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
My name is Milt Lauenstein.
I was involved with the corporate world for over 40 years, as CEO in several companies, management consultant, and college lecturer.
In 2001, a company I had a stake in became successful and began paying dividends. Five years later the company was sold and my share of the proceeds amounted to $10 million. I gave every penny of the proceeds into an account to be used for charitable purposes. I believe that while money and rewards motivate us to strive for more, this happens only up to a point. So when I found that I had more than I needed, I decided to use the surplus for a worthy cause. To my mind, the two biggest causes of physical suffering are disease and warfare. Enormous efforts and great progress has been made in combating disease. Far less has been made in preventing war. A lot has been learned about war prevention in recent years. However, little of this knowledge has been effectively applied. One reason is that there has been no mechanism in place to respond to warnings of likely trouble. Moreover, the bulk of the effort and money for peace-building goes to places where violence has already broken out – much more costly and difficult to address than to prevent violence before it begins.