Parliament Welcomes New Trustees for 2021 Term | parliamentofreligions.org

The Parliament of the World's Religions is proud to welcome a new cohort of Trustees to the Board. Elected in late 2020 and beginning their term on January 1st of 2021, we invite our global community to learn more about the new members of our Board and join us in sharing our deep gratitude for their commitment to the future of our movement.


Naeem Baig

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. He 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’.

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. 

Debra Boudreaux

A senior volunteer with the Buddhist Tzu Chi Foundation, Debra has more than 32 years of experience working on major projects related to charity, medical care, education, and humanitarian aid. She was previously the CEO of Tzu Chi Medical Foundation and several community advisory councils for SARS, H1N1, Ebola, and COVID-19. 

Rev. Phyllis Curott

One of America’s first public Wiccan Priestesses, an attorney and author whose groundbreaking books, published in fourteen countries, Phyllis made Wicca accessible to the world and awakened an entire generation to the Goddess. Curott was the Vice-Chair of the 2015 Parliament of the World’s Religions and creator of the historic 2015 Inaugural Women's Assembly. 

Dr. Manohar Grewal

The founder, former president, and former chairperson of the New England Sikh Study Circle, Inc., of Boston, Dr. Grewal was president of the World Sikh Organization, chairperson of World Sikh Council from 2006 and 2011, and a member of the Regional Council of WSC-AR from 2006 – 2008 and 2010 -2012. Currently serving on the Climate Action Task Force of the Parliament and served as Chairperson of the Langar committee at 2015 Parliament of the World’s religions at Salt Lake City.

Mr. Thomas Lemberg

An attorney and author, Tom has been general counsel of several technology-oriented companies, including Lotus Development, Polaroid, and UGS Software. 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.

A Dharma Teacher as authorized by the lay Buddhist Organization Rissho Kosei Kai, James 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. 

Dr. Kusumita Pedersen

Professor Emerita of Religious Studies at St. Francis College and Chair of the Interfaith Center of New York, Dr. Pedersen is also a member of the Climate Action Task Force (CATF) of the Parliament 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 and co-editor of Faith for Earth: A Call to Action


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).