Delegate Biographies

Biographies of the Delegates going on the CODEPINK Trip to Pakistan

Pam Bailey (Arlington, Virginia)
Pam Bailey is a freelance journalist and film producer who left a corporate career in 2009 to devote her skills to educating Americans about the consequences of U.S. foreign policy. She travels frequently to Palestine, and has lived and worked in the Gaza Strip for up to six months at a time. After the delegation to Pakistan she will be going directly to Gaza to represent the U.S. in a model UN program designed to educate Palestinian youth about the workings of international law.

Tighe Barry (Los Angeles, California) 
Tighe Barry has been as an artistic director and prop man in Hollywood feature films for 20 years, working on films such as Fugitive, Under Siege, Kingdom of Heaven, Collateral Damage, Universal Soldier, Terminator and Batman. He has also worked on TV shows, including as Melrose Place, X-Files and Monk. He is an activist with the peace group CODEPINK, and an organizer for the Washington D.C. group Occupy Freedom Plaza. He has led seven delegations of Americans to Gaza, including a delegation to build playgrounds for the people of Gaza. In 2007 he was in Pakistan supporting the pro-democracy movement of the lawyers and students.

Judy Bello (Webster, New York)
Judy Bello is an active member of Fellowship of Reconciliation, The Upstate Coalition to Ground the Drones and End the Wars, and the United National Antiwar Coalition. She was on the street protesting the Vietnam War in Washington D.C. in 1969, and has been protesting the U.S. wars in the greater Middle East since 2001. She spent a month in Northern Iraq in 2009 and participated in two Fellowship of Reconciliation peace delegations to Iran. Her blog is “Towards a Global Perspective”.

Medea Benjamin (Washington, DC)
Medea Benjamin is the cofounder of the creative women-led peace group CODEPINK and the international rights organization Global Exchange.  A former economist and nutritionist with the United Nations and the World Health Organization, Medea has authored and edited eight books with her latest being Drone Warfare: Killing By Remote Control. In 2010 she received the Martin Luther King Jr. Award for her peace activism and in June of 2005 she was one of 1,000 exemplary women from 140 countries nominated to receive the Nobel Peace Prize collectively.

Toby Blome (El Cerrito, California)
Toby Blome received an MA in Physical Therapy from Northwestern University in 1996, and works as a Physical Therapist in the San Francisco Bay Area, after numerous years as a public school teacher in the U.S. and Turkey.   She has spent many years studying and teaching international dance and music, while raising her two Turkish-American children.  She has been an activist with CODEPINK since 2003, and organizes ongoing drone resistance actions in California and Nevada.

Leah Bolger (Corvallis, Oregon)
Leah Bolger is a former U.S. Naval officer who retired in 2000 at the rank of Commander after 20 years of active duty service.  Her duty stations included Iceland, Bermuda, Japan and Tunisia as well as several locations in the U.S.  She received a master's degree in national security and strategic affairs from the Naval War College, and was a military fellow at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology's Security Studies Program.  She served as the Vice-President for Veterans For Peace from 2009 through 2011, and was elected and currently serves as the first female President of VFP in January 2012.

Barbara Briggs-Letson (Sebastopol, California)
Barbara Briggs-Letson is a retired nurse and founder of the renowned "What About Peace?", an art/writing/music competition to encourage youth to think about peace. She helped organize an International Friendship delegation to Gaza in the aftermath of the 2008-2009 Israeli invasion and served as land crew for the "Audacity of Hope" in its 2011 attempt to break the blockade of Gaza. Barbara is a member of the Sebastopol Library Advisory Board and works to develop, coordinate and hang shows of visual arts at the Sebastopol Center for the Arts.  With her husband, she lived in Guatemala and Honduras for 4 years and worked as a volunteer nurse and midwife/educator.

Dianne Budd (San Francisco, California)
Dianne Budd is a medical doctor working in Internal Medicine, as well as Endocrinology and Metabolism. At the University of California at San Francisco, she served on the faculty practice and was the Medical Director of Glide Health Services  a clinic for the homeless in SF.  She has worked with Doctors Without Borders in Central Africa and is actively involved with the Nepal Youth Foundation.  She is a member of the American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists and the American College of Physicians.  She has been an active member of CODEPINK since 2006. Her two children are public school teachers - in Warwick, UK, and New York City.

Daniel Burns (Ithaca, New York)
Daniel Burns is a father of three from Ithaca, NY. He owns a coffee roastery specializing in direct trade, organic, social justice coffee. For more than ten years, he has been involved in efforts to resist war and create a peaceful future.

Patricia Chaffee (Racine, Wisconsin)
Patricia Chaffee earned her Ph.D. in English from Indiana University in Bloomington, Indiana.  She has taught as Associate Professor at Stillman College in Tuscaloosa, Alabama, is a published poet, and has published in literary journals and social justice magazines.  Currently, she is a reader/editor for a book manuscript and in the past she has edited articles for the U.S. Government.

Sushila Cherian (Punta Gorda, California)
Sushila Cherian is a retired business manager in Southwest Florida who is very involved in her community.  She spends time serving on boards and committees, and volunteering at several non profit enterprises such as the free clinic, mentoring kids, feeding the hungry, and helping on the Honor Flight committee to send WWII vets to Washington DC to see their Memorial.   

Trudy Cooper (Portland, Oregon)
Trudy Cooper has been active in peace organizing since the Vietnam war, and currently is active in Portland Oregon peace, human rights, environmental and economic justice organizations, projects. Trudy is involved with projects coordinated with the 18th Avenue Peace House and Occupy Portland, including education, outreach, and direct action organizing.  Trudy works as an organization development consultant and mediator, and has written articles and books on consensus decision making, conflict resolution, and organizational structures for economic and political cooperatives and collectives.

Anam Eljabali (Chicago, Illinois) 
Anam spends her free time advocating for social justice concerns facing south-west Chicago communities.She often visits the Illinois State Capital with different groups whether African-American; Latino or Muslim communities to lobby elected officials asking for support of articles; bills; and funding which helps to address the problems of certain population of each group such as rights for ex-offenders; educational reform in CPS; high rate of foreclosures and including need for drivers licenses for the undocumented.

She is one of the leaders involved around issue of Food Deserts, "Muslim Run" is a campaign for Health,Wellness and Healing project of local social service organization,IMAN. In July 2009, she joined George Galloway's 'Viva Palestina' and participated in 'End The Siege On Gaza' convoy where she witnessed the suffering of the people and destruction of Gaza. Recently,Anam attended trainings to become a member of Muslim charity 'Islamic Relief USA' DART project, Disaster Assistance Response Team to be deployed when natural disasters occur anywhere in America. Anam and her husband have five children and one grandchild.

Katie Falkenberg (New York, New York)
Katie Falkenberg has been working as a freelance designer and artist since graduating from Savannah College of Art and Design in 2007. She is now a full-time activist, including with the Occupy Wall Street Movement, and a photo journalist.

Chelsea Faria
Chelsea Faria recently graduated from Hampshire College in May of 2012. She studied international relations, journalism, and Buddhism. Her senior thesis was an in-depth analysis of drone warfare, focusing primarily on the ways in which the Obama administration has mobilized the mainstream media and international law to promote and perpetuate drone warfare. She is disturbed by the lack of conversation surrounding this, particularly during election season. After attending the first international drone summit hosted by Codepink, Reprieve, and the Center for Constitutional Rights in Washington, D.C. last April, she was inspired to continue advocating against drone warfare and the larger antiwar movement.

Michael Gaskill (Portland, Oregon)
Michael Gaskill, 29, is a glass artist and musician living in Portland, OR. He is a reporter for Portland's community radio station, and is a member of the Community Alliance Against Coal, which is fighting coal exports in the Northwest.

Suzie Gilbert (Los Angeles, California)
Suzie Gilbert is currently working on Oliver Stone's The Untold History of the United States documentary series. She co-produced Stone's feature film W., about George W. Bush, and Latin American documentary South of the Border.  She has taught in Bosnia and Brazil, where she also lived. She is the recipient of the Diana Meehan Fellowship for Feminism and Communication and a British Institute of Persian Studies Grant. She is British-Iranian by background and a graduate of Cambridge University and USC. 

Billy Kelly (Stockholm, New Jersey)
Billy Kelly earned a law degree from Fordham Law School in New York City and worked in various capacities in the entertainment industry. Since 11 September 2001, he has been active with veteran groups dedicated to Peace and Justice. He has been on missions of reconciliation with groups in Viet Nam.  He has been on citizen diplomacy missions to historic Palestine, including Gaza, Iraq, Egypt, and Bahrain

JoAnne Lingle (Indianapolis, Indiana)
JoAnne Lingle has been a volunteer with Christian Peacemaker Teams since 1997, working primarily in the West Bank.  She has also served with CPT teams in Vieques, P.R.; Grassy Narrow, Ont.; Arizona Borderlands; La Framboise, ND; N. Iraqi Kurdistan.  She serves as a board member of the Indianapolis Peace and Justice Center; Pax Christi Indianapolis; Christians for Peace and Justice in the Middle East and chairs First Mennonite Church's Peace and Justice Committee.  In May 2009, she participated in a CodePink delegation to Gaza. Currently, she is a member of the Indiana Drone Project that purchased a replica Reaper Drone to take it to public venues to engage in conversations about drone warfare and to protest manufacturers of drone missiles and engines. She is the mother of eight children and has eight grandchildren.

Lois Mastrangelo (Watertown, Massachusetts)
Lois Mastrangelo is a member of Code Pink Boston and Watertown's Peace and Justice Task Force, and serves on the Planning Committee of United for Justice with Peace, Boston. She is retired, having worked many years for the medical director of a major training psychiatric hospital.

Alli McCracken (Washington, DC)
Alli McCracken graduated from Hobart and William Smith Colleges in 2010 with degrees in Political Science and Religious Studies. She is currently the office coordinator in the Washington DC office of CODEPINK: Women for Peace, and on the Board of Directors of the organization The Tree of Life Educational Foundation.

Rob Mulford (Fairbanks, Alaska)
Rob Mulford is the chairman of the Alaska Peace Center and a lifetime member of the Fairbanks, Alaska chapter of Veterans for Peace. Professionally, he is  an industrial instrumentation and control systems engineer and he is currently using his background, knowledge, and contacts to research, expose, and oppose dangerous trends in militarism.

Robert Naiman
(Urbana, Illinois)
Robert Naiman is Policy Director at Just Foreign Policy and has worked as a policy analyst and researcher at the Center for Economic and Policy Research and Public Citizen's Global Trade Watch. Naiman also edits the Just Foreign Policy daily news summary and writes on U.S. foreign policy at Huffington Post, Truthout, Al Jazeera, and Common Dreams. He is President of the Board of Truthout.

Joan Nicholson (Kennet Square, Pennsylvania)
Joan Nicholson, age 78, has a B.A. degree in history from Earlham College and took graduate education courses at Temple University. She has worked with children in schools, camps and a library. Currently, she is writing a children's novel. She opposed the Viet Nam war and has opposed the Iraq and Afghanistan wars.

Joe Lombardo (Delmar, New York)
Joe Lombardo is the co-coordinator of the United National Antiwar Coalition (UNAC), a major U.S. antiwar coalition. He is a retired New York State worker and union activists. He is a member of the retiree's local of the Civil Service Employees Association, AFSCME local 1000 and a member of the Troy Area Labor Council. He is a founding member of the Muslim Solidarity Committee and Project Salam. During the Vietnam War, he served as a staff person for the National Peace Action Coalition.

James Ricks
James has been politically active since the Vietnam War. He worked for 12 years with the Muslim community in Providence. Since returning to Ithaca,where he was born, James has   been active with the Sean Greenwood working group, and more recently the Upstate Coalition to Ground the Drones and Stop the Wars. James was one of the Hancock 38, arrested in 2011 for blocking access to the Hancock drone base in Syracuse. He is strongly motivated to go to Pakistan to support victims of the drones, and add his presence to stop the US' illegal and immoral drone attacks. As he said to the judge in the Hancock trial, 'I hope that we will learn we should not take authority as truth, but rather truth as the authority'.

Jolie Terrazas (Astoria, New York)
Jolie Terrazas is a doctoral candidate in the Industrial Organizational Psychology PhD program at the City University of New York Graduate Center. She has taught organizational psychology at the undergraduate and graduate levels. She has worked with the organizations Consumer Watchdog, the Foundation for Tax Payer and Consumer Rights and is currently involved with Occupy Astoria Long Island City.

Jody Tiller (Olympia, Washington)
Jody Tiller Mackey manages Traditions Fair Trade, a store, cafe and community center in Olympia, Washington.  Raised by two Air Force officers, Jody enlisted in the Air Force for six years before joining the local boards of Veterans for Peace, the Fellowship of Reconciliation and also actively supporting  the Afghan Peace Volunteers.  Last year she traveled to Afghanistan for a month with a peace and clean water delegation.

Lorna VanderZanden (Fairfa, Virginia)
Lorna VanderZanden retired from a career in medical research and program management covering basic vaccine research through clinical trials. She now focuses on international NGO work, particularly working with HIV orphans in Kenya.

Linda Wenning (Beaverton, Oregon)
Linda Wenning graduated from University of Utah with a masters degree in accounting.  As a CPA, she has worked in public accounting, private industry, government and nonprofit organizations. More recently, she prepares income taxes for AARP Tax-Aide.  As an active member of the Mennonite Church, she is committed to peace issues.

Paki Wieland (North Hampton, Massachusetts)
Paki is a social worker who lives in Western Massachusetts. She has participated in many human rights delegations to conflict zones, including Afghanistan and Bahrain. She participated in the flotillas trying to break the blockade of the Gaza Strip, and has been an active member of Witness Against Torture, a group trying to shut down the Guantanamo prison.

Ann Wright (Honolulu, Hawaii)
Ann Wright has been a career military woman, a State Department diplomat, and for the past few years an influential spokesperson in the anti-war movement. She spent 29 years in the Army, retiring as a Colonel. She also spent 16 years in the State Department, serving as a foreign diplomat in countries such as Nicaragua, Somalia, Uzbekistan, and Sierra Leone. She was on the team that reopened the US Embassy in Kabul, Afghanistan in December, 2001, after the fall of the Taliban to US forces. She resigned in protest on the eve of the US invasion of Iraq. Since then, she travels and lectures on foreign policy issues. She is coauthor of "Dissent: Voices of Conscience", the stories of those in the Bush administration and other governments who have had the courage to speak out.