Case #1905.0

Blessed are the Peacemakers: Senator Danforth as Special Envoy to the Sudan

Publication Date: October 14, 2009
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After the attack on the World Trade Towers on September 11th, Senator John (Jack) C. Danforth's appointment as the president's special envoy to the Sudan took on a much deeper significance. As an ordained Episcopal priest, the senator, closely backed by the president, brought a new strategy to the end the decades long civil war. Danforth strategically moved to align fragmented peace efforts in the US, Europe, and Africa around one initiative led by the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) and sought to engage the religious Muslim and Christian religious leaders in solving the differences between the North and the South. Unlike previous envoys, Danforth proposed specific tests and benchmarks to determine if peace between the two parties was even feasible. He further insisted on actions to measure progress and as the U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations, he dragged the entire Security Council to Africa to push the peace process forward. Danforth's philosophy was to listen to both sides and not to condemn the atrocities committed by both parties, but to bring peace.

Learning Objective:
This case allows students to consider Danforth's strategic approach to finding peace and to compare and contrast it with efforts at peace in the Darfur conflict. It further examines peace efforts in ethnically and religiously divided societies, and views the peace process through the lenses of some of the religious leaders within the country. It can be used in courses on religion and politics, civil wars, negotiations, leadership, public policy, and international relations.

Other Details

Teaching Plan:
Available with Educator Access
Case Author:
Marie Besancon
Faculty Lead:
Monica Toft
Pages (incl. exhibits):
Funding Source:
The Luce Foundation and Harvard Kennedy School Executive Education