Training Team Bios

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Ted Lewis 

Ted Lewis is a Senior Associate and trainer with the Center for Restorative Justice & Peacemaking at the University of Minnesota Duluth (UMD). Ted was Executive Director for Barron County Restorative Justice Programs in Wisconsin (2009 to 2013), Program Manager for the Center for Dialogue and Resolution (formerly Community Mediation Services) in Eugene, Oregon (2000-2009), and the first program manager for the VORP of Central Kansas (Victim Offender Reconciliation Program) which was modeled after the original restorative justice programs that started in the late 70s and early 80s. 

Ted specializes in Victim Offender Conferencing training for facilitators, and as a consultant and case coach for RJ programs. He has expertise in creating training and program management manuals for agencies, writing procedural protocols based on best-practices in the field. Ted received a master’s degree in Religious Studies from the University of Minnesota. Given his dual-background in mediation and restorative justice, Ted has adapted both intervention and prevention work for faith-based church communities. He currently does workshops for churches that emphasize healing and growth in the context of relational hurts. A top passion of his is documenting and sharing stories of positive restorative dialogue processes. He currently lives in Duluth, MN. 

Emily Gaarder

Dr. Emily Gaarder is the Director of the Center for Restorative Justice and Peacemaking at the University of Minnesota Duluth (UMD). Since 2003, Emily has taught restorative justice at the university level and for community groups and schools. She has trained hundreds of volunteers in the circle process, circle keeping, and restorative dialogue. She loves to share how restorative justice can be used in daily life by everyone. 

Emily first learned about the power of restorative justice while working with youth in the juvenile justice system. She has facilitated many types of restorative circles, from community-building circles to accountability and support circles in the aftermath of harm.  She helped establish the Domestic Violence Restorative Circles Program in Duluth, Minnesota, one of the only programs of its kind in the U.S. that is specifically designed to address intimate partner abuse. A top passion of hers is reimagining accountability and healing justice to prevent and respond to gendered violence. She is an Associate Professor in the Department of Studies in Justice, Culture, and Social Change at UMD.

Mark Umbreit

Dr. Mark Umbreit is the founding Director of the Center for Restorative Justice & Peacemaking at the University of Minnesota and a Professor in the School of Social Work. He is an internationally recognized practitioner and scholar with more than forty years of experience as a mediator, peacemaker, trainer, teacher, researcher, and author of 11 books and more than 200 other publications in the fields of restorative justice, mediation, spirituality, forgiveness, and peacemaking. He has been named among the top 50 most notable social workers in U.S. history by the International Association of Schools of Social Work (IASSW). 

As a practitioner, he facilitates peace-building circles in the community and restorative dialogues between family survivors of homicide and the offender in their quest for healing and strength. Mark has provided technical assistance and training in support of restorative justice initiatives and victim offender mediation programs in hundreds of communities, including in nearly every state of the U.S. and 23 other countries. He has worked with colleagues in Northern Ireland, Italy, Liberia, and Israel/Palestine on peacebuilding initiatives. Dr. Umbreit’s multi-site and multi-national research has contributed significantly to restorative justice policy development in the U.S. and other countries, as well as providing resource materials and guidance to practitioners.