Euphrates Institute

Euphrates Institute Official Website

Euphrates uses the power of citizen diplomacy, awareness, and advocacy to heal divides between the Middle East and West in the wake of 9/11. In a climate of war and the “clash of civilizations,” we promote cooperation and prepare for peace. Euphrates is a 501(c)(3), not-for-profit, educational organization, seeking to improve relations by mobilizing civil society and next generation leaders to promote understanding and restore trust.


Founder and CEO of Euphrates, Janessa Gans Wilder started the organization on the heels of a 21-month assignment in Iraq as a U.S. official, during which she witnessed firsthand the clashes between Americans and Iraqis and the lack of cultural, religious, and historical understanding that pervaded both sides. Her Middle East experience has included Arabic study, living, traveling and leading tours throughout the Arab world. After five years of government service on the Middle East and South Asia, she was a consultant to the State Department and a visiting professor of Middle East issues at Principia College. Janessa received a master’s degree in International Policy Studies from Stanford University and did her undergraduate studies at Principia.

Our Branches

College Connection. Euphrates is located at partnering institution Principia College, where it has an on-campus, action-oriented research center, undergraduate and graduate student Euphrates Fellows, and holds conferences and events on Middle East issues.

Travel Study. Euphrates and the Center for Ecological Living and Learning (CELL) are currently holding their first student abroad to the Middle East with a peace and sustainability focus. Visit our website to read student impressions from our inaugural Winter 2011 trip to Israel and the Palestinian Territories.

Media. Euphrates uses the power of audio-visual to bring attention to Middle East issues. We are currently working on a documentary film about grassroots change in Iraq, and short videos on the Arab-Israeli conflict.

Action. Euphrates believes that transformation in our relations with the Middle East requires more than just government involvement; it will take citizen action and community investment. Our community of Warriors for Peace®—the next generation of peace and sustainability—spearheads our action platform.

Please contact us with any questions or comments:
Or, you can call: 618.374.5454 or 202.503.4634

October 27-28, 2011 at Principia College, Elsah, Illinois

Click here to watch video of the chat.