Outreach, Advocacy, & Speaking Engagements

In addition to our tabletop exercises, workshops, and conferences, the MARO Project also engages with our community of interest through outreach, advocacy, and speaking engagements to promote greater understanding of mass atrocity situations.

To complement the work with the military planning community, we also hold bilateral briefing meetings with others to promote the development of official guidance directing the U.S. military and to prepare for a potential mass atrocity intervention. These briefings include U.S. and foreign governments and military officials, NGOs, and advocacy groups. Earlier this year the MARO Project completed an intensive round of meetings in March 2011 with organizations in Europe and Africa, meeting with top leadership at EUCOM and AFRICOM Headquarters, NATO, and African interlocutors in Addis Ababa and Pretoria to brief the MARO concept and handbook and explore implementation partnerships.

Mission Command Training Program TTX: Sarah Sewall was the senior mentor at the Mission Command Training Program’s TTX that focused on mass atrocity prevention and response options. The TTX, held from June 12-13 at the U.S. Institute of Peace in Washington, D.C., involved both military and civilian participants and aimed “to get the civilian policy makers to make their guidance as specific as possible,” said Sewall.

MARO Project Conference with EUCOM and AFRICOM: From November 8-9, 2011, the MARO Project co-hosted a groundbreaking conference with US European Command and US Africa Command on Mass Atrocity Prevention and Response at the NATO School in Oberammergau, Germany. Staff and senior leadership from EUCOM and AFRICOM, as well as officials from the Department of Defense, the Department of State, and the White House, came together for two days to discuss how to improve the US government and US military’s capacities to prevent and respond to mass atrocities, wherever in the world they may happen.

Stanley Foundation Conference: The Stanley Foundation hosted the 52st Strategy for Peace Conference in October 2011, attended by MARO Project Director Sally Chin. The conference discussed the U.S. government’s efforts regarding mass atrocity and genocide prevention and involved roundtable discussions on the topics of atrocities and the QDDR, nuclear security and summit diplomacy, and strengthening WMD security. Sally Chin participated in the Atrocities, Conflict, and QDDR roundtable discussion. More information on the conference and the policy dialogue brief can be found here.

Montreal Institute for Genocide Studies Conference: The Montreal Institute for Genocide Studies organized a public policy conference, titled “The Promise of the Media in Halting Mass Atrocities,” with L. Gen. The Hon. Roméo Dallaire in October 2011 to mark the 10th anniversary of the Responsibility to Protect (R2P). MARO Project Director Sally Chin attended the conference, which included discussions on R2P and the role of the media, the link between the media and government leadership, and R2P in 2011 in Libya, Syria, and Sudan.

Raphael Lemkin Seminar: MARO Project Director Sally Chin and PKSOI Representative Dwight Raymond have taught sessions about MARO at the Raphael Lemkin Seminar for Genocide Prevention held by the Auschwitz Institute for Peace and Reconciliation in September 2011, April 2011, and June 2010 in Auschwitz-Birkenau. The seminar's purpose is to inform military educators and military students, such as from the U.S. Army Command and General Staff College, about genocide with a particular emphasis on prevention and response. The MARO Handbook was well-received by attendees, seminar instructors, and seminar organizers.

Brookings Institution Event: MARO Project Faculty Director Sarah Sewall served as a panelist at a discussion hosted by The Brookings Institution, in cooperation with USIP, the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, and Humanity United on June 16, 2011. The discussion explored the responsibility to protect and the ongoing crisis and NATO intervention in Libya. For audio of the event, click here.

Stanley Foundation Policy Salon: The Stanley Foundation, along with the Oxford Institute for Ethics Law and Armed Conflict, sponsored a policy salon dinner titled "The Responsibility to Prevent: Developing Targeted and Systemic Strategies" on June 16, 2011. The event discussed the role of systematic research in how mass atrocities should or can be prevented. MARO Project Faculty Director Sarah Sewall and MARO Project Director Sally Chin both participated in the dinner discussion.

Shrouded Horizons TTX: The National Defense University hosted a strategic-level TTX on mass atrocities prevention called Shrouded Horizons on June 2, 2011, in which MARO Project Director Sally Chin participated. The event was co-hosted by USIP, Human Rights First, and the Kroc Institute and sponsored by OUSD.

March 2011 Outreach in Europe and Africa: The MARO Project completed an intensive round of engagement with organizations in Europe and Africa, meeting with U.S. COCOMs, NATO, and African interlocutors to brief the MARO concept and handbook and explore implementation partnerships. For more information, see here.

Presentation at International Studies Association Conference: The MARO Project presented at the International Studies Association Conference in March 2011 in Montreal. The presentation was within the “R2P: Measures and Capacities” workshop at the conference and involved presentations from such organizations as USIP, OCHR, Royal Military College in Canada, University of Copenhagen, and University of Hamburg.

Institute for Security Studies: The Institute for Security Studies in Pretoria, South Africa hosted MARO Project Director Sally Chin at a seminar titled "Mass Atrocity Response and How Military Forces Might Respond" on March 22, 2011. This seminar brought together senior researchers, diplomats, and academics to discuss the MARO concept and the MARO Handbook.

The Preventing Genocide and Mass Atrocities International Symposium: MARO Project Director Sally Chin attended the Preventing Genocide and Mass Atrocities International Symposium convened by the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum and the Memorial de la Shoah in Paris on November 15, 2010. The symposium brought together leading genocide prevention and human rights officials and experts from around the world to discuss the current capacities of governments to respond to genocide/mass atrocities and to recommend strategies to enhance international cooperation.

“Responsibility to Protect: From Principal to Practice” Conference: MARO Project Faculty Director Sarah Sewall spoke at the “Responsibility to Protect: From Principal to Practice” conference at the University of Linkoping in Sweden on June 9, 2010. The conference, sponsored by the European Science Foundation and Linkoping University, convened expert academics and policy makers to understand and develop R2P, as well as provide concrete ideas that may be used by policy-makers. Sewall spoke on the panel Assisting states in the implementation of their international obligations in the face of a threat of international crimes.

Instability Warning and Genocide Prevention Symposium 2010: Sally Chin attended the Instability Warning and Genocide Prevention Symposium sponsored by the National Intelligence Council, Department of State at Vanderbilt University on May 17, 2010 in Nashville, TN. The Symposium focused on: foresight methodologies, instability impact assessment, shortcomings in the current warning system and collaborative international efforts.

Carr Center Event: Sally Chin was a panelist in “The Changing Landscape of Humanitarian Operations,” Carr Center sponsored event, that focused on the realities of working 'in the field’ held at the Harvard Kennedy School in Cambridge, MA on April 25, 2010.

Voices for Africa Conference: Sally Chin spoke at the 8th Annual Voices for Africa Conference: Youth and Emergencies held on April 10, 2010 at the Harvard Graduate School of Education in Cambridge, MA.

Atrocities Prevention Mapping Exercise: Sally Chin participated in a mapping exercise on April 6, 2010 in Washington, D.C. that investigated current executive branch processes, capacities and gaps in preventing or responding to potential situations of mass atrocities. Participants included representatives from NGOs and the US Government. The event was cosponsored by Connect U.S. Fund and Humanity United.

International Studies Association Conference: Sally Chin presented a paper written by Sarah Sewall and herself on the MARO Project titled, “Mass Atrocity Response Operations: A New Force Concept” at the ISA Conference on February 17, 2010 in New Orleans, LA. The paper addressed the operational challenges of intervening in an ongoing mass atrocity that have been analyzed by the Project. The Conference's theme was: Theory vs. Policy? Connecting Scholars and Practitioners.

Medecins Sans Frontieres Medical Assistance and the New Generation of Military Operations Roundtable: Project Director Sally Chin led a roundtable discussion where she presented MARO in the context of civilian protection and the relationship between humanitarians and military during mass atrocity situations. The roundtable was held on December 2, 2009 in Toronto.

NATO Defense College workshop, “Complex Operations: NATO at War and on the Margins of War”: MARO Project Faculty Advisor and Founder Sarah Sewall discussed the development of MARO Planning concepts to a roundtable of experts at the NATO Defense College (NDC) on November 25, 2009 in Rome, Italy. The purpose of the workshop was to develop ideas regarding complex operations and their implications for NATO. Papers stemming from this workshop were published as part of a NDC Forum Paper in 2010.

Pledge2Protect Conference: Project Director Sally Chin participated in panel discussions at the Pledge2Protect conference on November 6, 2009 in Washington, D.C., organized by the Genocide Intervention Network in partnership with Save Darfur and the Enough Project. The conference was designed to educate, empower, and highlight the work of activists who are driving the movement to prevent and stop genocide and mass atrocities. Over 800 advocates convened to learn organizational and advocacy skills and receive in-depth education on conflicts of concern.

Increasing Global Preparedness to Respond to Mass Atrocities Workshop: The MARO Project participated and provided support to the Henry L. Stimson Center's workshop on military options to halt mass atrocities, “Increasing Global Preparedness to Respond to Mass Atrocities: Advancing Concepts to Protect Civilians through Military Operations,” held on September 21, 2009 at the UK Defense Academy in Shrivenham, UK. Through a series of interactive wargame-like scenarios, the workshop identified key insights that could improve operational planning, training and execution of military operations mandated to protect civilians. Participants included a wide spectrum of former UN Peacekeeping Force Commanders, as well as military and civilian staff from the UN, ECOWAS, NATO, US, UK, and representatives of international organizations focused on peace keeping and civilian protection issues. During the workshop, Sarah Sewall outlined the changing role of civilians in conflict at the opening plenary, as well as presented the MARO concept during a session on international efforts to close the operational gap on halting mass atrocities.

US Special Operations Command (SOCOM) “Global Scout 2009”: MARO Project Faculty Director Sarah Sewall provided a briefing on MARO at this three-day seminar which looked at future global challenges for the military. The seminar was held on August 7, 2009.

Briefing of the SOCOM Irregular Warfare Seminar: MARO Project Faculty Director Sarah Sewall was invited to give a presentation on the need for MARO planning and concepts at SOCOM's Irregular Warfare Seminar held on August 3, 2009. This seminar explored the challenges of global migration, economic development, crime and extremism and how these issues are interlinked.

Roundtable at the US Office of the Secretary of Defense: MARO Project Faculty Director Sarah Sewall and Bill Flavin of PKSOI took part in a round-table discussion at the Office of the Secretary of Defense on MARO on July 29, 2009. Key issues discussed were around the unique challenges and requirements of MARO and the need for the military to plan for these types of situations was confirmed.

U.S. Army’s Unified Quest: Founder and MARO Project Faculty Director Sarah Sewall, Senior Military Advisor Mike Pryce, and Core Planner Kevin Benson presented the MARO Project to senior officials at the US Army's Unified Quest (UQ) game held on May 9, 2009 at the Carlisle Barracks in Pennsylvania. UQ is used by the commander of TRADOC (the Army's training and doctrine command) to help set its agenda for the coming year. Representatives from the Air Force, Navy, Marines, Special Operations Command, the State Department, and other countries also attended. The presentation led the Project to be invited to a number of follow up events at the Combatant and Functional Command level.