Claudia Acosta: President Claudia was born and raised in El Paso, Texas. She’s been married for 28 years and has 3 children and 2 grandchildren. Claudia is a Certified Occupancy Specialist and a Certified Tax Credit Specialist managing a low-income property with affordable housing programs. She has worked full time with low income families for the last 17 years. Claudia played an integral part in the birth of Es.Pe.Re. in El Paso, and she currently serves as the Es.Pe.Re. El Paso Coordinator. She has continuously received training as facilitator from Centro Cultural Loyola in Monterrey over the last 3 years. She is dedicated to changing our world one heart at a time.
Dr. Eileen Borris: Clerk Dr. Eileen Borris is a highly regarded speaker, author, consultant, and trainer on the subjects of forgiveness, conflict resolution, and the healing of nations. Hailed as the leading expert in her field of work, Dr. Borris harnesses a unique set of skills and experiences that she has gained over more than twenty years as both a counseling and political psychologist. Dr. Borris is revered for actively and efficiently changing society’s vision of peacekeeping by working unyieldingly towards reconciling world conflicts.
As President of Forgiveness International, Dr. Borris is developing forgiveness courses and training programs which address forgiveness on a political level as well as helping people heal from domestic and political violence. Her many workshops have grown to encompass numerous activist and educational groups, religious and political leaders, and government officials–all engaged in spreading awareness and enlightening, through the creation of peace building initiatives. With her unparalleled understanding of psychological issues regarding conflicts and their healings, Dr. Borris designs and implements programs that have escalated a transformation in the way international conflicts are resolved, garnering exceedingly positive results in a world vanquished by centuries-old struggles. More about Dr. Borris
Leocadia Montero-Hainley Leocadia is a psychotherapist and an ESPERE Training Facilitator and Consultant. She is active in helping people use a productive approach to managing conflicts and getting out of the cycle of violence. She is originally from the Dominican Republic, where she studied law and served as District Attorney. She received a Master of Art in Psychotherapy from Pacific University. Leocadia received the ESPERE training by Centro de Dereitos Humanos e Educação Popular of Brazil in 2009 and, after that, she coordinated, directed and co-facilitated the ESPERE-Violence Reduction Program at Adelante Mujeres for 7 years. Prior to working with the ESPERE Program, she worked as a Domestic Violence Women’s Advocate with Volunteers of America and El Programa Hispano. She also worked as a counselor with Bienestar. Leocadia is also a board member of the Washington County Family Justice Center, Domestic Violence Fatality Review Team, and the Domestic Violence Safe Dialogue program board.
Leonel Narvaez Gomez Leonel is from Colombia. He is a Catholic priest and a sociologist, educated in Turin and Rome, Italy, with postgraduate studies at Cambridge University (United Kingdom) and Harvard University (USA).
For ten years he worked among the nomads of East African deserts (Kenya, Sudan, Ethiopia) and another ten years in the Amazon of Colombia. During this period, he participated in several negotiation processes with the leftist guerrilla groups and developed several successful peace programs in the area. He is the creator of the program GRAFAM, (Granja Familiar Amazónica) implemented in Caguán and Putumayo areas. For three years, he was a National Adviser of the Colombian Research Institute (COLCIENCIAS) in the area of social sciences. He has been awarded with the Bogota City Council Great Cross of the Civil Merit for his contribution to peace in the city. In 2007, in Paris, he received the honorable mention of UNESCO Prize for Peace Education. In 2008, the Colombian Congress honored him with the Order of Democracy.
He is the Founder and Executive Director of the Fundación para la Reconciliación, based in Bogota, Colombia and the creator of the methodology of ESPERE (Schools of Forgiveness and Reconciliation). ESPERE is now present in 148 countries. Among others, he is the author of the books: Political Culture of Forgiveness and Reconciliation and La Revolución del Perdón.
Rodney Petersen Rodney L. Petersen, Ph.D. is executive director of Cooperative Metropolitan Ministries, Greater Boston area’s oldest interfaith social justice network. He also serves as executive director of the Lord’s Day Alliance of the US and is a Presbyterian (PCUSA) minister. For a quarter century, he was executive director of the Boston Theological Institute where he taught both in member schools and overseas and was co-founder of the Religion and Conflict Transformation program. Currently he teaches in the areas of history and ethics and runs community-based workshops around issues of forgiveness and reconciliation.
Petersen serves on the boards of several non-profit organizations. He is author or co-editor of numerous publications, including, Forgiveness and Reconciliation: Religion, Public Policy and Conflict Transformation (Templeton Foundation Press, 2001); Overcoming Violence (BTI, 2010); Formation for Life: Peacemaking and Twenty-First Century Discipleship (Wipf and Stock, 2013); History of Religion at Harvard, by George H. Williams in 3 volumes (Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, 2014); and Religion and Public Policy: Human Rights, Conflict, and Ethics (Cambridge University Press, 2015).
Thomas Sadtler: Vice President Tom has over 25 years leading and facilitating small groups. Tom Sadtler is a senior executive with 30+ years’ experience both as a psychiatric social worker and as a business manager. Specific areas of non-profit work include: developing low-income housing for people with special needs, creating social change through the innovative use of organizational models, and forgiveness and reconciliation training.
In addition to Tom’s professional activities, he co-wrote “Disruptive Innovations for Social Change” with C. Christensen, H. Baumann and R. Ruggles for the Harvard Business Review, December 2006. He is also President and founding director of Forgiveness International, Inc www.forgivenessinternational.org.
Tom has a BS, cum laude in Psychology from Tufts University, an MSW from Boston College and an MBA from Harvard Business School.
Jane Wells: Treasurer Jane has 25+ years of experience working with businesses and non-profits to increase the effectiveness of individuals and groups through teamwork and collaboration. She is a skilled facilitator who helps leaders bring out the best in themselves and the people who work with them. Jane has led forgiveness and reconciliation workshops in the U.S. and South Africa. She is certified as a Professional Coach by the International Coach Federation. Jane is a graduate of the University of Pennsylvania and has an MBA with a concentration in Human Resources from Boston University. She and her husband live in the greater Boston area.