Institute for Peace and Justice
Phone: (619) 260-7509
Fax: (619) 260-7570

Location: KIPJ Room 113
Joan B. Kroc School of Peace Studies
5998 Alcala Park
San Diego, CA 92110

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Joan B. Kroc Institute for Peace and Justice

Mission and History

Fostering Peace, Cultivating Justice and Creating a Safer World

The Joan B. Kroc Institute for Peace and Justice at the University of San Diego's Joan B. Kroc School of Peace Studies sees peace as inseparable from justice and acts to prevent and resolve conflicts that threaten local, national and international peace. To achieve this, we: 

  • Build peace with justice by strengthening women peacemakers, youth leaders and human rights defenders;
  • Broaden constituencies for peace and justice by convening a wide range of stakeholders and serving as a resource to local communities, students, academics and practitioners; and
  • Develop, distill and disseminate innovative approaches to peacebuilding leadership, policy, practice and advocacy.


The institute was founded in 2000 with a generous gift from San Diego philanthropist Joan B. Kroc, who stipulated that the institute not only "talk about peace, but make peace." Beginning with a Dedicatory Conference in 2001, attended by former Presidents Jimmy Carter of the United States and Oscar Arias Sanchez of Costa Rica, along with many other peacebuilders and representatives from four conflict-affected states, the institute has worked to bring together the powerful and the marginalized in order to build strong peacebuilding coalitions.

Founding Executive Director Joyce Neu, Ph.D., came to the institute from The Carter Center, where she assisted Jimmy Carter in peace negotiations around the world. When she left the institute in 2008 to join a United Nations negotiating task force, the institute was working on four continents, had been recognized as a non-governmental organization (NGO) with Special Consultative Status with the Economic and Social Council of the United Nations, and was offering over 40 events per year, including conferences serving large international delegations and local audiences.

In 2007, the institute became part of the newly established Joan B. Kroc School of Peace Studies, which was made possible by a gift from Mrs. Kroc's estate and was the largest gift in University of San Diego history. The school offers a master's program in peace and justice studies and also encompasses the Trans-Border Institute, which was founded in 1994 and focuses on Mexico-U.S. border issues.

The Institute of Peace and Justice is housed in a 90,000-square-foot building that was completed in December 2001. It includes an auditorium for 280, conference space, a boardroom, classrooms, break-out rooms, a production studio, faculty offices and state-of-the-art technology. The Casa de la Paz, a residence located next to the institute, houses our Women PeaceMakers every fall, as well as visiting scholars, speakers and dignitaries year-round.