What is ISOA?

The International Stability Operations Association (ISOA) is a 501(c)(6) non-profit trade association, founded in 2001 as the International Peace Operations Association (IPOA). ISOA’s mission is to:

  • promote high operational and ethical standards of firms active in the peace and stability operations industry;
  • to engage in a constructive dialogue and advocacy with policy-makers about the growing and positive contribution of these firms to the enhancement of international peace, development and human security;
  • to provide unique networking and business development opportunities for its member companies; and
  • to inform the concerned public about the activities and role of the industry.

ISOA is committed to raising the standards of the peace and stability operations industry to ensure sound and ethical professionalism and transparency in the conduct of peacekeeping and post-conflict reconstruction activities. All member companies subscribe to the ISOA Code of Conduct, which represents a constructive effort towards better regulating private sector operations in conflict and post-conflict environments. It reflects our belief that high standards will both benefit the industry and serve the greater causes of peace, development, and human security. Some of the services ISOA members provide globally every day are Aviation, Base Support, Communications, Consultancy, Demining and UXO Removal, Humanitarian Development, Insurance, Intelligence, K-9, Legal, Logistics, Medical, Products, Risk Management, Satellite Tracking, Security, Supply, Surveillance, Training.


What is ISOA? - The ISOA (formerly IPOA) is a trade association whose mission is to promote high operational and ethical standards of firms active in the Peace and Stability Industry; to engage in a constructive dialogue with policy-makers about the growing and positive contribution of these firms to the enhancement of international peace, development, and human security; and to inform the concerned public about the activities and role of the industry. 

Why was ISOA developed? - Founded in 2001, ISOA developed from a clear recognition that the private sector can play a larger, more cost effective role in fundamentally improving peace and stability operations worldwide.

What has ISOA done to improve accountability of the industry since its inception? - Since our inception, ISOA has done much to improve accountability by promoting high operational and ethical standards of firms active in the Peace and Stability Industry, and by engaging in a constructive dialogue with policy-makers throughout the world about the growing and positive contribution of these firms to the enhancement of international peace, development, and human security. The vehicles that we have employed to undertake this reform are as follows: governmental advocacy; promoting ethical standards and in turn engaging all relevant stakeholders; hosting roundtables and forums; publishing ground-breaking research; providing information to media; communication/information sharing with NGOs; providing training courses; and fielding complaints about the industry.

What is the composition of ISOA’s staff? - Based in Washington, D.C., ISOA has an international staff, which is comprised of President Doug Brooks; Manager of Operations Jessica Vogel; Manager of Business Development Melissa Sabin; and Associates covering the departments of Business Development, Events, Government & Legal Affairs, Member Services, Publications and Research. ISOA member companies are invited to participate in four steering Committees: Executive, Government and Legal Affairs, Membership and Standards. ISOA is also developing a series of specific Working Groups. Every member company sits on the ISOA Board of Directors. The Board sets the annual budget, approves revisions to the Code of Conduct, and makes major Association decisions. For day-to-day issues, the ISOA staff communicates with the Executive Committee, which is elected by the Board.

Organizational structure

Does ISOA offer internships? How do I apply for an internship with ISOA? - Yes. ISOA offers internships to undergraduate students, graduate students and recent graduates. Internships vary in duration and are flexible to fit in with study. Interns are given great responsibility to manage their own projects and conduct their own research. Due to the nature of ISOA, interns are given much more responsibility than most other internships, and are thus designated “Research Associates”. ISOA offers a stipend of up to $500 per month (based on a full work week, pro rated for part-time interns). Internship applications are accepted on a rolling basis. For more information, please click here.

What kinds of companies are eligible for membership in ISOA? - ISOA’s members are firms active in the Peace and Stability Operations Industry. Some of the services ISOA members provide globally every day are Aviation, Base Support, Communications, Consultancy, Demining and UXO Removal, Humanitarian Development, Insurance, Intelligence, K-9, Legal, Logistics, Medical, Products, Risk Management, Satellite Tracking, Security, Supply, Surveillance, Training. Applicant companies must complete a formal application process which does not automatically guarantee acceptance. If accepted into membership, companies must continue to uphold the ethical standards of the Association.

What are the benefits of becoming a member of ISOA? - As the world's only international peace operations advocacy organization, members are recognized for adhering to the ISOA Code of Conduct giving members a competitive edge for domestic and international contracts. For a comprehensive list, read the Benefits of Membership section.

How does an organization apply for membership? - To apply for Corporate Membership, you can Apply Online or download an Application Form and fax or mail it to us. After your application is lodged, a refundable deposit of US $1,000 is required, as is a due diligence report including a past performance package. All applicant companies must also undergo an interview by the ISOA Membership Committee. To learn more about the process, read about How the Application Process Works.

Bird Flying free

What is the Peace Operations Institute (POI)? - The POI is a not-for-profit academic think tank that examines the role of the private sector in peace and stability operations and conflict/post-conflict zones. The mission of POI is to develop practical solutions to the evolving challenges facing modern peace and stability operations. POI pursues this mission by engaging key actors involved in the resolution reconstruction from armed conflict, while maintaining a focus on humanitarian values, standards, codes, and ethics for policy makers and practitioners in the field.

Can my company advertise in the Journal of International Peace Operations and/or on the ISOA website?

 - ISOA hosts two Web sites - Stability-Operations.org, the official Web site of ISOA, and PeaceOps.com, the home of the Journal of International Peace Operations. For further information on the competitive online advertising packages available from PeaceOps.com for the Journal of International Peace Operations. Advertising on PeaceOps.com and in the Journal is available to any organization (including non-ISOA members), subject to approval. Advertising on ISOAonline.org, however, is restricted to NGOs, academic institutions and conference providers ONLY. If organizations in any of those categories wish to advertise their programs or event.

How can I contribute material to include to the Journal of International Peace Operations or PeaceOps.com? - If you wish to contribute material to the Journal of International Peace Operations or PeaceOps.com.

How can I report errors on this website? - If you detect an error on Stability-Operations.org or PeaceOps.com, please contact us.

What is the purpose of the Journal of International Peace Operations? - The Journal is the world’s only publication devoted to the study of the private sector’s role in peace and stability operations. In January 2007, the Journal was described by The Philadelphia Inquirer as one of the most influential periodicals in publication today. Published bi-monthly, the Journal has a combined print and online circulation of more than 16,000 copies, and is read by senior executives, government policymakers, and practitioners in the field of peace operations. The Journal provides companies involved in the field of peace operations an unparalleled opportunity for targeted exposure within the industry. 

How can I support ISOA? - You can support ISOA by becoming a Corporate Member, if your organization qualifies, or becoming a Friend or Supporter of ISOA. Friends and Supporters of ISOA are individuals and non-governmental organizations (NGOs) who support the goals and aspirations of ISOA. As a Friend or Supporter of ISOA, you will be helping to fund our internship program which gives opportunities to students around the world. And, if you choose to subscribe to print edition of the Journal of International Peace Operations, you will receive 50% off the subscription price. Additionally, and with your permission, ISOA will recognize you and your contribution in a special section of our Web site.

Why did ISOA decide to develop a Code of Conduct? - In 2001, Doug Brooks convened a meeting of local and international humanitarian groups, non-governmental organizations, and human rights lawyers, and drew up a document delineating how private companies could be best utilized in conflict and post-conflict environments. Since that time, the document has continued to be improved and enhanced through the input of dozens of international and non-governmental organizations, human rights lawyers, and scholars. Today this document is the ethical foundation of ISOA: the ISOA Code of Conduct. The Code of Conduct seeks to ensure the ethical standards of ISOA member companies operating in conflict/post-conflict environments so that they may contribute their valuable services to be utilized for the benefit of international peace and human security.

What role does ISOA envision for international and governmental organizations (e.g. UN) in future peace and stability operations? - ISOA does NOT seek to have the current leadership role of international and government organizations supplanted by private sector entities. Instead, the goals of ISOA are better supervision of private companies operating under the umbrella of UN or government-led operations and better coordination between private organizations, government, NGOs and international organizations. ISOA strives for greater awareness of private sector contributions in peace and stability affairs and raising the standards of companies in the peace and stability industry, while recognizing the leadership of government and international organizations in peacekeeping operations.

Peacefull reading of books

Headquaters Staff

The founder of the International Stability Operations Association, he is a specialist in African security issues and has written extensively on the regulation and constructive utilization of the private sector for international stabilization, peacekeeping, and humanitarian missions. Mr. Brooks has testified before Congress, appeared on a range of national and international news programs, and has lectured at numerous universities and colleges. Previously, he has been an Adjunct Faculty member at American University and an Academic Fellow and Research Associate with the South African Institute of International Affairs (SAIIA), Johannesburg.

- DOUG BROOKS, President

Originally from Western New York, Jessica received her M.A. in International Affairs with a concentration in International Law & Organizations from the Elliott School of International Affairs at the George Washington University, during which she also studied international human rights law at the University of Oxford, United Kingdom. Jessica specialized in international criminal law and international security, primarily in Eastern Europe. A graduate of Western New England College in Massachusetts, she holds a B.A. in International Studies and Economics and is conversant in German. Jessica comes to ISOA with an extensive project support and management background at the National Credit Union Administration, the United Nations Association and the National Democratic Institute.

- JESSICA VOGEL, Manager, Operations

Melissa returns to ISOA after a stint of business development and recruitment at Catapult Consultants, an Arlington, Virginia-based financial management, acquisition management, program management and information assurance firm serving U.S. government agencies. Prior to this, Melissa was an External Relations Associate at ISOA. Previously, Melissa was a correspondent in Beirut, Lebanon and Fez, Morocco for Sayidaty (a pan-Arabic women’s magazine) and the Middle East Reporter, also in Beirut. Melissa’s academic background includes a joint degree in International Affairs and Middle Eastern studies from the Elliott School of International Affairs at the George Washington University and Diplomacy and International Affairs studies at Seton Hall University in New Jersey. Melissa is also conversant in Arabic.

 - MELISSA SABIN, Manager, Business Development

Kristen Blandford received her B.A. from Xavier University in 2009, where she focused on democratic consolidation issues and constructs of citizenship in European and Eurasian affairs. She spent the past year teaching in a public school in Madrid, during which she observed the Spanish state’s process for fostering democratic values in its youngest generation. She is currently pursuing an M.A. in International Politics at American University. She will continue her work on democratic consolidation issues with a focus on transnational crime and corruption, and in the future, hopes to contribute to efforts to increase the transparency and efficacy of government in Latin American and in recently admitted EU member states. Kristen is conversational in Spanish.

 - KRISTEN BLANDFORD, Publications Associate

Alexandra received her B.S. in International Business with a minor in French from Oral Roberts University in 2010. She is currently pursuing a TESOL/TESL/TEFL Certification from Oxford Seminars in order to be able to provide language services to businesses and organizations in developing nations. Later this year she plans to start her MBA. Her goal is to work in the finance division of a multinational corporation involved in the nations of Latin America and/or Africa. Ultimately, she wishes to run her own international development non-profit. Alexandra was born in San Salvador, El Salvador and her native language is Spanish.

 - ALEXANDRA BECKER, Development Associate

Heather Price is pursuing her MA in US Foreign Policy at American University, specializing in defense policy with a specific concentration in interagency planning for post-combat stability operations. In addition, she has written extensively on the Coalition Provisional Authority in Iraq and Iraqi constitutional law. She holds a BA in International Politics and Arabic from the American University of Paris, where she also taught French to Anglophone expatriates. Heather has worked at the Heritage Foundation, the Institute for the Study of War, and the State Department. Her primary interests include civil-military relations, defense planning, and reconstruction operations. She hopes to work in the private defense sector before returning to the federal government.

 - Heather Price, Government & Legal Affairs Associate

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