Upcoming Discussion: “Successful Dialogue in a Deeply Polarized World”

The Associates of the American Foreign Service Worldwide AAFSW cordially invite you to a very interesting and informative panel discussion on “Successful Dialogue in a Deeply Polarized World” On Tuesday, January 23 at 11:00 a.m. at the Burns Auditorium in the George Marshall Center of the State Department in Washington, D.C.

The panel discussion will feature Congressman James Moran (Virginia) and Rev. Mark Farr, President of The Sustained Dialogue Institute in Washington, D.C. There will be a question and answer session at the end of the presentation.

The world is preoccupied about the conflicts that deeply affect people around the globe. Our distinguished speakers will address some of the national and worldwide conflicts, and how working together, create change through transformed relationships.

RSVP to AAFSW at office@aafsw.org no later than Friday, January 19 and send us your driver’s license number or passport number and date of birth to submit to the Office of Security in the State Department. In addition, please send a check made out to AAFSW for $20.00 to AAFSW Reservations at 4001 North Ninth Street, Suite 214, Arlington VA, 22203.

Please come to the 21st Street NW entrance of the Department of State, close to the corner of “D” Street. As you enter rather than reporting to the main desk, please go to the table to your left where one of our members will check you in.

We look forward to seeing you.

Sheila Switzer
AAFSW Program Chair

Mark J. R. Farr

With more than 25 years’ experience in political and public service in the United States and the United Kingdom, Mark Farr is President of The Sustained Dialogue Institute. SDI works in the United States and around the world seeking to resolve conflicts and create change through transformed relationships. Among other activities, SDI oversees the Dartmouth Conference Task Force, the long-standing dialogue between the United States and Russia; trains young Americans on leadership, dialogue and conflict resolution on 65 U.S. campuses and in Mexico, Ethiopia and Zimbabwe. SDI has a growing presence promoting its vision in corporate America and on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC, where SDI is based.

Until 2012, Mark was President & CEO of The Faith & Politics Institute on Capitol Hill. FPI is one of the most trusted and significant agencies devoted to enhancing civil discourse and leadership on The Hill. FPI oversees many senior Congressional activities including the Congressional Civil Rights Pilgrimage; both Senate and House Chiefs of Staff meetings, and many retreats and forums. Hundreds of Members of Congress and Administration officials have attended its events, including Presidents’ Obama, George W. Bush and Clinton, and current leadership from both sides of House and Senate, including Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.), Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy (R-Ca.) and Democratic Whip Steny Hoyer (D-Md.). Civil rights’ legend Congressman John Lewis (D-Ga.) is FPI’s most prominent supporter.

Mark is one of five Founding Board Members of the John Lewis Institute of Peace, a new non-profit that is overseeing how Congressman Lewis wants to direct the legacy of his life’s work.

Mark’s key skills are in areas of civic engagement, leadership and dialogue, strategic partnership development and organizational and financial expansion. His professional relationships have been built at the highest levels of American service and public life. He is skilled in trainings, workshop leadership and individual reflection sessions and has led them across the United States and globe.

Mark came to FPI from The Points of Light Institute, where he was a Senior Director. Points of Light, a prominent non-profit founded by the 41st president, George H. W. Bush, seeks non-partisan collaborative civic engagement. Mark oversaw a large and thriving department and all its interfaith efforts. He founded its National Faith Day at the National Conference, the largest conference of its kind in the world.

During this time, Mark was also Senior Advisor to the Executive Director of the Shinnyo-en Foundation, a large Buddhist foundation based in Tokyo, Japan, seeking to peace-build across communities globally, using Buddhist principles, and connected to the ancient Daigo-Ji (royal) temple of Japan.

Prior to this, Mark was Senior National Faith Director at General Colin Powell’s legacy foundation America’s Promise. Before that he worked at Sojourners Magazine with author Jim Wallis.

Mark is an ordained Episcopalian priest and a dual citizen of the United States and the United Kingdom. His last parish was Wimbledon in the UK. Mark is also a qualified Systemic Psychotherapist with a former practice in London, where he also lectured in Systemic Psychotherapy. Mark was Chair of the Gulf Care Consortium, a coalition of groups working after the New Orleans’ oil spill. He is a keen painter and musician, and in England was chair of the Wimbledon Arts Festival. Mark lives in Silver Spring, MD, and has two young daughters, Sadie (10) and Sienna (7).