Ana Patel, Executive Director
Ana has been training for this job for over 20 years – starting with her teenage experiences hiking with Outward Bound on her home territory in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia; and sailing and diving with the School for Field Studies on St. John’s in the Virgin Islands. After college, her service as a U.S. Peace Corps volunteer in a rural agricultural community in the Dominican Republic shaped her interest in international peace, human rights, and development, as well as her excellent merengue dancing skills. In her 20’s, Ana lived for four years in Venezuela and traveled extensively throughout the Andean region of South America working for the Andean Development Corporation.
In 1996, Ana returned to the United States to obtain her graduate degree in international affairs at Columbia University. After graduate school, she held a series of international policy focused jobs in New York and Washington – highlights included a 6-week tour of the former Yugoslavia countries with the United Nations Development Programme, writing a report on government conflict prevention efforts while 6-weeks pregnant. Prior to joining Outward Bound Peacebuilding, Ana advocated for human rights and justice issues at the International Center for Transitional Justice (ICTJ).
Ana is also an Adjunct Lecturer and Fellow at the Center for International Conflict Resolution at The School of International and Public Affairs at Columbia University. Her co-edited volume, Disarming the Past: Transitional Justice and Ex-combatants was published in January 2010 by ICTJ and the Social Science Research Council. She lives in Brooklyn with her husband, son and beloved mutt Pluto.
John Lee, Director of Programs
John Lee was born and raised in Mississippi, where his love for the outdoors took root. He holds a B.S. in Therapeutic Recreation from the University of Southern Mississippi and while there began to facilitate diverse populations through experiential education. He has worked as a Recreation Therapist for Shriners Hospitals for Children in Los Angeles, and as Program Coordinator for Casa Colina Outdoor Adventures, which provides adventure education for persons with disabilities.
From 2006-2008, John served as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Romania. While there he worked with Outward Bound Romania as an NGO (non-government organization) consultant and instructor. In addition, he served as a member of the Gender and Development Committee, which immersed him in social justice and human rights issues. This experience was pivotal in leading him towards graduate studies receiving a M.S. in Experiential Education from Minnesota State University, Mankato. He spent several years serving with founding staff for the Omaha Outward Bound School as the Director of Operations and Programs, instituting programming for at-risk youth and corporate clients.
John has over 15 years of professional experience working in therapeutic, adventure and experiential education programs. He has facilitated and instructed thousands of individuals on the themes of leadership, character development, and diversity and inclusion to participants in the United States and Europe ranging from marginalized populations to corporate leadership. In his free time, he enjoys yoga, being in the mountains, near water, travel and loves learning about different cultures.
Flavio Bollag, Advancement Director
Flavio Bollag joined the Outward Bound Center for Peacebuilding as the Advancement Director in May 2015. Prior to that, he spent nine years in the Office of University Advancement at Adelphi University in Long Island, New York. During that time, he served as Director of Development Programs and Planning, then Director of Leadership Annual Giving, and finally as Executive Director of Advancement Communications, overseeing all development and alumni communications, including corporate and foundation relations and donor stewardship.
In his time at Adelphi, Flavio helped the team complete the University’s first-ever comprehensive fundraising campaign, exceeding the goal of $56 million by $2.5 million, and securing a $600,000 capital challenge grant from the Kresge Foundation. Flavio has worked with the University’s seven schools and colleges as well as interdisciplinary programs such as the Center for Nonprofit Leadership and the Institute for Parenting.
Flavio studied English and history at Middlebury College, where he also spent many hours exploring the Green Mountains, and holds a Master’s degree in Comparative Literature from Rutgers University. An avid cyclist and triathlete, he is always seeking new races and challenges in the northeast. He and his wife and their two daughters live in Smithtown, New York.
Outward Bound Peacebuilding programs are delivered by the experienced cadre of Outward Bound instructors around the globe. For more information and bios see the page dedicated to our amazing facilitators.