Who We Are

International Board of Directors

The International Board of Directors is composed of:

  • Scott Hitch, President
  • Eduardo Stevens, Vice President
  • Kathie Stasko, Treasurer
  • Chuck Pugh, Secretary

Ecuador Consultative Board of Directors

The Ecuador Consultative Board of Directors is composed of: (L-R)
  • Jeff Pugh, President
  • Diana Palacios, Secretary
  • Monica de Contreras
  • Roberto Contreras, Vice President
  • Jack Rodriguez, Treasurer

Founder and Executive Director, CEMPROC - International
Dr. Jeff Pugh is the International Executive Director of CEMPROC. He is also Assistant Professor of Political Science at Providence College in Providence, RI. He earned his bachelor degrees in Political Science and Speech Communication from the University of Georgia, and his MA and Ph.D in Political Science and International Relations from the Johns Hopkins University. He received additional professional training from the International Institute for Mediation and Conflict Resolution (IIMCR) at el Instituto Tec de Monterrey, Mexico; the Baltimore Community Mediation Program; the Maryland Association of Community Mediation Centers; and others. He has authored two conflict resolution training manuals in Spanish, and has written articles on processes of international peace, sustainable development, environmental conflict, democratic participation and protest, and conflict in the migration field, several of which have received Best Paper recognitions. His doctoral dissertation received the Best Graduate Thesis of the Year award for 2011 from the Peace and Justice Studies Association. Jeff has served as a mediator with the community Mediation Program in Baltimore, and he has been a certified mediator with the Circuit Court of Baltimore and the Office of Dispute Resolution in Georgia. He has trained more than 2,000 adults and children from 10 countries in conflict management, peacebuilding, and human security, and he has given invited talks at the United Nations Interagency Framework Team on Preventive Action, FLACSO-Ecuador, Brown University, and other sites in the United States, Ecuador, and South Africa. Jeff has developed innovative international education programs to teach international conflict resolution at the university level at Johns Hopkins University, the University of Georgia, and Providence College. These programs employ a combination of classroom learning, discussion, simulations, service learning, and other strategies. In the past, Jeff served on the selection committee for the Delta Prize for Peace and Global Understanding, whose recipients included President Jimmy Carter, Archbishop Desmond tutu, President Mikhail Gorbachev, and others. He also worked as an intern in the U.S. Department of State. Currently, Jeff serves as the Vice-President and President-Elect of the Middle Atlantic Council on Latin American Studies. [Click here for full CV

Director, CEMPROC - Ecuador
Omar Rodriguez has been the Director of CEMPROC Ecuador since 2010. Before joining the CEMPROC staff, he was a facilitator of personal development in different parts of the country, working with the Fundación Holística Ecuatoriana. He is a certified mediator, trained by the Catholic University of Ecuador (PUCE). His higher education in integrated development comes from the Instituto Tecnológico Superior de Formación Holística. He has trained more than 1,800 children and adults in conflict management and peacebuilding skills across Quito and other provinces of Ecuador, and he has been interviewed several times in the national radio and television press on issues of school violence and conflict management.

Volunteers and Additional Staff
Maria Paz Davila, Teaching and Research Assistant in the Ecuador office

Any Stevens is the coordinator of CEMPROC's children's program in Cumming, GA. A teacher by training, Any has been extremely active as a volunteer supporting the Hispanic/Latino population in Forsyth County through educational and social service organizations and service. Originally from Chile, Any is married to Pastor Eduardo Stevens, and they have three children.


Lana Balyk, Program and Research Assistant
Rachel Koepsel, Program and Teaching Assistant
Emily Ginsberg, Program Assistant
Casey Morrison, Development and Program Associate
Dan Smith, Program Assistant
Maria Fernanda Paez, Program Assistant

Kristen McCaskey was CEMPROC's Program Assistant in Ecuador and was pursuing a Master?s degree in Conflict Transformation at the School for International Training. She also worked as a case manager for refugees and victims of human trafficking in her hometown of Philadelphia, providing orientation trainings for her clients. Kristen earned her bachelor?s degree in psychology and Spanish at Goucher College. Her professional goal is to be an agent for social justice and peace building.

Jeffrey Akomah was a program intern for CEMPROC in Ecuador. Before attaining a Joint Honours B.A. in Religious Studies and Political Science he had spent three months in India conducting research on inter-religious dialogue and the effects of social displacement. He has volunteered as a Community Development Officer in the village of Pomacanchi, Cuzco, Peru, and has also served as a youth rehabilitation facilitator for juvenile delinquents in Cuzco´s urban core. Seeking to attain his Masters in International Studies, Jeffrey wishes to transform the knowledge he has gained from his days as a professional actor into an exchange program that will train youth who are trapped in communities surrounded by violence in techniques for the peaceful resolution of conflict.

Alexandra Visser served as CEMPROC's Public Relations intern, focusing on improving its publicity and outreach strategies. Holding a Bachelors degree in International Relations and a Diploma in Roman Languages and Cultures from The University of Groningen in The Netherlands, she has much experience raising awareness for grassroot development causes. While specializing in International Order, Power, and Security she had organized a conference on sustainable development, and during 2006 and 2007 was a board member of TEIMUN (The European International Model United Nations) Foundation. Acting as its Public Relations Officer she organized a Model United Nations Conference that involved more than 200 students from over 40 different countries. Alexandra has a Masters in International Relations with a specialization on Identity, Culture and Development, and after her internship here at CEMPROC she aimed to complete another Masters in Humanitarian Relief.

Karoline Popp was the program intern for CEMPROC in Ecuador. Originally from Germany, Karoline completed high school at the United World College of South East Asia (UWCSEA) in Singapore, an international school dedicated to promote peace and understanding among young people from a wide spectrum of cultural backgrounds. During her time at UWCSEA Karoline was involved in social service and various student activist groups, including the founding of "Initiative for Peace". She helped to organise and run "Focus on Kashmir", the initiative's first peace conference for young people from India and Pakistan. Karoline went on to read Geography at Oxford University (UK), attaining a first class degree and the top mark of her year in 2006. She also won a university prize for her undergraduate dissertation on the topic of borderspaces and immigration at the Strait of Gibraltar. Karoline's interests revolve around political geography, peace and conflict, and migration. A six-month internship in the migration policy division of the International Organization for Migration in Geneva (Switzerland) allowed her to explore aspects of international policy making in the field of migration. Her internship at CEMPROC was an important step on her way to pursuing conflict management and mediation professionally. After leaving CEMPROC, she commenced a Masters Degree in Dispute and Conflict Resolution at the School of Oriental and African Studies (London, UK).

Contact us for more info

Dr. Diana Palacios
Former Commissioner for Mediation and Conflict Resolution, Defensoria del Pueblo del Ecuador

Dr. Edward J. Larson
Pulitzer Prize winner, Professor of History and Law at the University of Georgia

Dr. Salomon Cabezas
Bishop of the United Methodist Church of Ecuador, former Vice-Rector of the Central University of Ecuador

Dr. Brenda Vanegas
Mediation Coordinator, Committee for Cooperation with the Interamerican Commission on Women (CECIM) and author of Human Rights and Gender Equality in Mediation

Dr. Fabiola Cuvi
Director of the Ecuadorian Institute for Women's Research and Training (IECAM), a UN Focal Point; former Ecuadorian Undersecretary in the Ministry of Health,

Dr. Fausto Sarmiento
University of Georgia Dept. of Geography