Euphrates Institiute

Jessica Gans Wilder, the founder and CEO of Euphrates Institute, joined St. Louis on the Air on Friday.
Kelly Moffitt | St. Louis Public Radio

Janessa Gans Wilder envisions a world with less conflict and one in which people engage with others who are not like themselves.

Wilder is the founder and CEO of the Euphrates Institute, an organization that aims to promote peace through understanding. A St. Louis-based chapter recently opened.

Wilder’s path to founding the peacebuilding nonprofit is an interesting one. Prior to establishing it in 2005, she worked as a CIA counterterrorism and counterinsurgency analyst.

“It’s not a normal trajectory,” she said.

(Courtesy Euphrates Institute)

The animosity between the governments of Israel and Iran is significant.

Iranian Ayatollah Ali Khamenei once compared Israel to a cancerous tumor which should be “cut-off.”  President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has said Israel would be “eliminated,” and that the country has no roots in the Middle East.

Israel has drawn a line in the sand and is threatening preemptive action to prevent an Iranian nuclear capability.

Two people from their respective countries, however, are engaging in peer-to-peer diplomacy, putting aside  hostility.