We believe in the power of local leaders and local action. We are proud to be part of a global family of staff, facilitators, alumni and partners – committed to foster change by working as one.
We challenge and inspire emerging local leaders in societies to work together to build peace.
We work for communities in which the Connectors are stronger and more visible than than the
Dividers. We work with and for local leaders to inspire and sustain collaboration and communication.
We open the world of challenge-based hands-on learning, and the natural classroom, as vital tools for all who seek them.
We’re proud to consider ourselves a family of thinkers, learners and doers. The Outward Board Center for Peacebuilding team is comprised of leaders and practitioners from across the globe from a variety of interestests and industries. Our reach is as far as every person who considers themselves a part of our learning and doing community. Together we build peace.
Flavio Bollag | Executive Director
Flavio Bollag joined the Outward Bound Center for Peacebuilding as the Advancement Director in May 2015. His roles at OBCP have including fundraising and communications and have given him the challenging and rewarding role of capturing and telling incredible stories of extraordinary people in our programs. Together with Ana Patel, he is the co-editor of Experiential Peacebuilding, and he has helped to develop and share experiential activities on the topics of Positive Peace with numerous partner organizations including Rotary International.
Before joining OBCP, 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.
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.
Ana Patel | Facilitator
Ana Cutter Patel is the U.S. Representative of Front Line Defenders leading the advocacy and policy making aimed at increasing protection and visibility of Human Rights Defenders (HRDs) in collaboration with U.S. based human rights partners and donors.
Ana joins Front Line Defenders having worked as the Executive Director of Outward Bound Center for Peacebuilding for 10 years. Prior to that she was Deputy Director of the International Policymakers Program at the International Center for Transitional Justice.
Ana has 25 years of experience in international peacebuilding, gender empowerment, development and human rights to the position of U.S. Representative for Front Line Defenders. Her background spans from building a water system as a U.S. Peace Corps Volunteer in the Dominican Republic; to teaching international peacebuilding at Columbia University; to working with governments on human rights and the demobilization of ex-combatants in Colombia and West Africa.
Ana is also the Rotary International Representative to UN Women, a Rotary International Peace Fellow, a 2016 Visionary of the Hearts on Fire Foundation, and a Global Peace Index Ambassador. She has published two co-edited volumes, Disarming the Past: Transitional Justice and Ex-combatants (January 2010), and Experiential Peacebuilding (September 2019) with Flavio Bollag. Ana graduated from Lewis & Clark College in Portland, Oregon and received a Master of International Affairs from the School of International and Public Affairs at Columbia University in New York. She holds a graduate Certificate in Peacebuilding from the Rotary Peace Center at Chulalongkorn University in Thailand.
Itamar Cohn | Facilitator
Itamar Cohn is a co-founder of the EcoME Center – an educational center bringing together Israelis, Palestinians and internationals to research and learn about the connections of personal, social and environmental peacework and sustainability. He received his bachelor degree in outdoor education from Trinity University College, Wales.
Over the years he has experimented with outdoor education around the world. From the UK he led youth development expeditions to Latin America. While in Israel he worked as an instructor for an environmental education boarding school with teens and as a rehabilitation challenge course instructor for mentally challenged children. In the south of India he piloted an outdoor environmental education program with tribal children.
In the last four years he has worked as a wilderness instructor for Outward Bound in California. His paper ‘Indigenous ways – Fruits of our ancestors’ was published in the Journal of Adventure Education and Outdoor Learning. Itamar is currently studying for a master’s degree in Peace and Conflict Management, continuing to serve EcoME in an active role, living life in a simple ecological way and joining the Outward Bound Peacebuilding family.
Board & Advisors
Chien Lee | Chairman
Chien Lee is a native of Hong Kong and devotes almost all of his time to not-for-profit organizations. Mr. Lee served for 10 years as Vice Chairman of Outward Bound International, 10 years as Chairman of Outward Bound Hong Kong and is currently also a member of the board of Outward Bound Hubei in the People’s Republic of China.
Educated in Hong Kong, Switzerland and the United States, Mr. Lee received his B.S., M.S. and M.B.A. degrees from Stanford University, where he has served on its Board of Trustees, the Board of its Alumni Association and Stanford Health Care. He has also served on various of its Advisory Boards including that for the Graduate School of Business and Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies. Currently he is on the Board of the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences and Advisory Council of the Graduate School of Education. Mr. Lee has also been a Trustee of Phillips Academy, Andover, his alma mater. In his native Hong Kong, he is a member of the Councils of The Chinese University of Hong Kong and St. Paul’s Co-educational College and the Chair of CUHK Medical Centre.
Mr. Lee is non-executive director of Hysan Development Company Limited and Swire Pacific Limited which are listed on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange.
Frances C. Ashley | Vice-Chair
Frances Ashley has been an advocate for youth development and experiential education for over 20 years as a volunteer. Included among the national organizations with which she has been involved are Outward Bound USA (Chairman of the Board 2001 – 2005), Expeditionary Learning Schools, and Big Brothers Big Sisters of American. Currently she serves as a trustee/director of Outward Bound Global (UK), Outward Bound Center for Peacebuilding (Vice Chair), The Nature Conservancy (CT Chapter), American Friends of The Royal Foundation (Secretary), New England Science and Sailing Foundation, and the United Theatre of Westerly (RI).
Ms. Ashley’s career included sales and management positions in the hospitality and convention industry both overseas, with the Hyatt Corporation and Radio City Music Hall Productions.
Tom Glaisyer | Secretary
Program Director, Informed Participation Program, the Democracy Fund
Tom Glaisyer is the Managing Director of Program at Democracy Fund, an independent foundation that champions the leaders who defend American democracy and challenge our political system to be more open and just. Tom leads Democracy Fund’s Program Team and supports their grantmaking, strategy, and public education, and engagement related to their work on elections, governance and public square and the just and inclusive society project.
Previously, he led the Media Policy Initiative at the New America Foundation’s Open Technology Institute Tom received his bachelor of engineering and economics from the University of Birmingham, England. He holds a master’s of international affairs from the School of International and Public Affairs at Columbia University as well as an M. Phil and Ph.D from Columbia University’s Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, where he wrote his dissertation on the future of the public square. He also serves on the Board of Trustees of Friends Community School.
Australia and Amazonia. Bea was the COO and later Director of Grantmaking at the Christensen Fund, a San Francisco- based foundation supporting local and Indigenous stewards of biocultural diversity with regional programs in the African Rift Valley, Central Asia, Melanesia, Northwest Mexico, the US Southwest and the Bay Area, and a Global program which connected local communities to global processes around Indigenous Rights and Representation, Resilient Biocultural Landscapes, and Agrobiodiversity and Food Sovereignty. Prior to joining the philanthropic sector, Bea worked mainly with pioneering start-up and high growth companies including as Director of International Business Strategy at E*TRADE Financial and various positions at the Charles Schwab Corporation.
Bea is an OBCP alumna through its Developing Peace Leadership in the Wilderness course offered at Eastern Mennonite University’s Summer Peacebuilding Institute (SPI) as a joint effort with Outward Bound Baltimore. The course was part of a brief but impactful sabbatical in 2013 which also included a volunteer trip to the West Bank with Community Peacemaker Teams.
Born in The Philippines, Bea grew up in southern Mindanao, upstate New York, Hawaii and Tanzania. She holds a BSc (Econ) from the London School of Economics and Political Science, a Master’s of International Management from the Thunderbird School of Global Management, and a Ph.D. in Agricultural Economics from the University of California, Davis.
Senior Advisor, International Peace Institute
Youssef Mahmoud is Senior Adviser at the International Peace Institute (IPI) supporting the Africa, Middle East, and peace operations programs and serves as focal point on mediation policies and practices. Before retiring from the United Nations in January 2011, He was the Secretary-General’s Special Representative and Head of the UN Peacekeeping Mission in the Central African Republic and Chad (MINURCAT). From 2007 to 2009 he served as Executive Representative of the Secretary-General and Head of the UN Integrated Peacebuilding Office in Burundi (BINUB).
Prior to these assignments, he held several other senior positions, notably as United Nations Resident Coordinator in Guyana, Director in the UN Department of Political Affairs, and Head of the Office of the Undersecretary-Secretary-General for Political Affairs. Before joining the United Nations in 1981, Mr. Mahmoud was Assistant Professor at the University of Tunis. He currently teaches graduate courses at Columbia University and New York University on peacebuilding and post conflict policies in fragile settings.
Mr Mahmoud has focused his attention over the past two years on the post-authoritarian transitions in Tunisia, Egypt, Libya and Yemen and helped launch a regional forum for the exchange of knowledge, experiences and lessons learned among civil society leaders working in those countries. As focal point for mediation, he has provided strategic and substantive support to the Moroccan-Spanish initiative on Mediation in the Mediterranean region, launched at IPI in 2012.
Mr Mahmoud has a Master’s degree in American Studies from the University of Tunis and a PhD in Socio-Linguistics from Georgetown University, Washington, DC.
Executive Director, Outward Bound California
Michael D. Schwamm
Partner, Duane Morris LLP
Director, Rotary International 2020-2022, World Bank (retired)
Risk Management Advisors
Managing Partner, Adventure Analytics
Joshua Schiller MD
Attending Physician & Clerkship Director, Dept. of Emergency Medicine, Maimonides Medical Center