Staff

Eric D. Dawson
CEO and Co-founder
Eric has been with Peace First since its inception as a student-run program at Harvard University. He has been the recipient of numerous awards and honors, including the National Point of Light Award, the Youth Service America’s Fund for Social Entrepreneurs, the Echoing Green Fellowship for Public Service, the Ashoka Fellowship for leading social entrepreneurs, and Pop!Tech’s Social Innovation Fellowship. He received his A.B. from Harvard University, his Ed.M. from the Harvard University Graduate School of Education, and his M. Div. from Harvard Divinity School. 
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Bobby Jones
Chief Marketing and Communications Officer
As an entrepreneur, strategist and active participant in youth culture, Bobby has traveled the world engaging young people to better understand their values and passions, and turning those insights into innovative and award winning campaigns for leading global brands. In his current role as Peace First’s Chief Marketing and Communications Officer, Bobby is responsible for leading all marketing and communications efforts to help achieve Peace First’s vision to create a new social norm where millions of young people are prepared, empowered and committed to collaboratively solving the world’s biggest challenges with courage and compassion. 
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Meredith Hamilton
Chief Operating Officer
Meredith brings more than 15 years of leadership and management experience to her current role as Peace First’s Chief Operating Officer. She works with the team to develop, align, and execute Peace First’s strategy, while supporting staff and managing day-to-day operations. Prior to joining Peace First, Meredith was Executive Vice President & Chief Operating Officer at Italian Home for Children, Senior Vice President of Strategy and Operations at Jumpstart, and Vice President of Strategic Advancement at Jumpstart. In these roles, she led strategy development, annual planning and performance management, and internal operations. Meredith currently serves on the Board of Directors of the Massachusetts Alliance on Teen Pregnancy and previously served on the Board of Advisors of The Guidance Center in Cambridge, MA. She received her MBA from Harvard Business School and her BA in African American Studies with a concentration in Anthropology from Wesleyan University.
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Raul Caceres
Senior Program Director
Raul started his career as an engineer in the private sector. After receiving the Online Volunteer of the Year Award from the United Nations for his work in Sierra Leone in 2006, Raul changed his career to focus on the use of digital technologies to promote social change and justice. His work for the past decade has spanned 14 countries, multiple international and national non-government organizations and resulted in the creation of numerous innovative education and community-based social change programs. Raul received his BEng from the National niversity of Colombia and his MSc from the University of New South Wales in Australia.
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Farhat Jilalbhoy
Program Director
As a Program Director, Farhat Jilalbhoy supports the continued design, delivery and expansion of Peace First initiatives, including the Peace First Prize and the Peace First Challenge. In this role, she also works to build strong partnerships with critical aligned networks in the field to expand Peace First’s influence, reach and impact. Prior to joining Peace First, Farhat developed program strategy for the Rockefeller Foundation's energy and health initiatives, worked to scale education and employment programs for at-risk youth with YouthBuild International, and served as Peace Corps Volunteer in Costa Rica. Farhat has a Master's in Sustainable International Development from Brandeis University, and an undergraduate degree in International Affairs from the University of Mary Washington.
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Franklin Onuoha
Community Manager
Franklin comes to Peace First as the Community Manager, leading our community building and youth engagement work. He joins us from the MIT Media Lab, where he developed curriculum to teach coding and design to youth, professionals and adults. Before his time at MIT, Franklin served as Director of Technology for the Boys and Girls Clubs as well as time teaching in the Boston Public Schools. Franklin holds a Bachelor's Degree from UMass and a Master's Degree from Boston University.
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Renee Therriault
Finance and Operations Manager
Executive Assistant

Renee spent three years living in Belfast, Northern Ireland studying the post-conflict region. She is responsible for providing high-level administrative support and assistance to the President. She manages systems to keep the President organized, supports the President's strategic connection to Peace First staff and activities, and contributes to various projects across departments. Renee received her B.A. in Psychology at Providence College, and her MSC in Applied Psychology from the University of Ulster. 
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Dalton Bentley
Digital Media and Communications Coordinator
Dalton began his time with Peace First as an AmeriCorps VISTA working in both the programs and communications departments. He is now responsible for helping to design and implement the communications efforts of Peace First and manages all Peace First social media and websites. Dalton received his B.A. in Political Science from Vassar College. 
[email protected]

Imari Paris Jeffries
Senior Adviser
Imari began his nonprofit career at Jumpstart 17 years ago as an AmeriCorps Member, and has since served as Executive Director of Friends of the Children-Boston, the Director of Programs and Partnerships & COO for the Massachusetts Service Alliance, Program Director at BELL, Chief Operating Officer and Senior Vice President of Field Management and Policy at Jumpstart, and Chief Executive Officer of the Italian Home for Children. He is surrently supporting Peace First in an advisory role, working with the members of the Senior Leadership team. Imari holds a Master in Education, Master in American Studies and Bachelor of Arts in Africana Studies from the University of Massachusetts.
[email protected]


Board

Jonathan Mandle
Corrum Capital Management, Board Chairman
Jonathan Mandle is the board chairman for Peace First. He began working with Peace First in 2004. Jonathan is a Partner and portfolio manager with Corrum Capital Management. Previously, he was a portfolio manager at the University of California, Office of the Treasurer of the Regents and began his career as an analyst at Fidelity Investments. He currently serves on the board of Peace First, is an adjunct professor at the University of San Francisco, and is an Investment Committee member for the Silicon Valley Community Foundation. He received a BS and an MBA from Boston College and is a CFA Charterholder. Jonathan lives in the San Francisco Bay Area with his wife, Stephanie, and their three daughters.

Dr. Anousheh Ansari
Prodea Systems
Dr. Anousheh Ansari is a Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Prodea Systems. As she launched her company, she blasted off for an eight-day expedition aboard the International Space Station and captured headlines around the world as the first female private space explorer. She also earned a place in history as the first astronaut of Iranian descent, the first Muslim woman, and the fourth private explorer to visit space. Prior to Prodea Systems, Anousheh co-founded Telecom Technologies Inc., where she served as Chief Executive Officer and Chairwoman. Anousheh is a member of the X Prize Foundation's Vision Circle, as well as its Board of Trustees. She is a life member in the Association of Space Explorers and on the advisory board of the Teacher's in Space project. Anousheh earned a bachelor's degree in electronics and computer engineering from George Mason University, followed by a masters degree in electrical engineering from George Washington University. She received an honorary doctorate from George Mason, as well as Utah Valley University and International Space University. She is currently working towards a master's degree in astronomy from Swinburne University.

Wei Chen
Peace First Fellow
As a fifteen-year-old immigrant from China, Wei encountered daily hostility and harassment at his large south Philadelphia public high school. Realizing that it was the school culture and administration (rather than the aggressors) who were truly responsible for these challenges, Wei organized an eight day student boycott, which resulted in a new administration, new policies, and legislative change. He has built on this success through reaching out to other schools to help more young people organize for their rights. Currently, Wei is Asian American United’s Civic Engagement Coordinator, where he draws on his many years of experience as a youth leader and youth organizer. In February 2015, he was appointed by the Mayor of Philadelphia to serve as a Commissioner on the Philadelphia Commission on Human Relations. The Commission is mandated by the Home Rule Charter to enforce the Philadelphia Fair Practices Ordinance, which prohibits discrimination in the areas of employment, housing, public accommodations, and the provision of City services.

Gary Colen
AMP Agency
Gary is the CEO and President of AMP Agency. In his role, he guides the strategic development of all sales and marketing initiatives and is the driving force of the agency— responsible for longstanding partnerships with such high profile clients as Hasbro, The Food Bank for New York City and Maybelline New York. AMP Agency has been recognized for several other industry awards, including the Ex Awards, PROMO Agency of the Year, the OMMAs and the Reggies for stellar campaign work. Gary is one of the original founders of the agency, starting Triple Dot Communications and its consumer research division, Y-Access in 1995, where he remained a partner until they were acquired by Alloy in 2000. Gary stayed with Alloy for ten years as an SVP, running the AMP Agency business as well as sales across the enterprise until 2011 when Gary and other members of the agency management team reacquired all agency assets from Alloy. Gary also held positions in Advertising and Public Relations, with senior roles at Clark & Co, Collegiate Advantage and Cone, Inc. He received his Bachelor of Science Degree in Mass Communications from Boston University.

Rashida Jones
Actress and Philanthropist
Ms. Jones is a successful actress, well known for her roles on such hit television shows as Parks and Recreation and The Office. She has starred in several films including The Social Network, I Love you, Man, Our Idiot Brother, and The Muppets. She has participated in Stand Up to Cancer events, EDUN and ONE: The Campaign to Make Poverty History and The Art of Elysium's volunteer program, which runs artistic workshops for hospitalized children. In 2007, Ms. Jones was honorary chair of the annual Housing Works benefit, which fights AIDS and homelessness in New York City. She graduated from Harvard University in 1997 where she studied Religion and Philosophy. Ms. Jones is a resident of New York City. She joined the Peace First board in 2004.

Jesse Peretz
Film and Music Video Director
Mr. Peretz is a film, commercial and Grammy-winning music video director. His past projects include music videos for artists The Foo Fighters and The Roots, commercials for Nike, Ikea, and Sony Playstation, as well as the feature length films The Ex and Our Idiot Brother. He has led our advisory board outreach in New York City where he resides, and he also helps raise awareness of work in Los Angeles. Mr. Peretz is a graduate of Harvard University where he received a BFA and has been a longtime supporter of Peace First prior to joining the board in 2005.

LaVerne Srinivasan
Carnegie Corporation of New York
LaVerne Srinivasan became the Program Director for Teaching and Human Capital Management at the Carnegie Corporation of New York in the spring of 2014. She also co-founded FieroNow in 2012. Ms. Srinivasan previously served one year as the President, North America of Time to Know. Prior to joining Time To Know, Ms. Srinivasan was engaged in the design of a new non-profit educational initiative dedicated to making the U.S. a global leader in education through creating effective change across education systems, policy and practice. Ms. Srinivasan served as President of New Leaders for New Schools from 2006 to 2011 and was the Deputy Chancellor for the New York City Department of Education under Joel Klein. Prior to joining the education sector, Ms. Srinivasan was the Senior Vice President of Legal and Business Affairs and General Counsel for BMG Entertainment. She holds both undergraduate and law degrees from Harvard University. Ms. Srinivasan was elected to the Peace First Board in 2012.

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