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The PACIS PROJECT in Faith Based Diplomacy

Meet the Directors


William Timothy Pownall

Director of the PACIS PROJECT in Faith Based Diplomacy

William Timothy Pownall

Timothy Pownall is the Assistant Director of the Straus Institute, the Director of the PACIS PROJECT in Faith Based Diplomacy and Adjunct Professor at the Straus Institute for Dispute Resolution at the Pepperdine University School of Law. The Straus Institute has been rated the #1 program in the country by US News and World Report for the last eight years. Timothy is also the Executive Director and member of the Board of Directors of the Center for Conflict Resolution, a Los Angeles based non-profit NGO, and the largest provider of pro bono, Small Claims mediations for the Los Angeles County Superior Court.

Timothy formerly held senior executive positions with Judicial Arbitration and Mediation Services, Inc. (JAMS), the Follett Corporation (Chicago) and Barnes & Noble, Inc. (New York). Timothy started and grew a successful national facilities management company before selling his interest in the company and joining the Straus Institute team in 1994. Timothy manages a successful private mediation practice since 1996, and has conducted more than one hundred mediation and reconciliation interventions with faith-based clients. Timothy is a bishop/shepherd in his own faith community and a recognized spiritual counselor and mentor.


The Reverend Canon Brian Cox

Director of the PACIS PROJECT in Faith Based Diplomacy

Canon Brian Cox


Canon Brian Cox is an ordained Episcopal Priest and a trained professional mediator who serves as a pastor, as a senior official of a Washington DC based non-governmental organization, and as a professor and academic devoted to faith-based diplomacy. Brian serves as Rector of Christ the King Episcopal Church in Santa Barbara, California.

Cox has founded a series of faith-based and reconciliation organizations including Reconciliation Institute, Reconcilers.Net, Sharing of Ministries Abroad (SOMA), and the European Reconciliation Fellowship. In 1999 he joined a newly formed non-governmental organization called the International Center For Religion and Diplomacy and later became ICRD's Senior Vice President. The mission of the International Center For Religion and Diplomacy is to address problems of communal identity that exceed the grasp of traditional diplomacy by effectively combining religious concerns with the practice of international politics. Brian Cox teaches as an adjunct professor at Pepperdine University School of Law.

Michael E. Zacharia

Co-Director of the PACIS PROJECT in Faith Based Diplomacy

Michael E. Zacharia

Michael Zacharia is Co-Director of the PACIS PROJECT in Faith Based Diplomacy. The Straus Institute has been rated the #1 program in the country by US News and World Report for the last seven years. Michael is an executive coach and conducts private mediations in addition to his responsibilities with the PACIS PROJECT.

Michael retired in 2007 as Executive Vice President for Business Development, General Counsel and Secretary of DFS Group Limited, the world's largest travel retail company. Prior to joining DFS in 1996, Michael was appointed by President Reagan and confirmed by the Senate as Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Export Administration. Michael has also served as Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for International Trade Controls and Special Counsel to the Under Secretary for International Trade in the Commerce Department. In 1981, Michael was selected by a Presidential Commission after a nationwide competitive process as one of 14 White House Fellows and served as Special Assistant in the office of the United States Secretary of State. Prior to his work with the U.S. government, Michael was a partner for seven years in the nationally renowned Washington D.C. law firm of Wiley, Rein & Fielding. Previously, Michael was a litigation partner in the largest law firm in Sacramento, California and a litigation associate with Fulbright and Jaworski.