ambassador-mcdonaldJohn W. McDonald, Ambassador (Ret.) – Founder and CEO

U.S. Ambassador (ret.) John W. McDonald is a lawyer, diplomat, former international civil servant, development expert and peacebuilder.  Concerned about world social, economic and ethnic problems, he spent 20 years of his career in Western Europe/Middle East.  He worked for 16  years on United Nations economic and social affairs. IMTD focuses on national and international ethnic conflicts, including the Millennium goals of global clean drinking water and sanitation. Ambassador McDonald is UNEP’s North American Representative to the International Environmental Governance Advisory Group. Read more about Ambassador McDonald.

dickmanKaren Dickman – Executive Director

Reverend Karen Dickman is a mediator/conflict professional specializing in restorative justice.  Her background is in working with people with AIDS, mental illness, ex-offenders, and victims of violent crimes.  She has worked in jails and prisons and is a frequent speaker at conferences and universities on religion and restorative justice.  Karen also manages the partnership with Sovereignty First, in addition to overseeing our Water Program. Contact Karen Dickman.

Program Directors/Team Leads


vayaliparampilDr. Regina Vayaliparampil – Director, Nepal Program

Regina brings together various local stakeholders to build peace in Nepal.  She trains in nonpartisan reporting, teaching and employment opportunities.  She has interned with UNICEF focusing on water sanitation and hygiene in India.  Regina previously taught Math, Science and English in the UAE and India. Contact Dr. Regina Vayaliparampil.

Education:  BS in Physics, Goa University; Graduate studies in Educational Leadership, University of Oregon.  PhD in Educational Policy & International Education, Pennsylvania State University.

Publications:  Book Chapter, Routledge Taylor & Francis (forthcoming, 2017)


Kuldeep develops the Women’s Empowerment program, focusing upon communities in Kenya and Nepal.  A former researcher with peacebuilding NGOs in Thailand and Sri Lanka, he has assisted with the demilitarisation process in Nepal. Kuldeep combines his input at IMTD with research for the Carter Center as an election observer onsite in Kenya. Contact Kuldeep Niraula.

Education:  BA in Peace Studies, Tribhuvan University Kathmandu; MA in International Peacebuilding, University of Notre Dame (Fulbright Scholar); PhD Candidate in International Peacebuilding, George Mason University.


Hudda Ibrahim leads our inter-faith dialogues program, focusing on promoting domestic peacebuilding and social harmony throughout the US.  A community-college lecturer in Social Justice and Diversity, Hudda’s work is also informed by expertise from her consulting firm which supports diversity, conflict management and cultural integration within the United States’ immigrant communities.  Contact Hudda Ibrahim.

Education:  BA in Conflict Resolution, St Benedict & St John’s University; MA in International Peace Studies, University of Notre Dame (Kroc Scholar).

Publications: Book: From Somalia to Snow – How Central Minnesota Became Home To Somalis (Beaver’s Pond Press, 2017)

Program Officers

See our full roster of intern program officers, who support the mission work of IMTD.