Christopher Pieper, of Murray, considers himself the “old guy” among his classmates of ten Rotary Peace Fellows who will spend the next 16 months studying together in Great Britain. One of two Americans, as well as two from Australia, two from Africa and one each from Brazil, Argentina, Korea and Angola, this husband and father of five – ages toddler to pre-teen – has “sold the furniture
and broken the lease” to take advantage of this opportunity (The Peace Fellowship will cover tuition and fees, room and board, round-trip transportation, and all internship and field-study expenses).

“Understanding peace – what it looks like and how it can be measured – is a really useful lens through which to view our issues,” notes Utah’s next Peace Scholar. (Elizabeth Gamarra, selected as
a Utah Peace Scholar in 2019, has finished a Master’s degree in Japan and plans to stay to complete a Ph.D.) “And, understanding peace will help us better know what we are after, where we want to go as a society and help us view each other by our similarities rather than our differences. Based on the world peace index, the US ranks 121 st of 163 nations analyzed. I think we can do better than that.”

As he begins this new adventure, to include academic training, practice and global networking opportunities as one of 130 fully funded fellowships worldwide, he is already considering some possible dissertation topics. Top on his list of maybes are “how do we get past politics and look for ways to address the concerns of all our citizens”; “pillars of peace” and “finding the intersection of democratic policy.”

Pieper earned a bachelor’s degree from the College of William and Mary and a law degree from Brigham Young University.  He is a former Fulbright Scholar and did research in Kazakhstan.  Most
recently he worked five years as an intern in the Utah Attorney General’s office and for the last three years as a lawyer.  He is a member of the Salt Lake Interfaith Roundtable, served as a committee chair for the Parliament of World Religions conference when it was held in Salt Lake City and is a member of the Utah Council for Citizen Diplomacy.

Upon his return to Utah, Pieper hopes to be invited to speak to Rotary clubs throughout District 5420 where he will share some of what he has learned about peace in an unsettled world. Applications for 2021 Peace Fellows will be accepted between February 1 and May 31. Those who may be interested in applying are encouraged to begin the process right away. For more information, contact District 5420 Peace Chair Kris Swanson at kris@creativecommconcepts.com or by phone to (970) 309-3353.

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