J.J. Messner became the Executive Director of The Fund for Peace in 2014 after having been the Director of FFP’s Sustainable Development & Security program for nearly four years. In this capacity he led (and continues to lead) FFP’s work on training and implementation on the Voluntary Principles on Security & Human Rights and manages FFP’s long-standing Human Rights & Business Roundtable. He has also co-directed FFP’s Fragile States Index and coordinated the country data and trends analysis program as well as FFP’s media and communications outreach.
J.J. leads many of FFP’s security & human rights implementation programs, including training programs and site-level assessments in partnership with various international oil and mining companies around the world. He has also designed and operationalized human rights training programs for military personnel in complex environments. Beyond the Washington, DC-based Human Rights & Business Roundtable, J.J. has facilitated multiple multistakeholder dialogues in numerous countries, on issues including human rights, conflict-free supply chains, and responsible investment. He has testified before Working Group and Committee hearings at the United Nations, African Union, and European Parliament. Since 2011, J.J. has been a Steering Committee Member and Board Member of the Voluntary Principles on Security & Human Rights.
Prior to joining The Fund for Peace, from 2006 to 2010, J.J. was Director of the International Stability Operations Association (formerly the International Peace Operations Association), a non-profit organization focused on private sector support for operations in conflict and post-conflict environments. He was also the founder and Editor-in-Chief for four years of the Journal of International Peace Operations. J.J. also has experience in the fields of corporate antitrust law and educational non-profits.
Originally from Adelaide, Australia, J.J. received his Bachelors degree in Politics and International Studies from the University of Adelaide, Australia and a Masters of Science (Peace Operations) from George Mason University in Arlington, Virginia. His academic work has also included research abroad in Costa Rica, India, Mexico and Timor-Leste as well as a study abroad at the College of William & Mary in Williamsburg, Virginia.