Jessica Baen

Senior Facilitator; Facilitation Fellow, Spring 2018

Country of origin: USA

Date started with Soliya: 2012

Education and field of work: I'm a conflict resolution professional with experience in mediation, peacebuilding, conflict resolution education, and intercultural communication. I've conducted research in Timor Leste, India, Syria, Palestine, and Israel, and I've served as a Staff Research Associate at the Arnold A. Saltzman Institute of War and Peace Studies at the School of International and Public Affairs at Columbia University. I recently founded a new initiative, The Dialogue Experiment: Talking Through Red and Blue, that brings people in the United States together for political conversation across political divides. I have a BA in Religious Studies from McGill University and an MPA (Master in Public Affairs) from the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs at Princeton University.

One accomplishment you're proud of: I'm proud of the outreach activities I've conducted in my Brooklyn neighborhood to support the creation of a Hate Free Zone in which immigrants and minorities can depend on their neighbors for defense against deportation, bigotry, and violence.

What about Soliya inspires/motivates you to be involved? The moments when participants move from shyness and disconnection to connection, whether through humor, shared interests, or new understanding. 

What can you be found doing when not working/facilitating/training? Cooking, swimming, singing, and my hidden talent: juggling!

Favorite food: Is it Chinese roast duck? South Indian masala dosas? Or a picnic with crusty bread, cheese, and a crisp apple? Depends on my mood!