Kai Frithjof Brand-Jacobsen
© Kai Frithjof Brand-Jacobsen

Kai Frithjof Brand-Jacobsen

Trainer for Systemic Conflict Analysis

Kai Frithjof Brand-Jacobsen is regarded as one of the leading pioneers, innovators and practitioners in the field of peacebuilding, conflict transformation and addressing challenging and complex conflicts and crisis in the world today. For more than 20 years he has worked across all continents and many of the most challenging war zones and crisis situations – from Iraq to Afghanistan, Sudan, Israel-Palestine, Cyprus, Northern Ireland, Sri Lanka, Nigeria and elsewhere – at the invitation of the United Nations, governments, international agencies and organizations, and local communities affected by conflict and war. He is a senior trainer for the International Peace and Development Training Centre (IPDTC) and has provided more than 400 training programmes for governments, UN missions and agencies, and organizations in the field. From 2016 – 2018 he was a Senior Researcher for the EU consortium project “PeaceTraining.EU”. This included the review of training curricula, approaches and methods for peacebuilding and prevention training across the EU and internationally; review of training standards and qualifications for training centers and trainers; exploration of the frontier use of information and communication technologies in training; and authoring the “Peace Training Handbook”.

Practitioner First

Kai is, before all else, a practitioner. He has been involved in peacebuilding, mediation and peace support processes around the world for over 20 years – working always and only upon invitation and request. He recently led a major engagement in support of the United Nations and Government of Sudan to assist stabilization, peacebuilding and peace consolidation in Sudan. He is also working in North East Nigeria assisting the government, local organizations and Search for Common Ground to strengthen and improve early warning, peacebuilding and prevention. From 2015 – 2017 he headed PATRIR’s support for sub-national mediation and peace processes in Libya. In 2016 he headed the UN-supported Nineveh Paths to Social Cohesion, Coexistence and Peace project in Nineveh, Iraq-KRG, one of the areas worst affected by the ongoing war with ISIS. He is a practitioner with extensive experience in mediation and facilitation of peace processes and working on the ground to prevent violent conflicts, end wars, and support reconciliation and healing after violence. His work is one of the subjects of the recent documentary movie In Pursuit of Peace (

Process Facilitation: He is invited by UN agencies, country missions, national and international organizations and governments to support design and facilitation of mediation and peace processes and strengthening state and civil society capabilities for effective peace building. Since 2007 he has facilitated Multi-Stakeholder Strategic Planning Processes in Northern Ireland, Sudan, Cyprus, Nepal, Iraq, Nigeria, Moldova and Mexico. Since 2001 he has worked with universities, staff colleges and training institutions to assist them in the development and improvement of their training courses, approaches, methodologies and curricula.

Training & Professional Development Programs: He has provided more than 400 training programs in 42 countries to senior political and conflict party leadership, government ministries, national and international organizations, UN agencies and country missions, diplomats, NGOs, community-based practitioners, and military and security forces, and has been invited to deliver customized trainings and Executive Leadership Programmes by more than 100 agencies and institutions world-wide.

Public Lectures and Teaching: He has provided more than 100 key note speeches for major international summits and events and taught and lectured at universities across Europe, North America, Latin America and Asia including Oxford University, York University’s Post-War Recovery and Development Unit (PRDU), University of Florence (Italy), Royal Roads University (Canada), the United Nations University (Japan), the European Peace University (Austria), Hacettepe University (Turkey), Babes-Bolyai University (Romania), and the United Nations University for Peace in Costa Rica.

Publications and Research: He is an experienced Researcher and Director of Research Programs. He is currently completing a Toolkit on Stabilization, Peacebuilding and Recovery for the Government of Sudan and UNAMID and editing a special issue of the international Journal of Peacebuilding and Development on Training and Capacity Building for Peacebuilding, Crisis Management and Prevention. He has recently authored the Strategic Peacebuilding Handbook and a Handbook and Training Manual on Effective Advocacy in Peacebuilding. He led NOVACT’s International Research Team on Searching for Peace in Iraq from 2010 – 2011. In 2009 he headed the Palestine and Israel: Improving Civil Society Peacebuilding Strategies, Design, and Impact international research project. He has written and published widely and is a member of the Executive Board of the Journal of Peace and Development (JPD) and an Editor of Oxford University Press’ Peace Encyclopedia. In 2012 he was an Executive Editor of a Special Issue of the Journal on Peacebuilding and Development on Infrastructure for Peace (I4P).

Country / Regional Experience: Mr. Brand-Jacobsen has worked in Afghanistan, India, Pakistan, Nepal, Sri Lanka, southern Thailand, Burma, Cambodia, Aceh-Indonesia, Korea, Russia, Moldova, South Eastern Europe, Northern Ireland, Cyprus, Mexico, Colombia, Somalia, Liberia, Darfur-Sudan, South Sudan, Tunisia, Libya, Morocco, Egypt, North America, and the Middle East at the invitation of governments, inter-governmental organizations, UN agencies, and local organizations and communities.

Boards & Governance Experience: Mr. Brand-Jacobsen sits on several boards and international advisory groups including for the International Association of Human Values Peacebuilding Unit (IAHV PB), NOVACT, the National Peace Academy, PATRIR, and others.

To contact Kai Brand-Jacobsen please do so directly by writing to:

Kai Brand-Jacobsen - Director, Department of Peace Operations (DPO) - PATRIR

E-mail: Telephone: +40752295555

Select Quotes & Reviews

For more quotes and reviews please visit Kai Brand-Jacobsen’s LinkedIn Profile at:

Kai is one of the most innovative leaders in the field of peacebuilding.  His vision is enormous and is paired with an enthusiasm to put hands and feet to make this vision come to life.”
Lisa Schirch, Director of Human Security, Alliance for Peacebuilding

“Kai Brand-Jacobsen has emerged as a global leader for building peace. He is an articulate advocate for policies and practices that help reduce violence, and he is an effective practitioner of the art of peacebuilding.”
Charles F. “Chic” Dambach, Past President, Alliance for Peacebuilding, Washington, DC, USA

"Kai is a vibrant, deeply knowledgeable and inspiring visionary. With experience working in and on conflict with stakeholders of all kinds, at all levels, in countless contexts around the world, his vision is grounded in immeasurable experience - matched with creativity and enthusiasm, and deep insight into the scholarly, policy and practice worlds of our field."
Erin McCandless, Peacebuilding and Development Scholar and Practitioner

Kai is one of the most inspiring and visionary practitioners and experts in the field, drawing upon extensive hands on knowledge and understanding. Whether speaking with senior political leadership or communities on the ground, he is able to engage with the issues and challenges people are facing, and to handle vast amounts of information in ways that make it intelligible and easy for people to understand. He is uniquely gifted – as a speaker, a practitioner, and as someone who has truly devoted his life to peacebuilding and the prevention of armed conflicts.”
Guy Toussignant, Major General Canadian Armed Forces, Former Force Commanders and Assistant Secretary General UNAMIR

“During the last 10 years I have had the opportunity to cooperate with Kai Brand-Jacobsen in several projects in Palestine, Jordan, Syria, Iraq and others, promoting peace strategic engagements, research and trainings in one of the most challenging and violent conflicts in the world. After all those years I can say that Kai is not only one of the most charismatic trainers I have met, with a deep knowledge of applied peacebuilding, he is also a person with the ability to remind us all that we have the power to promote change in our bones.”
Luca Gervasoni, Director of NOVACT - International Institute for Nonviolent Conflict.

Kai and his team provided a quality of service and engagement for the Commonwealth we have not seen before. They went above and beyond to understand the unique needs, culture and potential of the Commonwealth, and the role the Secretariat can play in supporting Member Countries in mediation, peacebuilding and dealing with complex challenges and conflicts. He is a unique and gifted speaker and brings an astonishing breadth and depth of experience which he is able to apply practically in each engagement.”
Kamalesh Sharma, former Secretary General of the Commonwealth Secretariat

"I​ ​have known Kai for ten years and recently he worked with Building Bridges for Peace​ to mark the 30th anniversary of the Brighton Bomb. I know everyone who is lucky enough to meet Kai will be​​​ ​empowered, inspired and prepared to do all they can to be active peace workers. I regard without any exaggeration Kai Brand Jacobsen as one of the world’s leading thinkers, scholars, practitioners and trainers in the field of peacebuilding today. Kai is a rare human being and an asset to this field – a scholar and a​​practitioner who can move from academic knowledge and deep intellectual grasp of the situation in the world to demonstrating the qualities which​​ are needed as a practitioner – listening, emotional intelligence, respect,​ ​sensitivity, compassion and deep empathic quality."
Jo Berry, Director, Building Bridges

"Kai brings an incredible amount of both practical and theoretical knowledge to the field. He is respected throughout the world as a leading practitioner and proponent. His contribution is significant".
Dr. Marshall Wm. Conley - President, Conley-International

"I recently asked Kai to briefly meet Iraqi youth from minorities who had been attacked and displaced due to the arrival of Daesh in their areas. In 30 minutes I saw their faces passing from total disillusionment to curiosity, surprise, hope, and finally determination to do something for their people. Kai not only gave them insights and examples of how victimized communities could be protagonists of positive change for their country, but also the human energy they needed to believe this is possibile. Few months later, Kai was with them in Iraq, and our joint peacebuilding program is a very promising one!"
Martina Pignatti Morano, President, Un ponte per...
Secretariat, Iraqi Civil Society Solidarity Initiative

"Driven to make an impact and inspired to make peacebuilding work, Kai has the extraordinary intellectual capacity to analyze and synthesize large amounts of information, think across disciplines and paradigms, and go to the core of the matter without losing the overall bigger picture. He is an example of both a reflective peacebuilding practitioner as well as a policy- and action-oriented researcher, fostering constant enrichment between conceptual and theoretical understanding and empirical evidence and insights from the field in order to come to more effective, comprehensive and integrated peacebuilding. His profound understanding of peacebuilding is complemented with vast and varied experience as a practitioner and trainer, having worked with senior political and conflict party leadership, military and security forces, community-based peaceworkers, governmental and inter-governmental institutions, UN agencies and international organizations in dozens of conflict zones around the world. Kai moves easily across the academic, policy and practitioners fields, understanding the different reasoning and language of each field and bridgin g them for increased cooperation and impact. In addition to the above, his excellent communication skills and talent to engage his audience has made him into a well sought after trainer, visiting faculty and speaker around the world, including at the universities of Oxford, Columbia, UPeace, European Peace University and the UN University Tokyo. His critical, non-cynical thinking about the impact of our peacebuilding efforts worldwide combined with a deep aspiration to work for a more peaceful world and his emphatic, inspired, selfless and caring personality, make him into a unique and outstanding leader of today’s world."
Dr. Katrien Hertog, Director, IAHV Peacebuilding

“The work Kai has undertaken with the Commonwealth Secretariat as an intergovernmental organisation engaged in high level political mediation, in building institutional capacity to better deliver holistic and more effective design and implementation of conflict prevention and resolution activities is invaluable. Helping the organization to better link our political work with technical assistance in key development areas has helped us to deliver more comprehensive and effective peacebuilding, which addresses systemic issues and helps build domestic capacity to sustain peace and stability.  The knowledge, skill and support he has brought to bolster the skills and approach of individual officers like myself has enabled us to learn and apply a more rigorous approach to our work. This has been inspiring and rewarding on both a professional and personal level.
Sabhita Raju, Political Affairs Officer, The Commonwealth Secretariat

Under Kai’s leadership the five-day training on Preventive Diplomacy and Mediation and follow-up technical assistance provided to UN staff from the region was highly appreciated by all. Besides aquainting them with the latest tools and methodologies, the program was an opportunity for participants with diverse backgrounds and responsibilities within the UN system to develop a clear and common understanding of what preventive diplomacy and advanced mediation entail. The recommendations and follow-up actions generated by this program will go a long way in furthering greater coherence of the common UN effort in Lebanon.”
Milos Strugar, Director, Political and Civil Affairs, UNIFIL

Kai Brand-Jacobsen is one of the leading people in the world working to mediate conflicts and assist in peaceful resolution of conflicts in many areas which could have become major wars.”
David Hartsough, Co-Founder of the Nonviolent Peaceforce, Director of PEACEWORKERS