Born in New York City in 1943, Diane Balser attended a progressive summer camp when she was 14 years-old. Inspired by the songs and activities of peace and labor movements, the summer of 1958 left a lasting impression.
A pioneering leader in the women's movement, Diane helped to found Bread and Roses, one of the first feminist collectives in the country. Throughout the 1980's, Diane developed and led the largest network of individuals in Massachusetts representing women and public policy issues. Diane has also trained women throughout the world for over 25 years in leadership skills, personal empowerment, and public policy.
In 2002 Diane became involved with Brit Tzedek v' Shalom - Jewish Alliance for Justice and Peace, an organization dedicated to achieving a negotiated settlement to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Diane quickly moved from co-chair of the Boston chapter to national Vice President and national co-chair of advocacy. In the fall of 2005 she will become the acting CEO.
In discussing Brit Tzedek, Diane notes the success of being able to build a grassroots, national organization dedicated to a two-state solution." When the peace negotiations went bad, there wasn't an organized base of people in Israel, Palestine, or the United States who found a way to put pressure on their governments to continue." Through Brit Tzedek however, that organized base has developed into over 23,000 members and supporters across the country. A dedicated activist for over 40 years on issues from civil rights to the Middle East, Diane insists, "We must move forward".