Board and Staff

Board of Trustees

Mubarak Awad, President

Mubarak Awad is Founder and President of the Youth Advocate Program International, and Founder and Former President of the National Youth Advocate Program, which was established in 1978 and has served tens of thousands of children and families in the United States. He is also the President and Founder of Nonviolence International. He has dedicated his work and life to promoting non-violent action and advocacy for children. Born in Palestine, Dr. Awad was educated in the United States where he received degrees in sociology, psychology, and social work. He is an Adjunct Professor at The American University, in Washington, DC, and is an internationally recognized expert in the field of non-violent strategic action as well as a child welfare services practitioner and advocate.

Jack Healey, Treasurer and Secretary

Head of the Human Rights Action Center in Washington, DC, Jack Healey is a well-known leader in the international human rights movement. He served for twenty years as the Executive Director of Amnesty International USA, a role in which he produced numerous celebrity tours and music concerts, including the organizing of the first charity walkathon in the United States. Prior to that, Mr. Healey was the Peace Corp Director in Lesotho, in southern Africa, and Director of Freedom from Hunger.

Dr. Mary King, Board Member

Professor of Peace and Conflict Studies at the University for Peace of the UN, Mary Elizabeth King is also Distinguished Scholar at the American University Center for Global Peace, in Washington, D.C. During the Carter administration, King had responsibility for the Peace Corps, and she remains a special adviser to former President Jimmy Carter. King, an expert on non-violent strategic action in political conflicts, holds a Ph.D. in international politics from the University of Wales at Aberystwyth. Her book, Mahatma Gandhi and Martin Luther King, Jr: The Power of Nonviolent Action (1999, 2002), on nine contemporary nonviolent political movements demonstrates the influence of Gandhian principles. In 1988, she won a Robert F. Kennedy Book Award for Freedom Song: A Personal Story of the 1960s Civil Rights Movement (1987), an account of her four years working in the U.S. civil rights movement alongside the Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr (no relation). In 2003, she was awarded the Jamnalal Bajaj Prize, given annually for the advancement of Gandhian values worldwide. Previous winners of the Bajaj International Award include Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu of South Africa, Professor Sir Joseph Rotblat of the United Kingdom, and Professor Johan Galtung of Norway. In January 2004, she became Visiting Research Fellow at the Rothermere American Institute, University of Oxford, England.

Abdul Aziz Said, Vice Chairman

Dr. Said is the senior ranking professor at American University and the first occupant of the endowed Mohammed Said Farsi Chair of Islamic Peace. He founded the university-wide Center for Global Peace, which undertakes a range of activities, both on and off campus, aimed at advancing our understanding of world peace. He also is the founding director of the International Peace and Conflict Resolution Division at American University. Abdul Aziz Said holds a BA, MA, and PhD from American University.

Board of Senior Advisors and Consultants

The Youth Advocate Program International’s Board of Senior Advisors and Consultants supports and at times generates YAP International’s work. The Board represents a variety of backgrounds and experience that contribute to maintaining high quality programs and to the implementation of YAP International’s mission. Its members, as well as YAP International’s senior staff may, on agreed upon terms, be made available to provide technical assistance, consultation, and program development expertise to organizations and agencies worldwide. Contact us for more information.

Its members also facilitate communication with international organizations and NGOs and institutions of learning around the world . The membership is selected and appointed by the YAP International Board of Trustees.

Amr Ghaleb served as Head of the United Nations Youth Programme and as Head of the United Nations Family Programme. In that capacity he undertook all actions for the global management and implementation of the two Programmes. This included preparation of global advocacy events/meetings, evaluation of social programs and projects, formulating youth and family policies, plans and guidelines at all levels. He was also responsible for research analysis and synthesis, access to information on social issues, and providing timely analysis for intergovernmental bodies. Most recently, he has also served as an advisor to the Permanent Mission of the State of Qatar to the United Nations on social policy and human rights.
Azim N. Khamisa is Chairman, CEO and Founder of the Tariq Khamisa Foundation (TKF) and Sovereign Capital Markets, Inc. He is a successful international investment banker, advisor and consultant. Born in Kenya and educated in England, he currently resides in La Jolla, California. TKF was founded by Mr. Khamisa in memory of his 20-year old son Tariq, who was murdered by a 14 year old gang member in 1995. Mr. Khamisa reached out in forgiveness to the grandfather and guardian of his son’s killer,Mr. Ples Felix. Together, under TKF’s auspices, they have made hundreds of presentations to schools and other groups to help overcome the continuing cycle of violence amongst youth. Mr. Khamisa is highly regarded in his local community and nationally for his exceptional leadership in finding innovative solutions to prevent youth violence. He is the Director of the California Youth Advocate Program and delivers keynote addresses at a variety of local, national, and international venues. He was a guest at the White House on three different occasions. He recently participated in the Synthesis Dialogues held at the Pope’s summer residence with His Holiness the Dalai Lama. Mr. Khamisa is the award-winning author of several books including Azim’s Bardo—From Murder To Forgiveness: A Father’s Journey.
Bobbi Snow has been an educator focused on peace and social justice for over 30 years. She was a founder of Educators for Social Responsibility (ESR) . ESR’s initial work was in helping educators and youth address the escalating nuclear arms race. Bobbi extended ESR’s work internationally through complimentary programs in the former Soviet Union and Poland. Bobbi has taught at the university level including at the Harvard Graduate School of Education and at the Harvard Medical School of Center for Psychology and Social Change. She helped the Center become an important voice for social responsibility. Bobbi continued her work as a peace educator with various organizations consulting and developing programs in schools and in communities. Among her accomplishments is the creation of one of the first global warming high school curricula in the nation and arts based curricula for Middle Schools. Bobbi’s most recent and challenging venture has been to co-found a charter middle school committed to teaching at-risk students in Albemarle County, Virginia.
Christos Kyrou is the Director of the Program for the Analysis and Resolution of Asymmetric Conflict at the Center for International Relations in Fairfax, VA. His area of focus is Conflict Analysis and Resolution and he focuses specifically on insurgencies and social networks and environmental peacemaking . Christos received a PhD from State University of New York, College of Environmental Science and Forestry, an MEd, in Environmental Science from Syracuse University, and BA’s from Plymouth State University and the Technological Educational Institute in Thessaloniki, Greece.
F. Edward Sparks is the Executive Vice President of the National Youth Advocate Program. Previously, he enjoyed a distinguished career in the public sector, including two decades of service as a Director at Franklin County (Ohio) Children Services. Ed is a member of the National Board of the Foster Family-Based Treatment Association. He obtained his Master Degree in Social Work from Indiana University and holds both ACSW and LISWS certifications.
Lilian Peters is a Netherlands-based child protection consultant with a special interest in the plight of children in armed conflict. She has worked in the Netherlands for Pax Christi and Dutch Interchurch Aid and several years in the Middle East and North-Africa for the American Friends Service Committee, UNICEF, and the International Coalition to Stop the Use of Child Soldiers. She holds an MA in History and Communication from Erasmus University in Rotterdam, the Netherlands.
Michael Beer has been the Executive Director of Nonviolence International since the 1998. Michael is a global activist for human rights, minority rights and against war and casino capitalism. He has trained activists in many countries, including Burma, Kosovo, Tibet, Indonesia, Thailand, Cambodia, India, USA and Zimbabwe. He is a frequent public speaker on nonviolence and has been broadcast on CSPAN, CNN, and other major media. Michael is the co-parent of 2 children along with his life partner, Latanja.
Michael Nagler is Professor emeritus of Classics and Comparative Literature at UC, Berkeley, where he co-founded the Peace and Conflict Studies Program in which he taught the immensely popular nonviolence course that was webcast in its entirety as well as PACS 90, “Meditation” and a sophomore seminar called “Why Are We Here? Great Writing on the Meaning of Life” for fifteen years. He is the author of The Search for a Nonviolent Future, which received a 2002 American Book Award and has been translated into Korean, Arabic, Italian and other languages; Our Spiritual Crisis: Recovering Human Wisdom in a Time of ViolenceThe Upanishads (with Sri Eknath Easwaran, 1987), and other books as well as many articles on peace and spirituality. He has consulted for the U.S. Institute of Peace and many other organizations and is the founder and President of the board of the Metta Center for Nonviolence Education. Michael is a student of Sri Eknath Easwaran, Founder of the Blue Mountain Center of Meditation, and has lived at the Center’s ashram in Marin County since 1970. He gives workshops on Easwaran’s system of passage meditation around the world.
Susan Shepler is an assistant professor of international peace and conflict resolution at American University. She received a Ph.D. from the University of California at Berkeley from the department of Social and Cultural Studies in Education. Her ethnographic research is on youth and conflict generally, with a focus on the reintegration of former child soldiers in Sierra Leone. She has conducted research for UNICEF on transnational fosterage of war-affected youth in West Africa. She is the recipient of fellowships from the Harry Frank Guggenheim Foundation, The Institute on Global Conflict and Cooperation, and the American Association of University Women. She is the author of several book chapters and journal articles in the fields of youth studies, human rights, and African politics.
Taymur Ahmad has had a 17 year career with large corporations like Philips Electronics, Alcoa and Textron. He has managed manufacturing facilities in China, Poland, Brazil and Mexico. Most recently he was the VP of Operations for the Morey corporation in Woodridge IL, where he managed the manufacturing facility. Taymur has championed responsible manufacturing in low cost countries across the world. Taymur has been mentioned in many trade magazines and USA Today. He donates his time and efforts to the Youth Advocate International because of his deep concerns for the youth in developing countries. Taymur Ahmad also has a BSc in Mechanical Engineering and an MBA.



Mubarak Awad, President, see profile under Board of Trustees above
William Espinosa, Executive Director

For almost two decades Bill Espinosa served as counsel to the National Youth Advocate Program and its numerous affiliates, supporting their child and family services, advocacy for children’s right and management. Before and during that period Bill practiced law with a large international firm He then maintained a private legal practice focused on government procurement, nonprofit organizations and international transactions. He authored or coauthored numerous publications and spoke at professional conferences in the U. S. and abroad on topics such as the WTO Agreement on Government Procurement and the impact of US anti-terror regulations on NGO’s operations abroad. Bill spent several years at the Agency for International Development where he served on an interagency working group that managed foreign assistance legislation. He served as the legal advisor to the US delegation in the establishment of the multi-billion International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) and to a large earthquake reconstruction program. Subsequently, he served as a director and Executive Vice President of the Foundation for Global Broadcasting supporting its educational and humanitarian programs. Bill was the creator of a widely sold environmental board game. Bill is a graduate of Harvard College and the Georgetown University Law Center where he was Executive Editor of its international law review. He grew up in Colombia and is fluent in Spanish. He has worked extensively in Latin America and Europe. Bill has two sons and two stepsons and for many years served as a volunteer soccer coach.

Amr Ghaleb, Senior Policy Advisor and Program Director, see profile under Board of Senior Advisors and Consultants above