About Mary Wald
Coming into the Internet with a strong background in public relations and writing, Mary Wald built her first web site in 1993, in the basement office of a friend. It was a site that raised sponsorships and supplies for Tibetan refugee children in the Dalai Lama’s communities in Dharamsala, India.
By 2001, she had a web site company, New West Media, and her own site, TheCommunity.com, a portal for non profits who collaborated on projects. The site had held the first “High Tech Day” for Habitat for Humanity in the San Francisco Bay Area — with high tech companies sponsoring and sending staff to three simultaneous Habitat builds.
That was the year she met José Ramos-Horta.
One of the partners on TheCommunity.com, PeaceJam, produced conferences with Nobel Peace Prize winners and teenagers. Ramos-Horta, the Nobel Peace Prize winner from East Timor, came to PeaceJam and asked for help in raising school supplies for his country. The small island had been occupied by Indonesia for 24 years in one of the most brutal, and unknown, human rights disasters of our time. One third of the Timorese population had been killed. The country had gained their independence in 1999, but it as at a cost — Indonesia-backed militia had literally burned the country to the ground on their way out. 85% of the buildings on the island — virtually every school and every business — had been burned. School supplies, fishing nets, trucks, the buffalo needed to tend the fields, had been destroyed.
PeaceJam and TheCommunity.com collaborated on an Internet drive for school supplies for East Timor. They raised six tons of supplies.
Later in the year Mary traveled to Timor with a friend from CARE, as guests of Dr. Ramos-Horta. Together they founded the Fund for East Timor to generate resources and awareness of the country.
The rest, as they say, is history. As she attended events with Dr. Ramos-Horta and other Nobel Peace Prize winners, Mary has been able to bring her understanding of public relations, her writing and editorial skills, and her immersion in the world of Internet media, to the benefit of many of the causes dear to the Nobel Peace Prize winners. Likewise, she has generated support from the Nobel laureates, and the growing community of allied artists, to assist non profit causes and corporate humanitarian programs in raising awareness of and achieving vital goals.
Bonnie Abaunza, Board Member and Advisor
Bonnie founded and ran the Artists for Amnesty International program, activating the entertainment community, from 2001 to 2007.
She served as Vice President, Social Action and Advocacy at Participant Media for two and a half years, developing and executing social action campaigns to promote the documentaries and feature films produced by Participant Media, and served as Director of Philanthropy for Oscar winning composer Hans Zimmer.
more information: http://abaunzagroup.com
Jesse Kornbluth, Board Member and Editorial Director
New York based writer Jesse Kornbluth has been a Contributing Editor for Vanity Fair, New York Magazine, Architectural Digest, and a contributor to The New Yorker and The New York Times.
In l996, he co-founded Bookreporter.com. From 1997 to 2002, Jesse was Editorial Director of America Online.
He currently writes and edits Head Butler, a cultural concierge site he created in 2004. His books include Airborne: The Triumph and Struggle of Michael Jordan; Highly Confident: The Crime and Punishment of Michael Milken; Pre-Pop Warhol; The Other Guy Blinked (with Roger Enrico); and Notes from the New Underground. He has written numerous screenplays and, for a decade, taught screenwriting at New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts.
Michael Collopy, Director of Photography
Michael Collopy is one of the preeminent portrait photographers of our time and has gained worldwide recognition for his commissioned portraits of hundreds of public figures. His portfolio includes a vast array of portraits from world leaders such as Pope John Paul ll, Mikhail Gorbachev and 5 U.S. Presidents, and many others.
Michael traveled with Mother Teresa for more than 10 years, resulting in “Works of Love are Works of Peace,” a critically acclaimed coffee table book that has sold more than 100,000 copies and was selected as one of the top coffee table books of 1996 by USA Today. This was followed by Architects of Peace, which profiles 75 peacemakers, and formed the base for his Architects of Peace Foundation.