OUR PEACEBUILDING ASSOCIATES
Karuna Center is led by a small core team based in the United States, which works in partnership with local peacebuilding organizations and colleagues worldwide. When we expand our staffing for specific programs, we hire practitioners in the local area. To better draw upon the many different forms of expertise that may be needed in peacebuilding contexts, we also hire from our network of Peacebuilding Associates on a consultancy basis. Each Peacebuilding Associate brings key competencies in different areas of peacebuilding, and expertise in different cultural and conflict contexts.
Sanam Naraghi Anderlini, M.A.: Iranian by birth, Sanam Anderlini currently resides in Washington, D.C. As an activist working at the international level, she strives to bridge the divide between the work and experiences of women in conflict areas and policy makers at the international level. As senior policy advisor to International Alert, Sanam advocated for and drafted the United Nations Security Resolution 1325 on women, peace and security. She has since led groundbreaking field research on women’s contributions to conflict prevention, peace processes, governance, transitional justice, and post-conflict disarmament and reintegration issues in over twelve countries. Since 2005, she has provided strategic guidance and training to key United Nations agencies, the British government and non-governmental organizations worldwide. She has taught at Georgetown University and is a research affiliate at the MIT Center for International Studies. Her latest book is Women Building Peace: What They Do, Why It Matters (Lynne Rienner, 2007)
Tatsushi (Tats) Arai, Ph.D., is Associate Professor of Conflict Transformation at SIT Graduate Institute in Vermont and a Research Fellow of the Toda Institute for Global Peace and Policy Research in Hawaii/Tokyo. Previously, Tats taught International Relations at the National University of Rwanda in the aftermath of the 1994 genocide. As a trainer, mediator, and dialogue facilitator, he regularly designs and facilitates peacebuilding workshops that actively engage participants from civil society, governments, and international organizations in diverse approaches to experiential learning. His publications include Creativity and Conflict Resolution: Alternative Pathways to Peace (2009, Routledge). Currently, he is working on a book project (Peace Potential in Conflict), which seeks to articulate methods of applied practice informed by his field experience in conflict-affected societies. Tats is a Japanese citizen, holds a PhD in Conflict Analysis and Resolution from George Mason University in Virginia, and lives in Massachusetts with his tri-national family.
Eileen F. Babbitt, Ph.D. is a Professor of International Conflict Management Practice and Director of the International Negotiation and Conflict Resolution Program at the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University. She is also a Faculty Associate of the Program on Negotiation at the Harvard Law School and a member of the Council on Foreign Relations. Her practice as a facilitator and trainer has included work in the Middle East, the Balkans, and with U.S. government agencies, regional intergovernmental organizations, and international and local NGOs. Before joining the Fletcher faculty, Professor Babbitt was Director of Education and Training at the United States Institute of Peace in Washington, D.C. and Deputy Director of the Program on International Conflict Analysis and Resolution at the Weatherhead Center for International Affairs, Harvard University. Dr. Babbitt holds a Master's Degree in Public Policy from the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University, and a Ph.D. from MIT.
David Blair, M.A., is Chair of the Board of Directors for the Karuna Center. He directs the Mariposa Museum in Peterborough, NH, a museum of folk art that celebrates the diversity and commonalities of the human family. David spent six years in Asia with his family during the 1980s and 1990s: first working with Southeast Asian refugee children and their Filipino teachers at the Philippine Refugee Processing Center, then as co-director with his wife Linda of the American Friends Service Committee's rural development program in Vietnam. David has facilitated Karuna trainings in Macedonia, Kosovo, Ukraine, Sri Lanka and Senegal.
Polly Byers, M.A., has over thirty years experience working on international development and humanitarian assistance issues, recently focusing on resilience, conflict, and gender issues. For over 15 years Ms. Byers held multiple positions within USAID and the Dept. of State, managing humanitarian assistance and development programs, coordinating policy development, and leading strategic planning, specializing in conflict and transitional issues. Prior to USAID, she was the senior international staff member of the Congressional Select Committee Hunger. More recently, Ms. Byers has worked as in independent consultant for numerous governmental and non-governmental organizations including USAID, UNDP, UNICEF, FAO, Save the Children, Interaction, and Oxfam, among others. She coordinated an integrated approach to post-disaster recovery planning between the U.N, World Bank, and European Union for the United Nations Development Program, and in collaboration with the Karuna Center, has evaluated the conflict sensitivity of World Bank programs. Ms. Byers holds a Masters in International Relations from Yale University and a Bachelor’s degree from Wesleyan University.
Joachim Diene is a Senegalese conflict specialist, based in Dakar, with over 20 years of experience working with various international and local non-governmental organizations to design and implement community-based programs to promote peace and mitigate conflict. Mr. Diene has expertise in civil society strengthening, peacebuilding training, and governance projects. His professional experience includes work with international donor- funded projects as well as a consortium of 170 civil society and religious organizations. Mr. Diene has a solid understanding of challenges faced throughout the region and relevant approaches to reconstruction and reconciliation. He has developed and led numerous facilitated dialogues, training programs, and seminars focusing on conflict resolution, communications, peace advocacy, good governance, and organizational and financial management in Senegal and abroad. His background includes living and working in multi-cultural environments and supervising multi-national staff.
Dave Joseph, MSW, is a Senior Associate at Essential Partners (formerly Public Conversations Project), where he served as Director of Programs from 2005-2017. He has provided mediation and dialogue training in the US, Canada, Nigeria, Liberia, Greece, Thailand, Romania and Burundi. An experienced mediator, facilitator and consultant, he has designed meetings, conferences and strategic initiatives in the US and internationally. These have addressed differences of race, class, immigration, gender, interfaith coexistence; and community resilience in post-conflict situations, among others. Dave is a founding member of Mediators Beyond Borders International and currently serves as its Board Chair. Previously, he cofounded and served as the Executive Director of the Community Mediation Center of Rhode Island, on whose board he currently sits. His background also includes having directed mental health and addictions treatment programs for 20 years at community mental health centers in Massachusetts and Rhode Island. He is also active in Ten Men, a CDC-funded primary prevention / advocacy program that promotes positive masculinity and a world without violence against women.
Seth Karamage, M.A., was born and raised in Rwanda. He completed his graduate studies in Coexistence and Conflict at Brandeis University, where his focus was on conflict resolution, mediation, strategic organizational leadership, and diversity work. He spent six years in Nigeria planning and coordinating projects designed to promote inter-religious coexistence and peacebuilding in regions troubled by religious violence. Through work with media influencers; military personnel; young people who lost their parents through terrorist acts; and groups of divided religious leaders, ethnic leaders, and women, he has developed expertise in post-conflict stabilization and mitigation, security-risk assessment, recruitment and training of peace practitioners, project management and program design, and facilitating dialogue for institutional and community collaboration. Among recent projects, he is serving as a Dialogue Coach in Karuna Center’s Healing Our Communities project in Rwanda, and leading the Strengthening Rwandan Administrative Justice project, a nationwide initiative intended to improve the state of administrative justice in Rwanda and to spur training, civic awareness, and legal and policy reforms.
Baht Latumbo, M.A., a native of the Philippines, is the chairperson for Action for Conflict Transformation (ACTION), an international program of cross-cultural capacity building in conflict-affected areas located in Johannesburg, South Africa. He is currently servicing as the vice-president and Chief Operation Officer of the AKKAPKA Foundation, Inc., a non-government organization in the Philippines espousing active non-violence as a way of life and as a means for social change. Baht works as a faculty member at the Conflict Transformation Across Cultures program (CONTACT) at the SIT Graduate Institute and as an adjunct professor at Assumption College in Makati City, Philippines.
Mishy Lesser, Ed.D., is the Learning Director of an award-winning documentary film called Coexist on post-genocide Rwanda. She wrote the film’s four-lesson Teacher’s Guide, which serves as a tool for middle and high school, as well as post-secondary educators who teach about genocide and colonial legacy. The film is used widely for social emotional learning to cultivate beliefs and behaviors that value human dignity, upstanding, and inclusion, and undermine “othering” and scapegoating. Coexist is in the hands of more than 3,000 teachers all over the U.S. Mishy does classroom teaching as well as faculty development, and works with counselors and school administrators who address social tension in their schools. Born in the U.S, Mishy lived in Latin America for over twelve years. She is developing a new project to create an online interactive new media curriculum to teach U.S. high school students about the intersection between U.S. foreign policy and human rights in Latin American during the Cold War. The first module will focus on Chile and the second on Central America. Mishy is a founding member of the Karuna Center Board or Directors.
Pradeep Mahamuthugala, MBA, is a peace worker and practicing attorney. As a qualified analyst, consultant, trainer, and academic faculty at Aquinas University (Sri Lanka), Pradeep brings a world of experience to the peacebuilding field. He began working in the humanitarian sector in 1990. In 1999 he joined an INGO and became responsible for providing support services to civilians in war zones. Pradeep works to empower individuals and communities in their personal journeys towards peaceful co-existence. As an advisor for Children, Protection and Peacebuilding with World Vision International, Pradeep had the opportunity to work in areas of Indonesia, East Timor, Vietnam, India, Thailand, Cambodia, Philippines, South Sudan and Sri Lanka. He has facilitated workshops in the areas of Conflict Sensitive Programming, Human Rights, Community based Advocacy, Conflict Resolution, Negotiation, Mediation, Micro and Macro Conflict Analysis and Religious Dialogue. During Karuna Center's USAID-funded program in the Eastern Province of Sri Lanka he was one of the lead trainers. In Sri Lanka he continues to work with Hindu, Buddhist, Muslim, and Christian religious leaders.
Joshua Miller Ph.D, MSW is a professor at Smith College School for Social Work who specializes in psychosocial capacity building in response to major disasters, including armed conflict. He believes that without peace and reconciliation, psychosocial healing is compromised and without psychosocial healing, peace and reconciliation is incomplete. His recent book, Psychosocial Capacity Building in Response to Disasters, published by Columbia University Press, examines the social ecology of major disasters and armed conflict; the intersection of history, social and economic factors, politics, social identity, and culture with a specific disaster or conflagration. He has worked domestically in the United States in response to 9/11, Hurricane Katrina, the Boston Marathon bombing and has consulted with mental health professionals after mass shootings. He has collaborated with local NGO’s and colleagues in Sri Lanka after the Tsunami, Haiti after the earthquake and in Sichuan Province China after two earthquakes. He has an ongoing project in Northern Uganda that integrates medical capacity building with psychosocial healing and recovery, utilizing a training of trainers model.
Hugh O'Doherty, Ed.D., was raised as a Catholic in Northern Ireland, where he experienced first-hand the "intractable conflict" of his land. As a consequence, he has dedicated himself to the study and practice of peacemaking. As a Senior Associate with Cambridge Leadership Associates, he consults extensively with a wide variety of clients including the Irish Civil Service, the National Conservation Training Institute, the Episcopalian Clergy Leadership Program, and the city of Somerville. He has also consulted in Bosnia, Croatia, and Cyprus, been a third-party member of an Armenian-Turkish Dialogue process, and has addressed the United Nations Global Forum on Re-Inventing Government. In 2001, Hugh was invited to help launch Harvard University's Center for Public Leadership at the John F Kennedy School of Government, where he received the Dean's award in teaching excellence. He has taught leadership and conflict resolution at the Jepson School of Leadership Studies, University of Maryland, Richmond University, and at the McGregor Burns Academy of Leadership, where he directed the Ireland-US Public Leadership Program for "emerging" leaders from all the political parties in Ireland, North and South. For four years Hugh was Program Director at the Glencree Center for Peace and Reconciliation, Ireland. From 1995-98, he directed the Northern Ireland Inter-Group Relations Project. He earned a B.Ed. from Manchester University in England, an M.A. from the Irish School of Ecumenics, and an M.Ed. and Ed.D. from the Harvard Graduate School of Education.
Jan Passion, M.A., is the International Human Resources Manager with the Nonviolent Peaceforce. Between 2003 and 2006 Jan worked with the Nonviolent Peaceforce (NP) in Sri Lanka as the Deputy Director. Prior to his work in Sri Lanka, he worked with NP conducting field research and outreach in West Africa and Palestine/Israel and helping to develop NP's infrastructure. Jan has worked as a peacebuilding trainer with the Conflict Transformation Across Cultures Program, (CONTACT), the Karuna Center for Peacebuilding and as guest faculty with Lesley College in Israel. Jan has been a peace activist and war tax resister for over twenty years. For ten years he worked as a psychotherapist working with perpetrators and victims of various forms of violence and trauma. In other lives Jan served as volunteer emergency medical technician, bus driver, mediator, self-defense instructor and refugee host. Jan's peacebuilding experience includes work in the USA, Macedonia, Colombia, Sri Lanka, Palestine, Thailand, Israel, Kenya, Sierra Leone, India, Ecuador, the former USSR, Guinea, Ghana, South Africa and Cyprus. Jan earned his first degree at the University of Massachusetts with a self-designed programme on gender and power. He earned a masters degree in International and Intercultural Management from the School for International Training and wrote his thesis on building nonviolent intercultural peaceteams. Jan lives in Dunedin, New Zealand.
Elizabeth Powley, M.A. is a consultant in gender and post-conflict reconstruction, with more than fifteen years of experience in non-profit leadership and program development. She has expertise in conflict analysis and resolution, training and curriculum development in cross-cultural settings, and field-based research. She has worked extensively on issues of gender and political participation in sub-Saharan Africa. Elizabeth lived in Rwanda for two years as director of the Rwanda Project of the Initiative for Inclusive Security, which provided technical and financial support to Rwanda’s women parliamentarians. An experienced teacher and trainer, she has designed curricula and conducted leadership training for women activists in half a dozen African countries.
Mehlaqa Samdani, M.A.P.D. is a native of Pakistan, currently based in Massachusetts, USA. She has researched and worked in various conflict and transitional settings over the past twelve years. Samdani has experience working with refugee communities in the Sudan, Bosnia and Afghanistan and has managed political development projects with women contesting local council elections in Pakistan. She has also worked as a researcher and consultant with the Center for Strategic and International Studies and the Council on Foreign Relations where she examined the role of civil society in effecting social, political and economic change in the Islamic world. Her current area of interest includes exploring the role of civil society in combating militancy in Pakistan and Afghanistan. Samdani's writings have been published in the New York Times, Foreign Policy, Christian Science Monitor, Daily Times (Pakistan) etc. and she has been invited as a guest on NPR, KCBS and news channels in Pakistan. She is a graduate of the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy and has an undergraduate degree from the University of Denver. She is the Founder and Executive Director of the 501(c)(3) NGO Critical Connections based in Longmeadow, Massachusetts.
Tom Schaub, M.P.A. is a Founder and Managing Partner at CMPartners, an international negotiation and conflict management advisory and competency development firm that leads the field of interdependence management. Mr. Schaub's public practice centers on leadership capacity building, education, and direct strategic assistance. He has led recent and ongoing projects with the World Bank, various parties to the conflict in Kashmir, The American University in Beirut, the Bahrain Economic Development Board, and The Nepal Constitutional Assembly. In his private practice, Mr. Schaub provides negotiation advisory services and training in negotiation leadership, complex procurement, consultative sales, and strategic relationship management. Before forming CMPartners, Mr. Schaub held both the Africa and Asia Directorships with Conflict Management Group (CMG). Mr. Schaub earned his BA from the University of Minnesota and his MPP from Harvard's Kennedy School of Government. In addition to his work with CMPartners, Mr. Schaub also serves as the Founder and Board Member of A Public Good (APG).
Chhaya Sharma, based in Nepal, is the Vice President of the Federation of Woman Entrepreneurs’ Association of Nepal (FWEAN) a non-profit association working on empowerment of women through entrepreneurship. She is also the Founder/principal of the Nepal College of Travel and Tourism Management (NCTTM) in Nepal, the first tourism college to offer tourism studies as an academic discipline. Ms. Sharma has been conducting peacebuilding trainings and inter-communal dialogues in rural districts of Nepal where the ten years of insurgency has devastated lives of thousands, especially women and children. Ms Sharma is a graduate of the Conflict Transformation Across Cultures program (CONTACT) Graduate Certificate Program at the SIT Graduate Institute.
Katherine Stoessel, M.A., based in the U.K., is a human relations and conflict resolution professional with extensive skills and experience in education, program design, training, cross-cultural communication, curriculum development, dialogue facilitation, and mediation. She consults nationally and internationally with educational institutions, non-profits, and community groups.
Adin Thayer, M.S.W., is an adjunct faculty member at the Smith College School for Social Work in Massachusetts (USA), where she teaches Collective Trauma, and also at the School for International Training (SIT) in Vermont (USA), where she is Associate Director for the Graduate Certificate Program in Conflict Transformation Across Cultures. She works independently as a Consultant in Peacebuilding and Psychosocial Recovery, primarily in the Great Lakes region of Africa. She also works in the fields of dialogue and racial reconciliation in the USA. Prior to her international work she practiced in the fields of social work and community mental health for many years.
Judith Thompson, Ph.D., is a peace practitioner, scholar, organizational leader, and public speaker with a successful twenty-five track record in developing and managing programs dedicated to respecting difference and celebrating common ground between diverse groups. Judith co-founded and directed the celebrated international youth peace organization, Children of War, Inc., has organized international peace practitioner learning communities, and has received the Peace Fellowship from the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Studies.
Mary Watkins, Ph.D., clinical psychologist and core faculty at Pacifica Graduate Institute, works at the interfaces between Euro-American depth psychologies and psychologies of liberation from Latin America, Africa, North America, and Asia, promoting peacebuilding and social justice through the teaching of critical, dialogical, and participatory approaches. Her recent work concerns the creation of psyches and cities of hospitality. She is the co-author of Toward Psychologies of Liberation, Talking With Young Children About Adoption, and In the Shadows of Paradise: Testimonies from the Undocumented Immigrant Community in Santa Barbara; author of Waking Dreams and Invisible Guests: The Development of Imaginal Dialogues; and a co-editor of Psychology and the Promotion of Peace.
Demaris Wehr, Ph.D. taught Religion and Psychology for many years, including at Swarthmore College, Harvard Divinity School and the Episcopal Divinity School in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Demaris currently has a private practice as a psychotherapist on Martha's Vineyard. She is the author of Jung and Feminism: Liberating Archetypes (Boston: Beacon, 1987) and many articles and chapters bringing together Jungian psychology and women's issues. She is working on a book provisionally entitled: Making It Through: Healing from Genocide in Bosnia.
Ken Williams, Ph.D. is an associate professor at SIT Graduate Institute in Brattleboro, Vermont, in the department of Service, Leadership and Management. He is Barbadian by birth and has lived and worked in Jamaica, Zimbabwe, Tanzania, Bangladesh, Thailand, Bermuda, Netherlands, Guyana, Oman, United Kingdom and Trinidad & Tobago. Much of his work is with youth and he has worked extensively with youth-based violence in various countries. Currently he is working with several schools in Barbados and Trinidad & Tobago to reduce violence in schools. He has worked extensively with the Windham Southeast Union School district in Vermont on Youth Leadership Development, where he focuses on preparing students to be active leaders in their school in promoting a healthy and safe school. He has also been working with youth and youth leaders from around the world (including Pakistanis, Iraqis, Irish, Cubans, Turkish, Serbian, Croatian, Columbian, Algerian and Mexican youth and youth leaders) on how to develop positive leadership. Ken holds three masters’ degrees and completed his doctorate at Columbia University in New York, where he focused on developing healthy and safe schools through developing appropriate leadership and organizational learning conditions. He lives in Massachusetts with his tri-cultural/national family.
INTERNATIONAL & LOCAL PARTNERS
To maintain our independence, we do not maintain permanent financial relationships with other organizations or institutions. Instead, we collaborate on specific programs where Karuna Center can make a useful impact in developing and supporting new peacebuilding models, or sharing insight with policymakers about conflict prevention and better support of peacebuilding processes. We are currently engaged in partnerships with the following organizations: