Advocacy Team

Carmen Olaechea
Carmen Olaechea (Argentina)

Carmen Olaechea has been working with the Latin American civil society for over 32 years, in NGOs, networks and in an international donor foundation. Her responsibilities have included: the design, development and supervision of projects and programs; knowledge and risk management and the promotion of networks. She has developed conceptual and strategic frameworks; led institutional change processes; designed and implemented collaborative learning architectures; evaluated local and international projects and managed risks at both operational and strategic levels. Her publications include two co-authored books on art and social transformation, and three children's books. Carmen is chairwoman of Fundación Cambio Democrático, an NGO specialized in dialogue and conflict transformation, member of the advisory board of Crear Vale La Pena, a leading Latin-American NGO in the field of arts for social transformation and co-responsible for IMPACT Learning Exchanges, and a member of ITAC knowledge sharing camp; digital learning Advisory Committee.

In addition, Carmen offers workshops on art and social transformation, sustainability and how to respond to a paradigm shift in Argentina, Spain, and Latin-American countries. Also works as an independent advisor to individuals, social, and business leaders and their organizations, helping them integrate new perspectives in their thinking and action. As an expert in sustainability, she accompanies individuals, organizations and schools in the development of programs for their transformation processes towards sustainability.

Cynthia Cohen
Cynthia Cohen, PhD (USA)*

Cynthia E. Cohen is Director of the Program in peacebuilding and the Arts at the International Center for Ethics, Justice, and Public Life at Brandeis University, and director of IMPACT – Imagining Together: Platform for Arts, Culture and Conflict Transformation. At Brandeis, she initiated an undergraduate minor in Creativity, the Arts, and Social Transformation. Cindy has written extensively on the aesthetic and ethical dimensions of conflict transformation, including the chapters "Engaging with the Arts to Promote Coexistence" and "Creative Approaches to Reconciliation." She co-edited and co-authored "Acting Together: Performance and the Creative Transformation of Conflict," a two-volume anthology accompanied by a documentary film and a toolkit of educational and training materials. She holds a PhD in Education from the University of New Hampshire, a Master's in Urban Studies from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and a BA in Ethnomusicology from Wesleyan University.

Lee Perlman
Lee Perlman, PhD (Israel/USA)*

Lee Perlman, PhD, is the Tel Aviv-based associate of Brandeis University's International Center for Ethics, Justice and Public Life. He served as a research fellow at the Tami Steinmetz Center for Peace Research, Tel Aviv University, which in 2017 published "But Abu Ibrahim, We're Family!" Lee is a leading thinker and social entrepreneur in harnessing the power of creativity and the arts for conflict transformation. He researches arts, politics and cultural policy and seeks to understand and influence how artists create social change and open dialogue in conflict zones and divided societies.

Lee has been active with the Ethics Center's Program in Peacebuilding and the Arts for over a decade. He is part of the leadership team and an executive committee member of IMPACT: Imagining Together: Platform for Arts, Culture and Conflict Transformation (ACCT), a worldwide collaboration to design and activate strategies to strengthen the arts, culture and conflict transformation ecosystem. He has been an active participant in the Acting Together on the World Stage community of inquiry as a co-contributor to the "Acting Together: Performance and the Creative Transformation of Conflict" (New Village Press, 2011), and in Acting Together conferences and events around the world.

Perlman has co-authored a number of research works and analyses of peacemaking and peacebuilding activities, informed by his practitioner experience as founder and director of the Israeli-Palestinian Encounters Unit of the Melitz Centers in Jerusalem, and has published articles and opinion pieces in the Ha'aretz newspaper, Moment Magazine, The Times of Israel, The Jerusalem Report and Sh'ma: A Journal of Jewish Ideas.

Perlman serves as president, board of directors of RECAST, Inc. Lee is a member of the steering committee of IRAC: The Israel Religious Action Center of the Israel Movement for Progressive Judaism. He served as chair, board of directors, of the Daniel Centers for Progressive Judaism, Tel Aviv-Jaffa and chair, artistic committee of ISRA-DRAMA, the International Spotlight on Israeli Drama Festival. In 2013, Ha'aretz named Perlman as one of "The 100 Most Influential People in Israeli Culture." He has previously served as executive director of the America-Israel Cultural Foundation and as director of grants and programs of the Abraham Initiatives, an organization promoting shared society and equality