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U.S. Department of State

Diplomacy in Action

Who We Are

The Bureau of Conflict and Stabilization Operations (CSO) focuses on preventing and mitigating violent conflict. 

The "J" Family

CSO belongs to the “J” family of bureaus under the Under Secretary for Civilian Security, Democracy, and Human Rights. It works with these and other offices to make the Department more efficient, agile, and coherent in preventing and responding to conflict and crisis.

Assistant Secretary

Date: 05/03/2012 Description: Ambassador Rick Barton - State Dept Image

Assistant Secretary of State for Conflict and Stabilization Operations

Ambassador Rick Barton of Maine was sworn in as Assistant Secretary of State for Conflict and Stabilization Operations on April 3, 2012. Mr. Barton has worked to improve the U.S. and international response to conflict in more than 30 of the world’s most unstable places.



Organization and Leadership

CSO is organized according to four functional pillars: Establish and Coordinate Policy and Programs; Assess, Plan, Implement, Deploy; Support and Recruit; Evaluate, Learn, Communicate, Connect.

Establish and Coordinate Policy and Programs

Date: 03/07/2014 Description: Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary Erin M. Barclay - State Dept Image

Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary Erin M. Barclay oversees the development and coordination of CSO’s policies and programs.  Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary Barclay came to CSO from the Office of Criminal Justice Assistance and Partnership in the Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs.

  • Office of Policy and Programs - Ensures worldwide activities are in line with CSO’s goals and strategies, provides early warning of potential conflict, coordinates with other bureaus and embassies, supports design of the International Operational Response Framework (IORF), and plans and allocates program funds.

Assess, Plan, Implement, Deploy

Date: 08/08/2012 Description: Karin von Hippel - State Dept Image

Deputy Assistant Secretary for Overseas Operations Karin von Hippel oversees the conduction of conflict analyses, development and implementation of plans, and deployments to overseas engagements.
  • Offices of Overseas Operations - Conducts conflict analyses with partners, prepares mission-specific conflict response and contingency plans, provides sectoral expertise, measures progress and effectiveness of deployments, and deploys and manages in-country teams.


Support and Recruit

Date: 09/26/2012 Description: Deputy Assistant Secretary for Management Support and Civilian Response Corps Dolores Marie (Capece) Brown - State Dept Image

Deputy Assistant Secretary for Management Support and Civilian Response Corps Dolores Marie (Capece) Brown oversees support of CSO operations and programs and management of the Civilian Response Corps and civilian responders.

  • Office of the Executive Director - Provides financial management, budget, and domestic administrative management and support.
  • Office of Civilian Response Corps and Deployment Support - Recruits and readies civilian responders, including Civilian Response Corps members, for deployment or assignment to engagement teams; conducts research and analysis to adjust civilian responder staffing for future needs; and provides management support for overseas deployments.

Evaluate, Learn, Communicate, Connect

Date: 03/13/2012 Description: Jerry White - State Dept Image

Deputy Assistant Secretary for Partnerships and Learning Jerry White oversees the development of partnerships with actors inside and outside of the U.S. government, the conduct of public affairs, and the evaluation of engagements for continuous learning.

  • Office of Partnerships - Works with partner governments and multilateral organizations, the private sector, NGOs, and civil society organizations; coordinates with the U.S. Department of Defense and other Department of State bureaus to set civilian-military guidelines and procedures for conflict operations; conducts public affairs and outreach.
  • Office of Learning and Training - Develops and maintains an online resource center, establishes training requirements and helps develop courses for CSO personnel, and catalogs and analyzes lessons learned from deployments.


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