Dr. Peter Ackerman, an international peace advocate, businessman, scholar and author, has been awarded the New York State Bar Association's Distinction in International Affairs Award for 2012.
The award, established by the Association's International Section, recognizes individuals who have made a major contribution to international peace, understanding and democracy. It was presented January 25 during the Bar Association's Annual Meeting in New York City.
Ackerman, a New York City resident, is managing director of Rockport Capital Inc., a private investment firm in Washington, D.C. In 2002, he co-founded the International Center on Nonviolent Conflict, an independent, nonprofit educational foundation that promotes non-military efforts to defend human rights, social justice and democracy.
"Dr. Ackerman's work promoting peace throughout the world through non-violent public activism, the rule of law and scholarship distinguishes him among his peers," said Section Chair Andre R. Jaglom of Manhattan (Tannenbaum Helpern Syracuse & Hirschtritt). "We are pleased to recognize his lifetime of achievement through the presentation of this award."
He is co-author of two books on civil nonviolence: "A Force More Powerful: A Century of Non-Violent Conflict" and "Strategic Nonviolent Conflict: The Dynamics of People Power in the Twentieth Century." He was executive producer of an award-winning PBS documentary, "Bringing Down a Dictator," about the fall of Serbian leader Slobodan Milosevic.
Prior to his current post at Rockport, Ackerman was an investment banker at Drexel Burnham Lambert. He was chairman of the board of overseers of the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University and chairman of the board of Freedom House. He currently chairs Americans Elect, a non-partisan election watchdog group. He also is on the Executive Council of the International Institute for Strategic Studies in London, the U.S. Advisory Council of the United States Institute of Peace and the Advisory Board for America Abroad Media. A graduate of Colgate University, he received his doctorate in international relations from the Fletcher School.
Past recipients of the award include former Soviet President Mikhail S. Gorbachev, former Polish President Lech Walesa, United Nations secretary generals Javier Perez De Cuellar and Dag Hammarskjold, U.S. Secretary of State Cyrus R. Vance and International Bar Association President Fernando Pelaez-Pier.
The New York State Bar Association is the largest voluntary state bar association in the nation. It was founded in 1876.
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