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Religious Advisory Board
Doug Hostetter is the Director of the Mennonite Central Committee United Nations Liaison Office in New York City, and an ordained Peace Pastor in the Mennonite Church. He has spent his life working for nongovernmental organizations in Asia, the Middle East, Latin America, Europe and the United States.
Mr. Hostetter is also the former Director of the American Friends Service Committee, New England Office and the Fellowship of Reconciliation in Nyack, New York. He was also the Resource Specialist for Peace for the United Methodist Office for the United Nations, and a Sociologist who has taught at Northwestern University in Evanston, IL and Goshen College in Goshen, IN. Mr. Hostetter has published widely on the issues of war, peace and nonviolence.
Imam Shamsi Ali
Imam Shamsi Ali is currently an Imam at the Islamic Cultural Center of New York and the Director of Jamaica Muslim Center in Queens, as well as the Chairman of Masjid Al-Hikmah Astoria, Queens and the Muslim Day Parade since 1998. Imam Ali has also served as a member of the advisory board of the Indonesian Society of North America and the Tanenbaum Center.
Prior to his arrival in New York in 1996, Imam Ali taught in Saudi Arabia at the Islamic Education Foundation. Since the September 11 attacks, Ali has been actively building a relationship between Muslim communities and the American society within which they subsist, and hsa represented the Muslim community in discussions on religion and sustainable development at the White House in 2006.
Well known within the interfaith community, Ali has lectured in churches, synagogues, the New York City Police Department, schools and other organizations. He has participated in the International Conference of Imams and Rabbis for Peace, as well as at the first National Summit of Imams and Rabbis of North America in 2007, and the recent Transatlantic Dialogue in Frankfurt, Germany. He has appeared on numerous national news programs, including CNN, CBS, Fox News, NBC, PBS, Al Jazeera, Al Arabiya, Saudi TVS and has been quoted in the New York Times, Reuters, etc. He was appointed "Ambassador for Peace" by the International Religious Federation in 2002 and was chosen as one of the seven most influential religious leaders in New York City by New York Magazine in 2006.
Imam Ali received his bachelors and masters degrees in Arts from International Islamic University in Islamabad, Pakistan.
Reverend Chris Ferguson
The Reverand Chris Ferguson is an ordained minister of the United Church of Canada. He is the World Council of Churches Representative to the United Nations in New York, and spent the last two years as the World Council of Churches Representative to Jerusalem and the Associate Executive Secretary of the Jerusalem Ecumenical Center.
Prior to this, Reverend Ferguson was a senior denominational leader in the United Church of Canada for 14 years including serving as the General Secretary of the Division of World Outreach and as Exectuive Minister and Ecumenical Officer of the Justice, Global and Ecumenical Relations Unit. He was a Professor of Minsitry and Theology at the Latin American Biblical Seminary in Costa Rica.
Reverend Ferguson's ministry has been devoted to human rights, peace, justice and interfaith cooperation, and he has devoted his life's work to contributing to the ongoing ecumenical theological debate concerning global economic injustice.
Bhakti Charu Swami
Bhakti Charu Swami was born in Bengal in 1945, and is currently a religious leader for the International Society for Krishna Consciousness (ISKCON). He is an initiated disciple of SrilaPrabhupada and has translated his literary works into Bengalese, which awarded him his first and second initiations simultaneously, and gained him respect throughout the movement for his scholarship and Vaisnaya qualities. He was subsequently appointed as the secretary for Indian Affairs.
Bhakti Charu Swami consequently served as a member of ISKCON's Minister of Culture, as well as a member of its Governing Body Commission. He has also produced a television series on Srilarabhupada's life entitled "Abhaycharan", in conjunction with the Indian Television Network.