The Jury

The Jury announced the winners on the 21st of September 2011, the International Day of Peace!

The Jury consisted of three prominent people with a track record and experience with civil society and peacebuilding. On this page you can read to find out who they are.

Voting was indicative of the quality of the stories, and in that light may have been taken into consideration by the jury to inform their decision.

Only "verified" stories were read by the Jury (click here for more information).

Emmanuel Bombande

Mr. Bombande is a co-founder of the West Africa Network for Peacebuilding (WANEP) and the Executive Director. He is a Peacebuilding Practitioner, International Trainer in Conflict Mitigation and Prevention across Africa and beyond with a strong background in conflict analysis. He has been a lead mediator in many community based mediation efforts in West Africa. He served as a member of the UN Advisory Team in Ghana and advised the Government of Ghana on various conflict prevention strategies including the development of peace architecture for Ghana. Mr. Bombande has a Master's degree in Conflict Transformation from the Eastern Mennonite University, Virginia, USA. He has a Bachelor of Arts degree from the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology-Kumasi Ghana and a Diploma from Cheik Anta Diop University, Dakar, Senegal. Bombande facilitates and teaches various peacebuilding courses in different institutions. They include the Kofi Annan International Peacekeeping Training Centre in Accra (Ghana), the University of Ghana's Legon Centre for International Affairs (LECIA) and the Folke Bernadotte Academy in Sweden.

Mr.Bombande is a fellow of the Society for Peace Studies and Practice (fspsp) of the University of Ibadan, Nigeria, and currently the Chair of the Global Partnership for the Prevention of Armed Conflicts (GPPAC).

Vanessa Griffen

Ms. Griffen is a writer, researcher, editor, publisher on gender and development issues and a women's rights advocate. She began peace work as a student activist in the South Pacific in the 1970s, joining the anti-nuclear movement against nuclear testing and militarisation of the Pacific, with a strong concern for the environment, national sovereignity and political independence. In gender work positions based in Asia, she has organized numerous regional and national meetings on a range of gender and development issues, including on women in armed conflict. She was with IFOR International Women's Peace Programme and has worked closely with GPPAC's Pacific partner, FemLINKPacific, to develop strong advocacy and policy positions from its media activities with women for peace and community development. In her work she has focused on women's central position in peace and conflict resolution. She is a doctor of Philosophy (Phd.) in Government and Public Administration from the University of Sydney, and has a BA from the University of the South Pacific.

She has written articles on peace and non-violent responses to coups, women and sustainable development issues; she is also an editor and producer of publications on gender and development, and a writer of short stories widely read in schools in Fiji and the Pacific. Much of Ms. Griffen's work is based on a strong belief in the sharing of information of "on the ground" experiences for peace, equality and development work.

Michael Shank

Michael Shank is the Communications Director and Senior Policy Advisor for US Congressman Michael Honda. Additionally, Michael serves on the board of the National Peace Academy, teaches graduate classes in media and conflict at George Mason University's School for Conflict Analysis and Resolution, and is a senior associate at the Global Partnership for the Prevention of Armed Conflict. For 15 years, Michael has worked as an analyst-adviser to UN, government, and non-governmental representatives in the Middle East, South and Southeast Asia and the United States on diplomacy initiatives, energy, environmental and security policy. As a doctoral candidate at George Mason University's School for Conflict Analysis and Resolution, Michael contributes regularly to The Financial Times, The Guardian, The Economist, The Washington Times, New York Times, Washington Post, San Francisco Chronicle, The Nation, Roll Call, The Hill, among others. Michael is serving as a jurist in his personal capacity. To read Michael's analysis, go to