Mubarak Awad is the Founder of the National Youth Advocate Program in different locations in United States, which provides alternative foster care and counseling to “at risk” youth and their families. He is also the Founder of the Palestinian Center for the Study of Nonviolence in Jerusalem, Palestine, and was deported by the Israeli Supreme Court in 1988 after being jailed for organizing activities involving nonviolent civil disobedience. Mr. Awad has since formed Nonviolence International that has branches in different parts of the world, promoting peace education and nonviolent action in dealing with political and social issues, which works with various movements and organizations across the globe. He has also been an adjunct professor at the American University in Washington, DC USA since 1989 at the School of International Studies focusing on promoting dialogue and transforming post-conflict societies teaching graduate courses on Methods and Theory of Nonviolence. Mr. Awad was born in Jerusalem, Palestine and currently resides in Gaithersburg MD, USA. He is married to Nancy Nye, has 2 children and 1 grandchild.
Michael Beer has been the Executive Director of Nonviolence International since the 1998. Michael is a global activist for human rights, minority rights and against war and casino capitalism. He has trained activists in many countries, including Burma, Kosovo, Tibet, Indonesia, Thailand, Cambodia, India, USA and Zimbabwe. He is a frequent public speaker on nonviolence and has been broadcast on CSPAN, CNN, and other major media. Michael is the co-parent of 2 children along with his life partner, Latanja.
Mariam Abuhaideri earned her Bachelors of Arts degree in Journalism and Global Studies, cum laude, at the University of West Georgia in 2009. She joined NI as a Research Fellow and has a particular interest in human rights and conflict resolution. She is fluent in five languages including Farsi and Hindi. Mariam was born and raised in Pune, India, has visited Uganda and Southern Sudan, and will be visiting Thailand and Burma in August. She intends to use her journalistic skills to become the voice of those from whom it has been taken away.
Andres Thomas Conteris serves as Director of Latin America Programs. He founded and supports the Spanish Headline News for Democracy Now. For decades, he has worked to end US damaging policies in Latin America and even went on a famously 40-day hunger strike in front of the White House to end the US military occupation of Vieques, Puerto Rico. He is based in Marin County, California.
Andrew Batcher is a Senior Researcher in Training and Curriculum Development at Nonviolence International. He has experience as an anti-war community organizer, an advocate for workers’ rights, teachers’ rights, and students’ rights, and as a fundraiser, manager, and lead trainer for DC canvassers raising money for the ACLU. Andrew is currently pursuing a Master’s degree in Social Justice in Intercultural Relations, with a concentration in Training and Education, from SIT Graduate Institute in Vermont. His work at Nonviolence International has largely involved educational support for the Occupy Movement; providing training in nonviolence, outreach, and strategic planning, as well as instituting a daily learn-in. Andrew was instrumental in founding the DC Learning Collective, a DC based free education movement which both trains local activists and builds connections between them. He has been particularly involved in establishing the DCLC’s Activist Sunday School, which provides a weekly Sunday training in topics ranging from strategy to group process to movement building.
David Kirshbaum directs the Palestine Media Project. David’s professional training is as a psychotherapist for the severely and chronically mentally ill and the elderly. He also studied Yoga with the SYDA Foundation with the hopes of combining Yoga with psychological treatment to increase patients’ quality of life on a number of levels. He received his M.A. in Clinical Psychology from Pepperdine University, and practiced for about 8 years in both California and Georgia. A longtime activist, David has previously been involved with environmental issues, culminating in the organizing of numbers of Watershed Alliances in the area of Atlanta, Georgia, and the start of a museum of environmental sciences on the campus of Georgia Perimeter College. In 2001, he got involved in human rights work focused primarily on the struggle in Palestine.
Jahandad Memarian as a senior research fellow in Nonviolence International is a master’s holder in Western Philosophy graduating from the University of Tehran. He also worked as a journalist for several Iranian newspapers. Jahandad was among the top five and, therefore, won a full scholarship from the Iranian Ministry of Science, Research and Technology to pursue his PhD in epistemology at the University of Munich, Maximilian. However, he preferred to take the FLTA scholarship from Institute of International Education and spent the 2010-2011 academic year at the University of California, Santa Barbara as a Fulbright scholar. Moreover, he has experience working as a researcher in the Iranian Parliament Research Center.