Janessa Gans Wilder is a former CIA officer turned peace builder after a life-changing experience of finding hope amidst the war in Iraq where she served as a counterterrorism and counterinsurgency analyst and interrogator from 2003-2005.
Janessa is the Founder of the Euphrates Institute, a global grassroots peace-building organization. For over a decade, Janessa has provided the vision and leadership to grow the Euphrates Institute into a global network with a presence in 15 countries. She is the creator of the Visionary of the Year Program to honor, support and increase the visibility of groundbreaking change makers.
Janessa is a frequent speaker in business, government, international and educational settings. Her vast leadership experience and powerful and transformational message and insight on finding courage and opportunity in the face of adversity and the value of the strength of interconnectedness and communication has had a profound impact on organizations and the global business community around the world.
Janessa has written dozens of articles and has been interviewed by major news outlets, including FOX, CBS, CNN, Los Angeles Times, TED, and more.
Previously, Janessa taught political science at Principia College and was a consultant to the US State Department. She has a master’s degree in International Policy Studies from Stanford University and a bachelor’s in International Relations from Principia College.
Janessa’s mission statement in life is to “see the Other as a brother.”