Kreddha works with specialists on a need basis, engages a variety of scholars and practitioners in all its projects and cooperates with academic institutions around the world. Kreddha’s staff is supported by Kreddha’s Advisors and Board Members.
Michael van Walt van Praag, executive president and co-founder
Miek Boltjes, director for dialogue facilitation and co-founder
Julie Berriault, project director and senior associate
Jan Lustig, financial administrator
Donia Torabian, intern
Michael van Walt van Praag
Michael van Walt is a mediator and advisor in intrastate peace processes, an advocate for rights of peoples and minorities and a professor of international law and international relations. He has made his passion for the need to alleviate suffering caused by injustice, violent conflict and oppression his life-long career.
Michael has facilitated peace processes and advised parties engaged in such processes in Africa, Asia, the South Pacific and the Caucasus. He is an international lawyer by training and served as UN Senior Legal Advisor to the Foreign Minister of East Timor, Dr. Jose Ramos Horta, during the country’s transition to independence as part of UNTAET. He was appointed Visiting Professor of Modern International Relations and International Law at the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, where he served on the faculty of the School for Historical Studies from 2011-2015. From 1991 to 1998 Michael served as General Secretary of the Unrepresented Nations and Peoples Organization, headquartered in The Hague. Previously he practiced law, including public international law, with the law offices of Wilmer, Cutler & Pickering in Washington D.C. and London (now known as Wilmer-Hale) and of Pettit & Martin in San Francisco.
Michael graduated in law from the University of Utrecht, where he also obtained his doctoral degree in Public International Law, and he has held visiting teaching and research positions at Stanford, UCLA, Indiana, Jawaharlal Nehru University, the Golden Gate University School of Law, and the Università di Roma Sapienza. He has authored and edited books and articles on a variety of topics related to intrastate conflict and to relations of peoples and minorities with states, including Mobilizing Knowledge for Post-Conflict Development at the Local Level (The Hague: RAWOO 2000); The Implementation of the Right to Self-Determination as a Contribution to Conflict Prevention (Barcelona: UNESCO Division of Human Rights, Democracy and Peace/UNESCO Centre of Catalonia 1999); ‘The Memorandum on Genuine Autonomy for the Tibetan People: an explanatory introduction to the Tibetan proposal’ in Multinational Integration, Cultural Identity and Regional Self-Government: Comparative Experiences for Tibet (R. Toniatti and J. Woelk eds., London: Routledge 2014).
Miek Boltjes is a mediator specialized in intrastate conflicts, a negotiation expert and facilitator of dialogue between hostile parties with extensive experience in peace processes in Asia, Africa and the South Pacific. She is dedicated to the achievement of just and sustainable peace in states afflicted by conflict.
Besides her facilitation work, Miek has addressed and conducted investigations into numerous thematic issues with negotiators and mediators involved in peace processes around the world, such as the scope of security and international relations competencies of autonomous entities, constitutional entrenchment of intrastate peace agreements, prevention and resolution of conflicts involving extractive industry activity impacting indigenous land rights, and the roles of eminent persons in support of peace processes. She headed a successful initiative to enable quasi-international adjudication of intrastate disputes, in particular before the Permanent Court of Arbitration in The Hague. She is currently developing ways to address parties’ conflicting perceptions of history where this forms an obstacle in intrastate peace processes.
Miek has focused much of her attention on developing ways to overcome recurring obstacles in intrastate negotiations. Her book, Implementing Negotiated Agreements: The Real Challenge to Intrastate Peace (The Hague: TMC Asser Press, 2007) was among the first to address this difficult subject and was promptly used by practitioners in a number of peace processes. It also led to the publication of chapters on the challenges of implementation in two handbooks published in English, French and Arabic in Managing Peace Processes: Process related questions. A handbook for AU practitioners, Vol. I, (Peace and Security Department, African Union Commission and HDC: Geneva 2013), and ECOWAS (2014), both produced by the HD Centre for Humanitarian Dialogue.
In 2001-2002 Miek served as special assistant to the Foreign Minister of East Timor and was responsible for liaison with its Truth and Reconciliation Commission. Previously she was the executive director of the Alternative Dispute Resolution Center voor het Bedrijfsleven and headed the negotiation and mediation unit of De Baak management training center, both in the Netherlands. Earlier she worked for the Conflict Management Group in Cambridge, MA; the Foundation on Inter-Ethnic Relations serving the Office of the OSCE High Commissioner on National Minorities; and the Unrepresented Nations and Peoples Organization.
Miek Boltjes has dual graduate degrees in International Relations and in Communication Sciences from the University of Groningen.
Julie Berriault has worked in advocacy and research concerning peoples, environment, and the international legal system, particularly as regards indigenous and other non-state peoples, in the US and internationally. She was the US Director for the Unrepresented Nations and Peoples Organization, based in Washington, DC from 1991 to 1998, and has extensive experience assisting nations and peoples promote the nonviolent resolution of their conflicts at the UN and with the US Government. She holds a BA in International Service and Development from World College West, an MA in International Policy and Practice from George Washington University and certificates in International Human Rights from Oxford University and George Washington University, and International Humanitarian Law from American University.
Jan Lustig has provided non-profits and small businesses accounting and organizational services for over twenty years. With a major in political science, she remains curious about the means of solving problems, and is very interested in international affairs. She lives in Santa Fe, New Mexico.
Donia Torabian is an Undergraduate student at Brown University. She is pursuing an independent concentration in Representations of Violence, Pain, Resistance, and Healing. She is interested in community healing through accessible storytelling and emotive histories.