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Heidi Kuhn

Founder and CEO, Roots of Peace

Skoll Awardee

Biography

Heidi Kühn is the Founder and CEO of Roots of Peace, a California based humanitarian non-profit organization, founded in 1997, dedicated to the eradication of landmines world-wide and the transformation of former minefields into thriving farmland.

With bi-coastal heritage emanating from her roots in Wiscasset, Maine in 1701, Heidi Kühn is a 12th generation American and a fifth generation descendent of Marin County, born in San Rafael, who has remained true to her roots by respecting the value of the land. Kühn’s pioneer spirit has inspired her to heal the wounds of war, by planting the Roots of Peace on earth. This grounded vision has been recognized by the United Nations, the U.S. State Department, and many international leaders and stakeholders.

As CEO, Kühn has led Roots of Peace to work in mine-affected countries, including Afghanistan, Angola, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Cambodia, Croatia, Iraq, Israel, Palestine, and Vietnam, restoring economic viability through its innovative demine-replant-rebuild model. The Roots of Peace Mines to Vines programs have been recognized by global leaders around the world, including UN Secretary-Generals Kofi Annan and BAN Ki-moon, Prime Minister Netanyahu of Israel, and President Mahmoud Abbas of Palestine, Popes Benedict XVI and Francis. Through Kühn’s leadership, Roots of Peace has forged innovative public/private partnerships with leaders of the Napa Valley, Silicon Valley, the U.S. government, World Bank and the European Union. Since inception, Roots of Peace continues to help some of the world’s most vulnerable populations to recover after conflict and has facilitated the removal of over one million landmines and unexploded bombs, planted over five million trees, and impacted over one million farmers and families worldwide.

A graduate of the University of California at Berkeley in Political Economics of Industrial Societies, Heidi Kühn is the recipient of the Cal Berkeley Alumni Award for Excellence