Testimonials, History of Funding and Background: SD Shanti

What people say about SD Shanti

A combination of Mother Teresa and Jane Goodall…Intense, knowledgeable, worldly, dedicated…[She] is among the best of those I have known who exemplify the attempt to deal with complex global problems as challenges that can be solved through the systematic application of social science knowledge.” Philip Zimbardo, Professor Emeritus, Stanford University and past president of the American Psychological Association.

She is very successful in communicating with persons and has the ability to develop good working relations with formerly unknown colleagues. She has a striking creativity which allows her to find easily many solutions to open questions.” Hans Dieter Schneider, Professor Emeritus and former Chair, Department of Applied Psychology, University of Fribourg, Switzerland.

 “…her life is the embodiment of the very principles she offers with inventive clarity that enables people to better their lives. Theorizing is easy. Translating that knowledge in enabling practice is the tough job. It is a treasure to have such a colleague who can creatively translate theory into a workable model for personal and social change.”  Albert Bandura, David Starr Jordan Professor of Social Science in Psychology, Stanford University, and former President of the American Psychological Association.

I am dying of kidney cancer and your words helped me find peace.” Reader Feedback, HealthandAge.com sponsored by the Novartis Foundation for Gerontology


I have experience in the public, private, governmental, non-governmental and academic sectors, and have co-led the public side of a public-private partnership, anchored in Geneva and which extended to 28 countries.

I am a native English speaker, with work experience in German, Italian, French and Spanish.

My work in violence prevention was incubated at Stanford University and has been reviewed by the Violence Prevention Alliance of the World Health Organization.

My projects and innovations have been supported by:

  • National Institutes of Health, USA
  • Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, USA
  • Swiss Secretary for Economic Affairs
  • Novartis Foundation for Gerontology, Switzerland
  • Rector, University of Fribourg, Switzerland
  • Gebert Rüf Foundation, Switzerland
  • American Psychological Foundation
  • Reuters Foundation, England
  • Private donors

Education & Training

I hold a Doctor of Dental Surgery degree from Northwestern University, a PhD in Clinical Psychology from the University of Vermont and a Master’s degree in Public Health from Harvard University; my undergraduate studies were at Loyola University in Chicago.

I have also done post-graduate training at the University of Rochester, the University of Washington, Montreal General Hospital and the New York City Health Department.