Restoring Community

IIRP President and Founder Ted Wachtel IIRP President and Founder Ted WachtelTed Wachtel, President and Founder of the International Institute for Restorative Practices (IIRP), has announced his intention to retire from the presidency in June 2015, at the end of the IIRP Graduate School’s academic year. Ted will continue to pursue the sort of visionary restorative projects that have been his hallmark, which the IIRP will support and report on.

Passionate about the power of restorative practices — giving people a voice and a choice in things that matter to them — to build social capital and improve civil society, Ted envisioned and founded the IIRP and shepherded its expansion across the globe — in education, justice, social services and other fields. Ted was also the driving force behind the establishment of the IIRP as an accredited graduate school and the recognition of restorative practices as a field worthy of study at the graduate level.

“I’m working on several projects to help flesh out the Restorative Works learning network,” says Ted, adding, “Restorative Works provides a wide range of educational resources that help people learn about restorative practices.” He explains further, “We are finding partners whose work is worth promoting widely on the platform we’ve built.”

Ted is excited about a project to develop a restorative practices hub in the Netherlands and Flemish Belgium, the first step in building hubs in locations around the world. He’s also very involved in developing school-based restorative zones in Philadelphia, taking restorative practices from the schools into neighborhoods and community organizations. In addition, he is creating a new “interest group” to explore innovative uses of restorative practices in criminal justice.

The IIRP Board of Trustees and staff have been addressing the issue of Ted’s retirement for more than a year as part of the IIRP’s long-term succession planning. The Board has now named IIRP Associate Professor and Director of Continuing Education John Bailie as President-Elect, to assume the position July 1, 2015.

John has worked with the IIRP consortium of organizations since 2000, beginning as a counselor at a CSF school. During his tenure as IIRP Director of Continuing Education, he spearheaded the dramatic expansion in the number and geographic range of schools implementing restorative practices. His efforts have increased the recognition and demand for restorative practices education and training around the world. John received a Master of Restorative Practices and Youth Counseling from the IIRP in 2008 and a Ph.D. in Education from Lesley University in 2012.

"John embodies our restorative ethos and has the entrepreneurial skills to help the IIRP grow as a young graduate school," says Ted.

Board Chair Bill Ballantine commends Ted for assembling the team of young administrators who will ensure the future growth of the IIRP, as well as provide stability for faculty, staff and students during the presidential transition period.

Ted has noted that “It’s unusual to make administrative change with all the parties cooperating and the departing senior leadership providing mentoring to make the transition smoother. We feel lucky that there are talented and bright younger people to take over the senior leadership during the upcoming three-year period. They are a really knowledgeable and dedicated team.”