- Board philosophy


Our Board of Directors is a working group of people who come from a variety of disciplines. All are devoted to creating new global systems that shake us loose from the bondage of our complacency and old habits, and move us toward social and economic justice, greater well-being and the survival of natural systems. The Board works with the Center for Emergent Diplomacy's evolving global network of change agent partners committed to direct action and system-level impact.

Our Global Network is a rich ecology, a complex system, of diverse voices with unparalleled experience and vision. This Network includes economists, social profit directors, young grassroots activists, negotiators, policy experts, indigenous leaders, educators, philanthropists, complexity scientists, business leaders, journalists, artists, writers, spiritual leaders, health-care providers, national security specialists, computer scientists, and political advisors.

What We Do ▸   |  Our Partners ▸



John de Graaf

CEO, Author and Filmmaker  

John is an author, filmmaker and Executive Director of Take Back Your Time. Fifteen of his documentaries, including the popular special, AFFLUENZA, have been broadcast nationally on PBS. His books include the best-seller AFFLUENZA: THE ALL-CONSUMING EPIDEMIC, now in its third edition, and WHAT'S THE ECONOMY FOR, ANYWAY? His work and speaking engagements involve exploration of the intersection of happiness, work-life balance, consumerism, health and sustainability. He has taught at The Evergreen State College and helped develop the UW Summer School Class "What's the Economy for, Anyway?" in 2007.He is a co-founder of The Happiness Initiative and recently served as an advisor to the government of Bhutan as it development its Gross National Happiness project proposal for the United Nations.



Toby Herzlich

Facilitator and Trainer

Toby is a facilitator and trainer with a focus on leadership, sustainability, organizational excellence, and emergent culture change. Her work is directed toward developing leadership within progressive nonprofits, supporting values-based organizational transformation, using Biomimicry to grow networks for social change, and cultivating visionary leadership among women and men. Toby is a co-designer and trainer of "Cultivating Women's Leadership". Toby is a Senior Trainer with the Rockwood Leadership Program, where she is facilitating movement building nationally and internationally. She is a Certified Biomimicry Specialist, applying natural systems wisdom to social and organizational change. She is on the faculty of the Center for Whole Communities and chairs the board of the Ocamora Retreat Center in New Mexico, USA. Based in Santa Fe, Toby is an avid gardener and telemark skier, and loves to take in the views from high mountaintops.



Barbara Johnson 

Treasurer, Environmental and Activist  

Barbara has worked on watershed restoration projects in the Rio Puerco watershed. She has helped  to restore the Rio Puerco through education, outreach, and collaborative actions. She was co-founder of the Quivira Coalition, is a former Trustee of the Valles Caldera National Preserve, and is a current Board member of Los Amigos de Valles Caldera. She has served on the BLM’s Resource Advisory Council and the Technical Advisory Committee of the Collaborative Forest Restoration Program, the Governor’s the Blue Ribbon Water Task Force, the Governor’s Our Communities, Our Future Task Force, and the Governor’s Agriculture Transition Team. She has spent her environmental career working to bring diverse groups (ranchers, indigenous peoples, environmentalists, etc.) together to work on environmental issues of common concern.



Merle Lefkoff 

Founder, CEO and Social Change Entrepreneur

Merle, the founder and CEO of the Center for Emergent Diplomacy, is a social change entrepreneur whose practice is devoted to the application of nonlinear complex systems thinking to whole system change. Merle holds a Ph.D. in Political Science from Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia, USA and has been a mediator, facilitator, and leadership trainer in conflict zones around the world. Merle received a research appointment as Guest Scientist and Affiliate of the Center for Non-Linear Studies at Los Alamos National Laboratory, where she worked exploring in computer simulations how groups form collective identity. Merle led the planning group of NGO leaders at the United Nations launch of the Gross National Happiness index. Merle is an advisory board member of the Wild River Review, and a member of the Global Advisory Board of the Human Dignity and Humiliation Studies network begun at Columbia University in New York, USA. She is a member of the Spirituality, Emergent Creativity, and Reconciliation group at Saint Paul University in Ottawa, Canada. In 2012, Merle was elected a Lindesfarne Fellow.


Visiting Professor in Peace Studies, Ottawa, Canada
ECOS Gathering



Nicole Neidhardt

Artist and Indigenous Rights Activist

Nicole is of Navajo, American, Canadian, and have Scottish, German, and French decent. She uses art as a doorway into Navajo culture and a way to translate Navajo identity into contemporary reality.  Through her work she re-remembers traditional Navajo weaving patterns, storytelling, and Navajo histories.  Her paintings play with Navajo patterns to create space and simultaneously accentuate the flatness of the canvas, paint, reflective mylar, and collaged surfaces.  These Navajo patterns precipitate connection with her ancestors, grandmothers, and Navajo identity in a visceral way. Nicole's work celebrates the unique beauty found in the Navajo culture and in doing so, illustrates the diversity found amongst “Native American” or “Aboriginal” peoples.

" I hope for it to counteract the stereotyping of 'Indians'.  The resiliency and diversity of Indigenous communities is something to celebrate and honour and I strive for that in my work.  Art is a language that can be used to share Indigenous ideologies, histories, and contemporary realities, and I am honoured and excited to use my gifts to contribute to the dialogue in a meaningful and positive way".  

Nicole lives in Victoria, BC and holds a Bachelor of Fine Art from the University of Victoria



Carolyn Parrs

CEO, Leader Green Marketing and Marketing and Business Coach

Carolyn is the CEO and founder of Mind Over Markets. For over a decade, she has helped emerging and established businesses and organizations build purpose-driven brands that have deep and profound impact in the world.

Carolyn is also the co-host and producer of the online global summit “Women As Game Changers” featuring Nell Newman from Newman’s Own, Priscilla Woolworth and 25 powerful women who are changing the game in the world right now.

She is a featured author on Green Marketing in Thomson Reuters book series for C-level executives called Inside the Minds: Greening your Business. She is the creator of Women Of Green, an online community and news source that turns up the volume of the feminine voice in green.

Carolyn is a founding board member and past President of the Santa Fe Green Chamber of Commerce, part of the largest statewide business organization in New Mexico with over 1100 members. She has worked at top New York City advertising agencies, such as Benton & Bowles and Wunderman Worldwide, serving clients such as General Foods, Proctor & Gamble, AT&T, IBM, Richardson-Vicks, Manufacturers Hanover Trust, Time/Life Books and more.

Carolyn is the mother of two and lives in Santa Fe, New Mexico with her daughter and pups, Heart and Soul.



Certified Marketing and Business Coach
Founding board member, past President of the Santa Fe Green Chamber of Commerce



Joy E. Stocke

Editor in Chief, Author

Joy is founder and Editor in Chief of the international online magazine Wild River Review whose mission is to Connect People, Places and Ideas: Story by Story. Her books include The Cave of the Bear, a bilingual book of poems in Greek and in English, and Anatolian Days & Nights: A Love Affair with Turkey, Land of Dervishes, Goddesses & Saints based on more than ten years of travel to all of Turkey’s borders. An experienced editor, Stocke works with clients from around the world to bring their ideas and stories into cohesive narratives. 

A graduate of the University of Wisconsin, Madison, with a Bachelor of Science in Broadcast Journalism from the Agriculture Journalism School where she also received a minor of Food Science, she participated in the Lindisfarne Symposium on The Evolution of Consciousness with cultural philosopher, poet and historian, William Irwin Thompson. In 2009, she became a Lindisfarne Fellow.


Wild River Review
Lindisfarne Symposium on The Evolution of Consciousness



Marilyn Winter-Tamkin

Chair of the Board and Long Time Community Activist

Marilyn is a retired psychotherapist and social worker and long time community activist. She has served in various capacities on the boards of organizations that promote social and environmental health through education and activism. They include Concerned Citizens for Nuclear Safety, Thursday Night Group, The Stepfamily Association of America, the Santa Fe Preparatory School and Rio Grande School. She co-founded The Stepfamily Specialists, a non-profit educational organization, and Santa Fe Alliance, supporting the local economy in Santa Fe. In Pagosa Springs, Colorado, she was co-founder of Julia's Organic Gardens, an organic lavender farm, and Colorado Dream Homes, an award winning building company that specializes in energy efficient, low maintenance homes. She is excited by the innovative approach that Complexity science offers for addressing the systemic problems we face and is eager to put into action the facilitation principles which it suggests.  


The Stepfamily Specialists
Santa Fe Alliance