality of the program, synergy with other Rotary Peace Centers, commitment to the Rotary Peace Center model, and commitment to supporting the program academically and administratively.

Why aren’t there any centers in the Middle East or Africa or Latin America?

  • Student safety and program quality are both factors in the selection process.  It is possible that a future Center may be located in the Middle East, Africa or Latin America, assuming that the  selection criteria can be met. 

 Can Rotarians or their relatives apply for Rotary Peace Fellowships?

The Rotary Foundation  policy states that the following people may not receive funds from Rotary  for any purpose: 

  • Active and honorary Rotarians
  • Employees of a Rotary club, Rotary district, Rotary International, or other Rotary entity
  • Spouses, lineal descendants (children or grandchildren by blood or legal adoption), spouses of lineal descendants, or ancestors (parents or grandparents by blood) of any living person in the categories above
  • Former Rotarians and their relatives as described above (within 36 months of resignation) 

However, these individuals can apply to the professional certificate program at Chulalongkorn but must cover their own expenses if selected.

What is the application process?

It is a multi-tiered process.  Beginning in January, applicants can apply to, or be identified by, a Rotary district anywhere in the world for sponsorship. Many applicants choose to first apply through their Rotary Club and, if she or he is potentially qualified,  is passed to the Rotary district for a district interview and endorsement.  All application documents of district endorsed applicants are submitted by the Rotary District to The Rotary Foundation no later than 1 July for processing, review and selection by the Rotary Peace Centers Committee.  Candidates are notified in November of their selection.

Can a Rotary district sponsor or nominate a Rotary Peace Fellow candidate who is located in another district or even another country?

  • Yes.  Rotary Peace Centers program staff can      assist in connecting candidates with potential sponsor districts.

What are the differentrequirements to apply for a 2-year Master’s program compared to the 90-day Certificate program?

 Master’s degree: The ideal candidate has a minimum of three years of work experience related to their careers goals, a clear commitment to peace and conflict resolution, proficiency in English, and able to participate actively within the cohort of students within a university context. The ideal candidate also possesses the capacity for both critical, independent thinking as well as a passion for applying theory to practice in the field.

 Certificate program:

The ideal candidate has ten to fifteen years of work experience and is currently employed full-time in a field directly or closely related to peacebuilding and conflict resolution.  Individuals take what they learn in the course and immediately begin applying it to their work. Candidates to the certificate program need not have a bachelor’s degree but must have an equivalent experiential base. Proficiency in English is required.

 Is the new US$125 million Rotary Peace Centers Major Gifts Initiative goal all toward endowment?

  • While the emphasis of      the Rotary Peace Centers Major Gifts Initiative is on building an      endowment that will support up to 100 Rotary Peace Fellows, it is      anticipated that approximately ten percent of the gifts and commitments      will be for immediate expenditure.

What factored into the decision to set US $125 million as the new goal?

  • The Rotary Peace Center’s volunteer leadership and staff are currently developing a strategic plan for the Rotary Peace Centers program.  Several important decisions are being considered, including the number and type of any additional Rotary Peace Centers.  As part of the planning process, operational costs are being considered.  Utilizing this information, Financial Services has determined that the most likely program scenarios will require an endowment of between US$131 million and $146 million.  The increased goal US$125 million will more fully meet the ultimate program costs.

Can District Designated Funds (DDF) be contributed to the Rotary Peace Centers Major Gifts Initiative?

  • DDF gifts to endowment      count toward the RPC•MGI goal.  DDF      gifts for immediate expenditure are not included in the goal but do assist      in meeting the operating expenses of the program.  Districts that designate US$25,000 or      more each year for immediate expenditure are recognized as Peacebuilder  Districts.