Faculty & Staff
- John Joseph Moakley Distinguished Professor of Peace and Reconciliation, McCormack Graduate School
- N/A Telephone:
- Padraig.OMalley@umb.edu Email:
Professional Publications & Contributions
Padraig O’Malley is the John Joseph Moakley Distinguished Professor of Peace and Reconciliation, McCormack Graduate School of Policy and Global Studies at the University of Massachusetts Boston and author on topics related to divided societies. He was born in Dublin, Ireland. His 15-year documentation of the transition from apartheid to democracy in South Africa, The Heart of Hope, is available at www.nelsonmandela.org/omalley. This website is an ongoing project hosted by the Nelson Mandela Foundation in July 2009. His forthcoming book, The Greater Middle East: What the Future Tells Us, is scheduled for release by Viking/Penguin Press in 2012. O’Malley was the founding editor of the New England Journal of Public Policy (1985-2005).
In August/September 2007, O’Malley headed up a project with the Institute of Global Leadership (IGL), Tufts University, and Crisis Management Initiative (CMI), the NGO established by former President of Finland and Nobel Prize winner Martii Athisaari, that brought 16 senior Iraqi officials from all Sunni and Shia parties, including Minister of National Reconciliation Akram al Hakim to Helsinki to meet with chief negotiators from Northern Ireland (NI), including former chief of staff of the IRA, Martin McGuinness, who had reached agreement in NI in 2007, and chief negotiators who had brokered the settlement in South Africa (SA) in 1994, including Cyril Ramaphosa, Nelson Mandela’s chief negotiator, to share experiences of conflict and the processes of peace negotiations and reconciliation. The result was an agreement which was submitted by participants to their political leaders for ratification.
To achieve this end, O’Malley orchestrated the follow-up conference which was held in Helsinki in April 2008. This conference was attended by 37 of the most senior leaders in Iraq, representing all political factions and parties and tribal sheikhs, including the Awakening Councils. The participants, acting on behalf of their parties, reached the outline of an agreement.
The final agreement setting out a framework for future inclusive negotiations was signed by the 37 political leaders and tribal sheikhs after an additional six weeks of intensive work by O’Malley in Iraq.
Result: The Helsinki Agreement, 17 principles outlining the code of political behavior for participation in future negotiations and 15 implementation mechanisms to ensure compliance was announced in Baghdad on July 5, 2008.
O’Malley’s career as a facilitator/convener in conflict situations:
- In 1975 he brought 35 people from all parties to the conflict in NI to the University of Massachusetts Amherst including leading paramilitary leaders from all sides in the conflict.
- Result: an agreement among paramilitaries not to deliberately target civilians
- In 1984 brought together centre stream Catholic and Protestant parties to a forum at the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library with British ministers governing Northern Ireland: the first time they had conversed in a neutral zone.
- In January 1985 brought all parties from Northern Ireland (except Sinn Fein’s political arm of the IRA who were denied visas), members of all parties from the Republic of Ireland and all parties from UK parliament, ministers from the British government administering NI, members from the Republic of Ireland with portfolios dealing with NI and senior civil servants from both UK and Ireland to Airlie House, Virginia.
- Result: the landmark Anglo Irish Agreement 1985, giving the Republic of Ireland a say in how NI was administered.
- In 1992, brought together at the University of Massachusetts Boston, 12 high level officials from across the sectarian divide in NI with 12 senior members of the ANC’s constitutional committee to discuss “The Role of a Bill of Rights in a Divided Society.”
- Result: establishing connections between key individuals from two divided societies deep in conflict.
- In 1996 brought Cyril Ramaphosa, chief negotiator for the African National Congress (ANC) and Roelf Meyer, chief negotiator for the former National Party Apartheid government, who had successfully concluded the historic settlement in SA in 1994 to NI to meet with leaders of all political parties including leading members of the paramilitary militias.
- Result: a recommendation to President Nelson Mandela that the SA government could assist in helping to break deadlocks
- In 1997 convened with Nelson Mandela’s government a conference in SA bringing all parties in stalled negotiations in NI to meet with, over a period of four days, all the chief negotiators from all parties who had participated in the SA peace process 1992 -1994.
- Result: breaking of deadlock, the Good Friday Agreement 1998, bringing peace to NI
- In October 2007 hosted a conference at the University of Massachusetts Boston bringing together key people involved in the reconciliation process in NI with key participants from such processes in El Salvador, Chile, Guatemala, and South Africa (the core countries), all of whom had participated in some form of commission dealing with the past.
- Result: the core countries will reconstitute themselves as a support group to continue to assist the process of reconciliation in NI.
- Sept 2007/July 2008: As Director, The Iraq Project: convened two meetings in Helsinki, Finland among key negotiators from the South African settlement including Cyril Ramaphosa and Roelf Meyer and key negotiators to the Northern Ireland settlement including Martin McGuinness and Jeffrey Donaldson who met with 33 leaders of all the political parties in Iraq.
- Result: The Helsinki Agreement formally adopted in Baghdad, 5th July 2008.
- April 2009 convened a conference on a Forum for Cities in Transition from Conflict at the University of Massachusetts Boston. The four participating cities – Derry/Londonderry NI, Mitrovica (two municipalities), Nicosia (two municipalities) and Kirkuk (7 members of the Kirkuk provincial council including the chairman and leaders of all ethnic blocs) agreed after three days of intense discussion to form a permanent Forum for Cities in Transition from Conflict (FCT).
- Result: Establishment of the Forum for Cities in Transition from Conflict endorsed by the founding cities in the signed “Call to Action” Boston April 2009.
- 2008/2009 engaged in conversations with members of all the ethnic groups that comprise the Kirkuk provincial council, in Kirkuk and Boston.
- Result: the KPC endorsed the Helsinki agreement as the frame work it intends to use in negotiations over its future status.
- November 2009 brought together delegations from the ICOR led by Speaker Dr. Ayad Al Samarrai, the Kurdistan Parliament led by Dr. Kemal Kerkuki and Kirkuk Provincial Counsel led by Chairman Ali Razgar, for a conference at the ICOR building Baghdad, Iraq to discuss the Helsinki Agreement and the future of Kirkuk.
- Result: agreement to meet again and the subsequent acceptance of the Chancellor’s Medal at the University of Massachusetts Boston, the highest award the university can award to a sitting politician, to Dr. al Samarrai, Dr. Kerkuki and Chairman Razgar for which the three were sighted for their agreement to have their three parliaments work together to help resolve the future of Kirkuk. Due to post election events in Iraq, the award has been on hold.
- May 2010 the Forum for Cities in Transition, created by O’Malley, convened its inaugural conference in Mitrovicë/Kosovska Mitrovica. Nine divided cities attended with attendance from all protagonists. These cities were Derry/Londonderry, Northern Ireland, Nicosia (Greek Cypriot & Turkish Cypriot communities), Mostar, Beirut, Jerusalem, Haifa; Kirkuk, (Kaduna, Nigeria had to cancel at last moment due to constitutional crisis following death of the president).
- Result: more than ten outcomes were agreed by participants to assist each other in areas such as policing, water infrastructure, and business development. Derry/Londonderry has offered to host round 2011 where three new cities will be invited, expanding the pool to over 12 member cities.
- May 2010 Kosovo, the Kirkuk (KPC) delegation, as a follow up to the November conference in Baghdad, met with a delegation of negotiators from Northern Ireland.
- Result: invitation by the KPC for the Northern Ireland team to visit Kirkuk to discuss further talks on power sharing among the political parties in Kirkuk and in the public sector.
Among the numerous awards O’Malley has received are the Peacemaker’s Award from the Association of Dispute Resolution 2010, The Liberal International Freedom Prize (European Union) 2008, Eire Society Gold Medal 2008 (Boston), Cambridge Peace Prize, 1990, 10 Best Books of 1990, New York Times Book Review for Biting of the Grave; Dispute Resolution Award, University of Massachusetts Boston (1992); International Association of University’s Peace Award, 1985, The Chancellor’s Distinguished Service Award for Scholarship and the President’s Award, University of Massachusetts Boston, 1985, the Christopher Edward-Biggs Memorial Prize for The Uncivil Wars: Ireland Today, 1984 for its contribution to Anglo/Irish understanding.