Gerd Schönwälder oversees IDRC’s strategic planning and management functions, including policy analysis, strategic planning, and liaising with the program areas. Schönwälder formerly led IDRC’s Peace, Conflict and Development program, which supported research on peace-building in the developing world, including in Africa. His research interests focus on transitions to democracy, citizen participation in decision-making, and the question of how globalization and trade influence conflict. Before joining IDRC, he was the Deputy Director of the Canadian Foundation for the Americas. Schönwälder spent several years in Brussels as a European Union official, covering such aspects of the EU’s external relations as development and economic cooperation, trade issues, and the expansion of the European Union to the east. Schönwälder holds a Ph.D in political science from McGill University.