Board of Directors
Margot Neuman, Executive Director
Board of Directors
Clifford Neuman, JD, Attorney at Law, CEO
Amy Biondo, MA Counseling Psychology, Vice President
Elizabeth J. Cline, Ph.D., Secretary/Treasurer
John Pacetta, BA, MBA, Mortgage Broker
Kathryn King Johnson, BA, ME, English, Curriculum Instructor
Margot Neuman, Co-Executive Director and Co-Founder, founded MPP (then known as the Ratna Foundation) in 2004 to continue the work in which she had already been engaged for ten years. She had been a student of the Venerable Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche, a Tibetan meditation master, for 20 years. He had trained and authorized her as a teacher and meditation instructor. As a result of a first and unexpected visit to a prison inmate whose death sentence had just been commuted, she came to appreciate the ability of compassion to radiate into dark and difficult circumstances. Her experience resulted in the founding of the Ratna Peace Initiative (RPI).
The current intense scientific research into mindfulness and its impact on the brain inspired her, in 2010, to extend MPP’s work to secular mindfulness for veterans suffering from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), Moral Injury and other military traumas. The program, Fearless Victory (FV), includes both sitting mindfulness practice and applying this practice to working with wild mustangs – equine therapy. In 2013 MPP began developing a mindfulness program for incarcerated veterans – Veterans Peace of Mind (VPoM). In the last 2-3 years, prisons nationally have begun segregating veterans into dorms which has improved behavior and increased response to education and rehabilitation efforts. VPoM is working to introduce its secular program into these dormitories.
Cliff Neuman, Co-Founder, worked with Margot to found MPP, and continues to participate with visits to prison inmates and funding. He has been engaged as a principal in his own law firms for over 39 years, emphasizing corporate and securities law. He has served on the boards of directors of numerous public, private and non-profit companies and has been actively involved in the process of capital formation on behalf of his clients. He has served as President of the Mindfulness Peace Project and Medicine Horse boards since 2004. Cliff received his Juris Doctorate degree from the University of Pennsylvania (1973) and his Bachelor of Arts degree from Trinity College, Hartford, Connecticut (1970).
Gary Allen, Co-Executive Director and Director of Education, trained with Tibetan Buddhist teacher, Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche, as well as many other accomplished Buddhist teachers. He has studied and practiced Vajrayana Buddhism since 1978. He directs Shambhala Training meditation programs around the U.S. and overseas. He has two degrees in creative writing from Naropa University and has taught English in Colorado colleges, and he lived in Korea for five years teaching ESL. He first began volunteering in prisons and teaching inmates in 1990. He developed the Buddhist studies curriculum for Ratna Peace Initiative with Mrs. Neuman. He’s authored Discovering Sanity, a secular mindfulness book for inmates, and Warrior’s Heart, a secular mindfulness book for veterans, and with Mrs. Neuman developed study courses to go with both books. He has also authored five books of poetry, most recently Transmigration Suite (2022) from Antarabhava Press.