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.
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.
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.
Chief Program and Technology Officer
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 University of Colombia and his MSc from the University of New South Wales in Australia.
Since 2010, Jenny has been working with nonprofits supporting children and families experiencing social injustice. She has helped to design, leverage funds for, and implement activities in a range of settings, from public high schools, to a center for street-children in Morocco, and community-run after school clubs for refugee children in London. She has a B.A. in European Studies from the University of Bath (UK), is a certified ESL teacher and holds graduate qualifications in Nonprofit Management and Child and Adolescent Psychotherapeutic Counseling.
Finance and Operations Manager
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.
Digital Media and Communications Manager
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.
Kelsey supports the planning and implementation of Peace First initiatives. Previously, she worked in the peacebuilding sector in Northern Ireland, facilitating programs for children, young people, and adults at the Corrymeela Community, where she also contributed to the integration of environmental sustainability into programmatic work. She received her MPhil in Conflict Resolution and Reconciliation from Trinity College Dublin, and her BA in Peace and Conflict Studies from UC Berkeley.
Dr. Anousheh Ansari
Prodea Systems, Board Chair
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.
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 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.
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.
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.