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Board of Directors

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PAUL COSTELLO

PRESIDENT, FOUNDER, CEO

President, Founder and CEO, Paul Costello is an educator, writer and recognized world expert and leader in the area of narrative practice. In addition to his role as founding director of The Center for Narrative Studies, he has also designed a number of training and leadership programs that use the power of stories for a transformative change, most notably as the architect behind the innovative narrative design of the 2000-2007, Washington Ireland Program. In 2008, when he retired from these intern programs, he received recognition from the United States 110th Congress and the Northern Ireland Assembly for his contribution to peace and reconciliation and for developing a powerful narrative way of peace-building.

 
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David B. Eason

VICE-PRESIDENT

David B. Eason is a Senior Project Manager for a local construction firm. Dave and his wife Terry have been involved for many years with various cross-cultural exchange programs. They have been host parents for Project Children, the Washington Ireland Program (WIP), the South African Internship Program (SAWIP) and the American Field Service (AFS), a high school exchange program. With David’s background in construction, skills can be taught to the interns so that a knowledge of new infrastructure and housing can be brought back home and put in place. Dave believes that rebuilding lives and homes is a key to a lasting peace in Israel and Palestine. He and his wife Terry are host parents to NSL students.

 
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Joyce Schwartz

TREASURER

Treasurer and Board Member, Joyce Schwartz, has been an active host mother for the Washington Ireland Program and the South Africa International Program as well as the NSL program. A teacher by profession, she has taught science, art history and cooking to children for the past 40 years, and has also co-authored several published biographies and science articles for kids. Since 1976, she’s been a school-tour docent, first at the National Museum of Natural History and presently at the National Gallery of Art. An active member of the Vassar Club of Washington, DC since 1973, Joyce was elected to several officer positions including a term as president. Joyce is also active in politics, serving for over 20 years as the Vice-Chair for the Democratic Party in her precinct.

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Gregory Robinson

SECRETARY

Secretary and member of the board, Gregory Robison, has served as senior manager in both new and established ventures in the financial, industrial and non-profit sectors. His work has taken him throughout the United States and various parts of the world, including Eastern Europe, where he was director general of an investment fund, and the Caribbean, where he was general manager of a manufacturing company. He has undertaken consulting assignments on economic development issues for the World Bank, the United Nations and other organizations in the Middle East, as well as for the Inter-American Foundation in various countries of Latin America.

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Ira Weiss

Ira is a neurophysiologist by profession now retired after 30+ years at Children’s National Medical Center in Washington DC. He grew up on the lower east side of New York City where he attended an Orthodox yeshiva. He then attended MIT and The City College of New York where he received his B.A. He received his Ph.D. in Physiological Psychology from Syracuse University after which he served a three-year post-doctoral fellowship in Sensory Neurophysiology at the Callier Center in Dallas, TX.
Ira helped found and run an NGO called Projects Encounter which, for four years, brought Palestinian and Israeli high school students to Spain for summer coexistence workshops. After that, he spent about a year developing a 16-hour adult education course called History of the Arab-Jewish Conflict: Parallel Narratives Never Meet, which he has taught in several venues in the Washington DC area

 
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Liane Dorsey

In her U.S. Foreign Service career, Liane Dorsey worked in places as diverse as Uganda, Scotland, Bulgaria, Pakistan, Turkey, Jerusalem, and the West Bank. As a Peace Corps Volunteer, she taught high school students in what-was-then Zaire, and she has also worked for the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees in Washington, D.C. Much of Liane’s work has focused on international humanitarian relief. At different times, she was responsible for U.S. government assistance programs aiding millions of displaced persons, refugees, and others in need in Pakistan, nine countries in East and Central Africa, and various countries of the former Soviet Union. Liane spearheaded the U.S. government’s humanitarian response to Syrian refugees in Turkey and was Senior Humanitarian Advisor in the State Department’s Bureau of Population, Refugees, and Migration. She has a BA in Political Science from Yale and did her graduate work at the Johns Hopkins School of International Studies.

In 2017, Liane launched an NSL sister program, RefAmerica, which brings together recently resettled refugees with local American counterpart volunteers and American host families. The goal of the program is to help promote a warm welcome for (and full inclusion of) refugees in America and to provide participant refugees with the tools to tell their stories and to help forge for themselves, their families and their fellow refugees – like generations of Americans before them – a new American story. RefAmerica is currently accepting applications for its 2019 summer leadership program for six to ten, high school-aged, Syrian refugees recently resettled throughout the United States through the U.S. Refugee Admissions Program, and a comparable number of American counterpart volunteers from Montgomery County, MD and nearby, local areas. Those interested in learning more, applying to the program, serving as host families, or otherwise becoming involved with RefAmerica are encouraged to email Liane at refamericafoundation@gmail.com