The Mershon Center cultivates innovative research and engagement at the intersections of international, national, and human security challenges. It convenes faculty and students from the full range of disciplines involved analytically and/or practically with diplomacy, conflict, peacemaking, governance, and cooperative problem-solving, along with practitioners and policymakers in these fields.

Mershon's traditional strength is in the human and social rather than the technical dimensions of complex problems. This focus emerged partly from limited resources, but also reflects a conviction that the hardest work lies here.

Mershon is an academic center located in the Division of Social and Behavioral Sciences of the College of Arts and Sciences at The Ohio State University. It has no direct involvement in degree programs or course offerings. Instead, it both conducts and funds research, training, and programming activities.

The Mershon Center was formally established by The Ohio State University Trustees in 1967. It is the fulfillment of a bequest by Col. Ralph D. Mershon to the university for the exploration of matters pertaining to national security and principles of good citizenship. Much of the center’s annual operating budget comes from the Ralph D. Mershon Fund. Additional endowments support faculty chairs in national security, military history, and peace studies, along with research, outreach, and scholarships in peace studies.