In loving memory: Bill Lincoln

William Fawcett Lincoln, 1940–2020

William Fawcett Lincoln

Photo courtesy of the GTPP
William “Bill” Fawcett Lincoln lived his life in the service of others and the greater good.

Tacoma, Wash.

When the power of love overcomes the love of power, the world will know peace.”

 – Jimi Hendrix

It is with great sadness that the Greater Tacoma Peace Prize Board of Directors announces the death of beloved board member and 2006 Greater Tacoma Peace Prize (GTPP) laureate William Fawcett Lincoln, who succumbed to complications from leukemia on March 21.   

“Bill served our board with great commitment. He leaves a legacy of incredible training acumen, conflict resolution, and passion for justice recognized by all of us, as fellow colleagues who came to know him for his negotiation skills and passion for the cause of peace,” said Thomas Heavey, GTPP founder.

Bill was a revered and treasured member of the board of directors of the GTPP, and he was one of the early laureates in 2006. He was recognized for his work at the Conflict Resolution, Research and Resource Institute (CRI). The mission of CRI was to teach and practice the prevention, management, and resolution of conflict in the community, the nation and the world.  

Just a few examples of their work include the following:

Settling of a dispute between community, city and natural resources and wildlife representatives in upper Kittitas County in Washington state

Collaborative negotiations, training and mediation education for the Central American region and key groups of the population in San Jose, Costa Rica

Development of the Sudan-American Program for Peace (S-APP) in association with the Sudan Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Sudan Council of Churches

Practical experience in negotiation and facilitation on a project with the Helsinki Foundation for Human Rights in Warsaw, Poland

Long-term collaboration on the subjects of conflict prevention, management and resolution with organizations like the Russian-American Program on Conflictology at the University of St. Petersburg, Russia.

Many years of instruction in Strategic Negotiations at the Federal Executive Institute in Charlottesville, Va., and at the Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey, Calif.

In 2004, Bill Lincoln received the Annual Award of Excellence by the International Academy of Mediators. Bill has been recognized as a pioneer in mediation and negotiation theory and practice. He was a federal commissioner, who helped found the United States Institute of Peace. He had extensive experience working in hot spots: Wounded Knee, S.D., Massachusetts Correctional Institution-Cedar Junction (formerly known as MCI-Walpole), with the Sandinistas in Nicaragua, the Guatemalan National Revolutionary Unity (URNG) in Guatemala in preparation for the United Nations-sanctioned peace talks, and with warlords in Afghanistan. Bill was also a co-founder of the Russian-American Programs for Peace, which started the first graduate program in conflict resolution in Russia. 

Bill trained many practitioners in the Pacific Northwest region, whether as members of his early mediation training programs at Antioch, through the State of Washington Career Executive Programs, or through the Pierce County Dispute Resolution Center, of which he was a founder. He was also involved in training negotiators with the United Nations food safety program.  

During the past five years, Bill devoted much of his time, energy, and support to the Greater Tacoma Peace Prize, while also teaching strategic negotiations as senior lecturer at the Naval Postgraduate School and the Federal Executive Institute. He was passionate about the mission of GTPP to recognize and honor peacemakers in the local community. 

First awarded in 2005 during the centennial celebration of Norway’s independence, the award has its roots in Norwegian-American culture. Laureates of the GTPP are given a banquet in their honor, a medallion, a unique piece of locally made glass art, and a trip for two to Oslo to attend the festivities surrounding the awarding of the Nobel Peace Prize. 

Bill lived his life deeply and with intent. Our sympathies are extended to his partner, Janet Ruud; his children, Christine Blazis, Holly Lincoln, Josh Lincoln, and Katy McMahon; and extended family; and all who knew and loved him. His presence, intellect, and tremendous dedication to make the world a better, kinder, and more understanding place will be deeply missed.  

View Bill Lincoln’s memorial service on July 18, 2020, online on the Greater Tacoma Peace Prize website.

For more information about the Greater Tacoma Peace Prize, contact Thomas Heavey:
(253) 686-869

This article originally appeared in the May 22, 2020, issue of The Norwegian American.

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The Norwegian American

The Norwegian American is North America's oldest and only Norwegian newspaper, published since May 17, 1889.