Tim was born in the small town of New Hope, Pennsylvania. he spent his formative years in the community steeped in the Quaker tradition on nonviolence and inclusion. He first began working with refugees affected by conflicts while working for Habitat for Humanity in North Carolina. He later went to graduate school in Washington, DC, where he began working with the World Bank and USIP. He moved overseas to help find enduring solutions to intractable conflicts in places as Liberia, the two Sudans, and Afghanistan. He left USIP to move back to Pennsylvania.