Circles International | Leadership Development For Social Impact - Solid Background.png

Our Mission 

Circles International is building the movement for emotional health and wellbeing by supporting a new wave of contemplative leaders and organizations around the globe, one circle at a time.

Meet The Team

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Eliza Ramos, MPH, MSW

Eliza Ramos is the Founder and CEO of Circles International. She is CI’s principal leadership and organizational development consultant. An award winning social entrepreneur, activist, healer, and advocate for social justice, Eliza launched CI in 2017 to begin building a movement for emotional health and wellbeing amongst leaders and organizations working toward peace and social justice. During her previous career as a social worker and global health practitioner, she witnessed a high rate of fatigue and burnout. She realized a direct link between the wellbeing of a leader and organization, and the impact they were either able or not able to make in their communities. She began to focus her energy on cultivating wellness and resilience circles for those in high-impact, service-oriented leadership roles, and soon after, CI was born.

Prior to CI, she worked as a counselor and facilitator with the New York Presbyterian Hospital and as a strategic and programmatic consultant to the United Nations in New York and India, in both global wellbeing and health programs. Other past work includes consulting for various global governmental and non-governmental organizations in the United States, Mexico, Guatemala, Belize, Rwanda, Uganda, Tanzania, and Kenya. In 2012 she was selected for a Global Health Corps fellowship working with Partners in Health as a FACE AIDS Program Manager in Rwanda, and joined the Global Health Corps staff to expand opportunities for their growing community of emerging leaders.

In 2012 she was awarded a Women in Leadership fellowship and Davis Projects for Peace grant for her work in healing and activism. Her writing and research has been published by the United Nations, North Shore LIJ Hospital, AIDS Center for Queens County, and the Columbia Social Work Review. She is proficient in Spanish and enjoys cross-cultural learning and exchange.

Eliza holds an M.P.H. from Harvard University, an M.S.W. from Columbia University, and a B.A. in Psychology from the University of Southern California. She is certified in mediation and conflict resolution training, wilderness emergency medicine, and Reiki. Originally from Beaverton, Oregon, she currently resides in Oakland, California, where and enjoys being part of the Bay Area’s arts, healing and activism communities.

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Alexis Barnes, MIPH

Alexis Barnes is a Co-Founder and Consultant for Circles International. She brings ten years of experience working in training and management roles for global health and social justice organizations all over the globe. She has held positions working in youth empowerment in Ethiopia, global tobacco control in Washington DC, expanding a Ministry of Education initiative in Chile through the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) and served a 2012-2013 Global Health Corps Fellow in Uganda, working with grassroots community health initiatives in the areas in maternal health, HIV/AIDS, malaria, nutrition and youth empowerment. Additionally, she has consulted for organizations in East Africa, Australia, the United States and Haiti. 

Like Eliza, Alexis also witnessed high levels of burnout in global organizations, particularly for those living and working in communities outside of their own. This experience led her to begin working with volunteers and staff before they embarked on cross-cultural experiences. In her last position as Director of Learning and Training for GlobeMed, she created an annual global health and social justice curriculum for a network of 2,000 undergraduate students. She also created a network-wide leadership development strategy to help those engaged in service work discern and practice leadership development of themselves, their teams and their community. Additionally, she co-authored a chapter of a global health textbook relating to ethical leadership for undergraduate students working in global health.

With a strong background in curriculum development and education, Alexis aims to create experiential opportunities for leaders to align their authentic selves with the work they hope to accomplish. Alexis holds a BA in International Studies from University of Oregon and a Masters in International Public Health from University of Sydney, Australia. She is originally from Portland, Oregon and currently resides in Chicago, Illinois. 

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Dylan Cox

Dylan Cox is the Executive Administrative Coordinator for Circles International. With over 13 years of executive assistant and office management experience and a love of community organizing, Dylan brings much passion and dedication into their work and everyday actions. Dylan has worked for and in partnership with small family businesses, grassroots organizations, and nonprofits over the years. After graduating from the State University of New York at New Paltz in 2006 with a B.A. in Women's Studies, Dylan chose to dedicate their free time to community organizing with and fundraising for LGBTQ and human rights organizations.


Amy Paulson

Amy Paulson is a Consultant and Facilitator for Circles International. She is a social entrepreneur, activist, facilitator, writer, speaker, trauma survivor, mental health advocate, and the co-founder and CEO of Gratitude Alliance, a San Francisco-based non-profit that works at the intersection of healing and justice - helping to disrupt cycles of violence, fear, hate, and injustice and heal individual and collective trauma, build community resilience, and democratize access to healing resources in the Bay Area and around the world.

Once an orphan herself, Amy is passionate about healing and transformation for those who have lost their mothers and those who most need to reclaim their inner mother. As a survivor of trauma, Amy is working to de-stigmatize and de-pathologize trauma as a mental health issue, and encourage individuals, communities, and institutions to embrace healing as our universal human responsibility.

Amy has served in the non-profit sector as a volunteer, global program manager, finance manager, and board member in the U.S, Kenya, Ethiopia, Rwanda, South Africa, Nepal, and Cambodia. Based in San Francisco, Amy left the corporate world in 2011 to co-found Gratitude Alliance after working for over a decade in the U.S. and Europe for organizations such as Deloitte, SAP, and eBay. She holds a Master of Science in Nonprofit Management with a concentration in Global Studies from Northeastern University and a certificate in Trauma-Informed Interventions (UC Berkeley). 


Varuna Srinivasan

Varuna Srinivasan is a Consultant for Circles International. She was born in New Zealand, grew up in Africa, studied in India and is now looking to work in the U.S. She has skills in research methodologies, clinical medicine, public health policy & advocacy, and in social entrepreneurship.

Her passion for global health has enabled her to work on projects in India, Rwanda and Nepal to name a few. She loves to travel, read, write, spend time with her family and engage in deep meaningful conversations.

Varuna holds a degree in Medicine and Public Health.


Cyra Perry Dougherty

Cyra Perry Dougherty (“Perry”), is a Senior Consultant for Circles International. She is the founder and CEO of Rootwise Leadership, LLC. She serves as the lead coach, consultant, facilitator, and teacher for Rootwise Leadership.

As an ordained interspiritual minister with more than 15 years of experience working with global executive teams in the social sector and civil society, Perry enriches cutting-edge leadership development theory and practice with a deep understanding of the inner life, spiritual practice, creative expression, and personal narrative. She pursues her work with transformation as both means and end.

Perry is also a Senior Partner at Still Harbor, an Instructor at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, as well as the Founding Editor of Anchor magazine and the Editor of The Anatomy of Silence, Red Press 2019. At home, she is a mother to three, ages 2, 10, and 15, and a writer.

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Christopher Jackson

Christopher Jackson is a Design Consultant for Circles International. He has a passion for creating visual concepts to communicate ideas that inspire, enlighten and captivate audiences. Based in Portland, Oregon, Chris has worked with a variety of companies from local businesses to major brands. Chris holds an AA in Graphic Design from The Art Institute of Portland, a BA in Sociology from the University of Oregon and a Masters of Business Administration in Marketing and Entrepreneurship from California Lutheran University. His portfolio can be found at


Our Advisor


Beth Geever, Strategic Advisor

Beth Geever is the co-founder and project manager for Newfound Pathways, a non-profit committed to creating safe routes for pedestrians and cyclists in the Newfound Lake area of New Hampshire. Since early childhood she has commuted to school, appointments, and work on foot and via bicycle, and is a passionate advocate for creating healthier, more walkable communitIes. Her career includes working as a software engineer and engineering manager for high tech companies, and project management for K-12 educational organizations. 


Our Partners

We are so grateful to our partners who make this work possible!

Eliza & Alexis are passionate, empathic, and thoughtful leaders that have an innovative vision and approach to global wellness and social justice work that all open minded individuals at any point in their career could benefit from with the community of trust and inclusiveness they help cultivate."

- Andrea Garces, Associate Director, Middle East & North Africa, Heartland Alliance