The IIRP’s Provost, Dr. Michael Valdez Raffanti, has an extensive professional background in education and social justice. Michael became interested in a career in education while practicing poverty law in San Francisco, where he had the opportunity to co-create a high school law academy. He taught elementary school in urban settings before earning his doctorate and launching a career in higher education as a professor and academic leader. Michael has engaged with restorative practices and related concepts as a lawyer, teacher, and scholar.

As Provost, Michael oversees all of the IIRP educational offerings from continuing education to our graduate-level programs. He is committed to the growth of the restorative practices field through interdisciplinary research, evidence-based practice, and forging relationships with like-minded scholars and practitioners. Michael is particularly interested in the potential of restorative practices to support diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging efforts in various settings.

Michael holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Philosophy and History from the University of Portland, a Master in Teaching from The Evergreen State College, a J.D. from Boston College Law School, and a Doctor of Education in Leadership and Change from Fielding Graduate University. He has published in journals such as Grounded Theory Review, World Futures, Journal of Integral Theory, and International Journal of Diversity in Organizations, Communities and Nations. Michael has presented at international conferences on topics of leadership, diversity, pedagogy, social emotional learning, children’s social justice literature, and qualitative methods. His love of research is reflected in the more than fifty dissertations he has supervised for doctoral students over the years.