Topics: Peace and Human Rights
Social Change
Regional focus: Global
Origin: Iran
United Kingdom
Fellowship: Richard von Weizsäcker Fellow

As Founder and CEO of the International Civil Society Action Network (ICAN), Sanam Naraghi Anderlini, MBE has nearly three decades of experience as a peace strategist working globally on conflicts, crises, violent extremism and peacebuilding with civil society, governments and the UN.  Through ICAN, she spearheads the Women’s Alliance for Security Leadership (WASL) comprising independent women-led organizations active in 40 countries globally, preventing violence and promoting peace, rights and pluralism, and established the Innovative Peace Fund (IPF) -  the first and only independent multi-donor fund dedicated to women-led peacebuilding organizations.  

Sanam Naraghi Anderlini has led groundbreaking initiatives including being a civil society leader and drafter of the seminal UN Security Council Resolution 1325 on Women, Peace and Security and leading multi-country research initiatives on women’s contributions to peace processes, men’s experiences in conflict settings, and violent extremisms and the gender dimensions of the weaponization of identities. She was appointed to the UN’s Standby Team of Mediation Experts as the first Senior Expert on Gender and Inclusion working on Somalia, Libya and Syria, Sudan among other cases in 2011-2012.

She has extensive experience in designing and delivering curricula on gender responsiveness, preventing violent extremism, and inclusive mediation issues for senior government officials, UN staff, and mediators. Since 2018, she has been an adjunct Professor at the Columbia University School of International Public Affairs (SIPA) and from 2020 to September 2022, she served as Director of the LSE Centre for Women, Peace and Security. In November 2022, Ms. Naraghi Anderlini was the first Andrew Mellon Fellow at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, USA.

Sanam Naraghi Anderlini serves on the Steering Board of the UK’s National Action Plan on Women, Peace and Security and Prevention of Sexual Violence, the Commonwealth’s Panel of Experts on Countering Violent Extremism (CVE), and the WMC’s Steering Committee. She also serves as Co-Chair of the Principles for Inclusive Peace Initiative. Her media appearances include CNN’s Amanpour, and Al Jazeera.  She has published numerous articles including in Foreign Affair, Le Monde Diplomatique and the UK’s Observer. Her books include Civil War, Civil Peace (Pluto Press, 1998) and Women Building Peace: What they do, why it matters (Rienner, 2007).

In 2020, she was awarded an MBE by HM The Queen, for her services to International Peacebuilding and Women’s Rights.  Ms. Naraghi Anderlini speaks four languages and holds an MPhil in Social Anthropology from Cambridge University. Iranian by birth she is a UK and US citizen and has identical twin daughters. 

Last updated: 2023