Board of Directors
Meet our highly qualified board of directors. They are all experienced in financial, high-tech, government or education management and knowledgable about the realities of operations and governance. Most are sangha members of Mountain Cloud Zen Center
John Braman is principal at Braman Group International (BGI), a consultancy based in Santa Fe. He also co-directs (with Henry Shukman) the Rio Grande Mindfulness Institute (RGMI), a division of Mountain Cloud Zen Center. He is past president of the Independent Schools Association of the Central States (ISACS), where he oversaw the accreditation of 250 schools and founded Global Youth Leadership Institute and the Midwest Diversity Committee. Prior to that, he was director of experiential learning at Albuquerque Academy for ten years, was vice president of Thompson Island Outward Bound in Boston, MA, and director of the Center for Peaceable Schools at Lesley University, Cambridge, MA. He graduated from Brown University magna cum laude, and has a master’s degree in Educational Administration from Teachers College of Columbia University, where he was awarded the Klingenstein Fellowship. He also holds a certificate from Harvard’s Pluralism Project, and is a 2018 graduate of Inward Bound Mindfulness Education’s year-long teacher certification program.
Jay Coghlan is Executive Director of Nuclear Watch New Mexico, a nonprofit organization that watchdogs the Los Alamos National Laboratory and the Department of Energy’s nation-wide nuclear weapons complex. He has worked successfully against radioactive incineration at the Los Alamos Lab and in Clean Air Act, Freedom of Information Act and National Environmental Policy Act lawsuits against the Department of Energy. Among other things, he prompted a 2006 independent study that concluded that plutonium pits (the fissile “triggers” of nuclear weapons) last at least a century, leading to congressional rejections of new-design nuclear weapons and their production. He also sits on the board of directors of the Bodhi Mandala Zen Center in Jemez Springs, NM, and is an avid skier and climber.
Sarah Giffin (she/her) joined the Mountain Cloud Community as a resident zen student in 2017, before serving the sangha as residential Site Manager and Program Coordinator. During this time, she joined the Rio Grande Mindfulness Institute faculty as an Experiential Specialist, bringing her joy of play and embodiment to the team. Before coming to Santa Fe, Sarah lived in New York City and her hometown, Washington, D.C., where she was deeply engaged in community-based racial justice and art initiatives. There, she practiced Theater of the Oppressed, experiential learning, and critical pedagogy in her roles at youth development and professional development organizations, and art collectives. She is a graduate of D.C. Public Schools, The New School University, and holds a certificate in Creative Arts Therapy and worked as a Program Effectiveness Manager at Homewise in Santa Fe.
Karen Klinefelter has been a clinical social worker since receiving her MSW from St Louis University in 1971. Her direct clinical work has included provision of individual, family and group therapies in both inpatient and outpatient settings for underserved popularions. She has been a clinical supervisor for graduate school interns and guest lectured at the community college and university level. Karen has worked in program development, grant-writing and administration in both public and nonprofit agencies with an emphasis on engaging local leaders and volunteers in focused multi-disciplinary responses to issues affecting vulnerable segments of the community. She currently maintains a small clinical practice, with a particular interest in aging and what it really means to be an elder in this culture. She has had a zen practice for the past 17 years.
Mark Paul Petrick (Board President)
Mark Petrick earned his undergraduate degree in fine art from the University of California at Berkeley, where he also did graduate work in architecture. He earned his MFA at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago where he was a Mellon Fellow at the school’s Center for Art and Technology. He taught college art and photography, and exhibited as an artist and photographer at major institutions such as SFMoMA, the Chicago Art Institute, the Walker Art Center, and the Des Moines Art Center. His varied career also included work as a magazine publisher, writer, commercial photographer, and work in industrial and public relations. He retired in 2014 after working as a director of marketing communications for a manufacturing firm. Mark is a student at Mountain Cloud. He lives in Santa Fe, New Mexico, where he continues to pursue his creative interests.
Irene brings a strong and varied background in development, publishing and communications to the Mountain Cloud Board. She was an executive in film, television, and publishing for over twenty years and then transferred these skills to nonprofit development. Since 2006 Irene, through her own company IW Development, has produced strategies to build organizational capacity through promotion and marketing, foundation and government grants, corporate sponsorships, individual giving, Planned Giving, and producing events. She’s worked with many northern New Mexican non-profits including, The Interfaith Community Shelter, New Mexico Community Foundation, New Mexico Women.Org (founding member), New Mexico Land Conservancy, Santa Fe for Students, (now Communities in Schools of New Mexico), Alternatives to Violence Project USA, Coming Home Connection, Quivira Coalition, Many Mothers, American Friends Service Committee and The Impact Fund.
Irene lives in Santa Fe, is a Mountain Cloud member and long term meditator. She has an MA in English Literature from New York University and BA in English and History from the State University of New York.
Henry Shukman (Ex-officio)
Henry is an Associate Zen Master of Sanbo Zen and continues his training under Abbot Yamada Ryoun Roshi. He has an MA from Cambridge (UK) and an M.Litt from St Andrews University. He has worked as a writer and poet for many years, publishing extensively, as well as teaching in various institutions in Britain and America, including Oxford Brookes University and the Institute of American Indian Arts. He is the Guiding Teacher of Mountain Cloud Zen Center.