Founder & President

Thomas B. Etzel

Tom is the Founder and President of the Global Peace Building Foundation (GPBF), a non-profit corporation supporting organizations that are engaged in cultivating global peace among primarily children and youth to promote unity, compassion, and understanding.

September 11, 2001 was the major catalyst in Tom’s commitment to peace building. Tom experienced a calling to channel his grieving energies in a positive way during the aftermath of the tragedy he and his family experienced.

His 25 year-old niece, Katie McCloskey was on the 97th floor of the World Trade Center when American Airlines Flight 11 struck the North Tower. Tom’s high school friend, Ken Waldie, was aboard that jetliner.

Enrolling in the mid-career Masters Degree program at the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy, Tom’s goals were to gain an in-depth global perspective and find a clearer vision of world affairs and efforts toward globally building peace. Through this intense and rigorous program, Tom formed close bonds and connections with classmates from all over the world, allowing him to see ordinary situations and issues from different cultural perspectives. He remains close with his fellow graduates.

Upon completing his studies at the Fletcher School in July of 2010, Tom successfully established GPBF. Bearing special significance, the effective date of incorporation for GPBF was September 11, 2010.

Tom holds the Master of Arts degree in International Relations from the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy, Tufts University. He received his Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science, cum laude, from Duquesne University.

Tom is a Certified Public Accountant and he has been the Principal of his own tax and investment advisory practice for the past 19 years. He currently resides in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania with his wife, Phyllis Etzel. Tom and Phyllis have three children, Kristen, Katie and Mark, and a son-in-law, Aaron.