Board of Directors
Board of Directors
Following are members of our Board in alphabetical order by last name.
Bob Blackstone is a founder and coordinator of the Sacramento IONS Community Group (SacIONS), and a founding member of the Institute’s original Stewardship Council and subsequent Member Council. His many graduate degrees include Bachelor of Divinity and Master of Theology from Princeton Seminary, Masters and PhD in Political Science from USC, with a double major in Asian Studies.
Richard Cohn founded Beyond Words Publishing in 1983. He has worked with many first-time authors and projects like “The Secret” and “Hidden Messages in Water”, establishing a reputation for producing inspiring, high-quality books that can help make a difference in the lives of millions of readers.
Harriet M. Crosby
Harriet M. Crosby is Co- Founder and President of (ISAR), an Initiative for Social Action and Renewal in Eurasia, supporting grassroots environmental activism in the former Soviet Union. Trained in psychology at the C.G. Jung Institute in Zurich, she currently serves on the boards of Friends of the Earth, Institute for Deep Ecology, 20/20 Vision, and Taxpayers for Common Sense, ISAR and IONS.
Mica Estrada, PhD, received her doctorate in social psychology from Harvard University. Her area of expertise is social influence, including the study of forgiveness, intergroup relations and integrative education. As a research scientist at California State University, San Marcos, she designs and empirically tests interventions that change individual behavior, social norms and community consciousness.
Elizabeth "Betsy" Gordon
Elizabeth (Betsy) Gordon, was introduced to IONS through the “Meeting of the Elder” conference sponsored by IONS and held at the Fetzer Foundation conference center in Michigan. She has studied with Angeles Arrien, Stanislav Grof, and Ralph Metzner. A certified Grof Breathworker, she has been active in the field of transpersonal psychology, which involved participation in conferences in Prague, Killarney and the Soviet Union.
Valentine Giraud-Robben was born and raised in Brazil. Her professional career began with ABN Amro Banco Real Bank, in the team of education and sustainable development. After graduating, she went to live and work in India for an NGO located in the Rajasthan, dedicated to rural development. She also joined Planet Finance, an international NGO focused on building bridges among microfinance institutions locally, regionally and internationally. She currently resides in Amsterdam.
Jim Jensen is the co-founder and managing partner of Mara Gateway Associates, L. P., a privately owned real estate investment company. He is also co-managing partner of Stronghurst, LLC, which provides advisory and financial services to emerging growth companies. He and his wife, Jeri, reside in Bellevue, Washington.
Azim Khamisa is an inspiration. Hailed by dignitaries such as the Dalai Llama, Bill Clinton and Al Gore, Azim delivers his inspirational message to a world in desperate need of forgiveness, peace and hope. Following the murder of his only son Tariq in 1995 through a senseless, gang-related incident, Azim chose the path of forgiveness and compassion rather than revenge, and this amazing choice led to the establishment of the Tariq Khamisa Foundation (TKF) and the subsequent forgiveness movement which has reached millions. A renowned international speaker, Azim has spoken to audiences of adults, juveniles and children, ranging from small schools, to large corporations, to audiences into the thousands, including – on the occasion of a rally in Washington DC in 1996 – a crowd of 300,000. A recipient of 60 prestigious regional, national and international awards, Azim’s focus remains on his vision of a peaceful, non-violent world where adults and children alike make empowering choices. Azim has authored three books including the award-winning From Murder to Forgiveness, and the Random House book The Secrets of the Bulletproof Spirit, coauthored with Jillian Quinn.
For over 15 years, Claire Lachance has delivered comprehensive management consulting, facilitation, and coaching services to nonprofit and public sector organizations, foundations, and social entrepreneurs throughout California and beyond. Claire brings a rare combination of robust business acumen and holistic, multi-disciplinary perspectives that greatly enrich client engagements, leading to transformative, long-lasting results.
Stacey Lawson, Chair of the Board is co-founder of the Center for Entrepreneurship and Technology at U. of California at Berkeley. An active investor in technology/ sustainable development and social enterprise, she is also executive chair of Chelsey, Henry Inc., sits on the board of CDS, Social Fusion, Dragonfly Media and the Organic School Project. She is currently writing a book “The Inner Master: A Path to Mastering the Self and the World.”
Calvin Lehew is a pilot, real estate developer, lifelong visionary, “imagineer” and former owner of “The Factory At Franklin,” an eclectic shopping and learning center. He has been President of the Williamson County Chamber of Commerce, co-founder of the Downtown Franklin Association, President of the Natchez Trace Parkway Association just to name a few. He served on the President’s Commission on White House Fellowship and is an animal rights supporter and leader in his community. He is also a motivational speaker and author of Manifesting Dreams and Flying High. He lives with his wife and dog, Rusty, in Franklin, Tennessee.
Monica Pal Chief Marketing Officer, Aerospike, Inc. Engineer, entrepreneur, creative and strategic thinker, Monica has over two decades of experience in engineering & technology marketing in communications and collaboration, security and middleware at big companies, startups and open source companies. ‘I was an engineer for ten years, starting in Apple’s pioneering collaboration products team where we shipped the first unified messaging and secure email system’ At enCommerce, a web security startup, Monica was in charge of product and corporate marketing from early days to a successful acquisition by Entrust, where she ran corporate communications. Next, she co-founded LignUp, a voice-over-IP app server company, ran marketing and oversaw engineering.
Michael Potts is managing partner of Advance Wave Partners, an investment partnership supporting teams and innovations that strengthen authentic bonds between buyers and sellers. Previously, Michael was CEO of Rocky Mountain Institute, an energy "think-and-do-tank" dedicated to speed our shift to a new energy economy, and American Fundware, maker of financial software for non-profit organizations.
Paulina Temple received her B.A. in Psychology from UCLA in 2011, with an emphasis on the interconnectedness of the brain and body. She studied Health Psychology, Social Psychology, Motivation Psychology, Learning Psychology, Abnormal Psychology, Psychology of Interpersonal Relationships, amongst others. During her time at UCLA, Paulina also served as an independent Research Assistant, investigating topics such as the relationship between anxiety and learning capacity, and the roles of meditation and stress in extended human capacities. Graduating at the top of her class, Paulina now dedicates her life to helping others overcome mental, physical, and spiritual challenges.
Cassandra Vieten, PhD
Cassandra Vieten, PhD, is President and CEO of the Institute of Noetic Sciences and a scientist at the Mind-Body Medicine Research Group at California Pacific Medical Center Research Institute. Dr. Vieten, a licensed clinical psychologist, has been with IONS since 2001, previously serving as its Executive Director of Research. More...
Claudia’s projects are at the nexus of consciousness, technology, human-earth energetics, and social change. She’s an advisor to IONS Innovation lab, is cofounder and Chair of the Invest in Yourself program at Nexus Global Youth Summit , and is on the steering committee of the Global Coherence Initiative, the Gaiafield Project Council, and the Foundation for Conscious Evolution board. She’s a partner in an R&D company using a globally patented laser system to generate new types of coherent waveforms. Claudia’s been part of IONS since 1995 when Willis Harman invited her to join a 5-year inquiry while she was director of the University of California, Berkeley Center for Executive Development, building strategic learning programs and pioneering sustainability curriculum for global business.
George Zimmer is the Founder of The Men's Wearhouse, Inc. He opened the first Men's Wearhouse in 1973 in Houston. The company now operates over 650 stores with $1.3 billion in sales. Under Zimmer's leadership, the company has become the largest retailer of men's tailored suit and dress casual clothing in the U.S. and Canada and has been included in Fortune's "The 100 Best Companies to Work For" list since 1999.