Global Work

 
 





 








Highlights of my work:


  1. Leading an international women’s peacebuilding/leadership organization with a network of 30,000 women in 125 countries. Launched several global programs.

  2. Grassroots peacebuilding, advocacy/cross cultural training under apartheid in South Africa for 5 years

  3. Actively engaged in citizen diplomacy with the former Soviet Union during the Cold War and directing USAID business training programs in 6 cities over 10 years

  4. Managing international education, peacebuilding and development projects through the United Nations and other international agencies

  5. Co-founding the Institute for Peacebuilding offering educational courses, teacher training, curriculum development, parent training, community workshops, and organizational peacebuilding support.

  6. Launching an organization to focus on the need for media accountability and reform

  7. Teaching courses and leading training on the principles and practices of peacebuilding

  8. Developing training materials on ways to nurture human spirit at work and spiritual intelligence

  9. Training in cross-cultural communication for companies doing work overseas

  10. Speaking, training, coaching and mentoring women to step into leadership and realize their potential, including directing projects that provide skills training for women      

  11. Educating and hopefully inspiring through a range of radio and TV programs as well as articles, chapters and books


 

Over my career I have worked with, and continue to work with, some inspiring, ground breaking, remarkable organizations that I would like to acknowledge here:







Peace X Peace

Until recently I’ve been CEO of Peace X Peace, an international women’s peacebuilding/leadership organization with a network of 30,000 women in 125 countries. As CEO I’ve launched several global programs that have had very positive impact: 1) a Mentorship Program that links young women with seasoned professionals, and 2) a program called “Connection Point” that links Arab, Muslim, and Western women to build bridges of understanding and reduce stereotypes. I created leadership initiatives, promoted gender inclusion and cross cultural understanding, worked to reduce gender based violence, developed partnerships and connected women across cultures. We hosted an annual awards program called Women, Power and Peace Awards, Voices of Israeli and Palestinian Women project, weekly blogs, and led cross cultural dialogues in the Gulf countries of United Arab Emirates and Qatar.  www.peacexpeace.org










Civil Society Working Group

I’ve been active with the Civil Society Working Group on Women, Peace and Security (http://civilsocietywg.org), under the auspices of the US Institute of Peace, which advises US government agencies on implementation of the US National Action Plan on Women, Peace and Security.   The National Action Plan, called for under UN Security Council Resolution 1325, provides a roadmap to address the disproportionate and unique impact of armed conflict on women, recognizes the importance of women's equal participation and full involvement in maintaining and promoting peace and security, and the need to enhance protection of women, girls and their rights. https://www.whitehouse.gov/sites/default/files/email files/US_National_Action_Plan_on_Women_Peace_and_Security.pdf







Light My Fire

I am on the board of Light My Fire, a small but impactful NGO that works to effect change for women and girls in the developing world. Light My Fire provides the spark for women and girls in developing countries to ignite social, economic and cultural change that transforms lives and communities.


Light My Fire incorporates three key development principles: 1) Providing small amounts of money early for specific, tangible outcomes; 2) Selecting projects that are sustainable and, 3) Ensuring projects can be replicated.  www.lightmyfirefund.org.


Light My Fire supports projects for women and girls on three continents in three fields: 

Women’s Health and Security. Women’s reproductive health is crucial for family planning and childbirth; trafficking and forced prostitution must be combated. 

Women’s Empowerment. Empowering women, even those existing at the margins of poverty, means realizing vital sources of talent and energy that are often ignored. Empowering women also means family empowerment since women spend 90% of their income on their families compared to 30–40% for men.

Girls’ Empowerment. If girls achieve education beyond grammar school, the risk of poverty for the next generation declines exponentially. If girls are trained and treated for sexual abuse, violence against women decreases dramatically.









Alliance for Peacebuilding

I Chair the Women in Peacebuilding Affinity Group for the Alliance for Peacebuilding (AfP)  AfP helps catalyze lasting, constructive, and peaceful change in fragile and chaotic settings around the world. AfP serves as a thought leader for the peacebuilding field, linking theory and practice across multiple sectors and practice areas, including Evaluation, Mapping , Prevention and Strengthening the field’s ability to learn effectively in complex environments. http://www.allianceforpeacebuilding.org/


The Women in Peacebuilding Affinity Group hosts Conversations with Extraordinary Women every other month. We do this on the phone to encourage participation from around the country, and to encourage visiting women leaders to be able to speak from whichever city they visit. We include women on the frontlines of peacebuilding work in their respective countries. To learn more and to participate, check this link - http://www.allianceforpeacebuilding.org/our-members/affinity-groups/women-and-peacebuilding-affinity-group/

  







United Nations Association

I’ve been involved with several UN Association chapters since the early 1990’s supporting the work of the United Nations. As the nation's largest grassroots foreign policy organization and the leading center of policy research on the U.N. and global issues, UNA-USA offers Americans the opportunity to connect with issues confronted by the U.N., from global health and human rights to the spread of democracy, equitable development, and international justice. We educate Americans about the
work of the United Nations and encourage public support for strong U.S. leadership in the United Nations. Today there are more than 20,000 members in than 150 local chapters in 43 states.

In the mid - 2000’s I served as President of both the San Francisco and Marin County chapters in California. The chapters host public programs about the UN, conduct programs in schools to bring global awareness to children such as a UN essay contest and school assemblies, do media outreach through Op Ed articles and cable TV shows, and organizes advocacy work.


I currently serve on the Advisory Council of the UNA NCA (National Capitol Area), am active with the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) Task Force and co-chair the DC Cities for CEDAW Campaign to encourage the DC City Council, and cities across the country, to enact CEDAW (Convention for the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women). http://www.unanca.org

     









Institute for PeaceBuilding
I co-founded the Institute for PeaceBuilding (IPB) with Masankho Banda, a native of Malawi who was awarded the Unsung Hero of Compassion Award by the Dalai Lama for his global peace and cross cultural work.  We started the Institute because of our desire to build cross cultural understanding and provide practical tools for building peace in daily life.


IPB offered educational courses, teacher training, curriculum development, parent training, community workshops, and organizational peacebuilding support. We published several books, articles, and guidebooks, including “Essential Tools for Peaceful Living”, a guide for educators, leaders, practitioners and parents. We mentored, consulted and advised individuals and organizations in peaceful resolution of conflict, and collaborated with other organizations, including the UN, in programs, writing, and teaching to further the field of conflict resolution.









Pathways To Peace

I have long admired the work of Pathways To Peace, PTP, founded by the amazing Avon Mattison who has worked tirelessly for peace throughout her lifetime. Based in Marin County, California. PTP is an international peace building, educational and consulting organization that has been at the forefront of peacebuilding innovation and leadership since 1983. I was fortunate to be PTP’s Executive Director for several years and co-lead the work of PTP with Avon and the board.

PTP’s work focuses on building Cultures of Peace through education, consulting, mentoring and enhancing the strengths of existing organizations along eight paths to peace (see wheel above). PTP is the international secretariat of "WE THE PEOPLE'S Initiative", a network of over 200 multicultural peace building organizations that are working to make peace a practical reality. PTP has been a leader in highlighting and celebrating “The International Day of Peace”, September 21, providing an opportunity for individuals, organizations and nations to create practical acts of peace on a shared date. http://pathwaystopeace.org








Equal Access

I was a Consultant with Equal Access, based in San Francisco, as it was just beginning in 2000 and had a chance to be part of shaping its mission and direction. Equal Access is an international not-for-profit organization that provides positive social change for millions of underserved people by delivering much needed information and education through innovative radio programs and direct community engagement. Today Equal Access is working throughout Asia, Africa and the Middle East and focuses on women and girls’ empowerment, youth life skills and livelihoods, human rights, health and civic participation and governance. I’m really happy to see how they have grown and the powerful work they are providing. www.equalaccess.org

      









Center for Spiritual Democracy

I was fortunate to be the Executive Director of The Center for Spiritual Democracy for several years and work closely with its remarkable founder, Diana Stone. The Center is an organization whose mission is to return to the spiritual principles that inspired the founding of this country and to learn from the Great Law of Peace. The Great Law of Peace is the Constitution of the Iroquois Confederacy, one of the oldest continuously operating democracies in the world, which profoundly influenced the founding fathers of America and was a model for the United Nations. The Center works to integrate the wisdom of the Great Law that honors and incorporates the crucial role of women in maintaining an ongoing, true democracy for all peoples. The Center educates and emcourages women to reclaim our responsibility as leaders. www.spiritualdemocracy.org.







Center for Citizen Initiatives

In early 1986 I met the amazing Sharon Tennison who told me about her work taking ordinary Americans to the former Soviet Union because of her deep concern about the potential for a nuclear arms race and strong desire to reduce tensions between the two superpowers. I deeply shared her concern and she invited me to attend a gathering at what was called the Center for US-USSR Initiatives (CUUI). Sharon had begun taking a few groups of American professionals as citizen diplomats to the "land of the enemy", which expanded to dozens of groups a year. Sharon invited me on a women leadership trip in 1986 which turned out to be at the exact time of the Chernobyl nuclear disaster, though we did not go close to the site. It was an extraordinary trip on many levels and I wrote articles and spoke publicly about my experiences when I returned home. I became committed to the importance of citizen diplomacy and to building bridges between our countries. I went on to lead three citizen diplomacy trips there over a five year period and then stepped into directing the emerging business training programs. (CUUI changed its name to the Center for Citizen Initiatives (CCI) when the Soviet Union fell).


CCI evolved from primarily a citizen diplomacy organization to providing concrete skills in a wide number of areas. In 1988, CCI started a first-ever, non-governmental citizen exchange program, “Soviets Meet Middle America”. Over a two-year period, 400 Soviet citizens in small groups of four persons traveled to 265 American cities, where they stayed in some 800 private homes, and were interviewed by thousands of American newspapers, radio and TV programs. They returned home and shared their positive stories and experiences about America full of friendly host families.


From the early days, Russian citizens questioned CCI travelers if Americans had a solution for alcoholism, a very big issue in Russia. AA Big Books began being smuggled in suitcases by citizen diplomats. Sharon worked to get permission to begin AA meetings there, and in 1986 the first AA meeting was held in Kiev, Ukraine by 20 recovering alcoholics, and within three days the second AA meeting was held in Moscow. AA continued to expand and they celebrated AA's 20th anniversary in Russia in 2006.


I directed the Economic Development Program (EDP), the first business training program for young Soviet entrepreneurs, who would come to the U.S. for a one month structured internship in their field. It was started in 1989 with private funds and financial contributions from the Soviet entrepreneurs. Four years later, when the U.S. began funding Russia projects, USAID provided EDP with a $7.3 million grant. CCI developed Russian offices in St. Petersburg, Volgograd, Voronezh, Rostov on Don, Ekaterinburg, the Moscow Oblast (Dubna), and Vladivostok. Simultaneously we also began a Consultants project where American business consultants were sent to Russia to do on-site consulting in Russian businesses. EDP ran for eight years and evolved into the Productivity Enhancement Program (PEP) for non-English speaking Russians. PEP was designed on the Productivity Tours of the Marshall Plan.


Besides these extraordinarily successful programs, CCI launched an Agricultural Initiative, an Environmental program, a Micro-Enterprise Incubator and a Non-Profit Management Initiative. CCI is a real success story owing to the vision and tenacity of Sharon Tennison, the organization’s flexibility to adapt as the situation changed, and programs run very cost effectively that attracted both government and private funds.


After directing this large-scale business-training program in 6 cities, I conducted cross-cultural training for the CCI Russian staff and produced video training films for Americans and Russians. I’ve been to Russia seven times. I feel honored to have worked with CCI over a 10 year period, and remain part of the CCI Family.










World Affairs Council

I was Director of Programs for the World Affairs Council of Northern California for 5 years. The mission of the Council is to explore issues and opportunities that transcend borders. We hosted over 240 programs a year, as well as study groups, an annual conference at the beautiful Asilomar Conference Center on the Monterey Peninsula, and study trips to explore issues and policies in other countries. I moderated many of the programs, wrote a monthly newsletter on international issues, led some of the study tours and managed the program department. http://www.worldaffairs.org/









International Association of Sprit at Work

My own spiritual journey and beliefs are the basis for my work. I’ve been active in the field of peace building in the workplace and co-directed the San Francisco Bay Area chapter of Spirit at Work (SAW). SAW is a chapter of the International Association of Spirit at Work, a non-profit association providing community, information, and education for those interested in integrating their spirituality in the workplace.  We encourage workplaces to incorporate such values as equity, openness, honesty, sustainability and integrity into every decision made. Our belief is that a business can influence a community; which can influence a region; which can influence a country; which will change the world. www.sawsf.org.

I have a deep personal commitment and yearning to nurture the soul in our workplaces since it is where we spend most of our time and where we can use our gifts and talents to make a difference in the world.  I’ve led discussion groups and workshops on nurturing spirit at work, and have written a practical workbook on this topic. I also co-authored an article called “Tapping Our Spiritual Intelligence” with Dr. Judi Neal, founder of the Association for Spirit at Work (see media page to read the article).


 









South African Institute of Race Relations/ Human Awareness Programme

I was Regional Director of the Human Awareness Programme, a project of the Institute of Race Relations in South Africa. The Institute is a research and policy organization in South Africa that supports positive cooperation between the racial communities and conducts research on these relationships. I directed a range of peacebuilding and community engagement programs for a more integrated South Africa and worked to end the discriminatory and unjust regime of apartheid during the late 1970’s. I also conducted and published research on the living and working conditions of African and Coloured (mixed race) workers under apartheid, participated in team projects designing low-income housing and community facilities, and led training in conflict resolution. I co-authored a book about Crossroads, called Inside Crossroads, published by McGraw Hill. The book documented the situation of this large squatter community housing some 20,000 Africans on the outskirts of Cape Town which still exists today.