Joan B. Kroc Institute for Peace & Justice Receives International Honor for Work in Nepal

The Joan B. Kroc Institute for Peace & Justice (IPJ) at the University of San Diego was recently awarded the Everest Summit Award to recognize eight years of peacebuilding efforts in Nepal.

The award will be presented during “Peace Works: IPJ Nepal Project and Partnerships,” June 26, from 12-2:30 p.m. in the IPJ Theatre, located at the West Entrance of the campus. Santosh Shah, youth activist and journalist, will be on hand to make the presentation and take part in a discussion on the future of the country. Shah is the founder and director of Today’s Youth, an organization preparing Nepalese youth with positive ideas and skills, and providing capacity building to promote active contribution to the nation in crisis.

The recent elections in Nepal were seen as a historic step toward democracy for the country. It is one step in a long-term peace process that started two years ago. With a new leadership, many question what role will Nepali people will play in determining the future of the democratic transition of the nation. That topic, along with other key challenges facing Nepal, will be addressed in the forum. This event is free and open to the public.

Shah created the Everest Summit Award, which is a humanitarian award to recognize international figures who have been successful in bringing about a constructive positive reform in the Nepalese society, to benefit global humanity through their tireless contribution to humanitarian works, peace, education and media.

The award was first presented in Nepal by the top Nepal government leader, Maoist Chairman Prachanda. Dee Aker, IPJ interim executive director, and Laura Taylor, an IPJ program officer who has worked extensively in Nepal, accepted the honor during a two-week visit to the country last month.

“In our work around the world, perhaps it is the inspiration and dedication of the women peacemakers and commitment of youth that teaches us the most about the essentials in peace building,” Aker said. “People want to cultivate a new respect for diversity while working for inclusion of voices and the profound rights of citizens. We hope to join you in the creation of a truly inclusive, democratic and just state.”

Members of the IPJ have made frequent trips to Nepal since their work in the country began, and have quietly been a part of the development process of the country. They have met with top leaders in major venues in Kathmandu, and huddled with small groups of citizens in the most remote areas. They’ve been utilized as consultants and called upon to teach conflict management and communication skills to political leaders, civic society spokespersons and women representatives.

During the presentation in Nepal, Maoist Chairman Prachanda said that he welcomed the participation of the international community in the development process of Nepal.

“I am convinced that our next generation will contribute to Nepal’s progress and development, and the Everest Summit Award is the first step towards achieving that positive identity worldwide,” he said.

For more information the IPJ Nepal Project, go to

About The University of San Diego

The Joan B. Kroc Institute for Peace & Justice is part of the Joan B. Kroc School of Peace Studies at the University of San Diego. The institute is dedicated to fostering peace, cultivating justice and creating a safer world through education, research, and peacemaking activities.

The University of San Diego is a Catholic institution of higher learning chartered in 1949; the school enrolls approximately 7,500 students and is known for its commitment to teaching, the liberal arts, the formation of values and community service. The inauguration of the Joan B. Kroc School of Peace Studies brings the university’s total number of schools and colleges to six. Other academic divisions include the College of Arts and Sciences and the schools of Business Administration, Law, Leadership and Education Sciences, and Nursing and Health Science.


About the University of San Diego

The University of San Diego sets the standard for an engaged, contemporary Catholic university where innovative Changemakers confront humanity’s urgent challenges. With more than 8,000 students from 75 countries and 44 states, USD is the youngest independent institution on the U.S. News & World Report list of top 100 universities in the United States. USD’s eight academic divisions include the College of Arts and Sciences, the School of Business, the Shiley-Marcos School of Engineering, the School of Law, the School of Leadership and Education Sciences, the Hahn School of Nursing and Health Science, the Joan B. Kroc School of Peace Studies, and the Division of Professional and Continuing Education. USD recently concluded our successful $317M Leading Change: The Campaign for USD, which represented the most ambitious fundraising effort in the history of the university. In September 2016, USD introduced Envisioning 2024, a strategic plan that capitalizes on the university’s recent progress and aligns new strategic goals with current strengths to help shape a vision for the future as the university looks ahead to its 75th anniversary in the year 2024.