Our Staff

  • Stephen

    Rev. Stephen Avino

    Executive Director

    Rev. Stephen Avino serves as the Executive Director of the Parliament of the World’s Religions, the world’s premier interfaith convening non-profit organization. Rev. Avino became a member of the Staff at the Parliament in 2012 and has remained deeply committed to the success of the global interfaith movement, serving as a key organizer for the 2015 Parliament Convening in Salt Lake City, the 2018 Parliament Convening in Toronto, and the 2021 Virtual Parliament Convening.

    An avid seeker of knowledge and a dedicated person of faith, Rev. Avino earned a Master of Arts in Religious Studies at the Chicago Theological Seminary in 2015 and became ordained through the Independent Catholic Movement in 2019. He lives in Chicago, USA where he remains deeply committed to advocating for the legacy of the Parliament and a more inclusive interreligious movement.

  • Emma

    Miriam Balinsky

    Program Associate

    Miriam Balinsky is a Program Associate at the Parliament of the World’s Religions.

    After receiving her degree in Women’s and Gender Studies from DePaul University, Miriam spent 15 years working with animals. She joined the Parliament in January 2023 and is excited to be in the non-profit sector.

  • Emma

    Emma Carr

    Director of Development

    Emma Carr serves as the Director of Development at the Parliament of the World’s Religions.

    Emma received her Bachelor’s in Religious Studies, with a concentration in Non-Profit Leadership, from Michigan State University. She is currently earning her Master’s in Philanthropy and Nonprofit Leadership at Grand Valley 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 Development 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.

  • Emily Echevarria

    Director of Climate Action

    Emily Echevarria serves as the Director of Climate Action at the Parliament of the World’s Religions.

    She is a Florida native and an alumna of the University of North Florida. She is currently working towards a Master’s degree in Environmental Diplomacy at DePaul University. With a passion for conservation, Emily is dedicated to helping the planet recover from the effects of pollution and global warming. She joined the Parliament as Director of Climate Action in July 2022.

  • Miriam

    Miriam Quezada

    Director of Communications

    Miriam V. Quezada Mendez serves as the Director of Communications of the Parliament of the World’s Religions. Since her tenure on the Parliament staff began in 2015, she has worked closely in the engagement of the organization’s critical constituencies and remains a passionate advocate of immigrant rights, women’s rights, and youth involvement.

    Miriam is a graduate of Illinois College where she pursued a double major in Communication & Rhetorical Studies and International Studies with a focus on gender and human rights. She began her professional career at the Parliament of the World’s Religions serving as a program assistant for the Inaugural Women’s Assembly at the 2015 Salt Lake City Parliament Convening.

  • Dannie Ramirez

    Program Associate

    Dannie Ramirez serves as a Program Associate at the Parliament of the World’s Religions. He grew up in Chicago and is an alumnus of Loyola University Chicago. After being in the property management industry for nearly two decades, Dannie recently transitioned to working in the nonprofit sector. He joined the Parliament as a member of the Program team in November 2022.

  • Dr. Myriam Renaud

    Principal Investigator and Director of the Global Ethic Project

    Dr. Myriam Renaud (PhD University of Chicago) is the Principal Investigator and Director of the Global Ethic Project at the Parliament of the World’s Religions. She also teaches bioethics at DePaul University and world religions at Union Institute & University. In 2017-2018, she led the Parliament’s effort to add to its Global Ethic document a moral directive calling for a commitment to a culture of sustainability and care for the Earth. Dr. Renaud has co-edited and contributed to two volumes on the Global Ethic document: God and the Moral Life (2018) and Multi-Religious Perspectives on a Global Ethic: The Search for a Common Morality (2020). Most recently, she published the monograph Constructing Moral Concepts of God in a Global Age (2022).

  • Rev. Flynn Rush

    Development and Outreach Associate

    Rev. Flynn Rush serves as the Development and Outreach Associate at the Parliament of the World’s Religions.

    Flynn Rush is a strong, new leader who is building on the proud legacy of pioneers in our community. Flynn is an Associate Pastor at the Beloved Community Church of God in Christ. He serves alongside his father who is the Pastor. Flynn ministers to the sick and infirmed and uplifts his community through strong Christian values.

    Flynn comes from a socially-conscious family and has been active for political pioneers such as Harold Washington and Bill Clinton. He has helped to empower local voters to cast an informed vote that benefits their own families and communities. Flynn has answered the call to run for public office and came in second in a crowded seven-person race for State Representative in the 25th District in 2018.

  • Jesse Smith

    Jesse Smith

    Staff Accountant

    Jesse Smith serves as the Staff Accountant of the Parliament of the World’s Religions. He has served in this role with the Parliament since 2017.

  • Susan Trieschmann

    Executive Assistant

    Susan Trieschmann serves as the Executive Assistant of the Parliament of the World’s Religions. Her work at the Parliament of the World’s Religions has provided her the opportunity to learn about religious and spiritual programming that is also often hidden from much of the public that can bring back peace, hope, and love to our world.

    After a long career as a successful businesswoman, Susan went to college and graduated from DePaul University at 51 years old. It was there her passion for working with at-risk young adults and restorative approaches to conflict was ignited. She started a non-profit, Curt’s Café, giving highly at-risk youth an opportunity to receive workforce and life skills support to move their lives forward. Learning about the massive injustices the youth faced on a day-to-day basis from food insecurity and inequity to homelessness, to lack of hope and love, and extensive contacts with the police and the prison system – the unjust that is hidden from much of the public – started her new passion to finding spiritual and religious support to expose and challenges of these injustices.

Land Acknowledgment

The Parliament of the World's Religions acknowledges it is situated on the traditional homelands of the Bodéwadmik (Potawatomi), Hoocąk (Winnebago/Ho’Chunk), Jiwere (Otoe), Nutachi (Missouria), and Baxoje (Iowas); Kiash Matchitiwuk (Menominee); Meshkwahkîha (Meskwaki); Asâkîwaki (Sauk); Myaamiaki (Miami), Waayaahtanwaki (Wea), and Peeyankihšiaki (Piankashaw); Kiikaapoi (Kickapoo); Inoka (Illini Confederacy); Anishinaabeg (Ojibwe), and Odawak (Odawa).

PoWR recognizes the region we now call Chicago remains home to a diversity of Indigenous peoples today and this land upon which we walk, live, and play continues to be Indigenous land.

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