Staff Bios

Joseph V. Montville

is director of the Abrahamic Family Reunion, the Esalen Institute project to promote Muslim-Christian-Jewish reconciliation.  Montville is also Director of the Program on Healing Historical Memory at the School of Conflict Analysis and Resolution, George Mason University.  He is a Distinguished Diplomat in Residence at American University. Montville founded and directed the preventive diplomacy program at the Center for Strategic and International Studies from 1994 until 2003. Before that he spent 23 years as a diplomat with posts in the Middle East and North Africa and in the State Department’s Near East and Intelligence and Research bureaus. Montville has held political psychology appointments at the Harvard and University of Virginia medical schools.  In 2008, he received the International Society of Political Psychology’s Nevitt Sanford Award for distinguished professional contribution.  In 2011, Lexington Books published his edited volume History as Prelude: Muslims and Jews in the Medieval Mediterranean.

Vanessa Gomez Brake

works as Research & Events Assistant on the Abrahamic Family Reunion (AFR). Vanessa also works full time at Stanford University’s Office for Religious Life. In that role, she coordinates programs and events, which nurture spiritual, religious and ethical life within the university community.


Dulce W. Murphy

is a founder and was a director of the Esalen Institute Soviet American Exchange Program that began in 1980. Murphy then became the president and executive director of The Russian-American Center (TRAC) in San Francisco, a continuation of the same program. For the past twenty-eight years she has been on the cutting edge of non-governmental Russian-American relations.  In the spring of 2004, The Russian-American Center changed its name to TRACK TWO: An Institute for Citizen Diplomacy, that expands its mandate as a non-profit organization to include other countries, teaming up with our Russian colleagues to that end.   Track-two diplomacy involves non-governmental individuals and groups that aim to fill the moral and intellectual voids of official peacemaking leadership. TRACK TWO’s major goal is to re-humanize relations that are dysfunctional, working to make relationships better.

Tamar Miller

works with U.S. social change organizations and universities with a focus on the contemporary Middle East and the Abrahamic traditions.  Currently, she consults to the Abd el-Kader Education Project campaign on “true jihad” and is heading the strategic planning and implementation process with the leadership team of the Center for the Study of Jewish – Christian – Muslim Relations at Merrimack College in Andover MA. Tamar teaches in the Masters of Public Administration Program at Westfield State University in Western Massachusetts. There, with the large veteran population at the university, she is exploring the design of a program to promote involvement of returning U.S. veterans in people-to-people peace building.  This includes a social media radio initiative called PeaceBeat whose motto is … some good news, some of the time.  Tamar is also a member of the core team for the Leading Change Network at Harvard University, whose mission is to deepen the practice of social change organizing. Her practice has ranged from working with the Center for Contemplative Mind in Society; to crafting a parliamentary campaign in Kuwait; to strategic evaluations for the Fetzer Institute. Tamar was VP Education and one of three founders of American Higher Education, Inc. based in Cambridge, MA. and was Partner in Middle East Holdings, a business development firm in Boston and Dubai.  Beginning as Director of Leadership Development at Harvard’s Kennedy School, she then held the position of Executive Director of the Institute for Social and Economic Policy in the Middle East at Harvard.  She is active on the board of directors of the Parents’ Circle and the Israel Palestine Center for Research, and was on the founding Board of the Alliance for Middle East Peace. She holds B.A. in Philosophy and Judaic Studies, Master of Social Work from Yeshiva University, and a Master of Public Administration from Harvard University.

Carol Miskel

Carol Miskel began working with The Russian-American Center, now TRACK TWO: An Institute for Citizen Diplomacy, in 1997. She has helped coordinate conferences involving the former Republics of the USSR, and working with Esalen’s Center for Theory and Research helps coordinate projects co-sponsored with TRACK TWO. Since 2007, the beginning of TRACK TWO’s work with the International Abrahamic Network and the Abrahamic Family Reunion, she has taken a leadership role in outreach and development of projects in the United States and abroad. Previous to her work with TRACK TWO she was in the entertainment retail business, as well as entertainment marketing, promotion and publishing.