thecontactproject was created to promote the cultivation of listening, patience and respect as foundations for conflict transformation & peacebuilding....the essential tools for peace. We've been collaborating with people, on the ground, in their communities, with teachers, leaders, clergy and youth, having conversations about contemplative practices, humans needs, identity & dignity. Exploring the ways we can benefit from the cultivation of listening, patience and respect as foundations for conflict transformation and peacebuilding. thecontactproject has participated in these conversations since it's founding in 2007 and has been shared with participants from over twenty countries
Jennifer K. Lynne, Founder & Director
Jennifer K. Lynne is the founder and director of thecontactproject. She studied Buddhist Psychology and Peace at Naropa University and holds a Masters in Conflict Transformation from the Center for Justice & Peacebuilding at Eastern Mennonite University, with specializations in Identity, Trauma and Organizational Leadership, and is a Doctoral candidate in Peace Studies at the University of New England, Australia. She has been a Visiting Scholar at the Mind & Life Institute at Amherst College, and an invited presenter for the International Peace Research Association, the Human Dignity & Humiliation Studies consortium, the National Coalition of Dialogue & Deliberation, and the Association for Conflict Resolution. In addition to her role as Director at thecontactproject, she is currently the Contributing Peace Fellow at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee Master’s of Sustainable Peacebuilding program. Jennifer’s work and research have reached participants from over twenty countries including Nigeria, Cameroon, Indonesia, Costa Rica, and Sri Lanka.
Hillary Eschenburg, Communications & Partnership Development
Hillary Eschenburg serves as Program Consultant at thecontactproject, working with communication, design, and partnership development. She has worked with the Carter Center’s Conflict Resolution Program, the Center for Civilians in Conflict, and MAG America, an international humanitarian mine action organization. She created and manages CivilianStories.org, which is focused on sharing stories of civilians in conflict-affected countries around the world. She has a background in conflict and peace studies with a Master’s degree in Conflict Transformation from the Center for Justice and Peacebuilding at Eastern Mennonite University. Hillary is passionate about contributing to processes that will build just and sustainable peace in communities throughout the world. She enjoys traveling, crossword puzzles, and eating ice cream.
the global advisory board
Pradeep Dhakal, PhD
‘Until a strong desire for peace sprouts in human heart, there will not be peace in the world’, these words come from Dr. Pradeep Dhakal who has dedicated his life towards peace in the world. Dr. Dhakal is the Founder Director of Chetanalaya – Institute for Humanity, Peace and Spirituality and the Founder President of the Karuna Aashraya Foundation. In addition, he serves as the Co-General Secretary of Asia Pacific Peace Research Association (APPRA). Dr. Dhakal received his PhD at the Banaras Hindu University, India and taught at the Tribhuvan University, Kathmandu. He is the author of several books, including Mero Nepal – Shanti ra Samriddhi ko Marg ma (My Nepal – On the Path to Peace and Prosperity), The Quest, The Forlorn Journey and contributed to Center for Global Nonkilling (CGNK) by translating iconic work, Nonkilling Global Political Science of Prof. Glenn D. Paige in Nepali (Ahinsatmak Rajnaitik Vigyan). He has traveled widely sharing his thoughts with like-minded people and organizations throughout the world.
Thom Feroah, PhD
Thom is the Director of the Center for Global Health and Peacebuilding and the President of the Underwood Foundation in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. CGHP is dedicated to advancing humanitarian practices and principles in global health and peacebuilding and focuses on innovative and comprehensive tools and approaches to development, emergency response, conflict prevention and peacebuilding within communities both locally and globally. Before starting the Center, he was an Assistant Professor in the Division of Critical Care and Pulmonary Medicine, Department of Pediatrics, Medical College of Wisconsin and directed an animal sleep and neurobiology lab while working with the Rat Genome Project and the Human and Molecular Genetics Center. His research focused on systems biology and the genomic basis of sleep and sleep and movements disorders. During his work as a bioengineer and sleep researcher, he received three patents in adaptive control algorithms and devices, which are now used in the treatment of sleep apnea worldwide.
Adeola serves as the Executive Director of African Centre for Development and Research (ACDR) based in the UK. His expertise in the dynamics of power, democracy, and development combined with over fifteen years of field experience in international development, civil and human rights, and youth programming in Africa, Europe, Libya, and Turkey, and the UK, has informed his work as a consultant and practitioner. He has worked with the North-South centre of the Council of Europe towards Europe-Africa cooperation on trade and market policies, and served as the Coordinator for the Trainers of Africa & Europe Cooperation, a community practice of 40 organizations in Africa and Europe. He holds a MA in Development Studies from the Institute of Development Studies (IDS) from the University of Sussex.
Sam Shnaps is VP of Global Alliances at MSS International, an enterprise information technology business. He serves as a business advisor to a number of technology start-ups and philanthropic organizations. Educated at Edinburgh University and The National Film and Television School in the United Kingdom, he has worked with Pan-European broadcast media agencies, and as an international business consultant for various communications, education and technology companies. Sam speaks French and German, lives in Austria, and enjoys skiing and plays acoustic guitar.
Rebecca Spence, PhD
Rebecca has over twenty years experience working in the aid and development sector with government and non government community based organizations in conflict affected societies. As the Director of Peaceworks Pty Ltd, an Australian based peacebuilding organization, she has worked with over 300 civil society organizations in Fiji, Northern Ireland, Solomon Islands, Timor Leste, Sri Lanka, Australia, South Africa, Papua New Guinea, Vanuatu Islands, and the USA. She serves as the Senior Project Officer for the Public Sector Linkages Program at the Research Centre for Teacher Quality in Manila, Philippines, is a member of AusAID’s Peace Conflict Training and Advisory panel, and the UNDP BCBR. Rebecca’s professional focus is in dialogue design and facilitation, civil society support, peace and conflict training, social research, participatory and community lead processes, and project management.