Meet the Team


Executive Director of Conflict to Peace

With a profound dedication to fostering peace and understanding, Ron Zabel has been at the forefront of conflict resolution for over three decades. As the Executive Director of Conflict to Peace (formerly known as Conflict Resolution & Conciliation Services), he has been a pivotal figure in transforming how individuals, families, and organizations navigate conflict.

Professional Journey and Expertise:

Ron’s journey in peacemaking began in February 1995. His experience spans a remarkable breadth, including individual, family, business, workplace, and organizational conflicts. He has adeptly handled over four thousand hours of conflict coaching, mediation, conciliation, and arbitration, addressing a vast array of disputes such as family dynamics, victim/offender situations, community discord, employment issues, and church conflicts.

Impactful Teaching and Training:

Beyond direct conflict resolution, Ron is a passionate educator, sharing his knowledge through workshops, seminars, and extensive training programs. He has contributed to the learning of many, from Fairfax County Public Schools to Marymount University, and has been a key figure in training programs for Peacemaker Ministries and other esteemed organizations.

Pioneering Background:

Before founding Conflict Resolution & Conciliation Services, Ron had a distinguished career as a legal officer in the United States Coast Guard. His tenure was marked by notable achievements in regulatory policy development, intra-agency relationship enhancement, and conflict resolution.

Educational Foundation:

Ron’s academic credentials are as impressive as his professional ones. He holds a J.D. from George Washington University and a B.A. from the University of Washington. His education is complemented by extensive training in negotiation, mediation, and conflict resolution, covering a wide range of areas including family, employment, church, and relationship-based disputes.

Professional Affiliations and Certifications:

Ron is a member of numerous prestigious legal and conflict resolution organizations, including the Virginia State Bar and the Association for Conflict Resolution. His certifications span from being a Circuit Court level mediator to a Christian Conciliator, underscoring his commitment to both secular and faith-based approaches to conflict resolution.


Chief Executive Officer of Conflict to Peace

Eric Newton’s journey from Conflict to Peace has been marked by a steadfast commitment to promoting understanding and effective communication through God-honoring, biblical methods. His passion for helping people in relationships communicate effectively and resolve conflicts productively led him to join the organization as a Christian conciliator/mediator in 2019, before taking the helm as Chief Executive Officer.

Dedicated Mediator and Trainer:

Eric’s foray into mediation began in 2008, showcasing a natural aptitude for facilitating understanding and resolution. His notable contributions include volunteering and serving as a consultant trainer/coach at the Center for Conflict Resolution (CCR) in Chicago, where he was instrumental in establishing the Volunteer Council to strengthen the collaboration between staff and volunteers.

Professional Expertise and Involvement:

As a Virginia Supreme Court-certified mediator for both General District Court and Juvenile & Domestic Relations Court, Eric brings a wealth of experience to his role. His recent tenure on the board at NVMS Conflict Resolution Center and his active involvement as a Restorative Justice facilitator in Fairfax County’s Alternative Accountability Program (AAP) further demonstrate his deep engagement in the field of conflict resolution.

Community Engagement and Educational Pursuits:

Eric’s commitment extends beyond professional circles. He is a trained mediator for Small Claims courts in Washington, D.C., and volunteers as a facilitator/trainer for internationals with T.I.P.S. at Truro Anglican Church. His dedication to societal issues, particularly racial reconciliation, is evident in his active participation in a multi-racial study group since June 2020, and his role as a panelist in a significant racial reconciliation seminar.

Academic Foundations:

Eric’s academic background is as impressive as his professional journey. He holds a master’s degree in intercultural relations with a focus on conflict resolution from the University of the Pacific. His training in Christian Conciliation adds a significant dimension to his approach, blending professional expertise with spiritual insight.


Outreach and Development Ambassador, Christian Conciliator, Facilitator, and Coach at Conflict to Peace

Lucy Nichols brings a vibrant energy to Conflict to Peace as a part-time Outreach and Development Ambassador and Christian conciliator. Her aspiration to forge partnerships with local churches in the Northern Virginia area reflects her commitment to extending Christ-centered conflict resolution services to lower-income families and others in need.

Legal Expertise and Transition to Mediation:

With over 25 years of experience in family law, Lucy’s career as a lawyer in Virginia, Maryland, and the District of Columbia has been marked by her dedication to helping people navigate high-conflict, complex cases, particularly in child custody litigation. Her in-depth understanding of family conflicts and their often devastating consequences fueled her transition from litigation to mediation. She is now certified in Virginia as a Juvenile and Domestic Relations District Court mediator and a Circuit Court mediator for family cases.

New Path in Conflict Resolution:

Lucy’s journey has been profoundly influenced by her faith. Guided by the Holy Spirit, she embraced a biblical approach to conflict resolution. This led her to discover and join Conflict to Peace, where she now applies her legal expertise and spiritual insights to serve those entangled in disputes.

Vision for Christ-Centered Service:

Lucy is passionate about offering a family and child-centered, as well as Christ-centered, approach to conflict resolution. Whether it’s family or employment relationships, her goal is to assist people in resolving disputes and facilitating difficult conversations. She is enthusiastic about her continued growth both as a Christian and as a professional in Christian conciliation and coaching.

Background and Community Engagement:

Lucy holds an undergraduate degree from the University of Virginia and a law degree from T.C. Williams School of Law at the University of Richmond. A native of Vienna, Virginia, she now resides in Oakton, where she is an active community member, volunteering at her daughter’s school and their church.


Administrator and Case Manager at Conflict to Peace

Claudia Carr is a vital part of the Conflict to Peace team, where she gracefully manages administrative duties and case management, ensuring that the conciliation processes are executed seamlessly. Her role involves conducting consultations and providing support that is crucial to the smooth operation of the organization.

Transition to Conflict Resolution:

Claudia’s journey to Conflict to Peace followed a rewarding career in the federal government and industry, where she honed her skills as a training and education professional. Her transition to conflict resolution is marked by her certification as a mediator for Juvenile and Domestic Relations by the Supreme Court of Virginia.

Current Mediation and Restorative Justice Roles:

Further expanding her expertise in conflict resolution, Claudia currently serves as a staff mediator with an organization specializing in restorative justice programs and community-based mediation. Her work in these areas underscores her commitment to resolving conflicts and fostering understanding within communities.

Educational Background:

Claudia’s academic achievements include an undergraduate degree in Business Administration from Bowie State University and an MBA from The Johns Hopkins University. Her educational background provides a strong foundation for her administrative and case management roles.

Personal Life and Community Engagement:

A native Washingtonian, Claudia resides in Fairfax with her husband and youngest son. She is an active member of her church, illustrating her commitment to her faith and community. In her free time, Claudia enjoys the company of her family and friends, valuing the connections and relationships that enrich her life.