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James O’Dea is the President of the Institute of Noetic Sciences and a native of Ireland. He was previously the director of the Washington, DC office of Amnesty International for ten years, where he represented Amnesty International to the State Department, the White House, the US Congress and the World Conference on Human Rights. Subsequently, he spent five years as executive director of Seva, a nonprofit organization dedicated to international health & development issues in Latin America, Asia, and on American Indian reservations. “Seva” is a Sanskrit word meaning service.
During the past five years, James created and co-leads a series of dialogues funded by the Fetzer Institute called “Compassionate and Social Healing.” The dialogues bring together leaders and activists in a variety of fields related to human rights, peace, and social reconciliation initiatives.
James has lived and worked in Turkey and Lebanon, and witnessed civil conflict and massacres, which influenced him deeply. He brings to IONS a sense of urgency about the issues the world currently faces, as well as an Irish sense of humor and love of language.