who we are


the history

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


the people


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


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.


Sam Shnaps

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.


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