Payton L. Knopf
Senior Adviser, Crisis Management Initiative
International Affairs Fellow in Residence, 2010-2011
Payton Knopf was a 2010-2011 international affairs fellow in residence at the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR).
Mr. Knopf is a Foreign Service officer with the U.S. Department of State. He most recently served as the political officer on the staff of U.S. Special Envoy for Middle East Peace George Mitchell.
He previously served in the Department of State's Office of Israel and Palestinian Affairs with responsibility for the Israeli-Palestinian negotiations launched at Annapolis, Maryland in November 2008. From 2006 to 2008, Mr. Knopf was based at the U.S. Embassy in Khartoum covering the conflict in Darfur, and he worked as an advisor to U.S Special Envoys for Sudan Andrew Natsios and Richard Williamson to support their efforts to re-start negotiations between the Darfur rebel movements and the Sudanese government. He formerly served in the Department of State's Office of Egypt and the Levant and at the U.S. Consulate General in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia.
Prior to joining the Department of State, Mr. Knopf was a program officer at the National Democratic Institute, where he managed political party development programs in the Maghreb and in Yemen and as a program officer at the International Center for Journalists.
Mr. Knopf holds a BA in international relations from Boston University and is proficient in Arabic and French.
Foreign Service officer Payton L. Knopf argues that the State Department must develop a framework for engaging with nonstate armed groups. He calls on the department to make bureaucratic and operational reforms to execute this increasingly important mission.
See more in United States; Nonstate Actors and Nongovernmental Organizations; Diplomacy and Statecraft
The process that led to South Sudan's independence offers lessons for avoiding a new, devastating conflict in the region and underscores the importance of sustained and vigorous U.S. diplomacy, writes CFR's Payton Knopf from the new country's capital.
See more in Sudan; South Sudan; Peacekeeping
Eight years of U.S. attempts to promote a lasting peace for Darfur have failed. The United States should narrow its objectives, focusing on reducing violence and supporting tribal reconciliation.
See more in Peacekeeping; Sudan
USAID's Katherine Almquist and CFR's Payton L. Knopf discuss the political implications of Southern Sudan's nearly unanimous vote to secede from the North, as part of the CFR's Academic Conference Call series.
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A new round of talks on Sudan this week reflects stepped-up U.S. diplomacy ahead of two high-stakes votes scheduled for January. Success will hinge on sustained effort and a strategy for Darfur, says CFR's Payton Knopf.
See more in Sudan; Diplomacy and Statecraft