The Founder's Corner
The Founder's Corner
Eric and Tatiana
What is the Founder's Corner?

After 30 years of leading Peace First, our Co-CEO and co-founder is stepping down from his role to make room for a new wave of leadership to take the organization into its new phase of growth, impact and development. 

This section of the Peace First website is not just dedicated to him and his legacy, but to the legacy and contributions of a vast community of founders, supporters and peers who helped make the organization what it is today. We could never be able to honor Eric and his tremendous contributions to Peace First without honoring them too. 

We hope that this page will serve as an invaluable resource for Peace First's institutional memory, and a keepsake for our new leaders and those who will one day follow in their footsteps.

Moment of Obligation

We all face moments of obligation in our lives. Times when we can no longer sit back and let things be as they are.  Moments when we take a stand, join a cause, speak up in order to live our values.  When we are called to be part of something larger and greater, when our language shifts from “somebody ought to,” to “I am going to”.  When we say yes, I will. 

These moments often involve sacrifice and risk – personal, professional, financial – and can be difficult to explain.  They aren’t accompanied by soaring speeches or fireworks.  They don’t involve grand titles or swearing-in ceremonies.  They involve the silent “yes” inside our hearts and spirits and require the daily commitment to live with conflict, messiness and uncertainty.

My moment of obligation began nearly 30 years ago when I first met Francelia Butler.

The Founders' Fund
eric, francelia and co-founders

As Eric enters his final stretch at Peace First, a group of long-term, committed funders have stepped forward to launch a Founders Fund to celebrate his three decades at Peace First and to set up the next team of Co-CEOs with resources critical for their success.

Read How Peace First is moving the apostrophe to honor all those who contributed to founding different chapters of the organization's story, and how you can celebrate and support them too.

Support the Founder's Fund
Founder's Corner Docuseries
Founder's corner



In our Founder's Corner series, our CEO and co-founder, Eric Dawson, shares the evolutionary story of Peace First through a series of conversations with our community of leaders and young people!

Watch the episodes now!

Share Your Peace First Story
Meet our Co-CEOs

Isaac Cudjoe

Co-CEO Storytelling & Fundraising

Isaac is a Ghanaian-American community organizer, social entrepreneur, and peace-builder who recently completed his doctorate in public policy and administration. “As a young change maker, I dreamed of finding a community of like-minded individuals who saw the world urgently needed collaborative problem solvers. Like many young people around the world, I've found that community at Peace First, so this opportunity is nothing short of an honor. I believe, trust, and value this team,” he said. Prior to joining Peace First, Isaac served as the Director of the Center of Social Change for Walden University in Maryland, USA.


Xochilt Exué Hernández Leiva

Co-CEO Programs & Technology

Xochilt, a Nicaraguan-Colombian anthropologist and educator, has facilitated numerous leadership programs in Nicaragua, Colombia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, among other countries. Prior to joining Peace First, she was the Vice President of the Central American Women’s Fund’s Board of Directors. 

“I grew up as a young woman who wanted to see a change in the world but didn't know how to start. My journey as a young changemaker started with a community that not only believed in me but encouraged me to believe in my own power to grow, learn and amplify my contribution to social change. My call is to pay it forward to those new generations of young changemakers who are dreaming of, and leading change today, not someday. I am blessed to start this journey with such an extraordinary leader as Isaac and the amazing Peace First community.”