Former Trustees

Dr. Ghulam Haider Aasi

Tahera Ahmed

Tahera Ahmad is a dynamic young female scholar, and a native of the Chicago land Muslim community. She was raised in Morton Grove, and graduated from Niles West High School where she played varsity basketball. She has served the Muslim Community of Chicago through leadership at the MCC, IFS, CIOGC, IMAN, MYNA, ISNA, etc. As a Dept. Head of Islamic Studies at the Islamic Foundation School, Villa Park IL., she taught courses in Quran, Arabic, and Islamic Studies. She regularly hosts young Muslim art stages, open mics, and counsels young Muslims through study circles that promote a balanced Muslim life-style. She received graduate certification in Arabic from Al-Diwan, Cairo, Ijaazaat (certification) in Tajweed (art of Quranic recitation) and traditional Islamic sciences from various institutions in USA and abroad. During her graduate studies in Islamic Studies and Christian-Muslim Relations at Hartford Seminary, she served as the Muslim Chaplain/Advisor at Mt. Holyoke College in South Hadley, Massachusetts. She has been featured in several documentary films about Islam and will be depicted as a young female Muslim Advisor/Chaplain in an upcoming PBS documentary about faith and youth leadership in the United States, titled: The Calling.

Dr. Akbar Ahmed

Dr. Akbar Ahmed is the Ibn Khaldun Chair of Islamic Studies at American University. He is former High Commissioner of Pakistan to Great Britain, and has advised Prince Charles and met with President George W. Bush on Islam. His numerous books, films and documentaries have won prestigious awards and his books have been translated into several languages including Chinese and Indonesian.

Ms. Mazher Ahmed

Ms. Mazher Ahmed was born in Hyderabad, raised and educated in Bombay, India and now lives in the United States. An architect by trade, she has helped design a mosque, a church and a Buddhist temple. Ms. Ahmed is currently vice president of the Batavia Islamic Center, Director of Global Peace Works and founder of Interfaith Prayer for Peace, a group for people of all faiths to gather and pray from their own tradition for world peace.

Mr. Syed Ahmed

Mrs. Joyce Allen

Mrs. Joyce Allen had her first contact with the Parliament in 1992 when she was asked by her Protestant Christian denomination, the United Church of Christ, to help promote the 1993 Parliament in Chicago. She was elected a Trustee of the Parliament at the Cape Town Parliament in 1999 and served many years as Secretary. She has served as Corporate Member and Member of the Board of Directors of the United Church of Christ Board for World Ministries, President of the Rural India Health Project, Trustee of Interfaith Refuge and Immigration Ministries, and member of the Visiting Committee of Chicago Theological Seminary.

Reverend Dr. Thomas A. Baima

Reverend Dr. Thomas A. Baima is a priest of the Archdiocese of Chicago and provost of the University of Saint Mary of the Lake, where he also teaches ecumenism, interreligious dialogue and theology of religions. He co-authored the introduction to the Declaration Toward a Global Ethic. He served CPWR as a member of the Board of Trustees, Acting Vice Chair of Planning, Treasurer, and was one of the vice presidents of the 1993 Parliament. Before assuming his present position he served as President of the Illinois Conference of Churches; President of the Council of Religious Leaders of Metropolitan Chicago; and Director of the Archdiocese of Chicago’s Office for Ecumenical and Interreligious Affairs.

Ms. Omie Baldwin

Ms. Omie Baldwin is a member of the Dine' Nation (also known as Navajos). She has been the organizer for the participation of the Americas Indigenous peoples in Parliament events since 1993. A clinical social worker at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, University Health Services, Ms. Baldwin is active with the American Indian students on campus. She also continues to be active in her Dine' Nation home community on the Navajo Nation in Arizona.

Dr. Gerald Barney

Rev. Dr. Anne Benvenuti

Anne Benvenuti is a professor of psychology and philosophy, an integrative scholar, a licensed clinical psychologist, a priest of the Episcopal Church, a spiritual director, and a published poet, writer, and photographer. Her research interests include developing models for scientific investigation of qualia; explication of religious epistemology, especially with reference to the potential for neuro-scientific models of integrative knowing, policy implications of religious epistemology, and the clinical integration of spirituality, health, and ecology. Anne Benvenuti blogs at


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