With more than 30 years’ experience in political and public service in the United States and the United Kingdom, Mark Farr is President of the Sustained Dialogue Institute. 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. He has two daughters under 10 that keep him alert, young and exhausted – all at the same time.
• MEET THE TEAM •
Rev. Mark Farr
Managing Director SDCN
As the Managing Director for the Sustained Dialogue Campus Network (SDCN), Rhonda Fitzgerald works to train, mentor, and provide guidance to a broad range of institutions and individuals seeking to transform their communities through Sustained Dialogue. Rhonda has been with SDI for 10 years, working with students, faculty, senior administrators, campus leaders, and facilitators to build lasting structures for inclusion on campuses. As an engaging public speaker and facilitator, Rhonda has a passion for developing college aged leaders with civic competency and cultural humility. Due to her in-demand skills and experiences, she has made an impact at several places around the globe, including Ethiopia where she supports the work of the Addis Ababa University Peace Club, who have led a Sustained Dialogue effort since 2008. She also brings experience from the Proinspire Management Fellows cohort, a program preparing non-profit leaders to build the sector. Rhonda is an alumna of Princeton University, where she participated actively as a moderator and leader of Sustained Dialogue.
Program Director SDCN
As Program Director for the Sustained Dialogue Campus Network, Michaela spends much of her time supporting students and campus professionals in building collaborative problem solving skills. Michaela also directs a portfolio of retreat-based, course-based, and extra-curricular Sustained Dialogue programs. Before joining the SDI team, Michaela worked as the Program Manager at Campus Compact, a national coalition of colleges and universities committed to the public purposes of higher education. While at Campus Compact, Michaela led the redesign of the Newman Civic Fellows program, building it into a high impact fellowship program for college students nationally. Prior to her work at Campus Compact, Michaela worked as a staff member at Denison University helping to increase institutional capacity around student success and retention. Michaela has also applied her conflict transformation skills as a former staff member at Seeds of Peace, where she worked on domestic and international conflict resolution summer programs supporting teenagers from eight countries. Michaela is an alumna of Denison University, where she was first introduced to the power of the Sustained Dialogue model as a student. Michaela is based in Boston.
As Program Manager, Sonia supports efforts at SDI around events and outreach in the faith, corporate and other areas. Sonia also manages finances and administration for the Office of the President. Sonia is a talented networker, and is instrumental in cultivating key partnerships for the institute. Prior to joining SDI, Sonia worked at the Global Peace Foundation as Interfaith Organizer. Before coming to the U.S., Sonia was Finance Director at LibforAll, an Indonesian-American interfaith non-profit founded by former Indonesian President Abdurrahman Wahid, that promotes Indonesian culture, peace-building, Islamic moderation and democracy. She also served as a personal aide to the President of Indonesia.
Program Consultant SDCN
Elizabeth Wuerz serves as a Program Consultant, working closely with administrators and staff to organize Sustained Dialogue on their campuses. Prior to her work with SDI, she worked in education and conflict resolution supporting the development of student programs to improve campus culture, facilitating training sessions on conflict management, negotiation and mediation, researching material for a new citizen security initiative in Central America, and supporting further development of a democratic dialogue handbook. She received her Master’s degree in Law and Diplomacy from the Fletcher School at Tufts University with a focus in International Negotiation and Conflict Resolution and her BA from Northwestern University. She is based in Boston.
SDI Board of Directors
Rev. Mark Farr
Dr. Thomas Gouttierre
Dean of International Studies and Programs, University of Nebraska at Omaha
Dr. Joyce Bylander
Vice President of Student Development, Dickinson College
Mr. Brian T. Cobb
Vice President and Treasurer, Kettering Foundation
Dr. Philip D. Stewart
Director, Community and Organizational Programs
SDI Associate, Kettering Foundation
Associate, Williams & Connolly
Dr. Ramon Daubon
President, The Esquel Group
Associate, Kettering Foundation
Dr. John Paul Lederach
Founding Director, Conflict Transformation Program, Eastern Mennonite University
Notre Dame University
Luis Alberto Ferre Rangel
President of the Board, Fundación Agenda Ciudadana,
San Juan, Puerto Rico
Trustee, Dickinson College
Dr. David S. Tukey
Cofounder, The Sustained Dialogue Campus Program
Portfolio Manager, Point72 Asset Management
Managing Principal and Head of Consulting, Fund Evaluation Group, LLC
Jimmy Carter, Former U.S. President
James Baker, Former U.S. Secretary of State
Henry Kissinger, Former Secretary of State
Frank Carlucci, Former National Security Advisor
Dorothy Cotton, Civil Rights Leader
SDI Advisory Board
Ava V. Baker, Williams and Connolly
LaForce Baker, MoonMeals
Arianna Bankler Jukes, Coro
Gasby Brown, The Gasby Group, Inc
Kristen Cambell, KC Consultancy, LLC
David Caprara, Global Peace Foundation
Kaitlyn Chriswell, Alliance for International Educational and Cultural Exchange
Lisa Coleman, Harvard College
Rob Corcoran, Initiatives of Change
Jeffrey Craven, Thompson Coburn LLP
Mirna Consuelo Del Castillo Castillo, Tecnológico de Monterrey
Ande Diaz, Allegheny College
Janet Dickerson, Princeton University
Gail Hambleton, Global Peace Foundation
Chip Hauss, Alliance for Peacebuilding
Rich Harwood, The Harwood Institute
Malka Haya Fenyvesi, Avi Schaefer Fund
Gwen Haynes, Eventworthy Meeting and Event Planning
Trey Haynes, GridPoint
Dushaw Hockett, Safe Places for the Advancement of Community and Equity (SPACEs)
Alan Inman, Global Peace Foundation
Jazzy Johnson, InterVarsity
Brenda Jones, Offices of The Honorable John Lewis
Michael Lenaghan, Miami Dade College
Henry Lozano, Los Angeles County,Teen Challenge International
Jelani McEwen, University of Chicago
Tessa McEwen, University of Chicago
Erica McGibbon, New York University
Kathy M. McMahon-Klosterman, Miami University
Heather Meloy, Price Waterhouse Coopers
Jessica R. Munitz, Latham & Watkins, LLP
Elavie Ndure, George Mason University
Suzy M. Nelson, Colgate University
Charles Phillips, Service for Peace
Matthew Rojansky, Kennan Institute
Erik Schwarz, Civic Mix
Dick Simon, kNOw THEM Initiative.
David J. Smith, David J. Smith, Consultant
Yadira Soto, Organization of American States
Nancy Thomas, Tufts University
Len Traubman, Jewish-Palestinian Living Room Dialogue Group
Libby Traubman, Jewish-Palestinian Living Room Dialogue Group
Ken Walden, Claflin University
LaTia Walker, KIPP DC
Vernon Wall, LeaderShape, Social Justice Training Institute
Melanie Houston is earning her masters in social work at The Brown School of Social Work at Washington University in St Louis. With her masters study, she will be specializing in System Dynamics and concentrating on social justice and systems of oppression. She attended Duke University for undergraduate study of sociology and documentary studies. During undergrad, she was also involved in group dialogue work and experiential social justice retreats. From these experiences, she became involved with Sustained Dialogue. Since then, with Sustained Dialogue she has travelled to and assisted with or led trainings at Appalachian State University, UNC-Wilmington, SIUE, and Earlham College. In her spare time she loves baking, watching documentaries and cuddling with her new kitten, Mateo.
Emma Naliboff Pettit
At UCLA’s Intergroup Relations, Emma works directly with students, staff, faculty, and administrators on issues surrounding race, class, gender, sexual orientation, interfaith cooperation, and intercultural competency. Emma previously worked with SDI on mentoring students, developing the Sustained Dialogue retreats, and making color-coded spreadsheets. Emma comes to dialogue from an extensive conflict resolution and social justice background. She facilitated and participated in Intergroup Dialogues as an undergraduate, with a group of Muslims and Jews in Los Angeles in the NewGround project, and during six months in Israel with Tikkun Olam in Tel Aviv-Yafo. She is a proud alumna of Mount Holyoke College and earned her MA at the George Washington University.
As a Sustained Dialogue associate, LaTia facilitates workshops across the country. LaTia has been involved with Sustained Dialogue for over 11 years. She first began as a participant in a dialogue group as an undergraduate student at Colorado College (CC), where she went on to serve as a moderator and student leader. After graduating from Colorado College, LaTia began working full-time with Sustained Dialogue Campus Network as a Program Director for two years. She now teaches Pre-Kindergarten in Washington, DC where she uses her Sustained Dialogue skills consistently to engage students, families, and colleagues on a regular basis.
As a Sustained Dialogue Associate, Maureen Flint facilitates workshops to develop moderating and conflict resolution skills at campuses across the country. In addition to her work with Sustained Dialogue, she has worked in Student Affairs with housing and residence Life, training and development, and student unions, currently serving as the Assistant Director for the Ferguson Student Center at The University of Alabama. Maureen received her Master’s degree in Higher Education Administration from The University of Alabama, and a BFA from Pratt Institute. She is based in Tuscaloosa, Alabama.
As an Associate for the Sustained Dialogue Institute, Lindy Wagner facilitates workshops across the country. Through facilitation she aids colleges and universities with moderating dialogue, diversity and inclusion initiatives, and conflict resolution. She first became involved with dialogue initiatives at Syracuse University in 2005 when she was a facilitator for Conversations about Race and Ethnicity (C.A.R.E.) Dialogue Circles. She has been able to continue her love for dialogue at Appalachian State University where she currently serves as the Associate Director for Multicultural Student Development. Lindy has served in various roles in student affairs for the last twelve years and currently she provides training and development opportunities around diversity, inclusion, and social justice topics for faculty, staff, and students. She has a Bachelor of Arts degree in International Studies from Graceland University, a Master of Science degree in Counseling and Student Development from Kansas State University, and is currently working on a doctoral degree in Communication Studies with a focus on Intercultural Communication at Southern Illinois University Carbondale where she will be a full-time doctoral student in the Fall.
A Certified Trainer and “Ambassador” for the Sustained Dialogue Institute, Sallie Batchelor works to expand and adapt the Sustained Dialogue college campus model to serve independent high schools and other new populations. Sallie is also an independent college counselor and crew coach, having previously served as Associate Director of College Counseling and Head Coach of Girls’ Crew at Phillips Academy in Andover, Massachusetts. Throughout her career, Sallie has participated in efforts to address conflicts and disparities–including the “Access to Success” committee at Phillips Academy, the Initiatives of Change Caux Scholars Program in Switzerland, and mediation training at the Community Dispute Settlement Center in Cambridge, MA. Sallie received her bachelor’s degree from Princeton University, where she was an active member of Sustained Dialogue, and her master’s degree in the Social Sciences at the University of Chicago.
Ramon E. Daubon
Ramon E. Daubon is Professor at Sacred Heart University in Puerto Rico, President of the Esquel Group in Washington DC, and Associate of the Charles Kettering Foundation and of the Sustained Dialogue Institute. He was previously Vice President for Programs at the Inter AmericaFoundation, Executive Director of the Caribbean Environment and Development Institute, Deputy Assistant Administrator of USAID for its Bureau for Latin America and the Caribbean, Regional Representative of the Ford Foundation for the Andean and Southern Cone Countries of South America, and Vice President of the National Puerto Rican Coalition in Washington DC. He has published in English and Spanish on topics about development and the connection between dialogue and interactions of active citizenship with economic and social development in communities.
Mentor and Moderator
Phil Stewart has more than thirty years experience moderating Sustained Dialogues. Today, his work is focused on communities and organizations, however he continues to work internationally with Russia and Israel. Currently, Phil is co-moderating a community Sustained Dialogue in Columbus, Indiana focused on poverty, particularly identifying strategies and mobilizing action to enable those struggling to achieve self-sufficiency. Phil also conducts trainings and mentoring for people wishing to bring Sustained Dialogue into their own communities and organizations. Phil is a retired professor and former businessman.
Ottavia Lezzi is earning her master’s degree in Public Policy with a concentration in Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies at George Washington University. Her academic work focuses on diversity, equity and inclusion education, and anti-violence activism. She earned her bachelor’s degree in International Studies at the University of Washington, during which time she spent a summer in Jordan teaching English in a refugee camp. Ottavia has previously worked at the Women’s Funding Alliance and Planned Parenthood Votes Northwest, in the advocacy team. Ottavia also currently works as a graduate assistant at GW, focusing on writing-intensive classes for undergraduates.