Download PDF

Seeds of Peace Seeks to Foster a New Generation of Peacemakers

by Richard Berman[Seeds of Peace facilitates productive engagement between youth. For instance, Seeds of Peace held a leadership and dialogue seminar for Jewish Israelis and Arab Israelis in Shlomi, Northern Israel.][][Seeds of Peace]As the former President of Manhattanville College in Purchase, New York, Richard Berman took pride in his involvement with a number of internationally focused educational and humanitarian initiatives. He continues to enjoy close association with Seeds of Peace, a nonprofit organization. Launched in 1993 as a way of empowering the next generation of world leaders, Seeds of Peace has had a major influence in building bridges across conflict-laden divides. At its inception, the program involved nearly 50 Palestinian, Israeli, and Egyptian teenagers, encouraging them to explore the value of coexistence. Its international network encompasses more than 4,000 youth throughout the Middle East, Balkans, South Asia, and Cyprus. Its active programs are currently centered in South Asia and the Middle East. At the core of Seeds of Peace’s curriculum is its Maine summer camp, which annually brings together hundreds of South Asian and Middle Eastern youth to meet and interact with their historic enemies in a neutral setting. The camp experience is designed to counteract a dehumanization process that fuels hatred and enmities that span generations. The two sessions of the 2010 Seeds of Peace camp involved more than 300 participants representing nine delegations, including Afghans, Americans, Israelis, Pakistanis, and Palestinians. Activities were facilitated by 19 returning Seeds and each participant was provided with 30 hours of professionally guided dialogue. The positive effects of this camp experience are enormous for participants. Through face-to-face interactions over a period of days, barriers are broken and lifelong friendships formed. The experience exerts a difficult to quantify, yet undeniably powerful, impetus toward opening dialogue between cultures and ethnicities set against each other in seemingly intractable conflict. Seed programs continue beyond the Maine summer camp, with many committed individuals working with students through college and beyond, ensuring that initial steps toward peace take root and grow in educational and professional environments. Programs in the Middle East and South Asia support returning Seeds in their home countries, creating an international network of committed peacemakers. About the Author: As Manhattanville College’s 10th President, Richard Berman transformed the institution into a top-tier undergraduate liberal arts college with a strong focus on international issues. Mr. Berman currently serves as Chairman of the Board of Seeds of Peace.


The former President of Manhattanville College, Richard Berman currently divides his time between serving as the President and Trustee of the New York City Police Museum; Founder, President, and Chief Executive Officer of LICAS; and Senior Advisor to the Commissioner of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). With nearly 40 years of experience, Mr. Berman has focused his career around improving the world through changes in education, health care, community development, and housing. 

Richard Berman spent 14 years as the President of Manhattanville College, during which time he applied his extensive skills in analysis and leadership to improve the college's standing and bring about a wide range of positive changes for students and faculty members. As President at Manhattanville, Richard Berman helped the school become a top-rated liberal arts college with a diverse student body. He focused his efforts on helping students to achieve their potential and bring positive change to the world. 

Mr. Berman built up programs in business, education, and the arts, and brought a number of international students to Manhattanville, offering them a top-notch American education. Richard Berman made changes at Manhattanville to improve opportunities and life for students, which included upgraded technology, new facilities, an expanded faculty, and increased course offerings. His changes at Manhattanville helped the college to double its enrollment and earn high ratings from outside organizations. He also balanced the budget at the college. 

Richard Berman possesses an extensive academic background. He attended the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, where he earned a Bachelor of Business Administration with Distinction in 1966, followed by a Master of Business Administration and a Master of Public Health in 1968. He also holds an honorary Doctor of Laws from Manhattanville College and an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters from New York Medical College.

Work experience

Jan 2010Present

Senior Advisor to the Commissione

US Food and Drug Administration (FDA
May 2010Present

Advisor to the President of Rwand

Jul 2009Present

Founder and CEO





University of Michigan


University of Michigan