Dr. Vesna Pesic, President, Center for Peace and Democracy
(formerly, Center for Antiwar Action /CAA)
Former Ambassador of Serbia and Montenegro to Mexico
Dr. Pesic received her Ph.D in Sociology from Belgrade University in 1977. She was
professor of Sociology at the School for Social Workers; in 1990, she was named a Senior
Research Fellow at the Institute for Social Theory and Philosophy.
In the 1980-s, she began her political engagement in dissident groups advocating for human
rights, democracy and the abolition of capital punishment. She was jailed in 1982 for her
At the start of the 1990s, Dr. Pesic turned her attention to antiwar activities, vigorously
opposing the escalation of violence and nationalism in Serbia and the former Yugoslavia.
To this end, she joined with other democratic activists in founding the first peace
organization in Serbia – the Center for Anti-War Action and in launching a number of
protests and public actions aimed at preventing ethnic conflict, violation of human rights,
and war in the region. She received a number of international awards in recognition of these
efforts to promote a culture of peace and respect for human rights.
Under the authoritarian regime of Slobodan Milosevic in Serbia, she was a prominent
opposition leader. She acted as the first president of the Civic Alliance of Serbia (the only
non-nationalistic party at the time, 1992-1999), as one of the leaders of the coalition
“Together” (1996-1997), and as the first coordinator of the Alliance for Change (coalition
of Serbian democratic opposition parties, 1998).
After the change of the regime in October 2000, she was appointed the Ambassador of
Serbia and Montenegro to Mexico (2001). In 2005, Dr. Pesic returned to Belgrade to
resume her efforts to build peace and democracy in the region.
She is the author of numerous scholarly books and articles, and a frequent contributor to the
democratic media in Serbia and Montenegro.