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The Transpartisan Center was founded in 2008 as a continuation of the work started by Reuniting America. For The Transpartisan Center Co-founder and CEO, Michael Ostrolenk, the story of The Transpartisan Center begins much earlier.

Michael’s first introduction to what would later become transpartisan thought was in the mid 1990s while he was doing post-graduate training in health and somatic psychology. He attended a public forum hosted by an organization called the Health Medicine Forum (HMF) which was run by Dr. Len Seputo. After the forum on integrative medicine, Michael approached Len and discussed how the use of Ken Wilber’s integral model which he had studied in graduate school might benefit the HMF. Dr. Seputo asked Michael to write up his thoughts. By the next day, Michael gave Len a 5 page memo. Soon there after, Michael was asked to join the HMF effort and eventually both joined the board and began to run the integrative medicine panel process where patients, with the assistance of a health guide would meet with 6-8 healthcare practitioners for 2 hours to both tell their story and to be worked with from a multitude of healing modality perspectives including Allopathic, nutritional, somatic, Chinese Medicine, psychological, and Chiropractic. This type of effort was not new to Michael in theory but was in practice. It was the first real hands on work in a cross-disciplinary, transpartisan program.

Michael’s next foray into the transpartisan was in public policy in early 2001 when after a conversation with Sue Blevins from the Institute for Health Freedom and Jim Turner from Citizens for Health on HIPAA and medical privacy, he decided to form a transpartisan coalition on medical privacy related issues. (The Medical Privacy Coalition is still in existence)

In 2002 and 2003, Michael created a series of both transpartisan and integral related salons in DC. The transpartisan salons where a result of the various conversations he both had with David Kirby (at Cato Institute at the time) and Jim Turner from Citizens for Health. The Integral Salons were a result of his association with the Integral Institute, Don Beck’s Spiral Dynamics Integral, Jenny Wade’s Wade’s Mind Set and John Forman at Integral Development Associates.

In late 2005 and early 2006, Michael helped create and run the Liberty Coalition which is a transpartisan coalition focused on civil liberty and privacy rights related issues. It presently has 84 groups from across the political spectrum as members.

In 2006, John Steiner introduced Michael to Joseph McCormick and his project Democracy in America. Michael assisted Joseph in reaching people on the right to attend the conference and consulted with the process. This natural partnership led to more work and when Reuniting America (RA) was founded, Michael became Co-Director with Ana Micka. In 2008, he became president of the organization. RA was not issue focused i.e. on civil liberties, war, etc but about a process of bringing liberal and conservative leaders together in retreat settings on issues or general themes to humanize the political process and seek common ground.

Michael's issue specific transpartisan work moved from civil liberty, privacy and national security related issues to foreign policy in late 2007/early 2008, with the help of Carah Ong. Together they and others brought together a group of liberal, progressive, conservative and libertarian leaning organizations to discuss Iran. A transpartisan consensus emerged from that meeting of 60 or so groups. That coalition effort along with others efforts left/right that were already in progress along the same lines turned into the Campaign for A New Policy with Iran.

The work of The Transpartisan Center continues by supporting long-term relationships across the political spectrum and hosting issue-based retreats, conferences and salons.



 
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