Board of Directors
Mike Abkin serves on the Board of Directors of the National Peace Academy and on NPA’s staff as business manager. He is a past president of the Global Alliance for Ministries and Infrastructures for Peace and currently sits on GAMIP’s advisory council. In addition, Mike volunteers with the Conscious Elders Network and with Nine Gates Mystery School. Previously, he served as Director of Operations at Peace Partnership International and Special Projects Coordinator for The Peace Alliance and its Campaign for a U.S. Department of Peace.
In his former 34-year academic and private sector technical career, Mike applied systems analysis and simulation modeling for international agricultural development and air transportation, including projects that took him to Nigeria, Korea, Austria, and Venezuela. Then, at the Foundation for Global Community, Mike designed and facilitated courses related to personal and cultural transformation and sustainability, developed a vocational training program in Afghanistan, and was project manager for the Foundation’s program at the 2004 Parliament of the World’s Religions in Barcelona.
Mike taught high school French and mathematics with the Peace Corps in Nigeria and has volunteered at home with local nonprofits, city government, and political movements. He earned his doctorate in systems science at Michigan State University and served on the faculty at Michigan State from 1971-1981. Mike enjoys time with family (especially granddaughter Coco!), traveling in the world, walking in nature, and musing in prose and poetry.
Melissa Crosby, Treasurer
Melissa Crosby serves as Treasurer on the National Peace Academy board of directors. Melissa is a whole-hearted activist, educator, and poet, with a vibrant and loving spirit, who seeks to support the further development of life-based and life-honoring systems in order to minimize the immense amount of suffering our planet is presently facing. As an active member of several San Francisco Bay Area formations including Black Land and Liberation Initiative, The Last 3 Percent, East Point Peace Academy, and East Bay Meditation Center, Melissa seeks to support both raising awareness of the continued suffering and oppression of black, brown, and poor people and the exploitation of the land while also seeking creative community-generated solutions in support of a just transition.
Melissa received a Bachelor of Arts degree from Olivet College in 2003 with a focus on Economic Development and a Master’s degree from University of Nevada-Las Vegas in 2005 and has taught, primarily life science, for ten years.
Ultimately, Melissa is deeply motivated by the hope of collectively and profoundly reimagining what it means to be truly alive. When Melissa isn't organizing, she enjoys meditating, reading, connecting deeply with others, traveling, listening to music, and appreciating the little joys of life.
Lou has a B.A. in English from Northwestern University, and is completing work towards a M.A. in Public Policy and Administration from the Muskie School at the University of Southern Maine. He has completed mediation training at Capital University Law School, and consensus building training with the City of Columbus, Ohio.
Lou has 20 years in non-profit management from agency and community relations to Associate Director for a regional chapter of the Anti-Defamation League. He has worked in varied community and public environments from foodbanking to public policy in transportation, from diversity education and mediation to neighborhood healing through consensus building. As Executive Director of the Biosophical Institute, Lou works closely with agencies that the foundation funds, and looks to the future for continuing to support peacebuilding efforts.
Publications Lou wrote an article in the Columbus CEO about the rising immigrant population in Central Ohio in the late ’90?s. Lou was also a member of a City of Columbus team that created a manual to bridge the communication gap with the growing Somali population in Columbus, Ohio.
Lisa Worth Huber
Lisa is a peace educator and a participatory action researcher with a focus on empathy development. She teaches in universities, K-12 classrooms, homeless shelters, safe houses, and with youth at risk, incorporating the arts as a means to give voice to the silenced, address injustice, foster understanding and nurture compassion. Concerned with the growing epidemic of violence and bullying, Lisa has conducted numerous studies on the efficacy of humanitarian and social justice education as compared with existing programs on bullying, which has led her to advocate for mandated peace and conflict transformation curricula in all schools nationwide. She continues to research methods for developing empathy, one of the most important skills for creating a compassionate global society.
Involved in creating a Center for Conflict Transformation in CT, Lisa is a working with a diverse and talented group to design and implement programs to meet the needs of schools, local government, community organizations, veterans, families and individuals to navigate the challenges of violence, PTSD, bullying, sex-trafficking, environmental concerns, educational inequity and poverty.
Lisa is on the Launch Team for the Global Sustainability Fellows Progam (www.sustainabilitylabs.org) an international, inter-disciplinary educational initiative in collaboration with The Sustainability Labs; Columbia University’s Institute of Human Nutrition and Medical School for International Health, EARTH University, Costa Rica; Rhode Island School of Design; Cooper Union Insitutute for Sustainable Design; University of Colorado; University of Sidney, Australia; University of St. Galen, Switzerland; Tulane University; Stony Brook University; The Technion, Israel’s Institute of Technology and Engineers Without Boarders. The purpose of this initiative is to help prepare a new generation of leaders in government, design, business and community organizations tackle effectively the challenges of a global transition toward an enduring and sustainable world.
Committed to public service, Lisa currently serves on the Board of Directors for the National Peace Academy and the Advisory Board for the Connectict Center for Nonviolence: A Dr. Martin Luther King Institute.
Dr. Dorothy J Maver is an educator and peacebuilder whose keynote is inspiring cooperation on behalf of the common good. Her background includes teaching and coaching at the high school and university levels, developing and facilitating courses and workshops with a focus on the application of spiritual principles in life, creating a culture of peace, community organizing, and designing experiences for community members to plan and implement their ideas for change.Dot has served with Polaris Center, Denmark as International Faculty and USA/Australia Teacher Trainer. She assisted with the development of curriculum and the program for Transformational Kinesiology Teacher Certification, and taught in the USA, Germany, Denmark, and Australia. She was adjunct faculty at Norwich University, Vermont, the oldest private military college in USA where she developed and taught two courses in the Peace Corps and Service Leadership Department: Third World Perspectives, designed to provide undergraduate students with an understanding and appreciation of the issues of intercultural interaction, and World Community, raising awareness of diverse perspectives in the world community and cultures.
At the Graduate Institute, CT, USA she developed an intensive titled: Shifting from a Culture of Violence to a Culture of Peace: a shared responsibility, shared leadership model, for master degree students who were strategizing their intentions and developing projects to transform their groups, organizations and communities.
Dot has designed and co-facilitated seminars and courses in the USA, UK, Australia, Denmark, USSR, New Zealand, Germany and Canada with a focus on philosophy and group work based on spiritual education, and she co-developed and co-taught a course on Inclusive Coalition Building at Woodbury College in Vermont, USA.
Dot’s early education experience was in New Jersey at the High School level teaching Health, Physical Education and Driver Education, and Coaching varsity softball, volleyball, bowling and field hockey. She also served as Adjunct Faculty at Kean College of New Jersey where she was a supervisor of student teachers and junior field experiences and taught education classes for physical education majors.
Professional Experiences in Peacebuilding / Community Building In her work as a community organizer and peacebuilder, Dot’s keynote is inspiring cooperation on behalf of the common good. Utilizing a shared responsibility and shared leadership model (SR/SL) developed over thirty years, she brings together individuals and groups around a common purpose while creating a work environment that demonstrates right relationship in a culture of peace.
As founding president of the National Peace Academy, Dot played a leadership role in identifying the shared purpose, bringing together a multi-stakeholder group for a visioning summit and, one year later, a design summit, and leading the maturation of the organization over its first five years. Presently Dot serves on the Board of Directors of the National Peace Academy as the team strives to embody and reflect the principles and processes of peace, always working from purpose, in the spirit of cooperation, making decisions with an eye to the greater good, with a focus on right relationship. Dot is also a founder and member of the Board of Directors of the Global Alliance for Ministries and Infrastructures for Peace, a movement striving to create infrastructures of peace, including a call for National Peace Academies, in countries around the globe.
Dot served as Executive Director of The Peace Alliance, building a grassroots lobbying effort in fifty states for the US Department of Peace Campaign while building a culture of peace within the organization and movement, utilizing her SR/SL model. Prior to that she served as National Campaign Manager for Kucinich for President gathering diverse constituents from all over the country to work together around their individual and common interests.
Her work in community organizing includes a youth/adult partnership model. Dot presented at the Youth Power Summit in Minneapolis with over 100 youth from various states, helping facilitate the group effort to design community projects with a focus on business and the environment. As New Directions co-chair (with a high school student) in Northfield, Vermont she led a team that developed the second Kids Café in the USA, rebuilt the Northfield Youth Center, developed a Summer Program for youth of all ages, put Youth on Boards throughout the community, designed Youth Leadership Training and a Mediation Program, implemented an intergenerational music event: Summer on the Common, and provided opportunities for mentoring, all of which helped reduce violence and increase a sense of belonging in the community. She also served on a leadership team to save an elementary school by transforming it into a thriving community center.
Dot served on the planning and coordinating team for Share the Spirit of Peace Summits in Vermont, at the United Nations and in Sydney Australia. Each Summit focused on creating a Culture of Peace, and in Sydney all five political parties spoke in the spirit of cooperation about their vision of an Australia that works for everyone.
- Kashtan, M., and Maver, D. (2008) Working for Peace without Recreating War. Tikkun Magazine 3(2), 30-32 and 64-65.
- Maver, D., and Abkin, M. (2008) “From a Culture of Violence to a Culture of Peace: The Case for Ministries and Departments of Peace” in Petit, P., ed. Earthrise: The Dawning of a New Civilization in the 21st Century. Goi Peace Foundation.
- Gang, P., Maver, D., and Meyerhof N., (1992) Conscious Education: The Bridge to Freedom, Dagaz Press. DVD: The Maver Method: Secrets of Hitting Success (1988) (updated 2010) Self published.
- Maver Method Articles and monthly column (Dr. Dot’s Corner) in Women’s FastPitch World, USA/international distribution (1986-94).
- The Seven Rays, Educating with Purpose, a cable video designed to introduce a spiritual perspective into career counseling and life decisions (1992) Self published.
- Spectrum Profiler, an instrument for vocational counseling, based on life purpose, computer disc with workbook, researched and developed in 1980s, now in fifth revision. Self published.
- The Maver Method Skills Test Battery — included in a chapter in Practical Measurement in Physical Education and Sport, Barron, McGee & Tritschler, Department of Physical Education (1989).
- Gang, P. and Maver, D., Personal and Spiritual Transformation, a pamphlet (1994).
- Editor of two books by Merle Stubbs: Journey of a Lifetime: a group story (2001) and The Journey Continues (2002) Sydney Goodwill Unit of Service Limited.
- Maver, D., Who on Earth are We? a booklet (2000) Self published
Dr. Elaine Yarbrough, a member of the National Peace Academy board of directors, is president of The Yarbrough Group, a consulting organization in Boulder, Colorado, and Washington, DC, USA, that provides a wide range of services world-wide to Tend the Flame of Sustainable Change by Developing the Human Side of Organizations. She specializes in leadership, communication, conflict management, and managing change for individuals, groups, and organizations. During the past 38 years, she has assisted hundreds of organizations - business, education, government and human services.
For a period of time she lived in Switzerland and consulted in Central and Eastern Europe and North Africa assisting American multi-nationals with acquisitions in the midst of cultural turmoil. She has visited 88 countries and worked in 30 including the U.K., Ireland, Spain, France, Italy, Germany, Belgium, Finland, the Czech Republic, Hungary, Russia, and Singapore. People from six continents have been a part of her work.
Dr. Yarbrough has a special interest in helping women develop their unique qualities as leaders. She speaks at many international women’s conferences such as WIN (Women Internationally Networking) that attracts women from 90 nations. In 2015, she led workshops to develop women leaders in China at SIAS University sponsored by the World Academy for the Future of Women and remains on the WAFW faculty. She and her associates have focused on women’s leadership in their global diversity work, organizing women’s networks in ten countries. Yearly, she teaches Leading with Power and Authenticity for mid-level women managers and Leading Genius Teams for women executives in the cable telecommunications industry. One of the current signature courses of The Yarbrough Group is ENCORE: Illuminating Your Mission in Life’s Third Chapter for women over 50.
Elaine has her Ph.D. in Communication and Human Relations from the University of Kansas and is certified in individual, small group development and social change by Associated Consultants International. For seven years she taught in the Department of Communication, University of Colorado, during which time she received all university teaching awards given by faculty and students.
Dr. Yarbrough has published three books and numerous articles in the areas of conflict management and consulting. Those include Artful Mediation: Constructive Conflict at Work (with Dr. William Wilmot), Constructive Conflict, and Training Strategies from Start to Finish (with Dr. Paul Friedman). Her book Leading Genius Teams will be published in 2018.
For more information, visit her website: https://www.yarbgroup.com/
Kayla DeVault, Secretary
Kayla (Anishinaabe/Shawnee) DeVault serves as secretary on the National Peace Academy board of directors. She spent most of her life on Chestnut Ridge in the Laurel Highlands of southwestern Pennsylvania and northern West Virginia. Her grandmother (bimá sání) was a storyteller, harmonicist, and square dancer who founded Thyme for Herbs, an educational program for stressing environmental conservation and sharing her extensive knowledge of Appalachian native plants and traditional medicines. From her grandparents, Kayla learned to love performing dance and music, gather and grow food, and make herbal remedies. An avid reader as a child, she would sit in trees with a bag of seeds and draw the species that came to eat. She learned to hunt and fish from her father. In the summers, she would swim in the Youghiogheny River with her little brother, Kyle. Through numerous environmental and sportsmen camps, she learned about the acid mine drainage that stained the local creeks a thick orange color.
Fast forward 10 years and Kayla is pursuing her Masters in Engineering at Arizona State University in alternative energy and tribal policy. Her passion is combining environmental conservation with traditional wisdom and culturally-relevant paradigms. She was a 2015 White House Tribal Youth Gathering participant and spoke as an indigenous rights representative with the US Human Network at the United Nations Headquarters. Inspired by holistic programs she worked with in India and Cameroon, she co-founded a STEM-based project initiative through the American Indian Science & Engineering Society where she was recently inducted as a Sequoyah Fellow. In 2016, she was appointed to the NEJAC/EPA Youth Perspectives on Climate Working Group. She is currently studying Navajo language at Diné College while working for and living on the Navajo Nation.
Patti Bailie is the Assistant Director of the Nature-based Early Childhood Program, Antioch University New England. Patti has a Ph.D. from the University of Nebraska—Lincoln in Educational Studies specializing in Teaching, Curriculum, and Learning with an emphasis in early childhood education and science education. M.Ed. 1992, John Carroll University, University Heights, Ohio
Patti has worked in the field of early childhood environmental education (ECEE) for over 20 years; as the founding director of the Schlitz Audubon Nature Preschool in Milwaukee WI, as co-director of the Early Childhood Outdoors Institute in Omaha NE, and as an early childhood environmental educator at The Nature Center at Shaker Lakes in Cleveland OH. Her interests include nature preschools; nature experiences and brain development; and connecting peace, nature and spirituality for young children. Patti also serves as a trustee of the National Peace Academy, board member of Green Hearts Institute for Nature in Childhood, advisory board member of the Natural Start Alliance at the North American Association for Environmental Education (NAAEE), and as a consulting editor for the International Journal of Early Childhood Environmental Education (IJECEE). Patti has presented at numerous conferences on the subject of ECEE and has worked as a nature education consultant with various organizations including National Audubon Society, Sesame Street, Green Hearts Institute for Nature in Childhood, and the Children’s Ecological Organization in Azerbaijan.
Mark is Assistant Professor and Chair of the Community Practice for Social Change concentration at the Jack, Joseph, and Morton Mandel School of Applied Social Sciences of Case Western Reserve University. He also directs the East Cleveland Partnership, an initiative to support the revitalization of East Cleveland. Mark’s research and practice over the past 30 years has focused on community building, community development, conflict transformation and citizen participation.
Mark began his career in restorative justice, eventually directing the first Victim Offender Reconciliation Program in the US. He also served as a consultant with the National Institute of Justice, helping establish victim offender mediation programs across the US.
Dr. Chupp is an international consultant and trainer in conflict transformation and peacebuilding and has worked in Northern Ireland, Egypt, Israel, Columbia, Nicaragua, Costa Rica, and El Salvador. He lived in Costa Rica and Nicaragua from 1988 to 1991, where he worked extensively throughout Central America. Of note, he accompanied Peace and Reconciliation Commissions during negotiation of the end of the civil war in Nicaragua. He also provided leadership in the establishment of the Culture of Peace Program and a UN Local Zone of Peace in post-war El Salvador.
With a commitment to increasing the voice of marginalized communities, Mark earned his MSW from University of Michigan with a concentration in community organization. He then served as an organizer in a marginalized neighborhood facing intractable internal conflict. He also organized a comprehensive community assessment and founded a nonprofit organization focused on community mediation and violence prevention.
Mark moved to Cleveland in 1997, and while completing his PhD at CWRU, he served as project director at the Center for Neighborhood Development at the Levin College of Urban Affairs at Cleveland State University. Mark designed an appreciative inquiry process for promoting race relations in a Polish American neighborhood that was experiencing a large increase in African American residents. He then collaborated with other practitioners to establish Appreciative Inquiry for Community and Social Change, one of the first systematic efforts to adopt appreciative inquiry for nonprofit and community contexts.
Mark has published numerous theory and practice oriented articles, manuals and book chapters. A manual he co-authored in Spanish on transforming conflict and violence has been used throughout Latin America. Mark is a founding trustee of the National Peace Academy and adjunct faculty at the Summer Peacebuilding Institute of Eastern Mennonite University.
Kristin earned an M.A. in Peace and Conflict Studies from the European University Center for Peace Studies (EPU), in Stadtschlaining, Austria.
Professional Experiences in Peacebuilding / Community Building
Kristin serves as President of the National Peace Academy. Kristin also spent seven years in Colorado as the director of religious education at a Unitarian Universalist church. There she created innovative educational opportunities, including an all-ages program dedicated to service and social justice. Kristin also co-created “Full Community”, a philosophy and vision for multi-generational congregations intentionally integrating the visions of all members into the community. In addition to her work developing peacebuilding and religious education programs, she also serves as a program leader for the Unitarian Universalist College of Social Justice and as the Director of Create Meaning Northern Nevada.
Kristin has worked on many community organizing and social justice projects throughout the United States and in Romania and Chile, including organizing around voter registration, election reform, safety and environmental impacts, and peacemaking.
Kristin’s publications include a guidebook for peacemaking in Religious Education, Peacemaking in Congregations: A Guide to Learning Opportunities for all Ages co-created by a national peacemaking working group, How to Build Peace Networks, Healing Societal Traumas and Transforming Collective Consciousness: A Path to a Culture of Healing, and The Construction of a Militarized Patriotism in the United States.
Tony Jenkins is the Director of the Peace Education Initiative at the University of Toledo and serves as the Global Coordinator of the International Institute on Peace Education and the Global Campaign for Peace Education. At the National Peace Academy, Tony oversees the development of formal and non-formal educational programs and a research agenda designed to promote and inquire into the conditions and learning and educational change strategies for nurturing positive peace.
Prior to joining the National Peace Academy, Tony was the Co-Director of the Peace Education Center at Teachers College, Columbia University where he coordinated peace education research and program development nationally and internationally. He was the lead consultant for an international consortium of educators working to identify the substance of an advanced degree in Peace Education. From this consultation Tony developed the framework for the first Masters Programme in Peace Education offered in the world at the United Nations mandated University for Peace in Costa Rica.
Tony has taught courses in peace education, human rights, disarmament education, and gender and peace at Teachers College, Columbia University’s New York and Tokyo Campuses; Jaume I University in Spain; and at the UN University for Peace in Costa Rica. Tony’s current work and research interests focus on examining the impacts and effectiveness of peace education methods and pedagogies in nurturing personal, social, and political change and transformation.
Professional Experiences in Peacebuilding / Community Building Tony has been the Global Coordinator of the International Institute on Peace Education since 2001. In 2006, collaborating with colleagues and peace educators from around the world, Tony conceived and launched “Community-Based Institutes on Peace Education,” or CIPE. CIPEs are communities of formal and non-formal educators who learn with and from each other to address and transform local manifestations of violence through education and active citizen participation. Successful CIPE communities have thus far been established in Colombia, India, Peru, Mindanao in the Philippines, Tanzania, and Ukraine. CIPEs uphold the model of a nonhierarchical and open learning community in which participants learn with and from each other, because of the understanding that social change is best pursued and sustained cooperatively and in community. Hence, it includes programmatic elements that foster this model: mutual sharing of ideas, experiences, practices and questions in plenary sessions and interactive workshops as well as sharing significant learnings with a reflection group.
Tony has also been the Coordinator of the Global Campaign for Peace Education since 2007. The Global Campaign for Peace Education seeks to foster a culture of peace in communities around the world by 1) building public awareness and political support for the introduction of peace education into all spheres of education, including non-formal education, in all schools throughout the world; and 2) promoting the education of all teachers to teach for peace.
- (2009) Action Report: a National Peace Academy is established in the United States. Journal of Peace Education, 6(2), 247-250
- (2008) The International Institute on Peace Education: Twenty-six Years Modeling Critical, Participatory Peace Pedagogy. InFactis Pax, 2(2)
- (2008) “A Peace Education Response to Modernism: Reclaiming the Social and Pedagogical Purposes of Academia” in Jing Lin and Christa Bruhn (Eds.) Educators as Peacemakers: Transforming Education for Global Peace, Information Age Publishing.
- (2007) Voices for Peace: Educators Respond to the Virginia Tech Shootings. Harvard Education Review, 77(3)
- (2007) CIPE Organizer’s Manual: A Peace Education Planning Guide. New York: International Institute on Peace Education.
- Jenkins, T., and Reardon, B. (2007) “Gender and Peace: Towards an Gender Inclusive, Holistic Perspective” in Galtung, J. and Webel, C. eds. Handbook of Peace and Conflict Studies, New York: Routledge.
- Pacini, V. and Jenkins, T. (2006) Peace Education for Disaster Risk Reduction: The Hyogo Framework for Action (HFA). ISDR Informs- Latin America and the Caribbean, no. 13, 2006. Accessed online (10/13/2006) at: https://eird.org/eng/revista/no_13_2006/art26.htm
- (2006) Disarming the System, Disarming the Mind, Education for GCD. Peace Review, 18:361–368
- (2005). The International Institute on Peace Education: Learning for Transformative and Structural Change. Journal of Peace Education, 2(2), 209-212.
- (2003). Exhuming a UN for ‘We the Peoples.’ Peace Review, 15(4), 479-482.
National Peace Academy Advisory Council
Note: All titles and affiliations are for identification purposes only.
- Kai Brand-Jacobsen Director, International Peace and Development Training Center, Peace Action Training and Research Institute of Romania
- Rinaldo Brutoco Founder and President, World Business Academy
- Ambassador Anwarul K. Chowdhury Former Under-Secretary-General and High Representative of the UN
- Dr. Shannon French Director, Inamori International Center for Ethics and Excellence
- Sam Guarnaccia
- Dr. Perry Greene Associate Provost, Adelphi University
- Dr. David Anderson Hooker Senior Fellow for Community Engagement Strategies, University of Georgia’s Fanning Institute for Public Service and Outreach
- Eric Howell Filmmaker
- Deb Ingstad CEO, 50 Entertainment
- Rita Marie Johnson Founder and President, Rasur International Foundation Dr. Tricia Jones Temple University
- Ambassador John McDonald Institute for Multi-Track Diplomacy
- Sally Mahe Director of Organizational and Regional Development, United Religions Initiative
- Dr. Patricia Mische, Co-founder and past president of Global Education Associates
- Michael Nagler President, Metta Center for Nonviolence
- Dr. Betty Reardon Founder Emeritus, International Institute on Peace Education
- Jeanine Saperstein
- Lisa Schirch Director, 3D Security Initiative, Eastern Mennonite University’s Graduate Center for Justice & Peacebuilding
- Dr. Ed Tick Founder, Soldier’s Heart
- Libby Traubman
- Aaron Voldman Board Member and Executive Director, The Peace Alliance and Student Peace Alliance