Our team below is behind the work at the Center for Emergent Diplomacy and without them, our work would not be possible. Even though we are currently small, we hope to expand in the near future as one of our newest programs comes online, hopefully sometime in 2021.

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Founder & Executive Director

Merle is a social change entrepreneur whose passion and practice is devoted to the application of nonlinear complex systems thinking to whole system change.  Merle holds a Ph.D. in Political Science from Emory University and has been a mediator, facilitator, and leadership trainer in conflict zones around the world. Merle received a research appointment as Guest Scientist and Affiliate of the Center for Nonlinear Studies at Los Alamos National Labs (LANL). At LANL, she and her team used the new Complexity Science to develop a computer model to explore how groups form collective identity for use in integrative peacebuilding and coexistence efforts. She led the planning group of civil society leaders at the United Nations’ launch of the Gross National Happiness Index. Merle is a member of the Global Advisory Board of the Human Dignity and Humiliation Studies network at Columbia University. She is a member of the Spirituality, Emergent Creativity, and Reconciliation Research Group at Saint Paul University in Ottawa, Canada, a visiting faculty at the Upaya Zen Center, and in 2012 she was elected a Lindisfarne Fellow. She is also a member of the Integrative Peacebuilding Network at the University of Ottowa. 



Manager of Engagement and Project Development

Sarah Meade considers herself to be a lifetime learner. No matter the job, she strives to grow her skillset as a group process architect, facilitator, organizer and strategizer, committed to supporting the adoption of inclusive and innovative community engagement and collaboration practices. In every role she works in, she supports the transformation of entities into more effective and authentic change agents. Over the past 6 years, she has worked with nonprofits, public service agencies such as AmeriCorps VISTA, businesses and federal governmental entities, either from within or in partnership. Much of her experience is in growing local cultural and economic vitality through the creative use and holistic valuation of land and resources, resulting in interconnected communities that are more resilient to the impacts of climate change and other wicked problems. Additionally, she has worked in the sectors of agriculture, marketing, and customer and food service.


Due to the nature of nonprofit work, Sarah Meade wears multiple hats throughout the workday and year at The Center for Emergent Diplomacy. At times she serves as the Chief Operations Officer, Strategy Manager, Marketing Director, Logistics Coordinator, Events Program and Content Manager and Manager of Partnership Development. Her broader role in the organization is the Manager of Engagement and Project Development.


Sarah is originally from Santa Fe, New Mexico and holds a bachelor's degree in Environmental Studies from Goucher College as well as Masters of the Environment with a focus on Sustainability Planning and Management from the University of Colorado in Boulder. She is driven by bringing people together to find common ground in order to overcome barriers and loves many activities such as salsa dancing, dreamwork, culinary and craft cocktail arts, outdoor adventures and learning about such things as how fungi are the “world-wide web” of any ecosystem.