Rich Tafel spent a career bringing together coalitions of unlikely partners to solve the most significant challenges of our day. He created the Cultural Translator project to increase empathy and Diversity Intelligence in high-conflict organizations and communities. Tafel worked in the public policy arena, putting together diverse coalitions to achieve historic civil rights and healthcare breakthroughs in the United States and worldwide.
Working in the social entrepreneurship space, he facilitated the nation’s first state-wide social venture competitions. He co-founded the Workplace Wellness Council of Mexico and SameSky Health, a leading health equity company providing healthcare access to patients in their own language.
As a pastor, he serves on the National Council of Churches, where he has led Christian-Muslim dialogues. He chairs the board of Citizen University, teaching young leaders the power of civic engagement. Rich also co-founded the American Project at Pepperdine School of Public Policy, focusing on alienation and loneliness in American culture. In 2021 he became a Senior Fellow at George Washington University’s Center for Excellence in Public Leadership.
Tafel is a graduate of the Harvard Divinity School. He is the author of Party Crasher, and a contributor to multiple books, and editorials for The New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and Washington Post.
We work with a talented team of trainers, coaches, mediators and activists, to help ground our work in the realities modern-day leadership across a variety of sectors and cultural contexts, and to enhance our ability to quickly scale our operations to match our clients’ needs.
Dr. Leslie Ahmadi
Dr. Leslie Ahmadi, PhD, Trainer, Educator and Coach, specializes in language and cross-cultural communication. She brings decades of experience working with multicultural teams both domestically and abroad (including Mexico, Spain, China, Russia, and Iran), and translating across corporate, academic and nonprofit cultures.
Annabel Park, Political Consultant, Community Organizer, and Documentary Filmmaker, recognized for creative activism, community organizing, and narrative strategy. Her passion is to promote participatory democracy and social change with innovation and community-building. Park's activism has been featured by CNN, Washington Post, New York Times, Newsweek, and others.
Ryan Nakade, Professional Mediator, Facilitator, specializes in depolarization and dialogue across differences. Nakade came into prominence through his work with former extremists to counter radicalization and extremist violence, focusing on outreach to rural conservative communities.
Cheryl Robertson, HR Leader, Executive Coach, brings over 30 years of experience in HR management, leadership training and development in the public sector. Today, she works with executives and teams to address trauma, look at their growth through the lenses of "whole person" leadership, and find a path forward to their desired success.
About Public Squared
Public Squared was created in 2010 as a mission-driven organization. As organizations increasingly faced challenges based in polarization, Public Squared developed a training called Cultural Translation that walks participants through a six-step process to overcome high conflict polarization. This model has been used by senior government trainings, the executive branch, nonprofits, churches, mediators and businesses seeking new strategies to include more diversity in their organizations.