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Our Founders

Poem by Wayne Nalbandian for Founders, Dr. Joseph Baratta and Virginia Swain


Virginia Swain, MA, Co-Founder and Executive Director


Joseph and VirginiaWith international experience on five continents as varied as United States Peace Corps teaching in Africa and the United Nations community since 1991, Virginia Swain is the co-founder and President of the Center with expertise in global governance, the process by which humanity is evolving to political union. Virginia served as a United Nations non-governmental organization representative and citizen diplomat since 1991 and gave seminars at both the Earth and Social Summits in Brazil and Denmark in addition to assisting in the preparations for the UN Beijing Women’s Summit and the United States Committee for the United Nations Habitat for Humanity Conference and the 50th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. For four years, Virginia served on the Executive Committee of the Coalition for a Strong United Nations and is the former co-chair of the International Business Task Force.


After her experience at the United Nations in New York during the World Trade Center attacks on September 11, 2001, Virginia founded the Institute for Global Leadership, through which she provides training and consultation for business, community, institutional, national and global challenges. She is the author of A Mantle of Roses: A Woman’s Journey Home to Peace (August 2004, XLibris).

Virginia was awarded the Peace Corps Third Goal Service Award for bringing Intercultural Understanding to Worcester and to the United Nations. She has been funded by various foundations to support her peacebuilding work in the Philippines, with Rwandans and former Yugoslavians, her participation in the Hague Appeal, the Millennium Forum and lobbying states for peace and disarmament issues. She has been active in the Global Compact, the Academic Council for the United Nations and presented at conferences such as the International Educators for Peace, the Comparative International Education Society, Global Education Associates, Global Structures Conference, Hague Appeal for Peace and the NGO Millenium Forum.

Virginia is committed to gathering and mobilizing like-minded people in a shared vision for sustainable peace and development. In recent years, her research and practice interest has included Security Council Resolution 1325: Women and Peace and Security, the Sudan Track II Peace Process and the Coalition for the Human Right to Peace. as well as providing Reconciliation Leadership training for a Global Mediation and Reconciliation Service. . Reconciliation Leaders, the leadership that delivers interventions in the GMRS model are taught a systems-based approach and provided with a toolbox to facilitate reconciliation interventions in community, organizational, national and global settings. With an emphasis on context-specificity, participants are able to design frameworks tailored to build trust in communities while honoring their unique challenges in turn increasing the potential for effective solutions.

Additionally, Virginia develops children and youth leaders, drawing on the cornerstone Celebration of the Children of the World project at the United Nations in New York in 1992, Celebration of Children and Families in Boston in 1999. Culture of Peace Initiative and Imagine Worcester and the World.

The Commission on Global Governance reports that “the world needs leaders made strong by vision, sustained by ethics and revealed by political courage that looks to the longer term and future generations for whom the present is held in trust”. In light of this recognition, the Peacebuilding Process of Reconciliation to Develop Political Will, developed for the Global Mediation and Reconciliation Service (GMRS), provides individuals and groups the perspectives, tools and techniques for multilateral approaches to sustainable development.

The following papers and presentations provide a good overview of Virginia's work: “Leadership and Practice to Reconcile Challenges in a Post–September 11th World” Presentation at the Human Dignity and Humiliations Studies Conference, Columbia University, Virginia Swain and Dr. Sarah Sayeed, 2006 “Reconciliation as Policy: A Capacity–Building Proposal for Renewing Leadership and Development,” Presentation at the Human Dignity and Humiliations Studies Conference, Columbia University, Virginia Swain and Dr. Sarah Sayeed, 2005.

Joseph Preston Baratta, Ph.D., Senior Advisor


Joseph Baratta is the Co-Founder and Senior Advisor of the Center with expertise in government, the structure through which humanity is evolving to political union. He has developed a scholarly approach to a federal union of states and peoples as the basis for lasting freedom, justice and world peace. He is a historian of international organization and a consultant on issues of the United Nations. He received his PhD from Boston University with a dissertation on the origins of the world government movement.


Joseph served in the United Nations community as the representative of the World Association for World Federation from 1985-1988. With a grant from the US Institute of Peace, Joseph has prepared four monographs on international verification, arbitration, peacekeeping, and human rights. His most recent book, The Politics of World Federation, was published by Praeger Press in June 2004. For the 50th anniversary of the UN, Joseph published an annotated bibliography on the UN system since the end of the Cold War, The United Nations System, by Clio Press in Oxford, England, and Transaction Press in New Jersey.

Joseph has taught world history and international organization at various universities in greater Boston. He is an Executive Committee member and former chair of the Coalition for a Strong United Nations of Greater Boston. Joseph was the coordinator of the conference, “Re-Forming the United Nations:Toward a Humane Global Society” (1995). He also co-chaired the United Nations Structural Reform Task Force, and served on the International Business Task Force. Joseph is now a Professor of History and Political Science at Worcester State College. Joseph was just appointed to The World Government Research Network.

Joseph Preston Baratta is a historian of the world federalist movement and of efforts to strengthen the United Nations.  He was educated at St. John's College, Annapolis, MD, and received his Ph.D. in history from Boston University in l982.  His dissertation was on the origins of the world government movement, 1937-1947.  He has worked in the United Nations community in New York in 1985-88, directing the U.N. office of the World Federalists.  His publications include: The Politics of World Federation: Vol. 1, United Nations, U.N. Reform, Atomic Control, and Vol. 2, From World Federalism to Global Governance (Praeger, 2004); The United Nations System:  Meeting the World Constitutional Crisis (Oxford: ABC-Clio, 1995); monographs funded by the U.S. Institute of Peace on international verification, peacekeeping, arbitration, and human rights; articles on the Baruch plan, Grenville Clark, the Kellogg-Briand pact, "Toward Global Governance" in Peace and Change (July 1999) and most recently, “What Can History Contribute to the World State Debate?” at  Prof. Baratta teaches international relations, globalization, world history, English history, and history of science and technology at Worcester State University. 

For more information on Joseph Baratta, click here.


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