The World Engagement Institute (WEInstitute) is an Illinois Not-For-Profit Corporation. The WEInstitute's is overseen, advised, and informed by two Boards, both composed of highly professional, managerially astute, and experientially seasoned members with international capacity-development and academic backgrounds. The WEInstitute's day-to-day academic and business operations are managed by its Senior Staff, each with over thirty year's experience. These Staff are overseen by WEInstitute's Board of Directors. The Board of Directors holds periodic meetings with WEInstitute's Senior Staff and applies its stewardship in close dialogue with them. WEInstitute's Board of Directors and Staff are also privileged to receive policy advice and guidance from an honorary Board of Advisers, composed of internationally renowned multidisciplinary experts from fields as diverse as human rights development, institutional capacity-development, education, entrepreneurship, business management, economics, human security, anthropology, inter-cultural communication, justice sector reform, rule of law advancement, ethics, philosophy, and theology. The width and breadth of WEInstitute's international operations require coordination and unity of effort among these various leaders. They also require: mission-centered, culturally sensitive, cross-sectoral, locally focused, and sustainable partnerships; values-driven leadership; innovative thinking; and pragmatic operationalization - all united behind WEInstitute's commitment to integrity, service and excellence.
Dr. marco tavanti, ph.d.
Co-founder and emeritus President
MS. elizabeth A. wilp, ms/med.
Co-founder and emeritus executive vice president
Dr. Asma Afsaruddin, Ph.D.
Asma Afsaruddin is professor of Islamic Studies and chairperson of the Department of Near Eastern Languages and Cultures at Indiana University, Bloomington. She received her Ph.D. in Near Eastern Studies from the Johns Hopkins University in 1993 and previously taught at Harvard and Notre Dame universities. Her fields of specialization are the religious and political thought of Islam, Qur’an and hadith, Islamic intellectual history, and gender. Professor Afsaruddin is the author and/or editor of six books, including the forthcoming Striving in the Path of God: Jihad and Martyrdom in Islamic Thought and Praxis (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2012); the recently published Islam, the State and Political Authority: Medieval Issues and Modern Concerns (New York: Palgrave, 2011); The First Muslims: History and Memory (Oxford: OneWorld Publications 2008); and Excellence and Precedence: Medieval Islamic Discourse on Legitimate Leadership (Leiden: E.J. Brill, 2002). She has also written over fifty research articles, book chapters, and encyclopedia entries exploring issues as diverse as pluralism and dialogue in the Qur’an, moderation in Islamic thought; exegetical, legal, and ethical approaches to war and peace in Islam, political Islam and democracy, hadith criticism, roles of Muslim women, and Muslim-Christian relations. She lectures widely in the US, Europe, and the Middle East on these topics and frequently consults with US governmental and private agencies and media outlets on contemporary Islamic movements, inter-faith, and gender issues. Afsaruddin is currently a senior editor of the Oxford Encyclopedia of Islam and Women (2012), chair of the board of directors of the Center for the Study of Islam and Democracy, member of the advisory board of the Intertwined Worlds project based at the Woolf Institute, Cambridge University, and a member of the academic council of the Prince al-Waleed Center for Muslim-Christian Understanding at Georgetown University. She was previously an advisor to the Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life for the project “Global Survey of Muslims,” and served on the editorial boards of the Oxford Encyclopedia of the Islamic World and Religion Compass. Her research has been funded among others by the American Research Institute of Turkey, the Harry Frank Guggenheim Foundation and the Carnegie Corporation of New York, which named her a Carnegie Scholar in 2005.
H.E. Dr. Mohammed Al-Hadid, Ph.D.
H.E. Dr Mohammed Al-Hadid, Ph.D., is the President of the Jordan National Red Crescent Society, and has served in the Standing Commission of the Red Cross and Red Crescent (IC) as Chair and Vice Chair during his previous terms. He chaired the 29th International Conference of the Red Cross and Red Crescent in 2006, which adopted the necessary statutory changes to accommodate the additional emblem, the Red Crystal, bringing a solution to the decades-long issue and allowing the Magen David Adom in Israel and the Palestinian Red Cross Society to join the Movement as full members. Dr. Al-Hadid was educated at College de la Salle. He completed his higher education at Coventry Technical College, then at Birmingham University, England. He holds a Ph.D. in clinical chemistry and did his training in Birmingham and West Midlands hospitals, United Kingdom. He also holds an honorary doctorate from Ben Gurion University. Dr. Al-Hadid was awarded the title of “Maali /Excellency/ Minister” by H.M King Abdulla II in December 2003 upon his election as chairman of the standing commission of the Red Cross/Red Crescent by the International Conference held in Geneva, and in recognition of services rendered to his country. He was elected Chair of the Standing Commission of the Red Cross and Red Crescent in December 2003 and re-elected in 2007 until November 2009 . He has been the President of Jordan Red Crescent since January 1993. Dr. Al-Hadid has served as Vice-Chair of the Jordanian National Committee for International Humanitarian Law since July 1997. He has been a member of the Higher Council for Civil Defence in Jordan since 1998. He has also been: a member of the International Executive Committee at McGill University MMEP – Canada since June 1998; a member of the Board of Jordan Youth Premier Division Football Club since 2002; a member of the council of the IIHL in Sanremo since May 2007; Vice Chair of the National Committee for prevention of AIDS since 2002; Board Member in the Faculty of Medicine at the University of Jordan (2002-2010); and member of the Board of Trustees of the National Centre for Human Rights (2003 -2007). Dr. Mohammed Al-Hadid wishes to see a strengthened Red Cross/Red Crescent Movement, able to serve effectively the victims of wars and adversity in the ever changing world. He finds it important to analyze and learn from experiences especially in cooperation and coordination to ensure efficient response whenever needed. He would further want to clarify and strengthen the Standing Commission’s role as the trustee of the International Conference and involve more National Societies as primary actors when addressing the Movement’s internal and external challenges.
Mr. Nabil Y. Barakat
- Nabil Y. Barakat is the President & Chief Executive Officer of Wamar International Group LLC. With a technical education in electrical and computer engineering from Oregon State University, MIT and Graduate studies in Air Transport and Air Law at Cranfield University in England, Mr. Barakat spent several years in high-level positions with one of the world's leading aerospace companies. He founded Wamar in 1983, and since then the company has grown to work with some of the world's leading organizations. Mr. Barakat is assisted at Wamar by a highly skilled team of technical professionals located in leading cities around the world. Mr. Barakat has played a very active role as a Senior Advisor since 1983 till date for major international Fortune 100 companies. Mr. Barakat was appointed for the following: Appointed by the US Secretary of Commerce as a member of the US Business Dialogue (USIBD) for a term of three years from July 2009 to July 2012; Appointed by Royal Decree as Member of the Board of Trustees for The University of Jordan (2000-2005); Appointed by Government Decree (Prime Minister of Jordan) as Chairman of Amman Surgical Hospital, one of the leading hospitals in the Kingdom of Jordan, to oversee the restructuring and reorganization of the hospital (2000-2003). Appointed as a Member of the University of Jordan Board of Scientific Research (1997-2004); Appointed Armenia’s Consul General to Jordan (1997-2001); Appointed as a Member of the University of Balqa’a Advisory Board (2002-2004). Member of The American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) and the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA).
H.E. Maurice Biggar, Esq.
- H.E. Maurice Biggar, Esq., is a lawyer, administrator, consultant and retired senior Irish diplomat, who has routinely advised the Irish government on legal, political, economic, trading, human rights and development issues. He previously served as Deputy Head of Mission, accredited to the EU, UN, OECD and Embassies of Belgium and Luxembourg. As a senior diplomat, he advised the Irish Minister for Foreign Affairs on a wide variety of European and international legal issues. He also wrote opinions about the Irish Constitution, the EU Treaties, the UN Charter, international criminal law and human rights. Mr. Biggar provided legal and political advice to the Counter-Terrorism Committee established by the Security Council following Al-Qaida’s terrorist attacks on 11 September 2001 (9/11); he presented Ireland’s case supporting the establishment of the International Criminal Court before the United Nations General Assembly; and he handled the Irish dossiers on corporate taxation, money-laundering, development aid and the Organisation’s budget at the OECD. In addition, he founded and served as the Governor of the European Endowment for Democracy; he has lectured on the European Union at the National University of Ireland; and analyzed the significance of the Lisbon Treaty.
Ms. Hashmat Effendi, Sitare e Imtiaz
- Hashmat Effendi – awarded the Sitare e Imtiaz by the government of Pakistan – is the Executive Director and Founder of the House of Charity (HOC), a Houston-based non-governmental organization dedicated to providing humanitarian assistance to developing countries in South Asia, Latin America, and Africa. Her work includes providing medical and surgical care, medical supplies and equipment, emergency assistance and relief, education, and vocational training to those in need. Mohtarama Hashmat Effendi 's efforts have been widely applauded, and she has routinely been asked to address members of the U.S. Congress, senior U.S. government officials, foreign government dignitaries and officials, national and foreign media, prestigious U.S. universities, and a variety of other groups and organizations on the suffering of children in developing countries. Since 1996, The House of Charity has been helping underprivileged children around the world through medical missions, surgical treatments, hospital upgrades and more. In 2010 alone, the HOC treated over 1000 children for cleft lip and palate disorder, a disability that not only affects the physical appearance of a child but hinders the basic fundamentals such as eating and drinking. Further, on a nearly monthly basis, the HOC deploys medical missions to developing countries. In doing so, they create training centers and provide professional up-grade training for Nurses and Doctors in some of the countries we visit. They also treat countless children who would otherwise not have the means to be treated.
Ms. Mandana Hendessi, OBE
- Mandana Hendessi is a development professional with over 25 years of experience in management, consulting, designing and developing programmes for civil society organizations and NGOs, and more recently the UN, covering a diversity of social development, human rights and rule of law matters. She has a solid background in developing and managing programmes ranging from gender mainstreaming to gender-based violence and strengthening women’s political leadership. Ms Hendessi has worked on projects in sensitive and conflict-affected countries such as Iraq and Afghanistan, interfacing with political and civil society leaders on developing strategies for the inclusion of women in governance and democratic structures, the elimination of violence against women and their access to justice, in line with UN Security Council Resolution 1325. In addition to research and advocacy as means of bringing about transformative change, Ms Hendessi developed comprehensive capacity-building and internship programmes targeting civil society as well as government officials and international institutions. For her accomplishments in this critical role, She was awarded the Order of the British Empire (OBE) in 2005. Ms Hendessi currently manages a theme-based programme at International Alert, a British-based international peace-building NGO, focusing on climate change, aid effectiveness, gender relations and women’s social status, security reform, governance, income and assets, state and citizen relations as factors affecting peace-building in fragile states and conflict-affected countries. Ms. Hendessi is a native Farsi/Dari speaker, is fluent in English and has good knowledge of Arabic. She holds a master’s degree in sociology and social policy.
- Major General Arnold Fields (Ret.) is a Consultant for the National Academy of Public Administration. The NAPA was created to help public sector leaders meet the important and varied management challenges of today and anticipate those of the future. General Fields previously served as the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction (SIGAR), a position to which appointed by The President of the United States on 12 June 2008. He was sworn in on 22 July 2008 by the Deputy Secretary of Defense and reported directly to both the Secretary of Defense and the Secretary of State. The SIGAR was mandated by the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2008 and formally reported to Congress each fiscal quarter. Among a number of tasks, SIGAR provided for the independent and objective conduct and supervision of audits and investigations relating to the programs and operations funded with amounts appropriated or otherwise made available for the reconstruction of Afghanistan. Prior to his retirement from the US Marine Corps, General Fields served as Deputy Director of the Africa Center for Strategic Studies, Department of Defense. Prior to the Africa Center, he served as a member of the U.S. Department of State assigned to the Embassy in Iraq where he performed duties as Chief of Staff of the Iraq Reconstruction and Management Office (IRMO). He assisted the U.S. Ambassador and Director of IRMO in coordinating the execution of over $18 billion dollars of U.S. appropriated funds for the reconstruction of Iraq. General Fields returned to the U.S. in October 2005 after serving 14 months in Iraq. Major General Fields retired from the United States Marine Corps in January 2004 after over 34 years of active military service. At the time of his retirement, General Fields was serving as the Deputy Commander of Marine Corps Forces in Europe, headquartered at Stuttgart Germany. He traveled extensively throughout Europe and the African Continent during this period. Previous assignments included: Director of the Marine Corps Staff at Headquarters Marine Corps where he supported the Commandant of the Marine Corps in executive oversight of a defense force of over 250,000 personnel including active duty, reservist, and civilians; Commanding General of Marine Corps Base Hawaii; Commander U.S. Central Command's Forward Headquarters Element, with dual responsibilities as the Inspector General of U.S. Central Command which at that time was responsible for U.S. defense and security interests in the Horn of Africa and all of the Middle East and Southwest Asia; and Chief of the Evaluation and Analysis Division of the Plans and Interoperability Directorate (J-7) of the Joint Staff at the Pentagon. He commanded a training base at Camp Fuji Japan, working closely with senior leaders of Japan in support of U.S. strategic interests and common security needs and objectives. During Operation Desert Shield and Desert Storm, General Fields commanded a Marine infantry battalion in operations against the Iraqi Armed Forces. In 1986, he commanded a major unit of the Marine Security Guards who, under a long-standing relationship between the Marine Corps and the Department of State, provided security at U.S. embassies worldwide, including at least 24 U.S. embassies and consulates spanning 17 countries in North Africa and the Middle East. General Fields served as commander of the North Africa and Middle East component. He resided in Casablanca, Morocco, during this period and worked closely with the U.S. Consul General and Morocco country team. A former recruit trainer, Assistant Director of the Marine Corps Drill Instructor School at Parris Island, SC; and Regional Recruiting Station Commander, General Fields has extensive experience in personnel recruitment and training and in replenishing the defense establishment with high-quality men and women. His personal decorations include the Distinguished Service Medal; Defense Superior Service Medal with one bronze oak leaf cluster in lieu of second award; Bronze Star Medal with Combat "V"; Meritorious Service Medal; Joint Service Commendation Medal; Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal; and the Combat Action Ribbon. He was awarded the Department of State's Superior Honor Award for his service with the State Department in Baghdad, Iraq. General Fields enlisted into the Marine Corps in April of 1969 and was commissioned a second lieutenant in November of that year. He holds a Bachelor of Science Degree in Agriculture from South Carolina State University and a Master of Arts Degree in Human Resources Management from Pepperdine University. General Fields is also a graduate of the Army War College; the Marine Corps Command and Staff College; and the Marine Corps Amphibious Warfare School. In August 2007, the Secretary of the Navy appointed General Fields to a four-year term as member of the Board of Visitors, Marine Corps University, Quantico, Virginia. General Fields was appointed by the Secretary of the Navy during April 2011 to serve a second term on the Board of Visitors of Marine Corps University at Quantico, Va. He also sits on the boards of several non-profit foundations, which include Wounded Warrior Family Support (WWFS), Wounded In Action Family Fund (WIAFF), and the New Farmers of America Foundation (FFA), as a member of the Foundation’s Board of Trustees.
- Richard E. Friedman, JD, currently serves as President and Chair of the National Strategy Forum and Counselor, American Bar Association Standing Committee on Law and National Security. He also serves as a Senior Fellow of Urban and National Security Affairs, at the Syracuse University Maxwell School, National Security Studies program, as well as a member of the Advisory Committee of the Syracuse University Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs National Security Studies Program. In addition, Mr. Friedman is senior fellow for urban and national security affairs for The Chicago Council on Global Affairs. He most recently served as president and chair of the National Strategy Forum, a Chicago-based think tank organization dedicated to educating the public on national security-related trends and issues. He is a past chair of the American Bar Association Standing Committee on Law and National Security, where he continues to serve as counselor. Mr. Friedman received his education at the Harvard School for Boys; Grinnell College, where he received an AB in 1951; and at Northwestern School of Law, where he received a JD in 1956. He served in the US Air Force from 1951 to 1953 (Lt.) and practiced law in Chicago, Illinois. From 1964 to 1969 he served as first assistant attorney general, State of Illinois. He was executive director of the Better Government Association from 1969 to 1971 and was candidate for the office of mayor of the City of Chicago (1971). Mr. Friedman was co-contributor to the book The Future of Foundations (1975). From 1971 to 1976, Mr. Friedman served as the regional director (Midwest) for the US Department of Health, Education, and Welfare. He received a Presidential Citation for his work on the Indo-Chinese Refugee Resettlement Program (1976). Mr. Friedman has also served on special assignment for the US Department of State in Romania, as a consultant to the government of Republic of Georgia for legislation regarding national security and economic matters, and has participated in strategic planning conferences for Central Asian Republics. In recent years, he has written extensively about how to reconcile the need for enhanced security and the protection of civil liberties. He also serves as Counselor with the American Bar Association Standing Committee on Law and National Security.
H.E. Dr. Feisal Amin Rasoul al-Istrabadi, J.D. LL.M., S.J.D.
- H.E. Dr. Feisal Amin Rasoul al-Istrabadi is Founding Director of the Center for the Study of the Middle East, a Title 6 National Resource Center, at Indiana University—Bloomington, where he is also University Scholar in International Law and Diplomacy at the Maurer School of Law. He holds a Visiting Professorship by Courtesy at the IU School of Public and Environmental Affairs and is Visiting Adjunct Professor in the Department of Near Eastern Languages and Cultures. Emphasizing his primary interest in Iraq, Ambassador al-Istrabadi focuses his research on the processes of building legal and political institutions in countries in transition from dictatorship to democracy. He brings a multi-disciplinary approach to studying the emergence of constitutionalism in such societies, including questions of timing and legitimacy, issues of transitional justice, the political and cultural factors that influence the process of democratization, and the role of multi-national organizations in encouraging such transitions. His book, The Iraqi Supreme Criminal Tribunal: National and International Dimensions, is forthcoming from Cambridge University Press. Ambassador al-Istrabadi lectures often at universities, policy institutes and civic groups on Iraq-related issues. He appears frequently in national and international media. From 2004 to 2010 Ambassador al-Istrabadi served as Iraq’s Deputy Permanent Representative to the United Nations in New York. Prior to this appointment, Dr. al-Istrabadi served as legal advisor to the Iraqi Minister for Foreign Affairs during the negotiations for the U.N. Security Council resolution which recognized the reassertion by Iraq of its sovereignty. He was principal legal drafter of Iraq's interim constitution, the Law of Administration of the State of Iraq for the Transitional Period, and principal author of its Bill of Fundamental Rights. He also served as a Senior Fellow for Legal Reform and Development in the Arab World at the International Human Rights Law Institute at DePaul University's College of Law in Chicago. He was for 15 years a practicing trial lawyer in the United States, with approximately 70 civil trials in federal and state courts. He has an A.B. (Chem) and J.D. from Indiana University—Bloomington, and an LL.M. and S.J.D. from Northwestern University.
Dr. Alfredo Sfeir-Younis, Ph.D.
- Dr. Alfredo Sfeir-Younis is a Chilean economist, spiritual leader and healer, presently President of the Zambuling Institute for Human Transformation, founded in 2005 in Washington, DC. Before opening the Institute, Sfeir-Younis had a twenty-nine year career at the World Bank where he was hired as the World Bank’s first environmental economist in 1976 and later was appointed Director of the World Bank Office in Geneva, Switzerland. He served as Special Representative to the United Nations and the World Trade Organization from 1996 to 1999. In both institutions Sfeir-Younis worked in the general fields of human rights, peace, and social justice; within this broader context he initiated and promoted policy in such areas as poverty eradication, international trade and finance, financing of development, gender and women's issues, trade and development, role of indigenous peoples, sustainable management of forestry and fisheries, water management and irrigation, desertification, biodiversity, culture and spirituality in sustainable development, and alternative medicine. He has received numerous awards from international organizations, including the Lifetime Ambassador of Peace (2001), Peace and Tolerance Award (2002), World Healer Award (2002), Messenger of Peace (2002), Peace, Mercy and Tolerance Award (2003), Supreme Advisor of the Buddhist Spiritual Forum Award, World Peace Mercy and Tolerance Award (2004), Diamond Peace Award (2005), and Peace Ambassador Award (2006).
Ms. Raenette Taljaard, M.A., M.Sc.
- Raenette Taljaard is a senior lecturer in public policy at the University of Cape Town. She was previously director of the Helen Suzman Foundation. She was the youngest woman to be elected to the South African parliament when she became an MP in 1999 at the age of 25. She served as shadow minister of finance and was a member of the Portfolio Committee on Finance and the Standing Committee on Public Accounts. Raenette is a Yale World Fellow, a Fellow of the Emerging Leaders Programme of the Centre for Leadership and Public Values (UCT's Graduate School of Business and Duke University) and a Young Global Leader of the World Economic Forum. She holds a BA in law, a BA with honors in political science, and an MA with honors in international relations from the University of Johannesburg, as well as an M.Sc. with honors in public administration and public policy from the London School of Economics and Political Science. Raenette is an alumna of the Prince of Wales Business and Environment Programme at the University of Cambridge. She lectures extensively locally and abroad on the privatization of security, military outsourcing and the need for regulation. She is a Fellow of the fourth class of the Africa Leadership Initiative-South Africa and a member of the Aspen Global Leadership Network.
Dr. Nesreen Akhtarkhavari, Ph.D.
Ms. Diana Alfaro, M.S.
Mr. James Peter Coolsen, M.S.W.
Dr. richard farkas, ph.d.
Mr. eric S. morse, abd
Ms. Cecilia A. Mowatt, ESQ, J.D., M.B.A.
Ms. Gloria Varona-Williams
Mr. gregory j. wangerin
emeritus board members
Ms. kAREN A. EGERER
Karen A. Egerer has more than thirty years experience developing and implementing international training and educational programs. In the fall of 1989, Karen formed Heartland International, a Chicago-based nonprofit organization, specializing in the design, implementation and evaluation of international programs and projects. Since then, Heartland International has implemented projects for political leaders, parliamentarians and entrepreneurs from the emerging democracies of Eastern and Central Europe, the former Soviet Union, Africa and Asia. These training and education programs have focused on methods of strengthening democratic values and institutions and promoting microenterprise development. Prior to forming Heartland International, Karen served as a consultant on the staff of the Program on Peace and International Cooperation at the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation. In this position, she was responsible for evaluating funding proposals, surveying international grantmaking and designing new grantmaking programs. At the University of Illinois at Chicago, Karen served as coordinator of international programs. She was responsible for building relations between the University and overseas institutions; city, state and federal government agencies; and leaders in the international affairs field. Among the programs that she designed, implemented and gained funding for were a business and international education project funded in part by the U.S. Department of Education; a USIA sponsored reciprocal exchange program for members of the Illinois General Assembly and the Supreme Soviet of the Russian Federated Republic; and a privately funded Center for International Students and Scholars. Karen was also responsible for assisting faculty members identify funding sources for their international projects and for engaging interdisciplinary groups in the development of new projects, such as an academic exchange to develop a Thai Studies Program. Karen was the program director at the Mid-America Committee for International Business and Government Cooperation, a private organization whose members included the chief executive officers of the major corporations based in the Chicago area. As program director, she was responsible for designing and implementing programs that brought together heads of state and senior government officials with Committee members. She also planned and organized a series of seminars designed to train corporate executives in the techniques of doing business in specific countries. As co-director of the World Without War Council in Chicago, Karen successfully managed numerous programs on international issues ranging from human rights to arms control. Her work included editing a volume on the SALT II agreement, compiling a directory of world affairs organizations and managing an Illinois Humanities Council funded series on arms control agreements. Karen, a graduate of DePaul University, is a member of the Board of Directors of the Chicago Photography Center, the President’s Circle of the Chicago Council for Global Affairs and the Illinois Steering Committee of the Campaign for US Global Leadership. She has teaching experience at the middle school level; has served as a teacher trainer for the Archdiocese of Chicago in the field of global education and as a consultant to the National Catholic Education Association in the same field. Karen was the Chicago representative for the President's International Youth Exchange Initiative. For her work with Call to Action, she received a community service award from the Association of Chicago Priests. She was honored by her high school as a Distinguished Alumna.
Mr. Tomás Ramírez, M.S.
Tomás Ramírez, M.S., is the President of Infinite Conversations, a privately owned provider of consulting and training services that engages in gang outreach and intervention, as well as in the training of high schools administrators and staff, police officers and Juvenile Court Judges. He is a Conflict Resolution and Reconciliation facilitator, as well as a Cultural Sensitivity Training expert. To this end, Mr. Ramírez develops goal oriented plans in conjunction with therapists, parents and youth, and instructs on Conflict Resolution and Reconciliation techniques. Mr. Ramírez’ methodology emphasizes the utilization of indigenous, traditional, and contemporary mediation and intervention models. In undertaking his work, Mr. Ramírez regularly develops programs to address youth homelessness, including the establishment of drop-in centers for homeless youth. He also conducts facilitated train-the-trainer workshops for: capacity-building NGOs; crisis intervention specialists; youth-oriented emotional development programmers; cross-cultural communication facilitators; and outreach programmers and development staff. He is a gifted speaker and regularly lecturers on gang culture and gang mediation. He is of Chichimeca ancestry and is a member of various indigenous organizations in the Chicago area. He serves as a minister for the Native American Church. Mr. Ramírez’ previously served as the Crime Prevention and Street Outreach Coordinator for the Evanston, Illinois, Police Department, and as a Popular Education Facilitator for the Universidad Popular. He holds a Master’s of Science degree from the DePaul University College of International Public Service and a Bachelor’s Degree in Latin American Studies and Community Building from DePaul University.