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Established in 2001, The Peacemaker Award honors significant and sustained contributions by an individual or organization to the cause of peace. The award recognizes the efforts of an individual or organization to bring peace through various conflict resolution approaches to ethnic, religious and civil conflicts that have raged domestically and outside the United States. McDonald joins a notable group of Peacemaker Award recipients that includes Lee H. Hamilton, Sen. George Mitchell and Conflict Resolution Network Canada.
McDonald spent 20 years of his diplomatic career in Western Europe and the Middle East, and worked for 16 years on United Nations missions around the world. A former senior adviser to George Mason University's Institute for Conflict Analysis and Resolution and president of the Iowa Peace Institute, McDonald co-founded the "Institute for Multi-Track Diplomacy" (IMTD) in Washington, D.C in 1992, focusing on national and international ethnic conflicts. Through IMTD, McDonald has worked on creative conflict transformation projects in Cyprus, Israel-Palestine, Georgia, Bosnia-Herzegovina, East Africa, Liberia, Nepal, Sudan, Zimbabwe, Jordan, Libya, India, Pakistan and Kashmir. Recognizing the strong link between access to water and peace, he also founded "Global Water" in 1982 to address international drinking water and sanitation issues.
In 1983, Ambassador McDonald joined the State Department's newly formed Center for the Study of Foreign Affairs as its Coordinator for Multilateral Affairs, and lectured and organized symposia on the art of negotiation, multilateral diplomacy and international organizations. He has written or edited eight books on negotiation and conflict resolution.
From 1978-83, he carried out a wide variety of assignments for the State Department in the area of multilateral diplomacy. He was President of the INTELSAT World Conference called to draft a treaty on privileges and immunities; leader of the U.S. Delegation to the UN World Conference on Technical Cooperation Among Developing Countries, in Buenos Aires in 1978; Secretary General of the 27th Colombo Plan Ministerial Meeting; head of the U.S. Delegation which negotiated a UN Treaty Against the Taking of Hostages; U.S. Coordinator for the UN Decade on Drinking Water and Sanitation; head of the U.S. Delegation to UNIDO III in New Delhi in 1980; Chairman of the Federal Inter-Agency Committee for the UN's International Year of Disabled Persons, 1981; U.S. Coordinator and head of the U.S. Delegation for the UN's World Assembly on Aging, in Vienna, in 1982.
From 1974-78, he was Deputy Director General of the International Labor Organization (ILO) in Geneva, Switzerland, a UN Agency, with responsibility for managing that agency's 3,200 person Secretariat, coming from 102 countries, with programs in 120 member nations, and an annual budget of $135 million.
From 1947-1974, Ambassador McDonald held various State Department assignments in Berlin, Frankfurt, Bonn, Paris, Washington D.C., Ankara, Tehran, Karachi, and Cairo.
Ambassador McDonald holds both a B.A. and a J.D. degree from the University of Illinois, and graduated from the National War College in 1967. He was appointed Ambassador twice by President Carter and twice by President Reagan to represent the United States at various UN World Conferences.
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