Susan Collin Marks

International peacemaker and peacebuilder
Doctor of Laws
In recognition of her outstanding contribution to the promotion of peace and advancement of human rights.


Susan grew up in South Africa during apartheid.  Her mother stood up to the regime and when Susan was five, took her into the black townships to show her what apartheid looked like. 

Susan worked at the heart of South Africa’s transition from apartheid to democracy.  She was the only woman on the executive committee of the Western Cape Peace Committee.  On a daily basis, she mediated between demonstrators and the security forces, facilitated meetings between the black community and the white authorities, helped transform the apartheid police, and intervened in crises. 

In 1994 she was awarded a Fellowship at the United States Institute for Peace to write her book Watching the Wind: Conflict Resolution during South Africa’s Transition to Democracy.  She joined Search for Common Ground as Vice President.  When she left 20 years later, there were 55 offices in 35 countries.  She now serves as Search’s Peace Ambassador.

In 2018, Search was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize.

Susan has worked in some of the most conflictual places on the planet, facilitating ongoing dialogue across the Middle East, supporting peace initiatives in the former Soviet Union and Asia, establishing peacebuilding programs throughout Africa, and counselling high level political and institutional leaders.

She writes, speaks, counsels, teaches and supports peace worldwide.  She has been honoured by many awards.  Her forthcoming book Wisdom in a Time of Conflict, calls on each of us to draw on our inner wisdom and help build a world of peace and dignity for all.