Who We Are

Board of Directors
Dena Hawes

Dena Hawes, PHD

Dena is the Founder and Executive Director of HCRC. She has over twenty years of experience in professional research, administration, financial management, supervision, and fundraising with domestic and international nonprofits, non-governmental agencies and universities, and has held leadership roles with six domestic and international nonprofits, starting in 1995. Dena was a Professional Development Fellow with the Institute for International Education conducting Conflict Resolution and Security research in the Republic of Georgia. She is also a multimedia visual artist, and has taught courses in sculpture and performance art, contemporary art issues, professional development, and conflict analysis and resolution at the university level for five years. Dena is the author of a book entitled: Why Art Matters: Artists and Peacebuilding, VDM Verlag Publishing House. USA, UK, Germany, 2009, a book that explores and explains the contributions that artists and visual creativity have made to the field of conflict resolution and reconciliation. She also wrote a book chapter entitled “Suzanne Lacy: Oakland Projects”, Artistic Bedfellows: Histories and Conversations in Collaborative Art Practice, Eds Holly Crawford, Rowman & Littlefield, 2008. Dena earned a Bachelor’s degree from Indiana University, a Master of Fine Arts degree from University of California, Santa Barbara, and a Masters and Doctoral degree from the Jimmy and Rosalynn Carter School for Peace and Conflict Resolution, George Mason University, Arlington, VA. (Doctoral degree, 2007.)

Christel Gopin, CPA, CFE, CGFM

Christel has over twenty-five years experience working with various stakeholders at the government, business, and non-profit level, providing expert guidance and recommendations, as well as conducting various types of audits and investigations into billions of dollars for state and local governments, which included a range of federal programs. She has implemented methods, standards, laws and regulations, policy, and procedures to improve efficiency and effectiveness, monitoring, compliance, and human relations. Christel has worked in a variety of complex work settings with individuals and groups to promote the cooperation necessary for the timely production of quality work products, and to build positive working relationships within teams and organizations. As a trainer and workshop facilitator, Christel has instructed hundreds of participants in a broad range of continuing education courses for professional development. Currently, she is the founder and Executive Director of Gopin Associates, LLC, specializing in training and consultancy. She is also the honorary Development Director of the Center for World Religions, Diplomacy and Conflict Resolution (CRDC) at George Mason University, Arlington, Virginia, where she works on the development of American peacebuilding projects, including the Police Officer Peacebuilding Project, and the Peace, Reconciliation and Atonement Commission of Charlotte, North Carolina, which is being housed at CRDC. 

David J. Emerson Young

David was the founder of Young & Laramore Advertising, and had thirty years of professional experience as their CEO and Creative Director. His advertising and marketing work included branding of companies and products through television, radio, magazine, newspaper print and billboards. Young & Laramore received hundreds of awards in competitive national advertising shows, and were frequently featured in industry publications. David has always been an artist and works in painting, drawing, site-specific sculpture, and public art. He is currently finishing a painting series focused on climate change: the causes, effects on nature, and after effects on humans.

Lead Facilitator

Marc Gopin, PHD

Marc is the James H. Laue Professor at the Jimmy and Rosalynn Carter School for Conflict Analysis and Resolution at George Mason University, Arlington, Virginia, and Founder and Director of the Center for World Religions, Diplomacy and Conflict Resolution (CRDC). Marc has trained thousands of people worldwide in conflict resolution strategies for complex conflicts, with a particular focus on effective psychosocial and ethical responses to complex situations of conflict. He has consulted on conflicts inside major companies, as well as between adversaries in destructive conflicts domestically and globally. He has published seven books, and has appeared on global media outlets, such as CNN and the Jim Lehrer News Hour, and has published in the International Herald Tribune among others. His Healing the Heart of Conflict: Eight Crucial Steps to Making Peace with Yourself and with Others (revised and updated, 2016) has become the basis of conflict resolution training in several countries. He has worked on peacebuilding in Israel, Palestine, and Jordon for 30 years and supports peacebuilding and women’s empowerment in Syria for the past 17 years

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