A public sector attorney and social change activist, Bruce Berlin has devoted his career to social justice issues for over forty-five years.
Education, Training and Early Career
Berlin earned his AB in government from Cornell University and his JD from New York University. Following graduation from law school in 1970, he began his legal career assisting low-income clients at the Legal Aid Society in Trenton, New Jersey. A few years later he moved to Massachusetts and continued his poverty law practice with Western Massachusetts Legal Services. Before settling in Massachusetts, Berlin traveled abroad for a year, including studying Buddhism and practicing meditation under Lama Thubten Yeshe and Lama Thubten Zopa Rinpoche at Kopan, a Tibetan monastery in Nepal. Some years later he became a student of Zen meditation under Joshu Sasaki Roshi. Berlin is currently certified in Negotiation and Mediation by the National Center for Collaborative Planning and Community Services and in Economic Development by the New Mexico Community Economic Development Leadership Institute.
Public Policy and Conflict Resolution Experience
Berlin is the founder and former executive director of The Trinity Forum for International Security and Conflict Resolution, a nonprofit organization that brought together policymakers from a wide spectrum of political perspectives, professors of government and politics, NGO organizers, and concerned citizens to develop broad-based, nonpartisan approaches to a variety of policy issues from national security in the nuclear age to economic development and diversification. While directing The Trinity Forum for over eight years, Berlin was awarded a Jennings Randolph Peace Fellowship from the United States Institute of Peace in 1988. As a Peace Fellow, he studied the Nicaraguan conflict and produced a dialogue at the Armand Hammer United World College, which brought together high-level representatives of the Sandinista government and the Contras resistance movement, as well as US ambassadors to Central America, to explore paths to a Nicaraguan peace agreement.
In the early 1980s, as a co-founder and state coordinator of the New Mexico Nuclear Freeze Campaign, he directed a successful statewide effort lobbying the New Mexico legislature for the passage of a resolution in support of a US-Soviet freeze on the development and deployment of nuclear weapons.
Government Service and Political Campaigns
During his career, Berlin has been involved in a number of local, state, and national political campaigns. In 1976, he helped direct a grassroots campaign for sheriff in Franklin County, Massachusetts. He also has volunteered in several Congressional and presidential campaigns. Beginning in 1996, Berlin served as an administrative hearing officer for the New Mexico Taxation and Revenue Department for almost nine years. Prior to his retirement from practicing law in the fall of 2012, he spent eight years as a senior attorney with the New Mexico Public Education Department, where he brought disciplinary charges against educators for violations of the department’s Code of Ethics.
Formerly married, Berlin has a daughter, Gioia, who is studying in Asia at the Global Studies Program of Long Island University. Berlin lives in Santa Fe, New Mexico, where since 1981, he has worked on reviving democracy in America, promoting peace in the Middle East, and diversifying Los Alamos National Laboratory, among other issues. This is his first book.