We help address disputes so that they don't escalate, end up in court, or turn violent.

ABOUT US            CONTACT               VISION              MISSION              OUR TEAM             OUR BOARD FOR DONORS



The New York Peace Institute is committed to promoting peace in our communities. Whether a dispute involves two people, dozens of people, or several groups, we can help.

We work in three areas:


For more information on New York Peace Institute you can email us any time at  info@nypeace.org or contact us at one of our Mediation Center locations

Manhattan Mediation Center
111 John Street, Suite 600, New York, NY 10038
Hours: Monday 12:00 pm – 8:00 pm,
Tuesday-Friday 9:00 am – 5:00 pm

T:  212.577.1740
F:  212.577.1748

Brooklyn Mediation Center
210 Joralemon St., Suite 618 Brooklyn, NY 11201
Hours: Monday-Wednesday 12:00 pm – 8:00 pm,
Thursday and Friday 9:00 am – 5:00 pm

T:  718.834.6671
F:  718.834.6681

Manhattan Mediation Center

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Brooklyn Mediation Center

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Our vision

The New York Peace Institute envisions a world in which all people have the resources to creatively and constructively resolve their differences.

Our mission

People disagree and arguments escalate. As experts in conflict response, the New York Peace Institute empowers people to find creative and durable solutions to their disputes. We teach vital conflict resolution skills to communities and organizations, and we advance the field by training and certifying professional mediators.

Our values

Everything we do comes out of the core belief that active peacemaking requires direct, respectful, and creative communication. We’re here to get in the middle when people or communities have disputes, and our work is driven by these six values:

We see every conflict as an opportunity for better understanding. Mediation is a valuable tool, so we strive to make it more accessible to everyone.
We encourage openness—from ourselves and from people in disputes—because direct communication is the best way to find solutions.
We don’t simply remain neutral—we strive to understand and honor the different points of view of the individuals, parties, or communities in conflict.
We create a private, collaborative environment to help individuals and communities find practical solutions to their disputes. We also help them gain the tools to handle future conflicts.
We demand nothing but the best from ourselves on behalf of the people we work with—whether in mediation, in trainings, or during any other discussions.
We think differently—and we encourage the people we work with to think differently—to find innovative, and perhaps unexpected, solutions to make New York City a more peaceful place.

Our team

Brad Heckman, Chief Executive Officer
Brad has championed mediation and peacebuilding in more than 25 countries. Before becoming New York Peace Institute’s founding CEO, he served as Vice President of Safe Horizon and International Director of Partners for Democratic Change. He’s also an Adjunct Professor at New York University’s Center for Global Affairs.
Read Brad’s blog here

Michele Kirschbaum, Director of Programs
Michele was formerly the Director of the Safe Horizon Brooklyn Mediation Center, providing court-based and specialized programs to the Brooklyn community. She is expressly recognized for her leadership in the field of Special Education Mediation as a recipient of the Lawrence Cooke Peace Innovator Award.

Koren Gaines, Operations Director
Koren has 16 years of non-profit management experience with local, national and international non-profits; focusing on operations, finance, human resources, technology, fundraising and communications. Most recently, she was the Operations Director for the Maysles Documentary Center.

Will Nassau, Training Director
Will has over 10 years of experience in the fields of cultural exchange, human rights and non-profit organization management. Will oversaw capacity building and service-learning programs at American Jewish World Service for six years where he designed and ran trainings for international grantees and volunteers. He holds an MA with Distinction in International Studies from the University of Exeter and a BA in Politics from Ithaca College.

Melissa Appleton, Program Manager
Melissa hails from the beautiful Pacific Northwest of Canada and received her Master’s in Peace Education from Columbia University in 2007. She has worked with local organizations in Timor-Leste, Kosovo and Israel that are involved with conflict resolution education, and is excited to apply a data-driven approach to help support growth at New York Peace Institute.

Christina Dizon, Administrative Assistant
Christina has previous experience fundraising for nonprofit organizations, focusing on individual giving, grant writing, and event planning. She is excited to promote mediation and conflict resolution as practical life skills, and hopes to see forgiveness and reconciliation result from our services. She graduated from Binghamton University.

Rusa Fischer, Case Manager, Manhattan
Rusa is our Case Manager for the Manhattan Mediation Center.  She also enjoys mentoring and coaching new mediators,  is a founding member of the Restorative Justice League and is our resident film geek.  One of her favorites is 12 Angry Men.

Carol Lieb Himes, Special Education Mediation Coordinator
Carol Lieb Himes is the Coordinator of the Special Education, Early Intervention, and ACCES-VR Mediation Programs. These programs provide mediations to resolve disputes between individuals with disabilities, parents of children with disabilities, and service-providing agencies, including the NYC DOE and Department of Health. She enjoys mentoring new Special Education and Early Intervention mediators.  In the past, Carol practiced law in several areas and is very happy to have found her work in mediation.    Carol is a member of the New York State bar.

Marquita James, Manager of Mediator Education
Marquita has the good fortune of shepherding the growth and development of our family of fantastic mediators. This Louisiana native loves empowering people to be agents of their own change (three cheers for self-determination, y’all) and storytelling as a vehicle for bringing people together (traveling the country as a StoryCorps Facilitator drove this point home). Marquita’s been a believer in the power of mediation since her time with Harvard Law School’s Mediation Program.

Glen Parker, Restorative Justice Manager
Glen oversees NYPI’s services in the Civil Courts of New York County. He’s been involved in numerous ADR initiatives, including the Dialogue Project and the Mediation Group at Occupy Wall Street. Glen teaches and trains in conflict resolution and has served as a coach to mediation students at various schools in NYC.

Aura Sotomayor, Case Manager, Brooklyn
Aura Sotomayor is a Case Manager in Brooklyn. She loves her job because she interacts with clients every day and that is what she loves to do. Prior to working at NY Peace Aura was a Backup Supervisor at Immigration and Naturalization Services and an Assistant Program Manager at the Florida Minority Supplier Development Council. She has a degree in Educational Psychology.

Jeff Sybertz, Case Manager, Brooklyn
Jeff began working at the NYPI in the summer of 2013 as a Case Manager. He graduated Summa Cum Laude from Trinity College in Hartford, CT in May of 2013 and is a member of Phi Beta Kappa. He studied political science and Spanish language. Experience with conflict resolution in college, interest in the value of mediation, and the desire to engage with clients on a daily basis brought him to the NYPI. Outside of work, Jeff is an avid snowboarder and outdoorsman.

Martha Vargas, Courts Coordinator, Brooklyn
Martha administers the New York Peace Institute (formerly Safe Horizon Mediation) mediation programs in Civil, Small Claims, Housing, and Supreme Courts custody/visitation cases for Kings Court and two new Civil and Small Claims Court Diversion mediation initiatives.  She also coordinates the Lemon Law program for the Borough of Brooklyn. Martha is a certified mediator with New York Peace Institute, where she has worked and mediated for the almost two decades in various positions.

Our Board

Michael H. Williams, Chair
Ohyoon Kim, Treasurer
Gay Rosenblum-Kumar, Secretary
Jennifer Glueck Bezoza
Hugh LaRoche
Youssef Mahmoud
Damali Peterman
Greg Thonsen


For Donors

Donor Privacy Policy

New York Peace Institute retains the names and contact information of its donors in order to acknowledge donations that have been received, and to communicate with donors about our programs and activities and for the purpose of future funding solicitations.  All such information is contained in an internal, secure, password-protected database that is not accessible to the public.  New York Peace Institute does not publish or otherwise make public the addresses, phone numbers or other personal information about its donors, either on its website or in any other publication.  New York Peace Institute may include the names of donors in its annual report as an acknowledgement of their generosity to the organization, but donors may request that their names be excluded from that listing.  New York Peace Institute does not lend, lease or sell its donor list to any other entities.

At any time donors may contact New York Peace Institute at 111 John Street, Suite 600, New York, NY 10038, or by emailing info@nypeace.org, and can:

(1) request an opportunity to review any personal information that has been collected;

(2) request corrections to that information; and/or

(3) indicate that they do not want their names shared on donor acknowledgement lists.

Financial Statements

You can request a printed copy of our most recent audit, annual report, or 990 by writing to us at info@nypeace.org or

New York Peace Institute
111 John Street, Suite 600New York, NY 10038