Board of Trustees

Nitin Ajmera

Chair of the Board

Nitin Ajmera is a senior management professional and practitioner of the Digambar Jain tradition.  He is Chief Financial Officer at New York Sports Club and its family of brands. He also teaches at Drexel University. He has been associated with the Jain Center of America-New York and Jain Samaj of Long Island in many capacities ranging from a teacher in Jain Sunday School, committee chair, to the President. Nitin is the Chair of the Board of the Parliament of the World's Religions.

Sahar Alsahlani

Naeem Baig

Mr. Naeem Mohammad Baig, is former President of Islamic Circle of North America, ICNA, and currently he is Director of Interfaith Alliances and member of the National Board of the Islamic Circle. He serves as Director/Imam of Outreach and Interfaith Programs at Dar al-Hijrah Islamic Center.

Naeem Baig serves as the co-chair of the 'National Muslim-Christian Initiative'. He also serves as the Muslim Coordinator for the ‘Catholic-Muslim Mid-Atlantic Dialogue’.

Mr. Baig is National Moderator for 'Religions for Peace USA'. He is member of the board of 'Interfaith Workers Justice”.

He is the founder of ‘International Interfaith Cooperation for Religious Freedom’. He is a student of Islam and his focus is human rights, religious freedom and social justice. He regularly gives Friday sermons at various Islamic Centers and gives talks at Islamic and Interfaith conferences.

He serves as a volunteer Chaplain at local hospitals and has successfully completed 3 Units in Clinical Pastoral Education

Rabbi Michael Balinsky

Rabbi Michael Balinsky is the Executive Vice President of the Chicago Board of Rabbis, an organization representing two hundred rabbis of all denominations. He is a member of the Jewish Catholic Scholars Dialogue in Chicago, serves on the executive of the Council of Religious leaders of Metropolitan Chicago and is on the Advisory Board of the Bernadin Center at Catholic Theological Union. Rabbi Balinsky was a Hillel director for twenty-two years, over nineteen of those as the director of the Louis and Saerree Fiedler Hillel Center at Northwestern University.

Kehkashan Basu

Iconic youth leader, global influencer, environmentalist, champion of children’s rights, a Forbes 30 Under 30, TEDx speaker, Climate Reality Mentor, author, musician, peace and sustainability campaigner and a passionate advocate of women’s rights, Kehkashan Basu is a trail blazer who has been challenging the status quo and breaking social strictures and taboos which impede the progress and rights of future generations. 

Winner of the 2016 International Children’s Peace Prize for her work on children's rights and the environment, and the first-ever Voices Youth Gorbachev-Shultz Legacy Award for her work on nuclear disarmament, Kehkashan is a tireless advocate for the UN Sustainable Development Goals. She is a United Nations Human Rights Champion, National Geographic Young Explorer and the youngest ever Global Coordinator for the UN Environment Program’s Major Group for Children & Youth. She was named the youngest recipient of Canada's Top25 Women of Influence, one of Canada's Top 100 Most Powerful Women and is the Council Lead of the Toronto-St. Paul's Constituency Youth Council. 

Kehkashan is the Founder President of the social innovation enterprise Green Hope Foundation, which provides young people in 16 countries a networking platform to engage in the sustainable development process and take actions to mitigate climate change. Her internationally acclaimed work on sustainability has resulted in her being named one of the Top 100 SDG Leaders in the world and one of the Top 100 Most Powerful Women in Canada. She is the youngest member of Canada’s Women in Renewable Energy forum and the youngest Councillor of World Future Council. 

Kehkashan is a 2020 L'Oreal Paris Women of Worth Honouree, and the recipient of the 2019 Innovator of the Year Award for Sustainability Education, the John Muir Conservation Award for Habitat Restoration, the Energy Globe Award, the Turner Prize for Social Change and the Women Super Achiever Award. A powerful voice for future generations, she has spoken at over 200 United Nations and other global fora across 25 countries.

Debra Boudreaux

Debra Boudreaux is a senior volunteer with the Buddhist Tzu Chi Foundation. She has more than 32 years of experience working on major projects related to charity, medical care, education, and humanitarian aid. Debra was previously the CEO of Tzu Chi Medical Foundation and several community advisory councils for SARS, H1N1, Ebola, and COVID-19. Debra engages with Social Work and Sustainability of Global Environmental Changes among SDG grass roots projects. She leads Buddhist and Catholic interfaith dialogues and serves as a member of the UN Multi-Faith Advisory Council. To this day, Debra has patterned her daily life on the teachings of Dharma Master Cheng Yen: “Gratitude, Respect and Love.” She carries this spirit into communities in need and all over the world.

Lewis Cardinal

Lewis Cardinal is a communicator and educator, he has dedicated his life’s work to creating and maintaining connections and relationships that cross-cultural divides.  His work has mirrored his personal vision of a socially just and responsive society.  

Lewis has received Queen Elizabeth II’s Diamond Jubilee Medal for Public Service, the IndSpire Award for Public Service (the highest award given to an Indigenous person by Indigenous people in Canada), the Province of Alberta’s Centennial Medal for his work in Human Rights and Diversity, the Distinguished Alumni Award from Grant MacEwan University, and was recently conferred the Honorary Degree of “Doctor of Sacred Letters” from St. Stephen’s College at the University of Alberta, Canada. 

Lewis is Woodland Cree from the Sucker Creek Cree First Nation in northern Alberta, Canada.  His consulting company, Cardinal Strategic Communications, specializes in Indigenous education, communications, and project development. Currently, Lewis is Project Manager for “kihciy askiy–Sacred Land” in the City of Edmonton, Canada’s first urban Indigenous ceremony grounds.

Imam Saffet Catovic

Treasurer of the Board

 

Saffet Abid Catovic is a United States Muslim Environmental Leader of Bosnian-Anglo descent. He is one of the first GreenFaith Muslim Fellows and is Co-founder and Chair of the Green Muslims of New Jersey (GMNJ). He is a founding board member of the Islamic Society of North America’s (ISNA) Green Masjid Task Force. He is a member of the Drafting Committee of the Islamic Declaration on Global Climate Change and a founding member of the Global Muslim Climate Network (GMCN). He serves as the Imam and Muslim Chaplain at Drew University, Madison, New Jersey.

Rev. Phyllis Curott

Phyllis Curott is one of America’s first public Wiccan Priestesses, an attorney and author whose groundbreaking books, published in fourteen countries, made Wicca accessible to the world and awakened an entire generation to the Goddess. Named one of the Ten Gutsiest Women of the Year by Jane Magazine, she was inducted into the Martin Luther King, Jr. Collegium of Clergy and Scholars. New York Magazine declared Curott’s teaching the culture’s “next big idea” and her Youtube series on Wicca has more than 1,113,000 views. Widely covered in the international media, Time recently published her challenge to the world's faiths to lead the way in the fight for the human rights and dignity of women as one of “America’s leading voices.” Curott was the Vice Chair of the 2015 Parliament of the World’s Religions and creator of the historic 2015 Inaugural Women's Assembly. She is founder of the Temple of Ara, the world’s oldest shamanic Wiccan congregation. Curott received her degree in philosophy from Brown University and her Juris Doctor from New York University. She is currently working on her next book, WICCA, Awaken the Divine Magic Within, out November 2018 for Hay House.

Dr. Mary Doak

Mary Doak (Ph.D., The University of Chicago) is Professor of Theology at the University of San Diego, where she has taught since 2007. Her recent publications include A Prophetic Public Church: Witness to Hope Amid the Global Crises of the 21st Century (Liturgical Press, 2020), and Divine Harmony: Seeking Community in a Broken World (Paulist Press, 2017), along with other books and articles on public theology, ecclesiology, and eschatology. She had the honor of serving as president of the College Theology Society from 2019-2021, and as president of the American Theological Society (Midwest) from 2007-2008.

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