John Hartley - Executive Director
John Hartley is our founding Executive Director. The power of religious and tribal dynamics feeding into broader conflict became real to John during the civil wars in Liberia. He partnered with refugee leaders in Cote d’Ivoire and local leaders in Liberia to develop leadership and capacity building projects that addressed fundamental challenges to community development and reconciliation (e.g., public health, education, self-help agriculture). Since then, John’s work and research have addressed similar dynamics across the world, from the US to Pakistan, Iran to Malaysia. As a scholar, John applies mixed methods to the study of religion, politics and global affairs with an emphasis on more conservative religious actors and their relations with other communities. His work stresses the ways religious belief, embodied dispositions and socio-political struggle over authority influence situational leadership. John grew up in Northern California. He and his wife Jennifer have a daughter, Elena Jaleh, born in Isfahan, and a son, Evan Alexander, born in New Haven. John holds PhD, MA and MPhil degrees from Yale University, an MA in Iranian History from the University of Isfahan and a BA in International Relations from UC Davis.