Andrea Blanch, PhD, is President and Director of the Center for Religious Tolerance (link is external), a non-profit organization devoted to building interfaith tolerance and peace in areas of global conflict. She graduated with honors from Cornell University and has Master’s and Doctorate degrees in psychology from the University of Vermont. A former mental health commissioner, Andrea is widely known for her efforts in consumer empowerment, psychiatric rehabilitation, conflict management, and recovery from trauma. She was a 2009 Women, Religion and Globalization Fellow at Yale University and is the recipient of the 2010 Duisberg Peace Award. Andrea has published numerous professional articles and book chapters and co-edited a book on a public health approach to women’s mental health (selected as book of the year by the American Journal of Nursing). She was founding director of the Collaborative for Conflict Management in Mental Health and the National Trauma Consortium, and a founding member of the Abrahamic Reunion, a group of Palestinian and Israeli religious and lay leaders working for peace. She consults in a variety of organizational settings on the process of implementing trauma informed care and on bringing new cultural perspectives, including religious and spiritual approaches, into mental health services. She is currently working on a women’s empowerment project for Palestinian women in Israel and on reconciliation processes to help create sustainable peace in the Middle East.