1st Boston Roundtable for Sport and Peace

The 1st Boston Roundtable for Sport and Peace

Building on the 1st Cape Town Sport and Peace Conference held on the occasion of the Cape Town, South Africa Marathon and World Peace Day in 2014, the 1st Boston Roundtable for Sport and Peace is dedicated to promoting awareness and visibility of sport as a means of building peace within communities, and for youth more specifically.

In the season of the Boston Marathon and the International Day for Sport, Development, and Peace you are invited to join us to promote sport and peace worldwide.  The event is free and open to the public, but advanced registration is required (details below). In an interactive format the Boston Sport and Peace Roundtable will address 4 key questions:

  1. What are the challenges young people face in navigating a world of increasing conflict and turmoil?
  1. What are the opportunities for communities of practice for Sport to address the challenges facing youth, communities, and nations?
  1. What can we learn from examples from around the globe of successful sport for social change and peace building initiatives?
  1. Cooperation and networking around the world: How can we jointly use Sport to create positive alternatives that celebrate diversities and counter violence and divisions?


When: Friday, 10 April 2015

Where: The Great Hall, State House, Boston

There is no cost to attend the event.  Please confirm your attendance by 6 April 2015 to:

Boston Roundtable Organising Committee Coordinator, Jessica Berns:

Click here for the Full Report on the 1st Boston Roundtable for Sport and Peace:

Full Report

The Roundtable will bring together stakeholders from the US and Africa to discuss the many ways sport can be used as a vehicle to build peaceful communities and social inclusion. The Roundtable will emphasize the creation of global links that can serve to empower young people through innovative programming and collaboration between schools, non-governmental organisations and federations.

Download the full programme by clicking this link:

5 April Panel speakers Roundtable Programme-

Confirmed Keynote Speakers, Chairs, and Panelists include:

Wilfried Lemke, (Special Message) UN Advisor on Sport for Development and Peace

Dimitris Kyriakides, (Special Message), Son of marathoner and Greek national hero Stylianos Kyriakides. Honorary citizen of the city of Hopkinton, Massachusetts,  and a Goodwill Ambassador of the city of Marathon, Greece.

As well as:

William N Brownsberger

William N. Brownsberger

An American state legislator who serves in the Massachusetts Senate representing the Second Suffolk and Middlesex District  which includes his hometown of Belmont, as well as Watertown, and parts of AllstonBrightonFenway-Kenmore, and Back Bay which are neighborhoods of Boston. He graduated  from Harvard College and Harvard Law School.  He was a Massachusetts Assistant Attorney General from 1992 to 1998. From 2007 to 2012 he was a member of the Massachusetts House of Representatives, and a candidate for the Democratic nomination in the 2013 special election. He is also a marathonertriathlete, and avid cyclist.

MIN Gert Oosthuizen

Gert C. Oosthuizen MP, Deputy Minister of Sport and Recreation of the Republic of South Africa.

Mr Gert C Oosthuizen has been a Member of the South African Parliament since 1987. He was appointed as Deputy Minister of Sport and Recreation by the President in 2004, a position he currently holds.  In addition Deputy Minister Oosthuizen has distinguished himself as a committed role-player in the international arena and was elected, amongst others, to the following positions: Vice-Chairperson of the UNESCO Fund for the Elimination of Doping in Sport in October 2009, Chairperson of the Third Session of the UNESCO Conference of Parties to the International Convention against Doping in Sport in 2011 and thirdly Chairperson, as the country’s representative, of the Thematic Working Group for Sport and Peace of the UN Sport for Development and Peace International Working Group (SDP IWG) in 2011 as well as Chairperson of the SDP IWG Executive Board in 2012.

Throughout his illustrious career in sport, Deputy Minister Oosthuizen has excelled as an exceptional leader, particularly in the fields of Sport for Development, Peace Building, Sports Tourism and Sport for the Environment, whilst consciously and tirelessly advocating for a Case for Sport.

Dr. Amr

Amr Abdalla, Ph.D.

Dr. Abdalla is the Senior Advisor on Policy Analysis and Research at the Institute for Peace and Security Studies (IPSS) of Addis Ababa University and the African Union.  From 2004-2013 he was Professor, Dean and Vice Rector at the United Nations-mandated University for Peace (UPEACE) in Costa Rica.

As the Senior Advisor on conflict resolution to KARAMAH (Muslim Women Lawyers for Human Rights), he contributes to KARAMAH’s effort to mainstream mediation in Muslim communities across the United States. He also founded Project LIGHT (Learning Islamic Guidance for Human Tolerance), a community peer-based anti-discrimination project.

Dr. Abdalla teaches regularly (face-to-face and online) at American University in Washington, D.C., University for Peace, University of Addis Ababa, and Open University of Catalonia. Both his academic and professional careers are multi-disciplinary.  He obtained a law degree in Egypt in 1977 where he practiced law as a prosecuting attorney from 1978 to 1987.  He then emigrated to the U.S. where he obtained a Master’s degree in Sociology and a Ph.D. in Conflict Analysis and Resolution from George Mason University.

Nora Baston

Nora Baston, Deputy Superintendent of Police, Boston Police Department

Nora Baston is a Deputy Superintendent in the Boston Police Department and a member of Police Commissioner Evans’ command staff.  She is currently the Community Engagement Liaison, overseeing the Neighborhood Watch Unit, Street Outreach Team, and coordinating various initiatives and partnerships to strengthen relationships with youth and the community.  A 19 year veteran, she has been a Deputy Superintendent since 2007, previously serving as Zone Commander of Area E and as Coordinator of the Safe Street Teams Initiative.  Prior to her appointment as Deputy, Nora was a Sergeant in District C11 (Dorchester) and a police officer assigned to District B3 (Mattapan).  She completed both her undergraduate and graduate degrees in Criminal Justice at the University of Massachusetts, Lowell.  In 2010 she graduated from the FBI National Academy.  As a lifelong Boston resident Nora Baston is committed to providing mentoring and support to inner city youth.

Jessica Berns

Jessica Berns has twenty years international experience, primarily working on issues of social inclusion, peacebuilding, governance, and anti-corruption. The majority of her work has taken place within the NGO sector.

Her areas of expertise include strategic planning, program design and implementation, partnership development, and strategic communications. She has a special interest in civil society network building, which she first developed as a Program Officer working with the Latin American chapters of Transparency International, the anti-corruption NGO in Berlin, Germany. More recently, as Program Director of Coexistence International, she facilitated the creation of a network of coexistence practitioners in West Africa, designed networking and capacity building programs for practitioners, and spearheaded the creation of practitioner and policy-oriented publications.

With an undergraduate degree from the University of Michigan in Spanish, and a Master of Arts in Law and Diplomacy from the Fletcher School at Tufts University, Jessica has spent much of her professional life working and living abroad, in Latin America, Europe, and West Africa.

Since 2011, Jessica has been consulting to universities, donors, and non-profits on program design, implementation, partnership development, and strategic communications. Follow her on Twitter: @jessicaberns

Cheri Blauwet

Cheri Blauwet, MD

Cheri Blauwet, MD is an Instructor in Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation at Harvard Medical School and an attending physician at Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital and the Brigham and Women’s Hospital. She also serves as the Disability Access and Awareness Director for Spaulding Rehabilitation Network.

She is a graduate of the Stanford University School of Medicine and completed her residency training  at Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital where she served as Chief Resident, followed by a sports medicine fellowship at the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago. Additionally, she is a former Paralympic athlete in the sport of wheelchair racing, competing for the United States Team in three Paralypmic Games (Sydney ’00, Athens ’04, Beijing ’08) and bringing home a total of seven Paralympic medals. She is also a two-time winner of both the Boston and New York City Marathons, and has been nominated for the ESPY Award, the Laureus World Sports Award, and Women’s Sports Foundation Athlete of the Year.  She is the Chairperson of the International Paralympic Committee’s Medical Committee and serves on the Board of Directors for the United States Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) as well as the Boston 2024 Bid Committee.

Bob Bigelow

Bob is a former NBA first round draft choice and played four years for the Kansas City Kings, Boston Celtics, and San Diego Clippers. He played collegiately at the University of Pennsylvania for Hall of Fame Coach Chuck Daly. He has devoted several thousand hours researching and lecturing about organized youth sports and its effects on children – and adults. Since 1993, he has conducted over 2500 talks and clinics worldwide. Bob has also been selected as one of the “100 Most Influential Sports Educators” by the Institute for International Sport at the Univ. of Rhode Island (www.internationalsport.com/top100Press.cfm) Bob Bigelow advocates meeting the needs of children as the top priority in youth sports programs, and provides new approaches for positive change in youth sports With the August 2001 publication of Bob’s book, Just Let The Kids Play, adults throughout the country are reflecting on how they can give youth sports fun back to the children.

Danielle de Rosa

Danielle de Rosa

Danielle joined the University of Connecticut as professional staff in 2012 after completing both her undergraduate degree and graduate coursework (Sport Management) at UConn.  Danielle spends her time between the Department of Educational Leadership (EDLR) and the Global Training and Development Institute (GTDI).  In her role with EDLR, she serves as an Assistant Director for Husky Sport, a community- campus partnership, and is responsible for creating professional development opportunities for staff working for the organization.  Husky Sport uses sport to connect with children and families in the North End of Hartford and provides programming around physical activity, nutrition, life skills and academic enrichment.  In her role with GTDI, Danielle is responsible for developing and delivering international educational and professional exchanges.  While each role varies in its daily activities and objectives, there are common threads of providing educational and professional development to students and practitioners who use sport-based youth development.

William P. Galatis

William P. Galatis

Bill has a wealth of business and philanthropic experience as an entrepreneur.  Bill co-founded, served as the CEO and now co-owns and serves as a Director of Watermark Donut Company, one of the largest Dunkin’ Donuts franchisees operating 40 units in the Downtown Boston area.  In 2012, Watermark Donut Company was selected by Dunkin’ Brands as “ The Operator of the Year.”

Bill began his career at PricewaterhouseCoopers and since then has held several senior executive positions with major companies including XTRA Corporation, Wang Labs, Garelick Farms and Watermark.  As a Dunkin’ Brands franchisee, Bill served on several key Franchisee Leadership committees, including the DDDCP Board of Directors and led successful efforts in Branding, Manufacturing, Marketing and New Product Initiatives.

Other highlights of Bill’s career include his tenure as the Executive Director of the Sports Museum where he co-created the signature annual fundraiser “The Tradition.” He currently serves as the Vice-Chairman of The Sports Museum, and is an active trustee with The Somerville Chamber of Commerce, Matignon High School and the Agganis Foundation.  Bill also served as the Executive Director of the Jerome Lyle Rappaport Charitable Foundation which funds programs that promote emerging leaders in public service and public policy at the Kennedy School, at Harvard University and Suffolk Law School. Over the years, Bill has served his community with distinction serving the Greek Orthodox Metropolis of Boston in various key leadership roles.  Bill was a founding member of the Winchester Foundation for Educational Excellence and his other major philanthropic activities included the creation of the Dunkin’ Donuts “Rising Stars” Initiative through the Jimmy Fund at the Dana Farber Cancer Institute and serving as a Trustee at Anatolia College in Greece.

Bill is an Adjunct Professor at Boston University School of Management where he teaches Business Management and Entrepreneurial Studies  Other interests include Board Work and Fundraising initiatives. Bill currently serves as a Mentor at MassChallenge.

In 2001, Bill was selected as an Ellis Island Medal of Honor Recipient for his contributions to humanity and his Greek heritage.


Nariman Laattoe

A lecturer, and holds an MPhil in Education (Adult Ed) degree from the University of Cape Town (UCT). She is currently the course convenor for core courses offered by Interdisciplinary Teaching and Learning Unit in the Faculty of Community and Health Sciences at the University of the Western Cape, a unit which is responsible for teaching interdisciplinary community-oriented core courses, co-ordinates service-learning in both rural and urban communities and provides inter-professional learning opportunities for health science students at UWC.  In addition Ms Laattoe is contracted to the Faculty of Education at UCT where she teaches Project Management, and Research Methods at various academic levels in the Department of Adult Education. She is currently the Chair of the Western Cape Network for Community Peace and Development and her area of expertise is located within the field of community development, effective communication, facilitation skills, leadership development and primary health care.

Robert Lewis, Jr.

Robert Lewis, Jr.

As President & Founder of both The BASE and The Boston Astros, Robert Lewis, Jr. is a seasoned civic, community and non-profit leader who has dedicated his life to making a difference in his hometown, the city of Boston. Known as a bridge-builder between Boston’s diverse business, civic and public sectors, Robert has deep experience with community-based organizations throughout Greater Boston, holding important leadership positions at The Boston Centers for Youth and Families (under Mayor Thomas M. Menino), The National Conference for Community & Justice (NCCJ), City Year, The Boston Housing Authority and The Boston Community Centers. Most recently, Robert was Vice President for Program at The Boston Foundation where he directed the distribution of $16 million+ in discretionary grants. While there, Robert was chief architect of two important initiatives: StreetSafe Boston which has a mission to dramatically reduce gun violence and CHAMPS Boston which promotes positive youth development through sports. Robert is a highly-sought after public speaker and facilitator on the topic of urban issues, working with foundations, non-profits and government and civic leaders in cities such as Los Angeles, New Orleans, Chicago, Philadelphia and Pittsburgh and New York. His reach extends beyond the U.S. as well: Robert has advised The Minister of Defense of Bermuda as well as Prime Minister David Cameron during the tumultuous riots in the United Kingdom in 2011. Robert has also been profiled in two books which celebrate leadership: 10 Who Mentor and Men Who Dare.


Mark Moniz

Mark manages the Soccer for Success program for ASB. In his role, Mark is responsible for establishing and strengthening partnerships with more than a dozen Boston Public Schools, Boys and Girls Clubs, and YMCAs. He trains and manages more than 50 coaches. Mark works directly with the U.S. Soccer Foundation and the American Institute of Research to strengthen the mentorship focus of the program.  Mark comes to ASB with a degree in Resource Economics from the University of Massachusetts Amherst.  After graduating in 2006, he worked for the San Diego Regional Economic Development Corporation supporting their partnership for the global economy project, which linked experts in six industries. Mark has played organized soccer for more then 25 years, and truly believes in the power sports have in creating strong communication skills and developing the individual’s ability to cope with adversity in a peaceful manner

James Morton

James O’S. Morton, Esquire

James O’S. Morton is the 13th President and CEO of the YMCA of Greater Boston. Prior to joining the YMCA of Greater Boston in 2015, James served as President and CEO of the YMCA of Greater Hartford where the Y experienced double digit growth in contributions; developed innovative programming; improved the membership engagement experience; and built many collaborative relationships.  He led a successful $15 million capital campaign and launched a new strategic plan to guide the work of the organization.

He also has a deep personal and professional connection to work force development and education having served as a leader to two work force development agencies and as an educator in the Springfield, MA public school system.

James earned a Bachelor of Arts in sociology from the University of Wisconsin and a Juris Doctorate from Northeastern University School of Law.  He is a current member of the Massachusetts Bar Association, serves on the Commonwealth of Massachusetts’ Board of Elementary and Secondary Education, and is a trustee of Springfield College.

Jim Nelson

Jim Nelson

Jim Nelson is the current Director of Athletics Emeritus at Suffolk University. Nelson retired as Director of Athleticsat Suffolk University in August 2013 after 47 years representing the University at the local Boston, regional New England and national National Collegiate Athletic Association levels.

He currently continues to teach at Suffolk in his course on the History of Sport and the Olympic Games while maintaining relationships with the National Association of Basketball Coaches as a Division III Congressman and with the Eastern College Athletic Conference as an Ambassador.  He has been elected to three Halls of Fame (1999) North Cambridge Catholic High School, his alma mater…where in 2005 he was named their Alumnus of the Year; (2006) the New England Basketball Hall of Fame as a contributor to the game and in 2013 elected a second time as an “Icon”; (2006) Suffolk University Inaugural Hall of Fame.  In 2010 he was the Great Northeast Athletic Conference Executive of the Year and in 2012 was selected nationally as one of four Athletic Directors of the Year by the National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics.

Melissa Otterbein

Melissa Otterbein

Melissa Otterbein is a Global Health Corps Fellow and Program Manager at The Grassroot Project (TGP), a Washington, D.C. based nonprofit that utilizes college athletes to lead sports-based HIV education in D.C. middle schools. Prior to TGP, she was an HIV Research Assistant at Johns Hopkins University, where she focused on linkage and retention to HIV care, ARV adherence and substance abuse treatment with patients. She has a background in Family Studies and Public Health and has been featured on the International Platform on Sport and Development. She is a triathlete and uses triathlon to advocate for women’s full inclusion in the Tour de France. She writes freelance and is currently working on a book called Letters to Future Sisters, a compilation of letters from women across the world sharing stories and dreams for future generations of women and girls. She is on Twitter at @motterbein and @futuresisters.

Rodrigo Stein

Rodrigo Stein

Rodrigo Stein is a Global Health Corps Fellow and Program Manager at The Grassroot Project (TGP), a Washington, D.C. based nonprofit that utilizes college athletes to lead sports-based HIV education in D.C. middle schools. Prior to TGP, Rodrigo worked as a Planning Coordinator for Manchester United Soccer Schools (MUSS) where he was part of the operations team. With MUSS he was responsible for developing a gender empowerment program for girls living in Mumbai slums. He was also a head coach for the Manchester United Foundation Street Reds Program, a program designed to offer young people the opportunity to play, lead and coach the game at a variety of levels. Rodrigo, holds a MSc. in Sociology of Sport from Loughborough University, UK and a BA in History and Political Science from Concordia University Montreal, Canada. He has played soccer at the university level in Montreal, and club level in the UK , Washington DC and holds a Level 1 soccer coaching qualification from the English FA.

Andrea Strimling Yodsampa

Andrea Strimling Yodsampa, PhD

Andrea Strimling Yodsampa is a social entrepreneur and social scientist with 25 years experience in government, civil society, and academia. Dr. Yodsampa’s expertise includes public-private partnerships, cross-sector collaboration, civil-military cooperation, strategic planning, and impact evaluation. She has played a leadership role developing methodologies and software tools for resiliency assessment and planning. She has lectured in the U.S., Asia, Africa, Europe, and Latin America.

Dr. Joshua N. Weiss

Dr. Joshua N. Weiss

Dr. Joshua N. Weiss is the co-founder of the Global Negotiation Initiative at Harvard University and a Senior Fellow at the Harvard Negotiation Project.  He is also the Director and creator of the Master’s of Science degree in Leadership and Negotiation at Bay Path University.  He received his Ph.D. from the Institute for Conflict Analysis and Resolution at George Mason University in 2002.

Dr. Weiss has created many innovative products, including a wide ranging audio book series entitled the Negotiator in You as well as a top of the iTunes charts podcast called the Negotiation Tip of the Week.  Dr. Weiss also worked for over a decade on a project in the Middle East called the Abraham Path, a long distance walking, hiking, and traveling route designed to inspire understanding, prosperity, and hope for humanity.  People from around the world come to walk together in the cradle of civilization, to meet people from very different cultures and traditions, to learn something new about themselves, others, and the world, and to serve the larger community.  He continues to serve on the board of the Abraham Path.

Eli A. Wolff

Eli A. Wolff

Eli A. Wolff is the co-director of the Sport and Development Project and Royce Fellowship for Sport and Society at Brown University in Rhode Island. Eli also directs the Inclusive Sports Initiative with the Institute for Human Centered Design based in Boston, From 2003 to 2006, Eli led a global effort to include provisions addressing sport and recreation within the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. For the last 10 years, Eli has been an active member of the of the global Sport for Development and Peace movement, and over the last several years he participated in the process to establish the International Day of Sport for Development and Peace (IDSDP) that was approved in 2013 by the United Nations General Assembly. Eli is on the Board of Directors for the United States Olympians and Paralympians Alumni Association as well as Partners for Youth with Disabilities. Eli is a graduate of Brown University and is currently pursuing his PhD through the German Sport University of Cologne. Eli was a member of the United States Paralympic Soccer Team in the 1996 and 2004 Paralympic Games.


Marion Keim Lees, DPhil, LLB

Marion’s academic and professional careers are multi-disciplinary, combining her passion for sport, peace building, community development and social transformation.  She holds a DPhil in Sport Science from the University of Heidelberg, Germany and a LLB degree the University of the Western Cape, South Africa. She is certified in Sports Law and Mediation and is an Advocate of the High Court of South Africa. In addition to her work as Associate Professor at the University of the Western Cape, she is co-founder of the Western Cape Network for Community Peace and Development.  Marion teaches internationally, she is the Training Advisor for Women for Peace and  the Chairperson  of the Foundation for Sport, Development and Peace. She sits on the Ministerial Advisory Committee for Sport and Recreation and a member of the Eminent People Group for Sport and Transformation for the Minister of Sport and Recreation South Africa. In 2014 she was appointed by the President of the International Olympic Committee as expert on the Commission for Commission for Culture and Olympic Education.

The Boston Roundtable counts on the support and collaboration of the Office of State Senator Karen Spilka  and Senator William Brownsberger and many local, Boston-based organizations, US, and international organisations.

Thank you to the following individuals and organisations from the US: Suffolk University, Boston Police Department,  Boston Sports Museum, YMCA of Greater  Boston, University of Connecticut & Husky Sport, Harvard University, Brown University, Georgetown University, Olympism4Humanity, DEPLOY/US Climate Initiative, Tufts University, Muslim Women Lawyers For Human Rights, Bob Bigelow, The Grassroot Project, America SCORES Boston, Dunkin Donuts and from Africa: the Africa Peace and Security Programme, Institute for Peace and Security Studies, Addis Ababa University, Ethiopia, the Peace Initiative Network Nigeria, the Western Cape Network for Community Peace and Development, South Africa and the South African Ministry for Sport and Recreation.

Thank you.