our team

Janessa-headshot.jpg

Janessa Gans Wilder
FOUNDER AND CEO

+ Read her bio here

Janessa Gans Wilder is a former CIA officer turned peacebuilder, social entrepreneur, and nonprofit executive. She is the Founder and Chief Executive Officer of The Euphrates Institute, a grassroots peacebuilding organization. She founded Euphrates after five years at the CIA focused on the Middle East, including serving 21 months in Iraq from 2003-2005. Janessa is a frequent speaker in interfaith, community, government, international, and educational settings. She has written dozens of articles and been interviewed by major news outlets, including CBS, CNN, Los Angeles Times, Christian Science Monitor, Democracy Now, and many more.

For over a decade, Janessa has provided the vision and leadership to grow Euphrates Institute into a global network of peacebuilders and changemakers, now comprising over 30 Chapters in 15 countries. She created and leads transformative Travel Study programs to Israel, Palestinian Territories, and Jordan, focused on listening to the ‘Other’. She conceived of the Visionary of the Year program to honor, support, and increase the visibility of groundbreaking changemakers.

Previously, Janessa taught political science at her undergraduate alma mater, Principia College, and was a consultant to the State Department. She has a Master’s degree in International Policy Studies from Stanford University and a bachelor’s in International Relations from Principia College. Janessa lives in Redding, CA with her husband and three young children. She enjoys spending time in nature, running, and yoga.

 
Picture12.png

Sylvia Murray
Strategic impact consultant

+ Read her bio here

Sylvia is a facilitator of, advocate for, and believer in peace leadership, with practices grounded in uplifting womxn, cultivating co-owned futures, and actualizing community-led change. She is a Co-Founder and Board Member Emerita of Sarus, a peacebuilding nonprofit that inspires and empowers the next generation of leaders to build a peaceful and prosperous Asia.

For over a decade, Sylvia has participated in and facilitated talking circles, based on restorative justice models, in various communities across the United States, Latin America, and Asia. From these talking circles emerged Sylvia’s commitment to and practice of nonviolent communication, community building, and conflict transformation. This commitment brought Sylvia to obtain a BA in Peace Studies from Goucher College, and continue to Southeast Asia working with nonprofits across the region focused on youth peacebuilding. Sylvia then deepened her studies by obtaining an MA in Coexistence and Conflict and MBA in Social Impact at the Heller School for Social Policy and Management, where she focused on conflict transformation, peace programming, and organizational capacity building.

Sylvia holds a deep passion for building and nurturing authentic communities that collectively transform systems and conflict with curiosity, connection, and courage. She currently works as a Program Officer at The Island Foundation and as a consultant in peace leadership, strategy, and organizational alignment.

 
Duncan Wilder.png

duncan wilder
videographer

+ Read his bio here

Duncan grew up in Westport, Connecticut and graduated from Principia College with a BA in Mass Communication. He is currently a freelance videographer based in New York City. His video production company, Rhythm of You Productions, was founded in 2013 and produces music videos, wedding videos, promotional videos, and short films. He is also the cinematographer of an award-winning dance film company called Wilder Project. His film projects have been selected to multiple international film festivals.

Find his professional website at: www.rhythmofyou.com.

katy_lunardelli_headshot.jpg

KATY LUNARDELLI
Chief Operations officer

+ read her bio here

Kathryn (Katy) Lunardelli is a global leader and listener, having worked in multicultural settings for the last two decades. Katy comes to Euphrates after eighteen years in the field of corporate social responsibility and ethical sourcing where she worked for Reebok International, Hasbro and most recently the Fair Factories Clearinghouse (FFC). At the FFC, she led initiatives for companies and multi-stakeholder groups to collaborate on improving the human rights conditions in supply chains.

Katy holds an MSc in Human Rights from the London School of Economics, a B.A. in Sociology and World Perspectives from Principia College and a certificate from the graduate level “Leadership for Change” program at Boston College, Carroll School of Management. She has served on the Board of Directors for Global Grassroots, a nonprofit organization with a mission to catalyze women and girls as leaders of conscious social change. Other volunteer activities include teaching college courses on corporate responsibility, tutoring refugees in English and volunteering at the Ocean State Montessori School.

Katy’s professional, educational and volunteer experiences have led to her current role at Euphrates. She joins the team with a purpose of seeing and experiencing unity between other people and our environment. She has a deep interest in the connection between personal and societal transformation and the power of grassroots peacebuilding initiatives. Katy resides in Providence, Rhode Island with her husband and three children.

 
IMG_7051.jpg

Anna-Zoë Herr
Director of design

+ Read her bio here

Anna Zoë Herr is from Berlin, Germany, where she currently resides. She has lived for an extensive time in the US, completing her Bachelor’s in January 2018 with a double major in Studio Art and Global Studies. During her time at college she directed two conferences: The International Perspectives Conference in 2015 under the theme of “Empowerment as Equals” and in 2016 the Millennium Campus Network Conference on the Sustainability Development Goals of the UN, held at Howard University in Washington D.C.. Zoë also interned with the Christian Science Monitor, where she published her first written pieces on entrepreneurship and progressive topics.

At her college, she tirelessly worked on building more understanding about sustainability, including bringing more humane meat to the college kitchen and starting a conversation about more plant-based meals in the dining room. Her activism led her to be asked to lecture several times. For her engagement with international issues and activism for those that have less of a voice, she was the awarded the Alfred-Gertsch Freedom award, the Global Perspectives Award and the Bertha Canova Scholarship for a student with a promising career in foreign service.

She has worked as a writer, a graphic designer and in the field of social justice as well as sustainability, all of which have cultivated a keen awareness of the world. Her painting and photography has been shown at several exhibitions (you can see her work at www.stonesandfeathers.com). Zoë currently pursues a MA in Global Studies to then become more active as a researcher, activist and journalist.

 
devin.jpg

devin lee
assistant

+ Read his bio here

Devin was born and raised in Redding, Califonia as a first-generation Mien American in his family. During his senior year in high school, he enlisted in the Marine Corps on his 17th birthday. After returning from service back to his hometown, he studied at Shasta College and had the opportunity to study abroad in Laos and South Korea. He graduated with his AA both in humanties and history, also having completed the EMT course. He is currently enrolled at CSU Chico pursuing a BA in History.

He currently works part time as an afterschool instructor for elementary school students, an editor for a remote Korean-to-English writing revision team, and a volunteer firefighter.

Devin has always been a believer of service above self. Having met Janessa as one of the interviewers on a scholarship panel, he had been drawn to her incredible and compassionate work and the core beliefs that the Euphrates Institute represents. He brings to the team the deep desire of "giving hope to the hopeless."

Natalia-photo.jpg

Natalia Garvey
ADMINISTRATIVE DIRECTOR

+ Read her bio here

Natalia Garvey was born and raised in Surabaya, Indonesia. Following high school, Natalia moved to the United States to pursue education in Accounting and Management Information Systems at San Francisco State University. After college, Natalia worked at KPMG LLP where she had interned as a student in the Information Risk Management group. Natalia enjoyed the fast-paced environment and working with multiple clients at a time, performing IT advisory and IT audit support.

In 2010 Natalia and her husband left San Francisco for Redding and joined her husband’s family business, where she currently works part time managing the books and doing marketing, advertising and graphic design. She spends most of the rest of her time with her two children, but makes time to volunteer locally for CASA and The Women’s Fund.

Growing up in Indonesia, Natalia was exposed to people of many different faiths. Being raised as a Christian in a mostly Muslim country helped her understand some of the challenges faced by minorities. While there is undeniable tension in the country at times, she is proud of Indonesia’s official recognition of five different major religions and the solidarity of the Indonesian people. It is this concept of co-existence that drew her to the Euphrates Institute, where she enjoys supporting the work and goals envisioned by the Institute’s founder.

 
Picture1.png

hollister thomas
Director of communications

+ Read her bio here

Hollister’s primary focus for the last 17 years has been facilitating the growth and development of her three ‘unschooled’ children in an environment designed to nurture their purpose and authenticity as global citizens. During this time she has worked as a customer advocate for an international newspaper as well as maintained a career in photography. She is also a certified yogi who volunteers her teaching skills with a homeless women’s transition home and a local youth soccer academy.

Graduating from college with a B.A. in International Relations and Photojournalism, Hollister has served in numerous capacities with organizations focused on local and global inclusion and wholistic development. Most recently she has help with social media and content development for InspiredtoGive.org, an organization with the mission to magnify all the good done by the global citizens of the world. Additionally, Hollister serves as a volunteer for Haiti Partners whose mission is to “Help Haitians Change Haiti through Education.” She and her husband have also started two grassroots campaigns – RAK Friday encourages “random/radical acts of kindness” and Hope for the Homeless provides holiday gift bags to local homeless individuals.

Hollister is an idealist and a pragmatist and sees the value of both outlooks in the work of peacebuilding. She enjoys finding opportunities to positively impact her local community and amplify the possibility of peace and transformation in the world at large. Becoming a part of the Euphrates team supports Hollister’s desire to work with an organization that believes in global change through individual transformation….and it finally validates her college major! Hollister can be found on the beach in Jupiter, Florida with her husband, three children and one adorable dog.

 
craig hunger.jpg

craig hunter
attorney

+ Read his bio here

Craig Hunter has been a Los Angeles trial lawyer for about 30 years who likes to think he breaks the traditional mold. He received a B.A. in mathematics from Principia College and a law degree from the University of the Pacific, McGeorge School of Law, serving as an editor of the law review. As his daughters steered clear of the law, Craig branched out from his litigation practice to help commercial wind developers and assist a few Indian tribes in developing their economies through gaming and renewable energy projects. He is also a commercial pilot who enjoys flying as a hobby and is a weekend sailor and surfer.

“I am excited about the work of the Euphrates Institute because I believe that now is the time for a paradigm shift in thinking about Middle East, and ways to get Americans truly excited and engaged about understanding the cultures in the Middle East and taking their own steps to help bring peace. There is no one better to start such a movement than Janessa, and her terrific Board.”


Board of directors

Screen+Shot+2019-05-21+at+21.19.04.jpg

Glenn Williams
CHairman

+ Read his bio

Glenn Williams is retired after 25 years fundraising for his alma mater, Washington State University, Colonial Williamsburg in Virginia, and Principia in St. Louis. He became personally engaged in Middle East issues while on a trip through Egypt and Jordan, when a visit into Israel was cancelled due to fighting in the West Bank. Standing on Mt. Nebo in Jordan, where according to Deuteronomy Moses first saw the Promised Land, he could see Jerusalem in the distance but was also denied entrance. He wondered then what could be done to bring peace to the region. He was introduced to Janessa and the Euphrates Institute a few years later after joining the Principia staff. He saw through their efforts the potential for realistic solutions and wanted to find a way to assist.

 
Screen+Shot+2019-05-21+at+21.17.00.jpg

kent libbe
chief financial officer

+ Read his bio

Kent Libbe brings his 35 years of business experience to the Euphrates Institute. He earned his MBA and BS degrees from Bowling Green State University. His work background is focused in the areas of finance and accounting but also includes eleven years serving as the President of a major regional construction company. He also worked as a consultant to small businesses for three years, during which time he discovered that his organizational experience could benefit many smaller organizations.

His introduction to the Euphrates Institute came through his daughter who participated in a life changing three month experience in the Middle East which was led by the Euphrates founder. This led him to attend the Euphrates Summit at Principia College in 2011. The powerful ideas presented there naturally drew him to want to help Janessa and her strong team with their very important mission in helping solve one of the most challenging issues in the world.

 
Screen+Shot+2019-05-21+at+21.14.50.jpg

Marikit del Rosario-Sabet
Board Member

+ read her bio

Born In Quezon City, Philippines but raised in San Jose CA.

Graduated from Arizona State University Bachelor of Arts in Intercultural Communications.

Worked 10 years for American Airlines in their Premium Service Department at JFK international airport, New York.

Lived in Philippines, US, West Indies, England.

Loved traveling around the world and meeting people and learning about different cultures.

Married with 3 daughters

Moved to Redding in 2006 for her husband’s medical practice and to raise their two younger daughters.

Secretary of the Local Spiritual Assembly of the Baha’is of Shasta County for 7 years.

Partner Owner of Subway Franchises Shasta and Tehama County.

Hobbies: gardening, community service and teaching Zumba.

Met Janessa in 2016 when we both hosted exchange students from the Middle East.

Believes strongly in the mission of Euphrates and the philosophy of World Peace and Global Citizenship.

Screen+Shot+2019-05-21+at+21.09.15.jpg

Joy Schwentker
Vice President

+ Read her bio

Joy Schwentker’s interest in the Middle East began when she travelled to Syria, Jordan and Israel on a Bible study tour in 1995. Since then, she has travelled to Turkey and served as a Trustee of the Crisler Library in Ephesos (Turkey). As a founding member of a Middle East Book Club in Raleigh, NC, the books read have helped educate her about the history, people, religions, culture, politics, and literature of the region. She is a graduate of Principia College, attended the Euphrates Institute Summit there in 2011, is the head of a church-related non-profit organization, serves on boards and committees of other non-profits that work with young people, and enjoys her grandchildren and travelling with her husband.

“A popular song says, ‘Let there be peace on earth and let it begin with me.’ I think we all have that responsibility as world citizens. I am happy to be a part of the Euphrates Institute as it strives to educate Americans about the Middle East and dialogues with people there so that more people everywhere are better equipped to be peace builders.”

 
Screen+Shot+2019-05-21+at+21.12.58.jpg

chuck wattles
Board Member

+ Read his bio

Chuck Wattles has worked for many years in both international and domestic development programs for numerous non-governmental organizations and governmental agencies. Internationally, he worked with the Education Development Center as the Washington D.C. Program Manager for a Youth Leadership Program in the West Bank and Gaza, and lived for three years in Sudan working with street children, refugee resettlement, emergency housing, and disaster relief. He’s traveled throughout East Africa, the West Bank, Israel, and Jordan. While working at Peace Corps headquarters he brought special focus to combining youth development and environmental projects. In the U.S. he has directed three nonprofit housing and community development organizations and served on the boards of two youth development organizations. He has a Master’s degree in International Administration from the School for International Training, in Brattleboro, Vermont.

 
Screen+Shot+2019-05-21+at+21.17.56.jpg

rebecca tobias
Board Member

+ Read her bio

Rebecca Tobias is a Global Council Trustee of the United Religions Initiative and the Program Director of the Raoul Wallenberg Institute of Ethics, which designs and facilitates interfaith and intercultural programming which serves to foster a culture of peace; and through her work has coordinated capacity-building projects with civic, faith, and social justice advocacy organizations locally, nationally and internationally. As a Fellow with the Office of High Commissioner for Human Rights for the Working Groups for Indigenous Populations, Rebecca assisted in the drafting of resolutions presented for the Human Rights Sub-Commission meeting held in August 2005 and since that time has served as a delegate to the United Nations for several CSO’s including the inaugural meeting of the Tripartite Forum on Interfaith Cooperation for Peace.

Her introduction to the depth of the inter-religious divides in the Middle East began on her first trip to Israel in 1980 on a bus ride from Haifa to Tel Aviv while travelling on commandeered transport full of Israeli army conscripts who showed no interest in giving a seat to an elderly Arab woman whom the driver had stopped to collect along the way; from that experience and since that time Rebecca has been on a personal journey to understand and to teach ways in which we can live our lives in purposeful reverence for one another. Rebecca serves on several boards and advisory councils which grant her the opportunity to remain up to date with developments in the MENA region and her professional work with them has been a concerted effort to build coalitions and to empower citizen advocacy. She has been invited to speak as a presenter and guest lecturer on issues of ethics and inter-cultural cooperation both here and abroad. Rebecca attended the University of London in 1984 and received her B.A. from Florida International University in 1989 with a concentration in political science and cross-cultural psychology. In 1996, she went on to study ethics, culture and mysticism of early Christianity and Islam throughout Turkey with Catholic Sisters of Notre Dame College. In 2003, she attended the Elijah Interfaith Institute program in Jerusalem, ‘Authority, Leadership and the Quest for Peace’ with Rabbi Alon Goshen-Gottstein who is a founding member of the World Congress of Imams and Rabbis.

”Politics is about relationships. Come to any relationship with a clear conscience an open heart and rolled up sleeves and the best that resides within us manifests itself. The Euphrates Institute exemplifies this vision by focusing on the positive and the possible.”

Screen+Shot+2019-05-21+at+21.16.08.jpg

Rebecca Hoskyn
secretary

+ Read her bio

Rebecca Hoskyn has always loved traveling and experiencing different cultures around the world. She majored in Cultural Anthropology with a focus on Native American Art History. After discovering a well-preserved and rare Attu grass basket in Seattle she was able to help the owner repatriate it to a remote Alaskan museum, which gave back to this Alaskan community a piece of their history missing since 1930. She completed a certificate program in Museology. Her work as a Christian Science Nurse has provided many years of rewarding service to individuals of all ages. In 2014 she joined the Euphrates Institute trip to Israel, the Palestinian Territories, and Jordan, which changed her life forever and opened doors to learning more about the Middle East. She began to learn how to: listen to the narratives of others; become better acquainted with people from different faiths; humanize unfamiliar people and their surroundings; enjoy more deeply the historical and cultural aspects of Christians, Jews, and Muslims; and realized more fully that each of us has something unique and vital to contribute towards the peace process in this worldwide grassroots movement! Rebecca realized that peace in the Middle East meant peace for the whole world, and she has become passionate about building these necessary bridges within her own community. In 2015 she and two friends started the Euphrates Institute Seattle Chapter which now has 501c3 (nonprofit) status, and continues to actively enjoy connecting with the local Jewish and Muslim communities, has hosted Middle Eastern scholars, conducted a Human Rights workshop for the Iraqi Young Leader Exchange Program via the Seattle World Affairs Council, has connected with World Relief to support local refugees, hosted a Q&A with a Syrian doctor living in the US about his memoir of helping the children of Syria; hosted a booth to advertise for Euphrates Institute at the Annual Arab Fest in Seattle two successive years; presented a screening of the film, “Disturbing the Peace,” about former Israeli defense soldiers and Palestinian militants who dropped their weapons to come together to promote the peace process, just to name a few. Rebecca and her husband live in Redmond, WA, where they enjoy the outdoors and are planning their next travel adventures.

 

Global Advisory council

Ambassador Jeffrey.jpg

Ambassador James Jeffrey

+ Read his bio

One of the nation’s most senior diplomats, Ambassador Jeffrey has held a series of highly sensitive posts in Washington, D.C., and abroad. In addition to his service as ambassador in Ankara and Baghdad, he served as assistant to the president and deputy national security advisor in the George W, Bush administration, with a special focus on Iran. Previously, at the State Department, he served as principal deputy assistant secretary for the Bureau of Near Eastern Affairs at the Department of State, where his responsibilities included leading the Iran policy team and coordinating public diplomacy. Earlier appointments included service as senior advisor on Iraq to the secretary of state; chargé d’affaires and deputy chief of mission in Baghdad; deputy chief of mission in Ankara; and ambassador in Albania. A former infantry officer in the U.S. army, Ambassador Jeffrey served in Germany and Vietnam from 1969 to 1976.

 
Libby Hoffman.jpg

Libby Hoffman

+ Read her bio

Libby Hoffman is the founder and President of Catalyst for Peace, a private foundation building peace from the inside-out – pioneering a whole-souled, whole system approach that creates space for those most impacted by war or violence to be the ones to lead in rebuilding after conflict. She co-founded Fambul Tok (Family Talk) in Sierra Leone, the world’s first nationwide, community-owned and led reconciliation program. She produced the multiple-award-winning documentary, Fambul Tok, and is a lead author of the companion book – both released in 2011. A former Political Science professor at Principia College, Libby has been active in peacebuilding in a variety of ways prior to establishing Catalyst for Peace in 2003.

 
William Brooke.jpg

William Brooke Stallsmith

+ Read his bio

Counterintelligence expert, security and peacekeeping. William Brooke Stallsmith has worked on a wide range of international issues for more than 30 years, including as an intelligence analyst focused on regional stability in Africa and the Near East for the CIA. He was awarded the Career Intelligence Medal on his retirement in 2007. Prior to intelligence, Brooke worked on several humanitarian and development projects in Africa for the US Agency for International Development. Brooke now works as a consultant providing advice to sensitive US Government agencies and private-sector clients.

 
Screenshot 2019-03-10 14.55.51.png

STEVEN M. MISKA

+ Read his bio

Steve Miska is the Principal Investigator for Strategically Protecting Soft NetworksTM, a project supported by the Pacific Council on International Policy in L.A. and numerous other partners to protect vulnerable allies who work with Americans in conflict zones. As Executive Director of First Amendment Voice, he leads a nonpartisan effort to reinvigorate civic awareness around free expression, religious liberty, press freedom and other first amendment issues. Steve retired as a Colonel after 25 years in the Army. His last assignment was teaching three years as the Army Chair at Marine Corps University. Previously, he served in the White House as Director for Iraq on the National Security Council. In 2007, on his second of three combat tours, Steve led a team that established an underground railroad for dozens of interpreters from Baghdad to Amman to the United States. He earned top academic honors as a Counterterrorism Fellow at the College of International Security Affairs and has taught economics at the United States Military Academy, West Point. Steve routinely speaks on soft networks and has addressed DIA, RAND, the Pacific Council on International Policy, the Young Presidents Organization of LA, and numerous media outlets and think tanks. He holds degrees from Cornell University, National Defense University, and West Point. He serves as an advisor to several nonprofits, including No One Left Behind, the International Refugee Assistance Project, and the i5 Freedom Network. He and his wife of 27 years have two children and reside in Southern California.

Bishop William Swing.jpg

Bishop William Swing

+ Read his bio

Bishop William Swing is the President and Founder of the United Religions Initiative. Bishop Swing had the original vision of URI in 1993 in response to an invitation from the United Nations asking him to host an interfaith service honoring the 50th anniversary of the signing of the UN Charter. Bishop Swing served as the Episcopal Bishop of California from 1980 until his retirement in 2006. In that capacity, he was a national and international leader in response to the AIDS crisis and co-founded Episcopal Community Services to address San Francisco’s homeless problem.

 
Rev Charles Gibbs.jpg

Rev. Canon Charles Gibbs

+ Read his bio

The Rev. Canon Charles P. Gibbs, an Episcopal priest, visionary, peacebuilder and poet, has dedicated his life to serving the sacred in the world, especially through interreligious and intercultural engagement for peace, justice and healing. Senior Advisor and Poet-in-Residence for Catalyst for Peace and Founding Executive Director Emeritus of the United Religions Initiative, he is an internationally respected spiritual leader, interfaith activist, speaker and writer. His recently published volume of poetry – Light Reading: Poems from a Pilgrim Journey is available on Amazon.com. Currently, he is working on a book of reflections – I’d Like to Help. Excerpts from both books are posted on revcharlespgibbs.net. As son, brother, husband, father, father-in-law and grandfather, Charles cherishes and is inspired by his family. He is blessed with dear friends and colleagues of diverse faiths around the world with whom he shares a commitment to serve the world through spiritual transformation and cooperative engagement for the good of all life on this sacred Earth. Mindful of the abundant blessings that come even through life’s biggest challenges, he seeks to live each moment in gratitude.

 
Jessica D Morse.jpg

Jessica D. Morse

+ Read her bio

Jessica spent nearly ten years in National Security working for the Defense Department, State Department and the US Agency for International Development. Her assignments included a year and a half in Iraq, as well as India, Burma and US Pacific Command. Currently, Jessica is continuing her public service by running for Congress in her home district in California. Ms. Morse worked for US Pacific Command as an advisor on US-India defense strategy. She developed a defense engagement strategy, which included an innovative approach to using renewable energy technology as a platform for expanded technical cooperation between the US and Indian militaries. Jessica spent six months at the US Embassy in New Delhi coordinating the US-India Strategic Dialogue. Ms. Morse also worked for several years in the field of international development. She served as the Iraq Country Coordinator for the U.S. Department of State in the Office of the Director of Foreign Assistance. In this role Ms. Morse coordinated the $25 billion Iraq foreign assistance budget and defended her budget proposals before appropriations committee staff and harmonizing programs between the State Department and USAID. Ms. Morse worked as a program officer in the USAID mission in Baghdad Iraq from October 2005 through January 2007. She spearheaded a USAID program that developed a professional civil service corps for Iraq’s national government. For her first six months in Iraq, Jessica served as Information Officer where she had the opportunity to visit many USAID projects across Iraq and document the impact of American foreign aid funding on individual Iraqis. During graduate school, Ms. Morse served as an advisor for the Congressional Commission on Wartime Contracting using her lessons learned from Iraq to guide the Commission’s recommendations, including preventing human trafficking in warzones. Ms. Morse has also worked for several non-profit organizations including Empowering the Women of Nepal in Pokhara, Nepal and Save the Children in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. Ms. Morse holds a Masters of Public Affairs from Princeton University’s Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs, and a Bachelor of Arts in economics from Principia College.

David Jesmer Jr..jpg

David Jesmer Jr.

+ Read his bio

David Jesmer Jr. is consultant to the National Intelligence Manager for the Near East, and retired senior Army Special Forces officer and Foreign Area Officer with broad experience in the Middle East and with special operations and intelligence operations. In the military, Jesmer served as the Political Military Advisor to the Assistant Secretary of State for Near Eastern Affairs; as a military attache in Syria, Jordan, and Lebanon; Special Forces training chief and combat commander, as well as multiple tours at the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA).

 
Shameen Rassam.jpg

Shameem Rassam

+ Read her bio

Shameem Rassam is an executive producer at Middle East Broadcast Networks. She has over thirty years in journalism and media, and has assisted the establishment of projects, such as the first FM Radio -Baghdad, Iraq, Arab Network of America Radio, the Iraqi Media Network (IMN), helped the Kuwaiti ministry of Information and prominent Arab figures to assist launching IMN radio, TV, and newsprint. Shameem also established and directed the first Iraqi new Radio, then as the Media Services Director, became director general of IMN Radio and TV, Baghdad Iraq. She actively promotes understanding of arts, culture, history, public affairs and current events of the Near East World.

 
Stephen Dinan - head shot 336crop.jpg

Stephen Dinan

+ Read his bio

Stephen Dinan is the founder, President and CEO of The Shift Network, which has served 1.8 million participants in 170 countries and worked with 1500 respected visionaries and change leaders. It is considered one of the leading online sources for transformational programs. He is also a member of the prestigious Transformational Leadership Council and Evolutionary Leaders group and he plays an active mentorship role to visionary leaders in fields from business to politics to personal growth. His books include Sacred America, Sacred World (Hampton Roads) and Radical Spirit (New World Library).

Stephen is a graduate of Stanford University (Human Biology) and the California Institute of Integral Studies (East-West Psychology). He helped create and directed the Esalen Institute’s Center for Theory & Research, a think tank for leading scholars, researchers, and teachers to explore human potential frontiers. As the former director of membership and marketing at the Institute of Noetic Sciences, he was the driving force behind the Shift in Action program and the One Minute Shift media series.

Stephen lives in San Rafael, California, with his beloved wife Devaa and daughter Sienna.