Ursala Knudsen-Latta

Legislative Representative, Peacebuilding

Ursala Knudsen-Latta

Ursala is the Legislative Representative for Peacebuilding. Ursala lobbies Congress to change U.S. foreign policy from an overly militarized and security-driven approach to one that prevents, mitigates, and transforms violent conflict and builds sustainable peace.

Ursala received her B.A. in religions and theology from the University of Manchester (U.K.), where her research focused on religion and conflict in south Asia. She worked with the Anchorage Interfaith Council, and the North American Interfaith Network before graduating with a M.A. in international peace and conflict resolution from American University.

Prior to joining FCNL, Ursala was the policy and advocacy coordinator for Saferworld’s Washington, D.C. office, where she advocated for U.S. foreign policy driven by the needs and interests of conflict-affected communities. She has facilitated advocacy strategy development workshops in Nepal, Kyrgyzstan, and Somalia with Saferworld’s country teams and partners. Ursala chaired the U.S. Civil Society Working Group for Women, Peace and Security for two terms and has previously worked at the Alliance for Peacebuilding (AfP) and Women in International Security.

Ursala is also a volunteer and troop leader with the Girl Scout Council of the Nation’s Capital.

Articles by Ursala Knudsen-Latta

Update Congress Must Provide Global Response to COVID-19 

In this season of gratitude, compassion and giving, we are reminded of the call to serve the least among us—a call that Congress must answer.

Update Falling at the First Hurdle: The Global Fragility Strategy 

The Global Fragility Act (P.L. 116-94) is a decade-long effort to prevent violence and fragility globally. The first stage of the act—a whole-of-government 10-year strategy to prevent conflict and reduce instability—was due to Congress on Sept. 15, 2020. But the Trump administration has failed to clear the very first hurdle.

Action Alert Urge Congress to Support the Global Response to COVID-19! 

Right now, Congress is negotiating its next COVID-19 relief package. However, lawmakers continue to leave funding for the global response on the cutting room floor.

Update 100 Days of Silence from Secretary Esper on Landmines 

Today marks 100 days of stonewalling by the Secretary of Defense. On May 6, more than one hundred members of Congress sent a letter to Secretary Esper seeking clarification on the new U.S. landmine policy. Secretary Esper has not answered a single question.

Update 5 Wins for Diplomacy in the House-Passed Funding Package 

Last week the House passed a mini-spending package for FY2021 that included $65.9 billion for diplomacy and foreign assistance. In passing this spending package (H.R. 7608) the House has once again rejected President Trump’s proposed cuts to diplomacy, development, and peacebuilding.

Update FCNL Applauds Bipartisan Resolution on Conflict in the Central African Republic 

The House called for U.S. action to halt violence against civilians and support peace efforts in the Central African nation.

On March 3, the House overwhelmingly adopted H.Res. 387 by a margin of 378 to 7, a clear sign of support for the Central African Republic (CAR).

Update Congress Supports Peacebuilding in FY2020 Spending Package 

In a powerful show of support for conflict prevention and peacebuilding, House and Senate negotiators have adopted the Global Fragility Act of 2019 (S. 727) and increased funding for several key peacebuilding accounts as part of the final FY2020 spending package.