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OWLC Team

COFOUNDERS

Elizabeth Lesser is cofounder of the Omega Women's Leadership Center and cofounder and senior advisor of Omega Institute. She is author of The Seeker’s Guide and Broken Open: How Difficult Times Can Help Us Grow. For 30 years, she has studied and worked with leading figures in the fields of emotional intelligence and healing—healing self and healing society. For much of that time, Lesser was a driving force at Omega, helping to lead the organization, create the curriculum, and spearhead many of its programs, including the Women and Power conferences, which offer a dialogue between women in leadership positions in a variety of areas—government, religion, media, the arts, and more. Today, she is an active board member and advisor to the organization.

Lesser is a New York Times best-selling author, speaker, and host on Oprah Radio on Sirius XM. Her work includes helping Oprah Winfrey to produce the 10-week webinar for Eckhart Tolle’s book, A New Earth. Lesser attended Barnard College and San Francisco State University and is formerly a midwife and birth educator. She has taught workshops on emotional intelligence, meditation, women’s issues, and death and dying, and has appeared on national radio and television, and lectured at college campuses, retreat centers, and conferences nationwide...More

Carla Goldstein, JD, is cofounder of the Omega Women's Leadership Center and Omega Institute’s chief external affairs officer. An attorney with 25 years of experience in public interest advocacy, she has contributed to more than 100 city, state, and federal laws, and has worked extensively in city and state government on issues related to women’s rights, poverty, public health, and social justice. She is a commentator for WAMC’s show, 51%, writes a column and serves on the advisory board for Feminist.com, and serves as board member for Friends of Women Without Borders.

Before joining Omega, Carla Goldstein was vice president for public affairs at Planned Parenthood of New York City (PPNYC), where she directed the agency’s advocacy and strategic communications work. Before joining PPNYC, Goldstein worked for the speaker of the New York City Council, where she helped craft and advocate for state and federal legislative agendas. While in law school at the State University of New York at Buffalo, she was cofounding editor-in-chief of the state’s first women’s law journal, the Buffalo Women’s Journal (now published as Buffalo Journal of Gender, Law, and Social Policy). Goldstein has also been featured at the New York State Bar Association’s “Women on the Move: Successful Women in the Know”...More

Sarah Peter is cofounder of the Omega Women's Leadership Center and an artist who lives in New York City. She is the mother of three fabulous grown children. At the heart of Sarah’s philanthropic giving is the goal of acknowledging individual women’s contributions and helping improve the lives of women. She has given critical support to the Omega Women's Leadership Center, The Modern’s Women Fund at the Museum of Modern Art, and the Odwar Fund in Uganda. She is delighted to have the resources to collaborate with other women around the world in these efforts...More

STAFF

Michele Bertran, JD, is the director of the Omega Women's Leadership Center. Before joining the Omega staff, she was the family division manager for the Superior Court of New Jersey, Essex Vicinage.  A bilingual attorney and former family therapist, Michele held a number of positions in the Superior Court including the position of New Jersey’s first judiciary ombudsman. Her work and teaching has focused on mediation and conflict resolution, problem solving courts, and meaningful participation in the legal system for self-represented litigants.

Michele earned her law degree from the Rutgers University School of Law. While at Rutgers Law School, she served as editor-in-chief of the Women’s Rights Law Reporter and helped to found the first children’s rights organization at the school, for which she received several honors. She also was honored with awards from the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers, Women in Federal Practice in New Jersey, Women Lawyers in Bergen County, the Puerto Rican Legal Defense and Education Fund, and the Rutgers School of Latin American Law Students organization. Michele Bertran is a Fellow of the National Center for State Courts and also holds a master of science degree in counseling from Long Island University...More

Sarah Urech, LMSW, serves as program manager of the Omega Women's Leadership Center. She is a Licensed Master's Social Worker and Certified Practitioner of Psychodrama, Group Psychotherapy, and Sociometry. Previously Sarah worked at the Oncology Support Program at Benedictine Hospital in Kingston, NY and was its director for four years. A recipient of the Linda Young Compassion in Cancer Care award, Sarah was honored five times for her work providing holistic education, counseling, and resources for women and men with cancer and their families.

Sarah is also the assistant director of Hudson River Playback Theatre which offers innovative projects like No More Bullying! in K-12 schools and the bilingual Immigrant Stories series. Sarah has taught and performed Playback Theatre in 12 countries, including Cuba, Japan, and Ukraine. In 1995, she performed at the 4th World Conference on Women in China with the International Playback Theatre Women’s Company. Sarah Urech received her master’s degree from New York University and her BA in Drama, Russian, and Women’s Studies from Duke University. Originally from Switzerland, Sarah speaks seven languages and offers communication training.

 

Elysabeth Swan, MS, joined the Omega Women's Leadership Center as Administrative Coordinator after five seasons on the Omega campus, where she has worked as seasonal staff, held the role of Children’s Program Manager, and served as staff faculty. She is a licensed English teacher with over 20 years experience working with at-risk and special needs youth, and she has worked professionally as an editor since before starting her teaching career.

Lys received her BA in English and Sociology from SUNY at New Paltz and her master’s degree in English/Secondary Education from Queens College. A Reiki master and trained astrologer, Lys is a shamanic practitioner who maintains a private practice as a healer.