Judith Thompson, Ph.D. has a background in dialogue, reconciliation, community organizing, psychosocial healing, peace education, and leadership development. For over a decade she directed the award winning international organization, Children of War, Inc., which engaged teenagers from 22 war zones in peer empowerment processes to heal trauma and organize for social transformation.
She has helped to launch numerous other organizations including Global YouthConnect, Cambodian Living Arts, The Rwandan Youth Healing Center, The World Council of Elders and Earth Circles, Inc. Since 1999 she has co-directed, with James O’Dea, the Frontiers of Social Healing dialogue series funded by the Fetzer Institute and the Kalliopeia Foundation. This initiative has served as a theory building learning community for scholar-practitioners worldwide engaged in reconciliation, dialogue, restorative justice and trauma healing. She has facilitated dialogue in post-conflict settings, most recently between Israeli and Palestinian mental health workers around the process of acknowledgment.
Her research interests have included the role of empathy and compassion in reconciliation processes, and she has presented on this topic in Bosnia, South Africa, Germany, Colombia and the U.S. She is past Peace Fellow at the Radcliff Institute for Advanced Studies at Harvard and recipient of the International Peace Prize of the Dolores Kohl Education Foundation. Currently she is Research and Program Associate at the Karuna Center for Peacebuilding, a U.S.-based nonprofit organization that offers international training programs in conflict transformation, intercommunal dialogue, and reconciliation.