Petra Belkovic Taylor

executive Director

 Petra and James Taylor

Petra Taylor is the Director of the European Center for the Study of War and Peace. A native of Croatia and a survivor of the recent war in the Balkans, Petra is earning her doctorate in Comparative Literature from Harvard University. She holds an MA in English from Loyola Marymount University, an MEd in TESOL from Boston University, a BA in English from Gordon College, and is fluent in several of the region’s languages. She specializes in South Slavic and Russian literatures, and is interested in questions of nationalism and literature, as well as multilingual and exile writers.

James L. Taylor

director of international programs


James Taylor is lecturer in philosophy at Gordon College and the Director of the Balkans Semester. He received his doctorate in philosophy from Boston College (2016), and holds an MA from Loyola Marymount University and a BA from Gordon College. He specializes in the “ethics of transformation” at the political, religious, and personal levels, and in the possibilities for reconciliation afforded by intercultural and interreligious dialogue. He is the editor (with Richard Kearney) of the volume Hosting the Stranger: Between Religions (Continuum 2011) that examines the possibility of transformation through dialogue between the five major religious traditions: Christianity, Islam, Judaism, Hinduism and Buddhism. He is the guest editor of a special edition of the journal Philosophy and Social Criticism on the subject of “Heidegger and Politics” (2013) and he has published on spirituality and ethics in New Arcadia Review and International Studies in Hermeneutics and Phenomenology.

Jordan Heres  


Jordan Heres Photo

Jordan was born and raised in Kailua-Kona, Hawai'i. Because of his parents work, Jordan lived in Sanski Most, Bosnia for three months during the summer of 1996, right after the war ended. While his parents worked to resettle refugees and provide post-trauma care to children, Jordan has fond memories of making friends with Bosnian children who had experienced severe trauma. Since then, he has longed to come back to the region and did so when he participated in the first Balkans Semester for the Study of War and Peace. Jordan graduated from Wheaton College (IL) with degrees in Economics and Theology. In addition to working with ECSWP, Jordan has worked in Nepal, Croatia, Haiti, and Iraq with the Disaster Response unit of Samaritan's Purse. 



Resident Director & Programs Coordinator 

Having always loved learning about the world and its people, Ingrid spent a year interning for World Vision’s UN Liaison Office in New York City following her graduation from high school. During her subsequent time at Wheaton College (IL) where she earned a BA in Anthropology, Ingrid developed a passion for peace and conflict studies, which led to her spending a semester studying in the Middle East Studies Program in Israel & Palestine. Delving into Middle Eastern conflicts and perceptions that semester solidified Ingrid’s passion for humanizing “the other” and studying the complexities of conflicts. In addition to working with ECSWP, Ingrid works with Samaritan's Purse's Disaster Response branch. She has been deployed in the wake of disasters in Nepal, Croatia, Haiti, Iraq, and Antigua and Barbuda. 


Petra Belkovic Taylor (President)

james taylor

ralph gatti


Ralph is the Director for the Navigators in Central and Eastern Europe and the European Director for the Global Enterprise Network.  Ralph currently supervises staff and projects for the Navigators in 14 countries.  His 38 years of business experience includes 18 years as the CEO of automotive aftermarket products manufacturing company and ownership, board, and consulting positions with numerous for-profit businesses and non-profit organizations.  With his wife Bonnie, Ralph divides his time between home bases in Sofia, Bulgaria and Akron, Ohio.