Comments by Peacebuilders

  • Stacey Connaughton, Ph.D. Director, The Purdue Peace Project

    Milt Lauenstein’s generous and tireless commitment to peacebuilding has had measurable impact on political violence prevention in West Africa and beyond. He is a leader in and advocate for locally led peacebuilding and he has inspired generations of local citizens to help prevent armed conflict. As the benefactor and principal funder for the Purdue Peace Project, Milt has inspired Purdue students, faculty, and myself to help build peace, show evidence-based impact, and contribute to empirical knowledge on locally led peacebuilding.  

  • Charles F. Dambach Former President, Alliance for Peacebuilding

    Milt Lauenstein is a hero and a champion in the global peacebuilding community. Working in partnership with the Alliance for Peacebuilding and academic institutions, he has created and helped fund significant and successful model projects in Africa, and he seeks evidence-based strategies for local community-led initiatives that actually reduce violence. Everyone seeking to make a difference for peace benefits from his projects and research.

  • Tom Etzel, Founder, Director, Global PeaceBuilding Foundation

    Milt brings a refreshing business perspective to Peace and Security Philanthropy. His altruism is inspiring.

  • Mari Fitzduff - MA Conflict and Coexistence Programme Founder

    Milt has been a very loyal  questioner of the field since I first met him in 2001. He has put both resources and support into many of the crucial  questions that the peacebuilding field is facing e.g. the overall effectiveness of the work done by the field, and in particular the effectiveness of local work in preventing outbreaks of violence. His energy and his committed interest  is extraordinary - and his companionship to the field has been exemplary, committing as he has to both resource and emotional support for the  more successful emergence of a field that is effective, and known and utilized to be so. 

  • Jessica Berns - former peacebuilding practitioner and consultant

    Over two decades Milt Lauenstein has focused his philanthropic giving on preventing war and building peace. He has supported research, collaborative action, and on the ground activities. I have always respected his combination of passion and intellectual rigor: he asks difficult questions of the field and of his own giving about in an effort to push for effectiveness and positive change. 

About Milt Lauenstein

Milt Lauenstein (MBA University of Chicago, BS ChE Purdue U) was involved in business management from 1948 until 2001 as an executive and management consultant. He served as a director of a dozen for-profit corporations and half a dozen not-for-profits, having been Chairman or CEO of several of them. He served as a Senior Lecturer on Business Policy at the University of Chicago and as Executive-in-Residence at Northeastern University. He is the author of the book “What’s Your Game Plan?” about business strategy, published by Dow-Jones Irwin.

Under President Johnson, he was a member of the US Department of Commerce Technical Advisory Board.

Since 2001, he has been active in peacebuilding. He funded a successful campaign by local citizens of Guinea-Bissau to prevent a national election campaign from triggering a return to civil war in 2005. Based on that experience, he founded the Purdue Peace Project, which successfully assisted local citizens to prevent violence in several other countries in West Africa. He has funded a number of research projects, reports on which may be found on the website More recently, he co-founded Impact:Peace with the Kroc Institute of Peace and Justice at the University of San Diego. With George Mason University, he is launching the Better Evidence Project.

With Dr. Elliot Short, he co-authored the book, “Peace and Conflict since 1991”, being published by Peter Lang. He has written several published articles on peacebuilding. He posts frequently on peacebuilding on Linkedin.

He served in the Navy from 1943 to 1946, finally being appointed Executive Officer of a small ship, PCE 886. He is married with four children, seven grandchildren, and three great-grandchildren. He attended several art schools in the US and Europe and continues to paint as an avocation. He is a Quaker.

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