February 24, 2003 - Lewis and Clark Chronicle: Cominican Republic RPCV Ana Grier Cutter works to prevent deadly conflicts

Peace Corps Online: Directory: Dominican Republic: Peace Corps Dominican Republic : The Peace Corps in the Dominican Republic: February 24, 2003 - Lewis and Clark Chronicle: Cominican Republic RPCV Ana Grier Cutter works to prevent deadly conflicts

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Cominican Republic RPCV Ana Grier Cutter works to prevent deadly conflicts

Cominican Republic RPCV Ana Grier Cutter works to prevent deadly conflicts

Ana Grier Cutter í90 works to prevent deadly conflicts

Ana Grier Cutter í90 lives and works in what she considers the worldís greatest city, New York. But her heart longs to return to foreign lands.

Since graduating from Lewis & Clark College, Cutter has experienced an international affairs career that has whisked her to the Dominican Republic as a Peace Corps volunteer, around Latin America as a development bank representative and to the Balkans to observe conflict-prevention efforts for her current employer, the Carnegie Council on Ethics and International Affairs.

"Iím fascinated by international affairs, in general, and specifically, with how states deal with violence," says Cutter, who lives in New York Cityís East Village.

Cutterís lengthy résumé has not gone unnoticed. Last summer, she was accepted into the Council on Foreign Relations, the widely respected think tank whose members comprise the nationís international affairs cognoscenti. The privileges of membership include access to intimate gatherings of notable U.S. foreign policy experts and visiting dignitaries.

Some of the policy experts share Cutterís passion for deterring violence around the world. Since November 1999, she has managed a program at the Carnegie Council that fosters a learning community for scholars and policymakers who are dedicated to international conflict prevention. Cutter presents workshops, seminars and forums, and she coteaches a course at the United Nations on "Preventive Diplomacy at the United Nations" to U.N. diplomats and Columbia University graduate students.

Cutterís office is blocks away from the United Nations, which she calls a "daily miracle" that embodies the ideal of a community of nations and that shares her melioristic world view.

"Instead of looking at the consequences of war," she says, "Iím interested in the roots and causes of war and in how to prevent it."

Cutterís global perspective stems, in part, from her years at Lewis & Clark, where she befriended students from Sweden, Denmark and Nigeria and where her exposure to political activism awakened her own political interests.

"Lewis & Clark is where I came into my own," she says, making special mention of a valued relationship with Jean Ward, professor of communication and director of Inventing America, who served as her adviser.

"She planted the first seeds in me toward becoming a serious scholar."

Ward isnít surprised that the student she recalls as "fun, energetic and very devoted" has quickly distinguished herself in her field. "She was always a student who would go beyond the assigned," Ward says. "She had her own questions, and sheíd go after the answers."

After graduating with a bachelorís degree in communication, Cutter enlisted in the Peace Corps and spent two-and-a-half-years in the Dominican Republic, where she found herself in an isolated village, five miles from the nearest road. There, she helped launch a womenís embroidery cooperative and oversaw the installation of a gravity-based water system that put a spigot at every house.

Cutter remained in Latin America after her Peace Corps stint to work for the Corporación Andina de Fomento, a regional development bank, headquartered in Caracas, Venezuela. During her travels as one of the bankís external affairs officers, she witnessed firsthand the violence caused by the Columbian drug war.

"Part of my interest in preventing violence developed through seeing the misery that results from that kind of violence," says Cutter, "and through realizing how a deadly conflict inhibits development for years."

Three years later, she returned to the states to earn a masterís degree in international affairs from Columbia University, which led to a public affairs position with the Carnegie Commission on Preventing Deadly Conflict.

In 1999, Cutter was hired to spearhead the design of the program she now directs from her Manhattan office. Her job provides opportunities to travel abroad, including Macedonia and Kosovo, where she observed the efforts of an affiliated peace organization last fall.

Cutter now plans to earn a doctorate in political science and to return to fieldwork, if only temporarily. New York may be where experts talk about averting conflicts around the globe, but she says itís no substitute for the real thing. "My real love," Cutter says, "is being out there."

óby Dan Sadowsky

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Story Source: Lewis and Clark Chronicle

This story has been posted in the following forums: : Headlines; COS - Dominican Republic; Conflict Resolution



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