Jim Garrison
Biography & Resources


Jim Garrison cofounded the State of the World Forum in 1995 with Mikhail Gorbachev. The Forum is a San Francisco-based non-profit institution created to establish a global network of leaders dedicated to those principles, values, and actions necessary to guide humanity toward a more sustainable global civilization. With President Gorbachev as its Convening Chairman and Jim Garrison as its President, the Forum has brought together leaders from around the world to its annual and regional convenings to deliberate upon and take action concerning issues of global concern. Jim's most recent focus, and that of the Forum, has been the Integral Governance Initiative, dedicated to establishing global issue networks to solve global problems.

Garrison became active in foreign policy issues, particularly with Soviet-American relations, in the mid-1970s. From 1986 to 1990, he served as Executive Director of the Esalen Institute Soviet American Exchange Program, which engaged in nongovernmental diplomacy with Soviet counterparts in a variety of sectors. In 1991, he founded the International Foreign Policy Association in collaboration with Georgian President Edward Shevardnadze and former Secretary of State George Schultz, focusing on providing humanitarian relief for children in the former Soviet republics. He has also written six books on various aspects of philosophical theology and history, including Civilization and the Transformation of Power (2000) and the most recent America as Empire (2004).

Garrison was born in Szechuan Province, China, in 1951 to Baptist missionaries. He lived with his family in Taiwan from 1953 to 1965, after which they settled permanently in San Jose, California. He holds an M.T.S. in Christology and History of Religion from Harvard Divinity School and a Ph.D. in Philosophical Theology from Cambridge University.

selected books

America as Empire: Global Leader or Rogue Power
(Berrett-Koehler, 2004)
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Civilization and the Transformation of Power
(Paraview Press, 2000)
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The New Diplomats: Citizens as Ambassadors for Peace
with John-Francis Phipps (Rev., Green Books, 1991)
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organizational affiliations

State of the World Forum
Founded by Jim Garrison in 1995 to work with worldwide partners to assemble the creative genius on the planet in search of solutions to critical global challenges. The State of the World Forum holds conferences and dialogues with worldwide leaders.

articles & interviews

Articles & interviews in EnlightenNext magazine

America as Empire