Peter Ackerman is chairman of Freedom House, an independent nongovernmental organization that supports the expansion of freedom in the world. Founded in 1941 by Eleanor Roosevelt, Wendell Willkie and other eminent Americans, Freedom House is a global, nonpartisan voice for democracy and human rights. It produces annual global surveys on the state of political rights and civil liberties, and operates a range of democracy development programs in a number of emerging democracies and closed societies.
Ackerman also served as founding chair of the International Center on Nonviolent Conflict, an organization that disseminates knowledge about the indigenous use of civilian-based, nonviolent strategies to establish justice and democratic self-rule worldwide.
Ackerman co-authored Strategic Nonviolent Conflict, published in 1994, and A Force More Powerful: A Century of Nonviolent Conflict. The latter volume was a companion book for the Emmy-nominated documentary of the same title, which appeared nationally on the Public Broadcasting Service (PBS) in September 2000. Ackerman also served as the series editor and principal content adviser. Ackerman was executive producer of “Bringing Down a Dictator,” the Peabody award-winning documentary that chronicled the fall of Slobodan Milosevic in Serbia, which premiered on PBS in March 2002.
Ackerman is a graduate of Colgate University and holds a Ph.D. from the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy, for which he now serves as chairman of the Board of Overseers. He also sits on the boards of CARE and the Council on Foreign Relations, on the Executive Council of the International Institute of Strategic Studies, and on the advisory councils of the U.S. Institute of Peace and the U.S. Olympic Committee.