Daryl Byler, a veteran peacebuilder working from Jordan since 2007, has been named as the next executive director of EMU's Center for Justice and Peacebuilding. Jayne Docherty (right), long-time professor of leadership and public policy at EMU, has been named as CJP's first program director, reporting to Byler.

Dynamic Duo Will Lead CJP Into New Era

The Center for Justice and Peacebuilding (CJP) at Eastern Mennonite University (EMU) is moving into a new leadership era. J. Daryl Byler, JD, has been named as its next executive director, reporting to Provost Fred Kniss. Jayne Docherty, PhD, has been named as CJP’s first program director, reporting to Byler.

Both Byler and Docherty are veteran peace practitioners, focused on conflict transformation and development efforts both domestically and abroad. Byler comes with extensive experience in leading non-profits and Mennonite church initiatives, including fundraising. Docherty has extensive academic institutional experience, with teaching stints at three universities.

Byler has directed programs for Mennonite Central Committee (MCC) in Washington D.C. and the Middle East. He will be coming to EMU in July 2013 from Jordan where he has lived since 2007, coordinating peacebuilding projects run by MCC’s local partners in Iran, Iraq, Jordan, Israel and Palestine.

Impressed by CJP alumni in Middle East

In the Middle East, Byler has seen the work of dozens of CJP alumni. He says he has been inspired by these alumni, noting how CJP “transformed the way they think about conflict and the way they are integrating the principles and experiences learned at EMU in the challenging Middle Eastern context.”

As director of MCC’s Washington Office from 1994 to 2007, Byler met regularly with policymakers on Capitol Hill, the State Department and White House.  Prior to that, he spent six years as a staff attorney in Meridian, Miss., while serving as senior pastor for Jubilee Mennonite Church, an interracial congregation. He brings to EMU significant fundraising experience, including leading a capital campaign for Virginia Mennonite Retirement Community.

Byler holds a Juris Doctor from the University of Virginia, where he also did graduate business coursework. He earned two degrees from EMU, an MA from the seminary in 1985 and a BA in business administration in 1979.

Experiences in Burma/Myanmar

On the CJP faculty since 2001, Docherty spent much of 2008-12 working with groups in Burma/Myanmar on supporting the transition from a military dictatorship to a more democratic form of governance. Prior to this, she worked for three years with the Institute for Peace and Justice Education at Lebanon’s American University to develop a peacebuilding training program for young leaders in that country. She has led workshops on peacebuilding topics in a dozen other countries.

Docherty will continue to teach quarter-time as professor of leadership and public policy at EMU. She has also taught at George Mason University and Columbia College in South Carolina. She earned her PhD at the Institute for Conflict Analysis and Resolution at George Mason and holds an undergraduate degree in religious studies and political science from Brown University. She studied theology at the University of St. Andrews in Scotland.

Lynn Roth to Mennonite World Conference

Byler is replacing Lynn Roth, who has been named the North American representative to Mennonite World Conference. In the new CJP leadership configuration, both the executive director and program director are three-quarter-time positions.

“Daryl will be giving administrative leadership to CJP with a primary focus on building external relationships, networking with key university and external stakeholders, and developing resources for CJP’s growth and success,” said Provost Fred Kniss upon announcing Byler’s appointment. Kniss also expressed appreciation to departing Roth “for his years of wisdom and servant leadership to CJP.”

Concerning Docherty’s role as program director, she will “oversee the development, integration, funding, delivery and evaluation of CJP’s various programs,” said Kniss. “This includes the coordination of the academic and practice programs of CJP, and giving leadership to curriculum development.

“I am eagerly anticipating working with this new CJP management team,” said Kniss, “as they provide innovative leadership and vision to ensure that CJP remains a global leader in the peacebuilding field.”