Staff

Stephen Avino

Stephen Avino

Chief Operating Officer (COO) & Acting Executive Director

Stephen is the Chief Operating Officer & Acting Executive Director of the Parliament of the World's Religions. An avid seeker of knowledge; he earned his Master of Arts in Religious Studies at the Chicago Theological Seminary. Stephen has dedicated his life to Interfaith work, including helping to organize the 2015 Parliament of the World's Religions in Salt Lake City and the 2018 Parliament of the World's Religions in Toronto.

Joshua Basofin

Joshua Basofin

Director of Climate Action

Joshua Basofin is Director of Climate Action at Parliament of the World’s Religions. Joshua has worked in the environmental field for over fifteen years as an attorney, advocate, sustainability expert, and writer. He started his career in roles with Environment Now and Defenders of Wildlife focusing on water policy and environmental conservation. Joshua later worked with businesses, local governments, and civil society to develop strategies for systemically reducing their environmental impact. He has advised organizations independently and on behalf of Beyond Business and Forum for the Future.

Kaleb Nyquist

2021 Virtual Convening Associate

Kaleb is a strategist for organizations working at the intersection of sustainability, spirituality, and democratic reform. From 2012-19 he oversaw the growth of Young Evangelicals for Climate Action as a steering committee member and civic engagement chair. He has done research on faith-based refugee resettlement in Sweden (funded by Baptist Theological Union), congregational responses to ecological despair in the United States (funded by the Louisville Institute), and the intersection of big data and democratic dysfunction (as part of a data science fellowship with the Flatiron School). He is a member of Ravenswood Evangelical Covenant Church in Chicago, where he was the youth director for seven years. With the Parliament, he has served as a Climate Action Task Force member, 2018 Climate Action Program Associate, and Global Ethic Task Force/Committee member. Kaleb has a B.A. in Global Studies and Conflict Transformation from North Park University, and a Master of Divinity and a Master of Public Policy from the University of Chicago.

Emma Pittsley

Development Associate

Emma received her Bachelor's in Religious Studies, with a concentration in Non-Profit Leadership, from Michigan State University. Emma started her career interning with a Chicago refugee resettlement agency and cultural association then in 2018 joined the team for the Toronto Parliament. Prior to returning to the Parliament as Developent Associate in 2020, Emma worked to support Interfaith Youth Core and coordinated the planning of an interfaith sustainability conference for the Michigan branch of Interfaith Power and Light. Emma works to promote a culture of understanding and collaboration, harnessing the power of diversity for greater impact toward the common good. By drawing from a variety of interdisciplinary, philosophical, and theological perspectives, Emma desires to uncover interfaith intersections that might lead to a more sustainable and peaceful world.

Miriam Quezada

Miriam Quezada

Communication & Program Manager

Miriam V. Quezada Mendez was born in Jalisco, Mexico. A graduate of the 2015 Class at Illinois College, Miriam double majored in Communication & Rhetorical Studies and International Studies with a focus on gender and human rights. A passionate advocate of immigrant rights, women's issues and youth involvement, Miriam found the Parliament of the World's Religions a perfect avenue by which to make her passion a reality.

Myriam Renaud

Myriam Renaud

Project Director and Principal Investigator: Global Ethic Project

Myriam Renaud discovered Hans Küng’s book, A Global Ethic, by happenstance and has been a fierce advocate ever since. Currently working on a Ph.D. in Religious Thought and Ethics at the University of Chicago Divinity School, she is a former Managing Editor of the Martin Marty Center's  publication, Sightings. Her research focuses on understandings of God, constructive philosophical theology, comparative theology, religious ethics, and religion in public life. She co-edited and contributed a chapter to the collection of essays, God and the Moral Life (Routledge, 2018). She has also published articles in scholarly journals like Zygon and the Anglican Theological Review as well as in popular media like SightingsReligion Dispatches, The Conversation, and The Atlantic online. One of her Sightings' pieces will be republished in Sightings: Reflections on Religion in Public Life (Eerdmans, 2019). In 2017, she was a finalist for the Religion News Association's Chandler Award for excellence in student religion reporting. 

Jesse Smith

Staff Accountant

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