Our Staff

The 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.

Olivia Stokes Dreier, M.P.A., M.S.W.

Executive Director

Olivia Stokes Dreier has extensive international experience in conflict transformation, including the development, design, and delivery of multi-year programs in peacebuilding, inter-communal dialogue, reconciliation, and conflict-sensitive development for diverse stakeholders.

Full Bio

Olivia Stokes Dreier is Executive Director and a lead trainer at Karuna Center. She has extensive international experience in conflict transformation, including the development, design, and delivery of multi-year programs in peacebuilding, inter-communal dialogue, reconciliation, and conflict-sensitive development for diverse stakeholders.

Since 2002, Ms. Dreier has designed and led programs in over fifteen countries, including Afghanistan, Azerbaijan, Bosnia-Herzegovina, the Central African Republic, Kosovo, Macedonia, Georgia, Israel, the Palestinian Territories, Sri Lanka, India, Nepal, Pakistan, Rwanda, and Senegal. She frequently conducts conflict assessments, and has consulted with the World Bank and the Asian Development Bank on conflict-sensitive development. From 2002-2012, Ms. Dreier also directed the Conflict Transformation Across Cultures (CONTACT) Graduate Certificate Program at the School for International Training (SIT) in Brattleboro VT.

Earlier in her career, Ms. Dreier worked with the Gandhian movement in India on rural development and non-formal education for two years. After returning to the United States, she served as a community mental health practitioner for over 20 years, working with individuals, families, and groups from both narrative and systems orientations. Ms. Dreier holds a B.A. in Psychology from Yale University, a Masters in Social Work from Smith College, and a Masters in Public Administration from Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government.  She has professional proficiency in French, and speaks conversational Hindi and Urdu.

Ginny Morrison, J.D.

Director of Programs

Ginny Morrison joined the Karuna Center in 2015. As Director of Programs, she brings more than 20 years of experience in conflict transformation domestically and internationally.

Full Bio

Ginny Morrison joined the Karuna Center in 2015. As Director of Programs, she brings more than 20 years of experience in conflict transformation domestically and internationally. She has conducted assessments and designed and co-led multi-year projects involving community reconciliation, dialogue, trauma resilience and leadership throughout West Africa and East Africa, as well as the Middle East.

Ms. Morrison has consulted with Amnesty International; Public Conversations Project; and a range of universities, prison systems and US health care systems. As a founding member of Mediators Beyond Borders, she has co-led efforts to incorporate trauma-informed practice into all of MBB’s programming. Her fieldwork has included building refugee youth’s resilience to the pull to fight in South Sudan’s civil war, integrating former child soldiers and sex slaves into post-conflict Liberian communities, and providing technical assistance to Kenyan pastoralist communities severely impacted by lethal inter-tribal violence. She has mentored local NGOs developing interfaith coexistence and trauma resilience in Northern Nigerian communities devastated by Boko Haram, helped strengthen networks of women throughout Iraq, and oversaw major reform of mental health care and parole revocation practices in California’s prisons. Prior to her move to peacebuilding, Ms. Morrison’s law practice sought to improve prison conditions and to protect employees from discrimination and women from family violence.

Ms. Morrison holds a BA in Anthropology from San Francisco State University, a JD from University of California at Berkeley Boalt Hall, and a certificate in Conflict Transformation earned at Eastern Mennonite University’s Center for Justice and Peacebuilding.

Darren Roth, M.A.

Director of Operations

Darren Roth joined the Karuna Center in 2011. As Director of Operations, he brings extensive experience in non-profit finanical management, marketing, and business development.

Full Bio

Darren Roth joined the Karuna Center in 2011. As Director of Operations, he brings extensive experience in non-profit finanical management, marketing, and business development. He has lived and worked around the world, including as a Community and Economic Development Peace Corps volunteer in Mongolia, and as an associate for the Tibetan Centre for Conflict Resolution in Dharamsala, India – a non-profit educational organization dedicated to non-violent conflict resolution. 

Mr. Roth holds a B.A. in Marketing from the University of Colorado – Boulder and M.A. in Conflict Transformation from the School for International Training in Brattleboro, VT.

Mark Clark, M.A.

Program Manager

Mark Clark joined the Karuna Center as Program Manager in 2020. Mark previously worked in higher education managing graduate programs in the U.S., Rwanda, Nepal, and Sri Lanka focused on conflict transformation and peacebuilding.

Full Bio

Mark Clark joined the Karuna Center as Program Manager in 2020.  Prior to joining the Karuna Center, Mark managed the Conflict Transformation Across Cultures (CONTACT) graduate program at the School for International Training (SIT) in Brattleboro, Vermont.  He also has worked with women’s cooperatives in Guatemala on fair trade products and in Pursat region, Cambodia where he worked with the organization Sustainable Cambodia on issues of water, sanitation, community education, and micro-finance programs for women in rural communities.

Mr. Clark holds a B.S. in Business Administration from the University of Illinois and a M.A. in Sustainable Development from the School for International Training.

Laura Cyan Anderson

Communications and Development Coordinator

Laura Anderson joined Karuna Center in 2010 with experience in not-for-profit communications and fundraising.

Full Bio

Laura Anderson joined Karuna Center in 2010 with experience in not-for-profit communications and fundraising. She has been in the position of both grant-maker and grant-writer for grassroots organizations, worked in video and other visual media, and been involved in various community-based organizing projects. She has a BA in Social Justice and Media of Communication from University of Massachusetts-Amherst.

Kristine Downing

Program Coordinator

Kristine came to Karuna in 2018 after years of admiring the center’s work from afar. Before landing in Western Massachusetts, Kristine spent several years in Kathmandu, serving at numerous Nepal based NGOs.

Full Bio

Kristine came to Karuna in 2018 after years of admiring the center’s work from afar. Before landing in Western Massachusetts, Kristine spent several years in Kathmandu, serving at numerous Nepal based NGOs, from Tashi School yoga instructor to program manager at Good Earth Global. Her most recent experience with Saathi, Nepal’s first VAWG-focused NGO, led her to an exploration of conflict transformation and the gendered dimensions of peacebuilding.

Kristine holds bachelor’s degrees from McGill University in Russian Language and Religious Studies, with a focus on Tibetan Buddhism, as well as a certificate in conflict transformation from SIT’s CONTACT program. Born in Denmark, she is fluent in Danish and conversational in French, Russian, and Nepali.

Mirsad “Miki” Jacevic, M.S.

Senior Peacebuilding Advisor, Washington, D.C.

Mirsad “Miki” Jacevic is Vice Chair at the Institute for Inclusive Security, Director of the Bosnia program at Global Youth Connect and a professor at various universities.

Full Bio

Mirsad “Miki” Jacevic is Vice Chair at the Institute for Inclusive Security, Director of the Bosnia program at Global Youth Connect and a professor at various universities. He directed the conflict resolution programming in Afghanistan, Pakistan and Sudan, and previously managed country programs in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Colombia, and Liberia. He was instrumental in building an inclusive Afghan Peace and Reconstruction Programme, Liberian post-conflict development strategy, Colombian transitional justice and disarmament structures, and Pakistan police reform initiatives. In addition, he has worked in Guatemala, Nigeria, Kenya, Sudan, and has extensive experience in various aspects of post-conflict reconstruction in his native Balkans region.

Mr. Jacevic has overseen Inclusive Security’s training programs and strategic consultations around the globe and led the development of strategic partnerships with UN Development Programme, Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, and Organization of American States, among others. He was the primary author of the Institute’s groundbreaking curriculum, based on several decades of experience in teaching conflict analysis and resolution around the world, and has overseen creation of curricula on advocacy for sustainable peace, inclusive security sector reform, and creation of government policies on UN Security Council Resolution 1325.

Mr. Jacevic has been at the forefront of Inclusive Security’s efforts to design and implement high-impact national action plans (NAPs) across the globe. Over the last five years, he worked closely with the Afghan Ministry of Foreign Affairs in designing their new NAP. In Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH), Mr. Jacevic led a comprehensive assessment of the country’s plan at the request of the Agency for Gender Equality of BiH and continues to provide comprehensive technical assistance for the development of BiH’s new plan and corresponding monitoring and evaluation system. Mr. Jacevic was also part of Inclusive Security’s assessment that evaluated the impact of Liberia’s NAP at the direct request of President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf. In Indonesia, he supported members of our Women Waging Peace network as they drafted and launched their country’s plan. In addition to leading specific country engagements, Mr. Jacevic assists in shaping the program’s strategic vision and guides development of the NAP team’s curricula.

Originally from Sarajevo, Mr. Jacevic assisted efforts to stop the bloodshed and promote post-war reconciliation.  He directed the Emerging Leaders Project at the State of the World Forum and managed global reintegration efforts for child soldiers at Search for Common Ground. He and his wife co-founded Global Youth Connect, an organization dedicated to mobilizing young people to prevent genocide. As the director of its Bosnia program, for the last decade he has led delegation of international students on a month-long tour of Bosnia, including annual commemoration of the genocide at Srebrenica. He is a PhD candidate at George Mason University’s School for Conflict Analysis and Resolution, and he teaches at American University, Prescott College, and the School for International Training, with a special focus on transitional justice and monitoring/evaluation of peacebuilding programs. He and his wife, Guatemalan human rights leader Eva Contreras Morales, have two teenage children.

Maria Jessop, M.A.

Senior Peacebuilding Advisor, Washington, D.C.

Maria Jessop has over ten years of international and U.S. experience using mediation, facilitated dialogue, and capacity-building programs to bridge divides, find solutions, and catalyze groups for peaceful change from the grassroots to the national level.

Full Bio

Maria Jessop is a Senior Peacebuilding Advisor with Karuna Center in Washington, DC. and also consults independently. She has nine years of international experience and ten years in the U.S. using mediation, facilitated dialogue, and capacity-building programs to bridge divides, find solutions, and catalyze groups for peaceful change from the grassroots to the national level.  She has conducted programs in over fifteen countries, including Afghanistan, Colombia, Haiti, Iraq, the Central African Republic and many other countries in Sub-Saharan Africa. 

Paula Green, Ed.D.

Founder of the Karuna Center for Peacebuilding and Senior Peacebuilding Advisor

Dr. Green has extensive international experience in peacebuilding and conflict transformation as an international consultant, facilitator and lecturer in U.S. Europe, Asia, Africa and the Middle East, and brings a sense of social responsibility and spiritual awareness to her work as a psychologist, educator and leader in the peacebuilding field.

Full Bio

Dr. Paula Green is the Founder and Former Director of the Karuna Center. She directed, designed, and implemented multi-year programs in peacebuilding, inter-communal dialogue, and reconciliation for diverse stakeholders for the first 15 years of the organization’s existence. 

Dr. Green has extensive international experience in peacebuilding and conflict transformation as an international consultant, facilitator and lecturer in U.S. Europe, Asia, Africa and the Middle East, and brings a sense of social responsibility and spiritual awareness to her work as a psychologist, educator and leader in the peacebuilding field.

As a Professor of Conflict Transformation at the School for International Training (SIT) in Brattleboro, Vermont, Dr. Green co-directs the Conflict Transformation Across Cultures (CONTACT) program, a summer institute, and a graduate certificate program designed to strengthen and support the community-building and conflict intervention efforts of peacebuilders worldwide.

During Dr. Green’s subsequent tenure as Senior Fellow at the Karuna Center, she authored the training guide Peacebuilding in Divided Communities: Karuna Center’s Approach to Training and co-edited the textbook Psychology and Social Responsibility: Facing Global Challenges. She has served as an active board member for several international peace organizations, including the International Fellowship of Reconciliation, and continues to engage with the Karuna Center as a senior peacebuilding advisor and consultant.

Jessica Miller

Bookkeeper

Jessica joined the Karuna Center team in June 2014. She has years of bookkeeping and office management experience in both the non-profit and for-profit sectors.

Get to know our Staff, Associates, and Partners from around the world.

Bosnia and Herzegovina

Amra Pandžo

Bosnia Country Director

Amra Pandžo was born in Sarajevo, the capital of Bosnia and Herzegovina, where she has lived her entire life. For the last twenty years, Amra has dedicated her work to building peace and confidence among those recovering from the horrors of war in Bosnia and Herzegovina and other areas of the world.

Full Bio

Amra Pandžo was born in Sarajevo, the capital of Bosnia and Herzegovina, where she has lived her entire life. For the last twenty years, Amra has dedicated her work to building peace and confidence among those recovering from the horrors of war in Bosnia and Herzegovina and other areas of the world. She has, for example, worked with Serbian and Albanian women in Kosovo, on peacebuilding projects in Ukraine and Afghanistan, and with children and religious teachers in Bosnia and Herzegovina to convey her experiences from the process of reconciliation. Her publications include The Way of Peace, a memoir that discusses experiences of dialogue in post-war Bosnia and Herzegovina; and Manual for Teachers of Islamic Religion on the Peaceful Dimensions of Islam, a volume she edited. She has taught courses in religion, violence and conflict resolution, and religion and social justice at the University in Sarajevo, and has been an invited lecturer at Arizona State University and the University of Zurich. The Transcultural Psychosocial Educational Foundation (TPO) named Amra one of the eleven women who built peace in post-war Bosnia and Herzegovina and, in 2014, her life story was published in Shining Humanity: Life Stories of Women in Bosnia and Herzegovina. She holds a master’s degree in Social Work and is currently pursuing doctoral studies in Security and Peace at the University of Sarajevo.

Adela Varga Softic

Bosnia Financial Manager

Adela Varga Softic has worked in program administration, budget and project management, and organizational monitoring, data analysis, and reporting since 2004.

Full Bio

Adela Varga Softic has worked in program administration, budget and project management, and organizational monitoring, data analysis, and reporting since 2004. She joins Karuna Center’s Bosnia Herzegovina team after more than a decade with World Vision Bosnia and Herzegovina in Sarajevo, serving in a number of project-management, finance, and administrative positions. Most recently she served as Project Manager and Administrator for World Vision’s interfaith “Children Love God and their Neighbor” project, where she worked extensively in the management and evaluation of financial, compliance, and operational matters with NGOs and programs. She received a bachelor’s degree in Bosnian, Croatian, Serbian Language and Literature from the University of Sarajevo in 2011.

© Karuna Center for Peacebuilding
447 West Street, Amherst, MA 01002 USA
PHONE: +1 413.256.3800

Registered 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization