Marc Gopin is the Director of the Center for World Religions, Diplomacy and Conflict Resolution (CRDC), the James H. Laue Professor at the School for Conflict Analysis and Resolution at George Mason University, Arlington, Virginia. Gopin has pioneered projects at CRDC in Afghanistan, Iran, Syria, Palestine and Israel. Gopin directs a unique series of overseas educational and practice experiences ranging from conflict and peace intervention in Palestine and Israel, to support for Syrian activists and refugees in Turkey and Jordan, to pioneering educational classes in the Balkans and Northern Ireland. The classes are open to all for either a certificate or credit.
Gopin has trained thousands of people worldwide in peacebuilding strategies for complex conflicts. He conducts research on values dilemmas as they apply to international problems of clash of cultures, globalization and development, and social justice. The direction of his new research and teaching investigates the relationship between global trends in nonviolence and new approaches to global conflict resolution. His fifth book, Bridges Across an Impossible Divide: the Inner Lives of Arab and Jewish Peacemakers (Oxford, 2012), explores the role of self-examination in the resolution of human conflict as portrayed in the lives and testimonies of indigenous peacemakers.
Gopin has engaged in back channel diplomacy with religious, political and military figures on both sides of conflicts. He has appeared on numerous media outlets, including CNN, CNN International, Al Jazeera English, Al Jazeera Arabic, Al Arabiyah, The Jim Lehrer News Hour, National Public Radio, Voice of America, and the national public radios of Sweden and Northern Ireland. He has been published in numerous publications, including the International Herald Tribune, the Boston Globe, the Christian Science Monitor, and his work has been featured in news stories of the Times of London, The Times of India, Associated Press, and Newhouse News Service. He received a Ph.D. in ethics from Brandeis University in 1993. He was also ordained as an Orthodox rabbi at Yeshiva University in 1983, although he eventually stopped identifying with any Jewish denomination. In recognition of Gopin’s work and dedication to the hard work of peacemaking, take a moment to reflect on his words:
“The fact is that it is easy to demonize, it is the lazy primitive brain’s way out of stress. It takes work to see good and bad existing side by side…I will never again assume that if someone is from a victim group that they have an evolved moral mind, and I will never again assume that education has anything to do with empathy, balance, and the capacity for making peace between enemies.”