Board of Trustees

Swami Ishatmananda

Mr. Bruce Knotts

High impact career as director of the Unitarian Universalist Association Office at the United Nations which advocates for human rights, climate justice and demilitarization of the police. Bruce’s career included service in the US State Department with diplomatic assignments worldwide.

Bruce Co-chairs the UN Non-Governmental Organizations Committee on Human Rights; chairs the NGO Committee on Disarmament, Peace and Security; and serves on the steering committee of the NGO Working Group on the UN Security Council.

Adept in the pragmatic issues of running an organization, from defining strategic mission to negotiation of contracts, real estate and banking arrangements. Make progressive change happen. Proven ability to guide and energize service-focused organizations in achieving tough goals despite opposition, financial limitations and universal red tape.

Successful in championing the rights of indigenous people, women's sexual and reproductive health rights, anti-racism, climate change action and more.

Pushed discussion of sexual orientation and gender identity human rights at the United Nations from near total apathy on the subject to total and positive engagement and advocacy for equal rights for all regardless of gender identity, sexual orientation or other such characteristics.

Understands how to integrate social and economic goals, and how nonprofit values and structure can help benefit-focused for-profit businesses committed to providing a public betterment alongside their services. Bruce is dedicated to interfaith action. In addition to serving on the Parliament Board, he also is a co-moderator of Religions for Peace, USA.

Mr. Thomas Lemberg

Tom Lemberg is a now retired attorney and author. He has been general counsel of several technology-oriented companies, including Lotus Development, Polaroid and UGS Software. At Lotus, he led the creation and growth of the Business Software Alliance, the principal trade association of the software industry. Before that work, he was partner in two Washington law firms. He is now an author and has published Difficult Times: A Fresh Look at Democracy in Modern America, a book on why America is so distressed, angry and divided and why our politics are so badly broken.

James Lynch Jr.

James A. Lynch, Jr, is a Dharma Teacher as authorized by the lay Buddhist Organization Rissho Kosei Kai. He is an official representative for their outside affairs in the New York City area as well as an official representative for Rissho Kosei Kai to the United Nations.

James is currently the President of the Buddhist Council of New York, which represents more than 750,000 Buddhist in the Tri-State area. James further sits on the Board of Religions for Peace USA which is the largest interfaith peace organization in America today. He has also helped organize the Heiwa Peace Foundation a think tank for peace whose primary work is done in the United States and Asia on behalf of its Founder the Venerable T.K. Nakagaki.

Finally, James is also a tenured professor and Chairman of the Business Management Department in the Koppelman School of Business located at Brooklyn College.

Charline Manuel

Secretary of the Board

Charline is an ordained Unity minister serving as Senior Minister of Unity Center of Miami for the past 20 years. In addition to seminary studies, Charline holds bachelor's of arts degrees in Sociology and Urban Studies, and a master's of arts degree in Human Resources Development.

Charline has been active in peace work, taking delegations to study at the University for Peace in Costa Rica, building wells for fresh water in Africa, building a school in Haiti, and to the Parliament of the World’s Religions Convention in Melbourne, Australia.

Charline also serves as online adjunct faculty instructor for the Unity Urban Ministerial School located in Detroit, Michigan.

Carl Murrell

Carl Murrell is the Representative to the United Nations for the National Spiritual Assembly of the Bahá'ís of the United States. He engages in discourses that focus on the advancement of women, race unity and human rights. Mr. Murrell currently serves as Interim President of the Committee of Religious NGOs at the United Nations. In addition, he serves on the Executive Committee of the Council of Organizations of the United Nations Association of the United States of America. Mr. Murrell also has served as Co-Chair of the Values Caucus at the United Nations.

Rev. Dr. John Pawlikowski

Rev. Dr. John Pawlikowski has studied the Nazi Holocaust extensively. His scholarly interests include the theological and ethical aspects of the Christian-Jewish relationship and public ethics. A leading figure in the Christian-Jewish dialogue, he is president of the International Council of Christians and Jews and author of Christ in the Light of the Christian Jewish Dialogue and co-editor of Ethics in the Shadow of the Holocaust.

Dr. Kusumita Pedersen

Kusumita P. Pedersen is Professor Emerita of Religious Studies at St. Francis College and Chair of the Interfaith Center of New York. She is also a member of the Climate Action Task Force (CATF) of the Parliament of the World's Religions and of the Climate Working Group of the Committee of Religious NGOs at the United Nations. She is co-author of Global Ethics in Practice: Historical Backgrounds, Current Issues and Future Prospects (Edinburgh University Press, 2016) and co-editor of Faith for Earth: A Call to Action (UN Environment Programme and Parliament of the World’s Religions, 2020). Kusumita has compiled and edited librettos for two works by Philip Glass: Symphony No. 5: Bardo, Requiem and Nirmānakāya (1999) and The Passion of Ramakrishna (2006). She has been a student of Sri Chinmoy (1931-2007) since 1971 and her book Love and Transformation: The Philosophy of Sri Chinmoy is forthcoming from Lexington Books.

Ven. Dhammadipa Sak

Currently trustee of the Parliament of the World’s Religions; Ven. Dhammadipa Sak, Ph.D., is a Buddhist bhikkhu, the Abbot of US Zen Institute in Maryland, and a Trustee of the International Buddhist Association of America. He is a scholar of early Mahāyāna and Theravāda Buddhism and an acclaimed meditation instructor.

Ven. Dhammadipa was born in Taiwan and brought up in East Malaysia. He was ordained in Sri Lanka in 1987. He later earned his Ph.D. from the University of Bristol in England. He is at present a Research Fellow at Sun-Yat Sen University in China. Ven. Dhammadipa is a Buddhist “ecumenist” who is conversant with the different traditions of Buddhism and seeks to bridge them. He is frequently involved in interfaith activities not only limited to USA, and has been invited as a Buddhist delegate to participate in international interfaith dialogues at UN Assembly, Vatican, Turkey.

Rev. Dr. Scott Stearman

For 3 decades Scott Stearman has served as a pastor in the Christian (Baptist) tradition. His experience includes congregations in Athens, Greece and in Paris, France. Most recently he has been pastor in New York City where he represents the Baptist global body at the United Nations (supported by the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship and the Baptist World Alliance). He is active in helping to lead NGO committees related to human rights and the freedom of religion and belief and has been active in civil societies advocacy at the High Level Political Forum around the UN’s Agenda 2030 (SDGs). Scott holds a Ph.D. in philosophy (Univ. of Oklahoma) and a Th.M. and M.Div (Princeton Theological Seminary and Southwestern Baptist, respectively).

Pages

Subscribe to RSS - Board of Trustees