Tzofnat Peleg-Baker, Ph.D.

A Relational-Contextual Approach—Conflict | Negotiation | Mediation | Diversity & Inclusion | Leadership

Rutgers University  
Camden, NJ 08102-1656

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Tzofnat Peleg-Baker is a scholar-practitioner, social psychologist. She earned a Ph.D. from Vrije University, Belgium (VUB) in social psychology with research on conflict transformation—from adversarial into inclusive, dialogic relations, a Ph.D. (ABD) and M.A. from Rutgers University in social psychology with research on decision-making and goals in situations of conflict and mediation, and an M.A. in Communications from Indiana University.

Tzofnat’s understanding and practice of diversity and conflict are interdisciplinary and draw on traditional psychology theories and a social constructionist orientation. Her work is grounded in various fields, including the intersection of social, cognitive, and developmental psychology, education and learning, peace and conflict, organizational behavior and leadership, and philosophy. Inspired by social construction, she explores the adverse effects of Western, individualist ethos on the quality of human relations and conflict and the promoters and barriers to their transformation. Tzofnat incorporates Insight—reflection on the understanding of Self-Other-Relations and its transformation using reflective models with Action—systemically restructuring the social environment to cement the new insights and advance sustainable relationships. One of her reflective models—the four-dimensional Structured Reflective Instrument (SRI), can help improve third-party and mediators’ decision-making and outcomes, including intangible goals like the parties’ feelings about themselves, relational matters, and process-related issues.

Tzofnat is a certified mediator and designed and delivered a mediation certification program as well as numerous conflict and mediation courses. She teaches and provides training, consultation, mediation, and conflict coaching services across continents, in the Middle East, Africa, and the U.S. She teaches professional MBA students and executives conflict management and negotiation. She also teaches conflict and diversity as sources for growth, relational transformation—from division to inclusion, dialogic being, and inclusive leadership. Among her students are undergraduates and graduate students, law students, and medical doctors.

Tzofnat headed the Dispute Resolution Center (CDRC) in Queens, NYC, where she provided strategic and operational leadership and oversaw all services. She was the Head of Strategy at the Ministry of Justice, Israel, where she served on the national team that introduced ADR and mediation in the country. As a Board Member and facilitator in dialogue and peace organizations, she designed and led a collaborative-inclusive leadership program and facilitated inter-group dialogues between religious and secular groups, Jews and Arabs, and Israelis and Palestinians. Democratic and dialogic educational reforms she was involved in Israel inspired her interest in contextual-relational factors underlying inclusivity and conflictual situations. Her goal is to help navigate diversity and conflicts into opportunities for learning and growth. Tzofnat links the mission of improving the quality of human connections to the changing role of leadership and the quality of democratic, inclusive life.