The New Garrison Institute Leadership Team

In its 20th Year, the Garrison Institute Announces a New Senior Leadership Team for Social and Environmental Transformation

The Garrison Institute is pleased to announce exciting new additions to its Senior Leadership Team. Karen Doyle Grossman, incoming Executive Director, will be leading the team, with new members joining: Stephen Posner, Director of the Institute’s Pathways to Planetary Health Initiative; and Christa M. Tinari, Director of the Contemplative-Based Resilience Project.

Existing members of the Garrison Institute’s Senior Leadership Team include Dr. Angel Acosta, Director of the Garrison Institute Fellowship Program; Sander Tideman, Director of the Compassionate Leadership in Finance Program; and Sue Lee, Director of Advancement, Development, and Communications. In addition, Jeannne Johnson oversees the Garrison Retreat Sanctuary.

Established in 2003, the Garrison Institute, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit, nonsectarian organization exploring the intersection of contemplation and engaged action in the world, is observing its 20th anniversary this year.

“Today, the world needs an internal and external metamorphosis,” said Diana Calthorpe Rose, founding president emerita of the Garrison Institute. “We’re at an inflection point of what some are calling the “Great Transition.” When we started in 2003, our mission was to apply the transformative power of contemplation to today’s pressing social and environmental concerns, helping build a more compassionate, resilient future. Twenty years later, the call for compassionate action, greater collaboration, and resilience is even more acute. And the impact of the Institute’s work has helped foster a fast-growing movement for contemplative-based change, one that brings a new way of being and doing into the world. We welcome our new members to the senior leadership team; they are bringing extraordinary skills and experiences to help advance the Institute’s mission.”

Karen Doyle Grossman, Executive Director (effective March 13), was previously Global Head of Operations at SIY Global, the leader in mindfulness-based social and emotional intelligence skills training, built on the Search Inside Yourself program originally developed at Google. Karen’s achievements at SIY Global include helping to onboard the company’s seed investment, managing its transition from a nonprofit to a for-profit organization, and overseeing a network of 600 certified teachers delivering programs in 17 languages across 50 countries. Prior to joining SIY Global, Karen served as:

  • Founder and CEO of, a leadership consulting firm combining ancient wisdom practices and adult development theory
  • Vice President of Institutional Advancement at the Kripalu Center for Yoga & Health
  • Executive Director of WorldTeach, a global network that trained and placed thousands of teachers worldwide
  • Vice President of Social Innovations at Mercy Corps, where she created, launched, and managed an agency-wide strategy for amplifying the organization’s global impact
  • Executive Director of the Young Leadership Initiative at the Aspen Institute, where she launched an effort to extend their programs to next-generation leaders

Karen holds a B.A. in Government from the University of Virginia, an M.A. in Education Policy Studies from George Washington University, and is pursuing her Ed.D. from the Teachers College at Columbia University in Adult Learning and Leadership.

“I am delighted and honored to be joining the Garrison Institute, with its 20 years of inspiring wisdom drawn from contemplative practices, which enables bold, compassionate action,” said Karen Doyle Grossman. “I think this is a time when humanity is called to do two things continuously and at once – to cultivate a silent enthrallment with life in all of its beauty, pain, and complexity, and to create new systems and institutions based on our deepest shared values. The Garrison Institute is both a space and a beacon for exploring those shared values and for imagining what is possible when we act collectively. Thank you to Jonathan, Diana, and the entire Garrison Institute Board – there could not be a better time for amplifying the impact of the Institute with this group of leaders they’ve brought together.”

Stephen Posner is the new Director of Pathways to Planetary Health (PPH), the Garrison Institute’s signature environmental initiative. PPH advances planetary health through four pathways: biodiversity stewardship; ecological civilization; regenerative economics, and the common good. Stephen joins the Institute from the Gund Institute for Environment at the University of Vermont, where he served as Director of Policy and Partnerships, as well as on the Diversity Committee, where he helped create a new Equity and Justice research focus. Previously, Stephen was the Assistant Director of Policy Engagement at COMPASS, which helps scientists communicate about their work and engage beyond their labs and fields. There, he helped scientists to engage policy and shape public dialogue on environmental issues and developed a strong, global network of scientists and policymakers. Stephen holds a Ph.D. and M.S. in Natural Resources from the University of Vermont, and a B.S. in Physics and Astronomy from Haverford College.

“I’m pleased to join the Garrison Institute leadership team,” said Stephen Posner. “The Pathways to Planetary Health initiative is an opportunity to integrate the physical and social sciences, relational worldviews, traditional wisdom, and moral considerations regarding all life on earth. I look forward to developing new partnerships and working with members of the Garrison Institute community to advance the field of planetary health.”

Christa M. Tinari is the new Director of Contemplative-Based Resilience (CBR), which offers self-care tools and trainings for healthcare providers, social workers, humanitarian aid workers, and others in the helping professions. Christa joins the Garrison Institute from Emory University’s Center for Contemplative Science and Compassion-Based Ethics, where she served as Senior Content Developer and Trainer in the Social, Emotional, and Ethical Learning Program where she designed and facilitated educator workshops on four continents and led crisis response to support local affiliates in Ukraine. Previously, she founded PeacePraxis Consulting, which offered program development, staff training, and expertise in social-emotional learning and violence prevention to leaders in the education, humanitarian, and social service sectors. She held leadership roles at the National Liberty Museum and the Peace Center, and taught courses at Temple University’s College of Education and Human Development. Christa holds a B.A. in Psychology, an M.A. in International Peace Studies and Conflict Resolution, as well as professional certifications in mediation, equity literacy facilitation, intergroup dialogue, emotional intelligence leadership coaching, crisis intervention, and community resilience.

“I am thrilled to join the Institute at this pivotal time and I am honored to steward one of the Institute’s foundational programs into a new phase of growth,” said Christa Tinari. “We know that compassionate care changes lives. We will increase our impact by reaching more human service workers who are actively caring for others.” “Our whole extraordinary team will continue the Institute’s work with contemplative thinkers, organizational leaders, scientists, and on-the-ground do-ers to shift our world view from one of hyper-individuality to a relational world, grounded in contemplation and valuing mutuality, compassion, and the common good,” said Jonathan F.P. Rose, co-founder and Chair of the Board of the Garrison Institute. “We believe that this worldview is an essential systemic, social, psychological, economic, political, and spiritual foundation necessary to successfully address the most pressing climate, biodiversity, racism, governance, and social justice issues of our times. We look forward to the work of our team.”


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