McCormack Speaks

Peacemaker Uses 12-step Program to Guide His Reconciliation Projects Worldwide


This McCormack Graduate School senior fellow believes, “an addict is in the best position to help other addicts.” He uses the Alcoholics Anonymous’ 12-step recovery program as a model to bring conflict-ridden parties together to work out their differences.

Meet McCormack Graduate School’s peacemaker, Padraig O’Malley. For the last 50 years, Dublin-born O’Malley has played major roles in breaking the gridlock and promoting peace in South Africa, Northern Ireland, and, more recently, the Middle East.

Through his Forum for Cities in Transition, which debuted at UMass Boston in 2009, now more than a dozen member cities like Derry/Londonderry, Northern Ireland; Mitrovica and Kosovo; Kirkuk, Iraq and Nicosia, Cyprus meet each year, pledging to carry out reconciliation projects.

A new documentary follows O’Malley at work–his second addiction. Watch the trailer for The Peacemaker, the recent documentary by award winning independent filmmaker James Demo who followed O’Malley to Iraq, Nigeria, and Kosovo.

Padraig O'MalleyPadraig O’Malley is the John Joseph Moakley Chair of Peace and Reconciliation and a celebrated facilitator/convener and award-winning author on topics related to divided societies. He just completed his sixth annual Forum for Cities in Transition at its new permanent home in Stolat, Bulgaria, where some 60 delegates from 15 cities divided by conflict participated in the conference,

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