Director of Strategic Partnerships
Areas of expertise
  • Peace mediation and conflict resolution
  • Dynamics of violence and political transitions
  • Cities, peacebuilding, and climate change adaptation
  • Investment and private sector development in complex environments
  • Changing global governance and Geneva as a global hub
Geographical Region of Expertise
  • Central America
  • South America
  • MENA region


Achim Wennmann is the Director for Strategic Partnerships of the Geneva Graduate Institute. He is also Professor of Practice in the Institute’s Interdisciplinary Programme where he holds the Nagulendran Chair in Peace Mediation. 

As part of the Institute's leadership team, Achim has the overall responsibilities to lead on the development of strategic partnerships in support of the vision and mission of the Institute; to develop collaboration around emerging topics and initiatives at the research-policy interface; and to provide strategic advice to the Director relevant for the overall positioning and competitiveness of the Institute. In these functions, he directs the Geneva Policy Outlook – a strategic partnership initiative to reflect on how Geneva remains a relevant global governance hub in times of rapid change.

As Professor of Practice and Nagulendran Chair in Peace Mediation, Achim works on the political economy of violent conflict, peace processes and political transitions. He holds a long publication record on these issues for both academic and policy audiences. His academic work has been published in journals such as Third World Quarterly; Global Governance; Security Dialogue; the International Review of the Red Cross; and Conflict, Security and Development; and in edited volumes published by Cambridge University Press, Oxford University Press or Routledge. He teaches the course Conflict Resolution and Peace Mediation in Times of Radical Uncertainty and directs the Summer School Module on The UN in a Changing World.  He is also a regular contributor to the Institute’s Executive Education courses. 

Achim currently serves as a Faculty Associate at the Institute's Centre on Conflict, Development and Peacebuilding (CCDP), on the Advisory Board of the Geneva Water Hub (a joint Centre between the Institute and the University of Geneva) and as a Member of the Board of Trustees of the Commission for Research Partnerships with Developing Countries (KFPE). 

Key previous roles included service as independent mediation advisor for the European Union’s External Action Service on the economic dimensions of the conflict in Yemen (2020-2022); and as founding team member and Executive Advisor of the Peace Dividend Initiative – a new foundation dedicated to harnessing market forces for peace (2020-2024). Between 2011 and 2021, Achim was the Executive Coordinator of the Geneva Peacebuilding Platform, a nework of peace professionals, in the capacity of which he co-founded Geneva Peace Week and the Peace Talks Initiative and contributed to the creation of the Geneva Cities Hub (2017-2018). He has also worked on the Geneva Declaration on Armed Violence and Development at the Small Arms Survey (2007-2010). Overall, Achim has incubated over dozen initiatives in the peace and global governance sector focusing on strategic development, fundraising and process & network performance.

Having worked with many peacemakers and community activists over the last decade, Achim believes in the merits of dialogue and negotiation for preventing and resolving conflicts, even in the most difficult contexts and with the most difficult actors. Achim also believes in the power of collaboration and partnership across institutions and sectors because no actor – however powerful – has all the relationships, access, or instruments necessary to deal with the coming era of deep social transformation and intense turbulence. This is why the question of how we are embracing change as institution, community and individual is at the heart of Achim’s motivation for teaching, research and partnership building at the Institute.

Achim Wennmann holds a Doctorate in International Relations from the Graduate Institute, where he also obtained a Diplôme d’Études Supérieures (DES). He also has a Bachelor’s Degree in International Relations with Development Studies from the University of Sussex, United Kingdom. Achim grew up in Brussels and is a national of Switzerland and Germany. He speaks German, English, Spanish and French. 


Expertise Details

  • Adaptation of peace mediation, conflict prevention and peacebuilding practice to changing global, regional and local orders.

  • The political economy of violent conflict, peace processes and political transitions.

  • Opportunities and constraints of post-conflict economic development in the nexus of state sovereignty and hybrid political orders, with a focus on private sector development.

  • Pragmatic peacebuilding in cities, urban political settlements, including as strategies for climate change adaption. 

  • Global governance in times of radical uncertainty especially focused on Geneva as a global hub.


Selected publications

The full list of publications is available below.

Books & special issues

See also the Geneva Policy Outlook 2023 and 2024.


Achim Wennmann
Achim Wennmann