Director

Kenneth R. Rutherford, Ph.D., is Director of the Center for International Stabilization and Recovery and Professor of Political Science at James Madison University. In his capacity as Director he leads fundraising and strategic planning for CISR, which for more than 21 years has been recognized as a global leader in international efforts to combat the effects of landmines and explosive remnants of war, including rehabilitating post-conflict societies. He oversees a budget of nearly two million dollars funded almost entirely by contracts and grants and a full-time staff of thirteen, around ten student researchers and employing professors on specific overseas projects. He also spearheads collaborative relationships with international institutions, such as the United Nations, global foundations and US Government bureaus involved in post-conflict economic and social activities.

Dr. Rutherford is the author or co-editor of five books, Disarming States: The International Movement to Ban Landmines; Humanitarianism Under Fire: The US and UN Intervention in Somalia; Landmines and Human Security: International Politics and War’s Hidden Legacy; Reframing the Agenda: The Impact of NGO and Middle Power Cooperation in International Security Politics; and America’s Buried History: Landmines in the Civil War (forthcoming Spring 2018). He has testified before Congress and the United Nations, and also published more than forty articles in numerous academic and policy journals, including World Politics, Journal of International Politics, Journal of International Law and Policy. Dr. Rutherford has delivered presentations on landmines and conventional weapons destruction in more than thirty-six countries and has been quoted in numerous publications, including The New York Times; USA Today and International Herald Tribune

In 2005, Rutherford was recipient of a State Department Fulbright Research Award to Jordan, where he was appointed to the faculty at the University of Jordan, and researched disability rights. Dr. Rutherford co-founded the Landmine Survivors Network, which pioneered techniques in war victim assistance, providing thousands of amputees with peer mentors and artificial limbs while also advocating for global prohibition on anti-personnel landmines, and is a renowned leader in the Nobel Peace Prize-winning coalition that spearheaded the 1997 Mine Ban Treaty and the global movement that led to the 2008 Cluster Munitions Ban Treaty. Rutherford’s story and work has been profiled in Reader’s Digest and on television, including the BBC, NBC Dateline, HBO, The View, and Oprah. In August 1997, he escorted Diana, Princess of Wales on her last humanitarian mission to Bosnia. 

He is the recipient of the Leadership in International Rehabilitation Award by Northwestern University (1998), Survivor’s Award by the Marshal Legacy Institute (1999), United Nations Association-USA humanitarian award by Sir Paul McCartney (2002), “Everyday Hero” award selected as one of twenty-five American “everyday heroes” by United Airlines from 10,000 nominations, the Human Security Award by the Center for Unconventional Security Affairs at the University of California, Irvine (2014) and Global Citizen of the Year by Roots of Peace (2015). In 2013 Rutherford was included among the "one hundred most influential people in armed violence reduction" by the London-based organization Action on Armed Violence.

Previously, Dr. Rutherford served on the Political Science faculty at Missouri State University, where he was recipient of the Public Affairs Professorship (2009), Outstanding Leadership Award” (2007), and the Student Choice Award (2006–2007) "for outstanding service rendered unto the Student Population of Missouri State and for distinction of service to the MSU student body. It's the highest honor that the students can bestow.” Prior to this, he served as a humanitarian worker in Kenya, Mauritania, Senegal, and Somalia.

Dr. Rutherford holds a Ph.D. from Georgetown University, and B.A. and MBA degrees from the University of Colorado, where he was inducted into it Hall of Fame for distinguished alumni (2004). 


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