Peacebuilding Through Dialogue
Education, Human Transformation, and Conflict Resolution

Susan H. Allen is an Associate Professor at the School for Conflict Analysis and Resolution at George Mason University (Mason) and directs the Center for Peacemaking Practice. She is a scholar-practitioner of conflict resolution, focusing on reflective practice and research that emerges from practice contexts. She has substantial expertise in conflict resolution dialogues, intermediary roles, coordination amongst intermediaries, and evaluation of conflict resolution initiatives. She has engaged long-term in conflict resolution in the South Caucasus, as well as contributed to a variety of conflict resolution initiatives in Eastern Europe, Eurasia, the Caribbean, South America, and Africa. Dr. Allen holds an M.S. and Ph.D. in Conflict Analysis and Resolution from Mason. Previously, she taught at American University, cofounded and directed the Alliance for Conflict Transformation (ACT), and worked at the Carter Center.     

Monisha Bajaj is Professor and Chair of International and Multicultural Education at the University of San Francisco. She is also Visiting Professor and Research Fellow at the Institute for Reconciliation and Social Justice, University of the Free State, South Africa. Dr. Bajaj is the editor and author of six books, including, most recently, Human Rights Education: Theory, Research, Praxis (University of Pennsylvania Press, 2017), as well as numerous articles. She has also developed curriculum—particularly related to peace education, human rights, anti-bullying efforts, and sustainability—for nonprofit organizations and intergovernmental organizations, such as UNICEF and UNESCO.

Andrea Bartoli, an international conflict resolution expert who has served in key academic and diplomatic positions for more than two decades, is dean of the School of Diplomacy and International Relations at Seton Hall University. Prior to his appointment, Bartoli served as dean of George Mason University’s School for Conflict Analysis and Resolution (S-CAR). He also founded and directed the Center for International Conflict Resolution (CICR) at Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs (SIPA). His primary research endeavors have been related to genocide prevention and international conflict resolution. Bartoli’s international portfolio spans more than two decades and four continents. He has served as the Permanent Representative of the Community of Sant’Egidio to the United Nations and the United States since 1992. In this role, he has been involved in many successful diplomatic activities.

Meenakshi Chhabra is a Professor and Director of Global Interdisciplinary Studies Division in the Graduate School of Art and Social Sciences at Lesley University, in Cambridge, Massachusetts. As a scholar and practitioner in Peace and Conflict Studies, Dr. Chhabra has been recognized by Fulbright as a Specialist in the field and as Fulbright Global Scholar for her work with youth and educators in conflict settings. Her research and practice relates to teaching and learning of historical events of violence in conflict and postconflict zones, education in emergencies, trauma and resilience, and restorative practices.

Steven D. Cohen is Senior Lecturer in the Tufts University Department of Education. He taught high school history for two decades and has taught at Tufts since 1995. He has also had the opportunity to work on educational projects beyond the classroom. He edited and wrote anthologies to accompany the public television documentaries Vietnam: A Television History and Eyes On The Prize. Steve was a Program Associate with Facing History and Ourselves for many years and has written articles about teaching controversial issues like Vietnam, the dropping of the Atomic Bomb, and the Holocaust. He also does projects for the website on various historical subjects. In 2007, he was voted by students as Tufts University Professor of the Year.

Charles Gardner has been a member of the Community of Sant’Egidio since 2008, organizing local outreach both to elderly experiencing social isolation and to persons experiencing homelessness. He has also served as the Government Relations and Project Manager for the Community of Sant’Egidio in their U.S. Office of Peace and Dialogue. He represented and supported the Community’s international initiatives in conflict mediation, humanitarian assistance, inter-religious dialogue, public health, birth registration, and advocacy against the death penalty. He has coordinated several conferences at universities to engage students in dialogue, to share the reality of poverty both locally and globally, and to promote prayer. Gardner is a graduate from the University of Notre Dame, where he received both a M.A. in Theology and a B.A. in the Program of Liberal Studies.

Mark Farr has more than 25 years’ experience in political and public service in the United States and the United Kingdom, and is President of The Sustained Dialogue Institute. SDI works in the United States and around the world seeking to resolve conflicts and create change through transformed relationships. Among other activities, SDI oversees the Dartmouth Conference Task Force, the long-standing dialogue between the United States and Russia; trains young Americans on leadership, dialogue, and conflict resolution on sixty-five U.S. campuses and in Mexico, Ethiopia, and Zimbabwe. SDI has a growing presence promoting its vision in corporate America and on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C., where SDI is based. Prior to SDI, Mark was president of the Faith & Politics Institute on Capitol Hill. FPI organizes the annual Congressional Civil Rights Pilgrimage with John Lewis and oversees both Senate and House Chiefs’ of Staff meetings. Before that, he was Senior Director at former president George H. W. Bush’s legacy foundation The Points of Light Institute and Faith & Corporate Director of Colin Powell’s America’s Promise. Mark is a qualified psychotherapist and priest. 

William Gaudelli is Dean of the College of Education at Lehigh University. Previously he was Professor of Social Studies and Chair of the Department of Arts and Humanities at Teachers College, Columbia University. His research areas include global citizenship education and teacher education/development. Gaudelli has published over 50 scholarly pieces and three books. His third book, Global Citizenship Education: Everyday Transcendence, which offers an analysis of global citizenship education in various locales globally, was published in 2016. He is a co-founder of the Global Competence Certificate Program, which provides blended professional development for educators. Gaudelli is a frequent keynoter at international conferences and guest lecturer at various universities, having previously served as an executive board member of the John Dewey Society and College and University Faculty Assembly for the National Council for the Social Studies. Gaudelli was a member of the South Orange-Maplewood (NJ) Board of Education, 2011–2014. He was named a Rutgers University 250 Revolutionary Fellow in 2016. 

Jason Goulah is Associate Professor of Bilingual-Bicultural Education and Director of the Institute for Daisaku Ikeda Studies in Education at DePaul University in Chicago, IL. He is also Executive Advisor to the Ikeda Center for Peace, Learning and Dialogue in Cambridge, MA. He has served as a research fellow at the Center for Latino Research; as a research and translation fellow at Soka University, Tokyo; and as a research fellow at the Baldy Center for Law and Social Policy at the University at Buffalo Law School. He was a 2016 Visiting Professor at Soka University of America and a 2015 Visiting Diversity Scholar at the University of Evansville. His scholarship has appeared in multiple edited volumes and scholarly journals. His books include Daisaku Ikeda, Language and Education, which received the 2015 AESA Critics Choice Book Award, Makiguchi Tsunesaburo in the Context of Language, Identity and Education, and Makiguchi Tsunesaburo (1871–1944): Educational Philosophy in Context (with Andrew Gebert). He received the 2009 NECTFL Stephen A. Freeman Award for best language education article of the year.         

Donna Hicks is an Associate at the Weatherhead Center for International Affairs at Harvard University. She facilitated dialogues in numerous unofficial diplomatic efforts in the Middle East, Sri Lanka, Cambodia, Colombia, Cuba, Libya, and Syria. She was a consultant to the BBC in Northern Ireland where she cofacilitated a television series, Facing the Truth, with Archbishop Desmond Tutu. She has taught courses in conflict resolution at Harvard, Clark, and Columbia Universities and conducts trainings seminars in the U.S. and abroad on the role dignity plays in conflict. She consults to corporations, schools, churches, and non-governmental organizations. Her book Dignity: Its Essential Role in Resolving Conflict was published by Yale University Press in 2011. Her second book, Leading with Dignity, will be published by Yale University Press in the fall of 2018.

Bernice Lerner is director of adult learning at Hebrew College, where she oversees programs in partnership with Boston area organizations. She is also a senior scholar at the Center for Character and Social Responsibility at Boston University’s School of Education and has taught courses and given presentations on topics related to the Holocaust, character education, and educational leadership. Author of The Triumph of Wounded Souls: Seven Holocaust Survivors’ Lives, and numerous articles and book chapters, Dr. Lerner is currently writing a dual biography of her mother, a child survivor of Bergen-Belsen, and Brigadier Glyn Hughes, a liberator of that concentration camp.

Ceasar L. McDowell is Professor of the Practice of Civic Design at MIT. His current work is on the design of civic infrastructures and processes to connect the increasingly demographically complex public. His research and teaching interests also include the use of mass media and technology in promoting democracy and community-building, the education of urban students, the development and use of empathy, civil rights history, peacemaking, and conflict resolution. He is the founder of MIT’s CO-Lab and the new Civic Design Network. He served as Director of the global civic engagement organization Dropping Knowledge International, President of Interaction Institute for Social Change, cofounder of The Civil Rights Forum on Telecommunications Policy, and founding Board member of The Algebra Project.  

Gonzalo Obelleiro is an Instructional Assistant Professor of Curriculum Studies in the College of Education at DePaul University. His current work focuses on innovations in education, global citizenship, and the philosophies of Daisaku Ikeda and John Dewey. He is a graduate from Soka University of America and earned his Ph.D. at Teachers College, Columbia University. He is a former Education Fellow at the Ikeda Center for Peace, Learning, and Dialogue and a former Innovation Fellow at EdLab.

Bradley Siegel, Ed.D., is currently the K-12 Executive Director of Curriculum, Instruction, and Assessment for Allendale, Ho-Ho-Kus, Northern Highlands, and Upper Saddle River School Districts in New Jersey. He is also an adjunct professor of Social Studies Education at Teachers College, Columbia University. Previously, he taught and supervised social studies departments in New Jersey. His research interests include democratic and civic education, classroom discussion, and listening.

Peter N. Stearns is University Professor of World History and the provost emeritus of George Mason University. Dr. Stearns retired as Provost in June 2014 but maintains a robust faculty schedule. He has published widely in modern social history, including the history of emotions, and has authored or edited more than 135 books, mainly in social history and world history. From 1967 to 2016, he served as editor-in-chief of The Journal of Social History. Dr. Stearns received the prestigious Mason Medal in 2014; that same year, George Mason University was awarded the Senator Paul Simon Spotlight Award for Campus Internationalization.

Olivier Urbain is director of the Min-On Music Research Institute (MOMRI) in Tokyo and founder of the Transcend: Art & Peace Network. He is the former Director of the Toda Institute for Global Peace and Policy Research and is currently a member of the board of the International Peace Research Association Foundation (IPRAF). For fifteen years, he was a professor of foreign languages and peace studies at Soka University in Japan. His publications include Daisaku Ikeda’s Philosophy of Peace: Dialogue, Transformation, and Global Citizenship (2010) and Music and Conflict Transformation: Harmonies and Dissonances in Geopolitics (2008, 2015, editor).

Ion Vlad, a native of Romania, is completing his doctorate in Education at the University of San Francisco. His dissertation explores the extent to which national human rights museums and centers in the United States and Canada engage in critical pedagogy and provide a “third space” of dialogic education. Other research interests include the impact of globalization on human rights in post-Communist Eastern Europe, the role of emotion in peacebuilding and reconciliation after violent conflict, and the relationship between language and the nation-state in public-school textbooks.


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