Speakers

Dr. Katrina Lantos Swett serves as President of the Lantos Foundation for Human Rights and Justice, established in 2008 to continue the legacy of her father, the late Congressman Tom Lantos. Under her leadership, The Lantos Foundation has rapidly become a distinguished and respected voice on key human rights concerns. Dr. Lantos Swett is the former Chair and Vice-Chair of the United States Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) and teaches Human Rights and American Foreign Policy at Tufts University. She currently serves as Co-Chair of the Board of the Committee for Human Rights in North Korea (HRNK) and the Budapest based Tom Lantos Institute. Dr. Lantos Swett also serves on the Advisory Board of UN Watch, the annual Anne Frank Award and Lecture, and The Warren B. Rudman Center for Justice, Leadership, and Public Policy. Lantos Swett earned a Political Science degree from Yale University at the age of 18, a Juris Doctor degree from the University of California, Hastings College of the Law, and a PhD in History from The University of Southern Denmark.

Katrina Lantos Swett

Summit Co-Chair

Sam Brownback served as Ambassador at Large for International Religious Freedom from February 2018 to January 2021. He served as Governor of Kansas from 2011 to 2018. Prior to that he represented his home state in the United States Senate and the House of Representatives. While a member of the Senate, he worked actively on the issue of religious freedom in multiple countries and was a key sponsor of the International Religious Freedom Act of 1998. Prior to his public service, Ambassador Brownback practiced law and taught agricultural law at Kansas State University. He earned a B.S. from Kansas State University and a J.D. from the University of Kansas. Ambassador Brownback currently serves as co-chair for the International Religious Freedom Summit and as a Senior Fellow at Open Doors USA. He and his wife Mary have five children and six grandchildren.

Samuel Brownback

Summit Co-Chair

Hussain serves as principal advisor to the Secretary and advisor to the President on religious freedom conditions and policy. He leads the Department’s efforts to monitor religious freedom abuses, persecution, and discrimination worldwide. He also oversees policies and programs to address these concerns and works to build diverse and dynamic partnerships with the broadest range of civil society, with equitable and meaningful inclusion of faith actors globally.

Prior to this appointment, Hussain was Director at the National Security Council’s Partnerships and Global Engagement Directorate. From 2015 to 2021, he served as Senior Counsel at the Department of Justice’s National Security Division.

President Obama appointed Hussain to serve as his Special Envoy to the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), U.S. Special Envoy for Strategic Counterterrorism Communications, and Deputy Associate White House Counsel. In his roles as envoy, Hussain advised on foreign policy issues and worked with multilateral organizations to expand partnerships in education, entrepreneurship, health, international security, science and technology, and other areas. He also spearheaded efforts on countering antisemitism and protecting Christians and other religious minorities in Muslim-majority countries.

Rashad Hussain

Advisor to The President on Religious Freedom Conditions and Policy

Nancy Pelosi is the 52nd Speaker of the House of Representatives, having made history in 2007 when she was elected the first woman to serve as Speaker of the House. Now in her third term as Speaker, Pelosi made history again in January 2019 when she regained her position second-in-line to the presidency, the first person to do so in more than 60 years.  As Speaker, Pelosi is fighting For The People, working to lower health care costs, increase workers’ pay through strong economic growth and rebuilding America, and clean up corruption for make Washington work for all.

Pelosi comes from a strong family tradition of public service. Her late father, Thomas D’Alesandro Jr., served as Mayor of Baltimore for 12 years, after representing the city for five terms in Congress. Her brother, Thomas D’Alesandro III, also served as Mayor of Baltimore. She graduated from Trinity College in Washington, D.C. She and her husband, Paul Pelosi, a native of San Francisco, have five grown children and nine grandchildren.

Nancy Pelosi

Speaker of the US House of Representatives

Michael R. Pompeo served as the 70th Secretary of State of the United States, the Director of the Central Intelligence Agency, and was elected to four terms in Congress representing Kansas’ 4th District.

Secretary Pompeo graduated first in his class at the United States Military Academy at West Point in 1986 and served as a cavalry officer patrolling the Iron Curtain. He rose to the rank of Captain and went on to graduate from Harvard Law School.

Before serving in Congress, he spent a decade leading two manufacturing businesses in South Central Kansas. Mike Pompeo is married to his wife, Susan—with whom he taught 5th grade Sunday school for many years—and has one son, Nick.

Honorable Michael R. Pompeo

Former US Secretary of State

A ninth generation Arkansan, French Hill is the 22nd Member of Congress to represent central Arkansas in the U.S. House of Representatives. He was elected on November 4, 2014, and began his first congressional term in the 114th Congress on January 3, 2015. He won reelection to serve in the 115th, 116th, and 117th sessions of Congress.

He is a member of the U.S. House Committee on Financial Services where he serves as Ranking Member of the Subcommittee on Housing, Community Development and Insurance. Rep. Hill serves alongside Senator Pat Toomey (R-Pa.) on the Congressional Oversight Commission established by the CARES Act to monitor the Treasury’s response to COVID-19. In 2021, Rep. Hill was appointed as one of two Congressional Representatives to the 76th United Nations General Assembly.

Prior to his congressional service, Rep. Hill was actively engaged in the Arkansas business community for two decades as a commercial banker and investment manager. He was founder, chairman, and chief executive officer of Delta Trust & Banking Corp., which was headquartered in Little Rock and merged with Arkansas-based Simmons First National Corp.

Prior to his community banking work in Arkansas, Rep. Hill served as a senior official in the administration of President George H.W. Bush. From 1989 until 1991, Rep. Hill served as Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Treasury for Corporate Finance, where one of his key assignments was representing the United States as a negotiator in the historic bilateral talks with Japan known as the Structural Impediments Initiative (SII).

After the fall of the Berlin Wall, Rep. Hill led the design of U.S. technical assistance to the emerging economies of eastern and central Europe in the areas of banking and securities. In 1991, at the age of 34, President Bush appointed Mr. Hill to be Executive Secretary to the President’s Economic Policy Council (EPC), where he coordinated all White House economic policy. For his leadership and service at the Treasury and the White House, Rep. Hill was awarded the Distinguished Service Award by U.S. Secretary of the Treasury Nicholas Brady in January 1993. Prior to his Executive Branch Service, from 1982 until 1984, Rep. Hill served on the staff of then-U.S. Senator John Tower (R-TX) as well as on the staff of the U.S. Senate Committee on Banking, Housing, & Urban Affairs.

Throughout his career, Rep. Hill has been active in civic affairs. He is a past president of the Rotary Club of Little Rock and served as the 2013 chairman of the Little Rock Regional Chamber of Commerce.

He has received numerous awards and recognition for his long-time support of the Boy Scouts of America, the arts and humanities, tourism, and historic preservation in Arkansas. He is an avid outdoorsman.

Rep. Hill is a magna cum laude graduate in Economics from Vanderbilt University. He and his wife, Martha, have a daughter and a son. The Hill family resides in Little Rock.

Representative French Hill

United States Congressman for Arkansas

 

This is Rep. Raskin’s third term serving on the House Judiciary Committee, the Committee on Oversight and Reform, and the Committee on House Administration. This is his second term serving on the Rules Committee and the Coronavirus Select Subcommittee. He was also renamed Chair of the Oversight Subcommittee on Civil Rights and Civil Liberties and Chair of the Rules Subcommittee on Expedited Procedures for the 117th Congress.

Prior to his time in Congress, Raskin was a three-term State Senator in Maryland, where he also served as the Senate Majority Whip. He earned a reputation for building coalitions in Annapolis to deliver a series of landmark legislative accomplishments. He was also a professor of constitutional law at American University’s Washington College of Law for more than 25 years. He authored several books, including the Washington Post best-seller Overruling Democracy: The Supreme Court versus the American People and the highly-acclaimed We the Students: Supreme Court Cases For and About America’s Students, which has sold more than 50,000 copies.

Congressman Raskin is a graduate of Harvard College and Harvard Law School.

 

Congressman Jamie Raskin

United States Congressman for Maryland

When Marco Rubio was first elected to the United States Senate in 2010, he set one objective for himself while in office: to help bring the American Dream back into reach of those who feel it is slipping away. That’s the goal line Senator Rubio strives toward with each new legislative effort, and it’s the measure he uses to keep score.

Senator Rubio is passionate about the American Dream because he’s lived it himself. His parents came to America from Cuba in 1956 and earned their way to the middle class by working humble jobs. Through their loving and powerful example, he learned the importance of work and family, and came to realize that all things are possible in America. Now more than three years into his second term, he continues that important work to make the American Dream achievable for all.

Senator Rubio is a member  of the Senate Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship, where he has advocated modernizing and reforming the federal government’s programs to help small businesses thrive in the 21st-century economy. As former Chairman of this Committee, Rubio authored the historic Paycheck Protection Program, which has been a lifeline to millions of small businesses and Americans workers as they battle the economic hardship due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

As a member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and as Ranking Member  of the Subcommittee on Western Hemisphere, Transnational Crime, Civilian Security, Democracy, Human Rights, and Global Women’s Issue, Senator Rubio continues to fight for human rights and to uphold democracy around the globe.

Senator Rubio is also Vice  Chairman of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, where he provides oversight over the U.S. government’s Intelligence Community and national security apparatus.

Additionally, Senator Rubio is a member of the powerful Senate Appropriations Committee,

which is responsible for allocating funding for the federal government.

Senator Rubio has spent most of his life in West Miami and he still lives there today with his wife Jeanette and their four children.

Senator Marco Rubio

United States Senator for Florida

A third-generation Marylander, Ben Cardin has been a national leader on health care, retirement security, the environment and fiscal issues while representing the people of Maryland in the U.S. Senate, and before that in the House of Representatives. He has worked across party lines to further U.S. national security and to ensure that good governance, transparency and respect for human rights are integrated into American foreign policy.

First elected to the Senate in 2006, Senator Cardin currently serves as Chair of the Small Business & Entrepreneurship Committee, which is at the forefront of rebuilding our economy. He is a senior member of the Senate Foreign Relations, Finance, and Environment & Public Works committees.

Senator Cardin has a deep interest in foreign affairs and has worked across party lines to further our national security and protect universal human rights. He has fought to ensure that anti-corruption, transparency and respect for human rights are integrated into our foreign policy. He also has worked to ensure gender equity in national security programs and policies. He has been a Commissioner on the U.S. Helsinki Commission since 1993, serving as Chairman of the Commission in the current 117th, as well as the 113th and 111th Congresses. Since 2015, he has served as the Special Representative on Anti-Semitism, Racism, and Intolerance for the 57-nation Organization Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) Parliamentary Assembly. In the current Congress, Senator Cardin is also Chair of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee’s Subcommittee on State Department and USAID Management, International Operations, and Bilateral International Development. He previously has served as the Ranking Member of the SFRC East Asia, the Pacific, and International Cybersecurity Policy Subcommittee, and he is the former Chairman of the International Development and Foreign Assistance Subcommittee.

Senator Ben Cardin

United States Senator for Maryland

Fiona was first elected as Member of Parliament for the Congleton Constituency in 2010 with a majority of 7,063, and re-elected in 2015 with an increased majority of 16,773. She was re-elected again in 2017, with her highest share of the vote (57% – 31,830 votes). In 2019, Fiona was re-elected with 58.9% of the vote – 33,747 votes with an increased majority of 18,561.

Prior to 2010 Fiona practised as a solicitor, setting up her own business, and was national winner of the business woman of the year award “Women into Business” for the founding and successful development of her Law Firm Fiona Bruce & Co LLP, based in Cheshire.

Fiona has focused on championing individual freedoms and human rights, both in this country and abroad. Fiona served on the International Development Select Committee for four years and chaired the Parliamentary sub-committee overseeing the Independent Commission on Aid Inspections. She sat on the Parliamentary Joint-Committee on Human Rights, which has instigated  many reports including into Freedom of Speech in Universities and the need for better care of Prisoners’  Children. She is also Chair of the Conservative Party Human Rights Commission (CPHRC), an appointment made by the then-Prime Minister. Recently Fiona launched the latest Report in her role as Chair of the CPHRC calling for the UK Government to change the law on Prostitution to both better support vulnerable victims of this international trade and help reduce human trafficking into the UK for this purpose ( full report on scribd.com); other Reports she has overseen by the CPHRC include on Forced Organ Harvesting and wider Human Rights  violations  in China, and in Russia.

Fiona Bruce

Member of Parliament of the UK

Mary Ann Glendon is the Learned Hand Professor of Law, emerita, at Harvard University, and a former U.S. Ambassador to the Holy See. She writes in the fields of human rights, comparative law, and political theory. Glendon chaired the U.S. State Department Commission on Unalienable Rights (2019-2020) and served as a member of the Commission on International Religious Freedom (2012-2016), and the U.S. President’s Council on Bioethics (2001-2004). She received the National Humanities Medal in 2006. In 1991 she was elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. She was President of the Pontifical Academy of Social Sciences from 2003 to 2013, a member of the Board of Supervisors of the Institute of Religious Works (Vatican Bank) from 2013 to 2018, and represented the Holy See at various conferences including the 1995 U.N. Women’s conference in Beijing where she headed the Vatican delegation. Glendon has contributed to legal and social thought in several widely translated works, bringing a comparative approach to a variety of subjects. They include The Forum and the Tower (2011), a series of biographical essays exploring the relation between political philosophy and politics-in-action; Traditions in Turmoil (2006), a collection of essays on law, culture and human rights; A World Made New: Eleanor Roosevelt and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (2001), a history of the framing of the UDHR; A Nation Under Lawyers (1996), a portrait of turbulence in the legal profession, analyzing the implications of changes in legal culture for a democratic polity that entrusts crucial roles to legally trained men and women; Rights Talk (1991), a critique of the impoverishment of political discourse; The Transformation of Family Law (1989), winner of the legal academy’s highest honor, the Order of the Coif Triennial Book Award; Abortion and Divorce in Western Law (1987), winner of the Scribes Book Award for best writing on a legal subject; The New Family and the New Property (1981), and textbooks on comparative legal traditions.

Mary Ann Glendon

Learned Hand Professor of Law, Emeritus Harvard Law School

K.H. Yahya Cholil Staquf is a distinguished Muslim scholar and co-founder of the global Humanitarian Islam movement. Humanitarian Islam restores rahmah (universal love and compassion) to its rightful place as the primary message of Islam. As General Secretary of Indonesia’s 90-million-member Nahdlatul Ulama, Mr. Staquf is working to bring the civilizational wisdom and spiritual authority of Islam Nusantara (East Indies Islam) to the world stage. 

Descended from a long and illustrious line of Javanese ulama, Mr. Staquf co-founded Bayt ar-Rahmah (Home of Divine Grace) and the Center for Shared Civilizational Values. Mr. Staquf sits on Policy Exchange’s 16-member Indo-Pacific Commission, which is chaired by former Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper and is Emissary for Indonesia’s largest Islamic political party, PKB, to Centrist Democrat International and the European People’s Party. Mr. Staquf is regarded /as a potential linchpin in efforts to forge a global, values-driven alliance dedicated to strengthening the rules-based international order at a time of rising geopolitical uncertainty and widespread human rights abuse.

Kyai Haji Yahya Cholil Staquf

Indonesian Politician

I have been in the Finnish Parliament as a MP since 1995. I hold the degree of Licentiate of Medicine and my civilian profession is a medical doctor. From 2004 to 2015, I was the chair of the Finnish Christian Democrats. From June 2011 to May 2015, I held the office of the Minister of the Interior of Finland. As the Minister of the Interior, I was responsible for internal security and migration, church affairs at the Ministry of Education and Culture and matters relating to customs in the Ministry of Finance.

The Christian Democratic Party of Finland, found in 1958, is a worldwide political movement. The party has 15 district organizations and special organizations for women, young people, immigrants and Swedish-speaking people. Important issues for our party are the well-being of families, pro-life values, a social market economy, taking care of the nature, promoting entrepreneurship and work. I want to build the society on the basis of lasting values, love for one’s neighbour, respect of human dignity, taking care of the poor, work, honesty and diligence.

I have written seven books and some of them have also been translated into English.

I live in Riihimäki with my husband Niilo. We have five grown-up children. Niilo is Doctor of Theology, pastor, and headmaster of Kansanlähetysopisto.

I enjoy spending  my free-time in the beautiful nature of Finland. During the winter-time I enjoy skiing.

The party membership is open to everyone who agrees with the objects of our Party.

Paivi Rasanen

Member of the Finnish Parliament

Dr Ewelina U Ochab is a lawyer, human rights advocate and author. She is a programme lawyer with the International Bar Association’s Human Rights Institute and deputy director of Refcemi, working closely with Archbishop Angaelos. In 2019, Dr Ochab co-founded the Coalition for Genocide Response. Dr Ochab works on the topic of genocide, with specific focus on the persecution of ethnic and religious minorities around the world, with main projects including the Daesh genocide in Syria and Iraq, Boko Haram atrocities in West Africa, the situation of the Rohingya Muslims in Myanmar and of the Uyghurs in China. Dr Ochab also works on the issue of conflict-related sexual violence. Ochab has written over 30 reports for the UN (including Universal Periodic Review reports) and has made oral and written submissions at the Human Rights Council, the UN Forum on Minority Issues, PACE and other international and regional fora. Ochab authored the initiative and proposal to establish the UN International Day Commemorating Victims and Survivors of Religious Persecution. The initiative has led to the establishment of the UN International Day Commemorating the Victims of Acts of Violence Based on Religion or Belief on August 22. Her new book, co-authored with Lord Alton of Liverpool, entitled  State Responses to Crimes of Genocide: What Went Wrong and How to Change It  will be published in August 2022.

Dr. Ewelina U Ochab

IBAHRI programme lawyer, Refcemi deputy director, Coalition for Genocide Response co-founder

The Rev. Dr. Andrew P.W. Bennett is a Ukrainian Greek-Catholic deacon of the Eparchy of Toronto and Eastern Canada. Fr. Deacon Andrew also serves as Senior Fellow at Cardus, Canada’s faith-based think-tank, where he is Programme Director of Cardus Law which looks at the role of law in society with a particular focus on religious freedom in Canada. Fr. Deacon And­­rew previously served in the Canadian foreign service as Canada’s first Ambassador for Religious Freedom and Head of the Office of Religious Freedom from 2013 to 2016 during which time he led in defending and championing religious freedom internationally as a core element of Canada’s principled foreign policy. He remains a regular and active commentator on religious freedom in Canada and abroad. Fr. Deacon Andrew’s ambassadorial appointment was the culmination of a 14-year career in the Canadian civil service. He holds a B.A. Hons. in History (Dalhousie), an M.A. in History (McGill), and a Ph.D. in Politics (Edinburgh).

Rev. Dr. Andrew P.W. Bennett

Ukrainian Greek-Catholic deacon of the Eparchy of Toronto and Eastern Canada

Enes Kanter Freedom

American Professional Basketball Player

Bishop Malloy was born Feb. 3, 1956 in Milwaukee, Wis., the son of David (deceased) and Mary Malloy.

He has one sister Mary Ellen and four brothers; Daniel, Father Francis, Robert and Richard.

He attended Christ King Grade School in Wauwatosa, Wis., and graduated from Wauwatosa East School in 1974. He graduated from Marquette University in Milwaukee in 1978 with a Bachelor of Science degree in Biology. He studied one year at St. Francis de Sales Seminary in Milwaukee and five years at the Gregorian University in Rome where he received advanced degrees in theology.

He was ordained to the priesthood in 1983 by Archbishop Rembert Weakland.

He served two years as associate pastor of St. John Nepomuk Parish in Racine. In preparation for the Vatican Diplomatic Service he attended the Pontifical Ecclesiastical Academy from 1986 to 1990 where he received a degree in Canon Law from the Pontifical University of St. Thomas, (Angelicum) and a doctorate in Sacred Theology from the Gregorian University. After his studies, he served as secretary to the Apostolic Nunciature (Vatican Embassies) in Pakistan (1990-1994) and the Apostolic Nunciature in Syria (1995). From 1995 to 1998 he was secretary to the Permanent Observer Mission to the Holy See. Bishop Malloy left the Diplomatic Service in 1998 and served for two and a half years in the Vatican’s prefecture of the Papal Household helping with the Great Jubilee Year of 2000.

In 2001 he was appointed Associate General Secretary of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) and in 2006 began a five year term as General Secretary. After his term at the USCCB ended, Bishop Malloy was assigned to be pastor at St. Francis de Sales Parish in Lake Geneva where he served from Aug. 1, 2011 until his appointment to lead the Diocese of Rockford.

He was ordained and installed as the ninth Bishop of Rockford on Monday, May 14, 2012.

He speaks Italian, Spanish and some French.

Bishop Malloy

Ninth Bishop of Rockford

On June 23, 2017 His Majesty King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa issued Royal Decree No. 34/2017 appointing Shaikh Abdulla bin Rashid bin Abdulla Al ~Khalifa as the ambassador of the Kingdom of Bahrain to the United States of America.

Shaikh Abdulla obtained his Bachelor’s Degree from Bentley University. He continued his studies at the same university and received a Master in Business Administration. Shaikh Abdulla attained a certificate from the Harvard Kennedy School focusing on “Innovation in Governance” as part of his executive education program. He is currently pursuing a PhD at the International School of Management based in Paris.

Shaikh Abdulla’s post-graduate career started at the Royal Court where he worked and oversaw Educational, Medical and Social Affairs.

He then joined the General Organization for Youth and Sports as the Director of Planning and Follow-up and was later appointed Director of Financial and Human Resources.

In 2010, he was appointed as Governor of the Southern Governorate of the Kingdom of Bahrain, the largest in size and with the highest potential for development.

As part of a collaborative effort between the Kingdom of Bahrain and the United States of America, Shaikh Abdulla launched a partnership between the Governorate and the American non-profit organization D.A.R.E. to develop and deploy an anti-violence and anti-addiction program delivered by trained community police officers in local elementary and secondary schools. The initiative would later transform into a national program sponsored by the Kingdom’s National Anti- Drug Committee, on which Shaikh Abdulla serves.

Shaikh Abdulla played an active role in drafting the National Anti-Drug Strategy in conjunction with the regional office of the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, which was launched in 2016.

In 2016, His Majesty King Hamad bin Isa AlKhalifa granted Shaikh Abdulla bin Rashed AlKhalifa an Honorary Distinction Award recognizing his gubernatorial achievements and contributions.

In Oct. 2019 Bahrain Ambassador to the United States, Shaikh Abdullah bin Rashid Al Khalifa, received the 2019 Stevie Award for the personality of the year category, for his role in the founding and development of the of the Maan “Together” program against violence and addiction.

His Excellency Shaikh Abdullah Bin Rashid Al Khalifa

Ambassador of the Kingdom of Bahrain to the United States

His Holiness the 14th the Dalai Lama Tenzin Gyatso, is the head of state and spiritual leader of the Tibetan people. He was born Lhamo Dhondrub on July 6, 1935, in a small village called Taktser in north eastern Tibet. Born to a peasant family, His Holiness was recognized at the age of two, in accordance with Tibetan tradition, as the reincarnation of his predecessor, the 13th Dalai Lama.

The Dalai Lamas are the manifestations of the Bodhisattva (Enlightened Being) of Compassion, who chose to reincarnate to serve the people. Lhamo Dhondrub was, as Dalai Lama, renamed Jetsun Jamphel Ngawang Lobsang Yeshe Tenzin Gyatso – Holy Lord, Gentle Glory, Compassionate, Defender of the Faith, Ocean of Wisdom. Tibetans normally refer to His Holiness as Yeshe Norbu, the Wishfulfilling Gem or simply Kundun – The Presence.

The enthronement ceremony took place on February 22, 1940, in Lhasa, the capital of Tibet.

Following the Chinese Communist invasion of Tibet in 1949-50, the Dalai Lama attempted peaceful co-existence with the Chinese leadership for nine long years. In the absence of a positive response from Beijing, the Dalai Lama was forced to leave Lhasa on the night of March 17, 1959, to seek asylum in India. Today, the Dalai Lama leads the Tibetan Government-in-Exile from Dharamsala, its temporary headquarters in northern India.

He began his education at the age of six and completed the Geshe Lharampa Degree (Doctorate of Buddhist Philosophy) in 1959 when he was 25. At 24 he took the preliminary examinations at each of the three monastic universities: Drepung, Sera and Ganden. The final examination was conducted in the Jokhang, Lhasa, during the annual Monlam Festival of Prayer, held in the winter of 1959.

Since his first visit to the west in 1973, a number of western universities and institutions have conferred Awards and honorary Doctorate Degrees in recognition of His Holiness’ distinguished writings in Buddhist philosophy and leadership in inter-religious understanding, the solution of international conflicts, human rights issues and global environmental problems.”

In presenting the Raoul Wallenberg Congressional Human Rights Award in 1989, U.S. Congressman Tom Lantos, said, “His Holiness the Dalai Lama’s courageous struggle has distinguished him as a leading proponent of human rights and world peace. His ongoing efforts to end the suffering of the Tibetan people through peaceful negotiations and reconciliation have required enormous courage and sacrifice.”

His Holiness often says, “I am just a simple Buddhist monk—no more, nor less.” His Holiness follows the life of Buddhist monk. In Dharamsala, he rises at 4 A.M. to mediate, pursues an ongoing schedule of administrative meetings, private audiences and religious teachings and ceremonies. He concludes each day with further prayer before retiring. In explaining his greatest sources of inspiration, he often cites a favorite verse, found in the writings of the renowned eighth century Buddhist saint Shantideva:

For as long as space endures,
And for as long as living beings remain,
Until then may I, too, abide
To dispel the misery of the world.

Dalai Lama

Tibetan Buddhism leader

Open Doors USA President and CEO David Curry advocates on behalf of those who are persecuted for their Christian faith. He provides leadership to Open Doors in its mission to strengthen and equip Christians who live under extreme restrictions, while encouraging these believers to remain strong in their faith.

For over 60 years, Open Doors has worked in the world’s most oppressive regions, empowering and equipping persecuted Christians in more than 60 countries by providing Bibles, training, and programs to help those who have been marginalized because of their beliefs as well as helping to restore those communities that have been targets of persecution. For twenty years Open Doors has published the World Watch List, a report on the 50 countries where it is most difficult to live as a Christian.

Since assuming the role of CEO in August 2013, Curry has traveled extensively to the field to encourage those living under persecution and support the work of Open Doors. He appears frequently on Fox News and is a regular contributor to The Huffington Post. He has also been published or featured in sources such as CBS News, CNN, The Washington PostChristianity Today, USA TodayThe Christian Post, and other news outlets.

Prior to coming to Open Doors, Curry served as CEO and president at Christian organizations that serve homeless and neglected children in several countries, including India and Peru.

Curry is the author of four books: First Aid for Enablers, It’s Not How Far You Fall It’s How High You Bounce, God Plays Golf and Change Your World!

Curry holds a bachelor’s degree from Northwest University in Seattle and an honorary doctorate of humane letters from Faith Evangelical College and Seminary based in Tacoma, Washington.

Based in Santa Ana, California, Curry and his wife have two children.

David Curry

President and CEO of Open Doors USA

David Patrick Paul Alton, Baron Alton of Liverpool, KCSG, KCMCO was born in London of British and Irish parents and holds both British and Irish citizenship. He was educated at Edmund Campion School, Essex; Christ College Liverpool (achieved academic distinctions); St. Andrews University, Scotland (fellowship). He was Professor of Citizenship, Liverpool John Moores University (1997-2016), Hon. Professor at Yanbian University, China, and Visiting Professor Liverpool Hope University. For 18 years David Alton was a Member of the House of Commons and today is an Independent Crossbench Life Peer. He began his career as a teacher and, in 1972, while still a student, he was elected to Liverpool City Council as Britain’s youngest City Councillor. In 1979 he became the youngest member of the House of Commons and, in 1997, and when he stood down from the Commons, he was appointed a Life Peer. His motto on his Coat of Arms is taken from the Book of Deuteronomy: Choose Life. In 1990, with Ken Hargreaves MP, he co-founded the nonpartisan Movement for Christian Democracy which emerged from the Epiphany Group which he had convened the previous year. It published its Westminster Declaration based on six principles: social justice, respect for life, active compassion, empowerment and good stewardship. He was one of the six MPs who first called for the televised broadcasting of Parliament; one of the officers of the parliamentary committee that opposed anti-personnel land mines; one of the six signatories of the Motion that challenged the safety of the convictions of the Birmingham Six and Guildford Four; and one of the four Peers who moved the “Dubs amendment” to provide sanctuary in the UK for unaccompanied refugee children.

Lord Alton is Founder and co-chairman of the British-DPRK All-Party Parliamentary Group, and visited Pyongyang on four occasions, including in October 2010 when he had talks with leaders of the North Korean government including Choe Thae Bok, chairman of the Supreme People’s Assembly, the country’s rubber-stamp parliament and when he protested about human rights violations in that country, raising specific cases with their Ministers. He details his experiences in his book, written with Rob Chidley,”Bulding Bridges: Is there Hope For North Korea?” (Lion 2013) one of eleven books he has authored.

In March 2017, as a member of the Sages Group (to which he was appointed in 2016), he spoke at a forum of the 34th Session of the UN Human Rights Council, alongside His Honour Judge Michael Kirby (chairman of the UN Commission of Inquiry into North Korea) and Dr.Marzuki Darusman, former UN Special Rapporteur on North Korea, and called for the regime’s leaders to be prosecuted by the International Criminal Court.

In Parliament, he is co-Chairman of the All Party Groups on North Korea and Pakistan Minorities.

He is Secretary and a past Chairman of the All Party Group on Sudan and South Sudan, visited the South during the civil war and visited Darfur. He has regularly highlighted the atrocities committed there, including a 2016 letter to The Timesabout the alleged use of chemical weapons in Darfur.

He serves as Vice Chairman of the All Party Groups on Egypt, Tibet, Eritrea, Haiti, and Uganda and the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Democracy in Burma; and is Vice Chair of  the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Hormone Pregnancy Tests which was established to investigate and highlight the use of the drug ‘Primodos’.   He was a Founder of the All Party Group on Freedom of Religion or Belief. He is a Patron of the London-based rights group Save the Congo!

In 2016 he was appointed as one of the “Sages” International Advisory Group on North Korea’s Human Rights.  In November 2018 he visited Pakistan, travelling to Lahore and Islamabad, and raised the case of Asia Bibi  the plight of minorities. In Washington he spoke at a meeting in Congress about the persecution of Copts and in New York at a Summit on the infringements to Article 18 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

Lord David Alton

Lord Baron Alton of Liverpool

Rabbi Abraham Cooper is Associate Dean and Director of Global Social Action for the Simon Wiesenthal Center, a leading Jewish human rights organization with more than 400,000 family members.

Rabbi Cooper has been a longtime activist for Jewish and human rights causes on five continents. In 1977, he came to Los Angeles to help Rabbi Marvin Hier found the Simon Wiesenthal Center. Together with Rabbi Hier, Rabbi Cooper regularly meets with world leaders, including Pope Francis, presidents and foreign ministers to defend the rights of the Jewish people, combat terrorism and promote multi-faith relations worldwide.

Rabbi Cooper is an acknowledged expert on online hate and terrorism and has helped produce and present the SWC’s renowned traveling exhibitions at the Vatican, the UN, Knesset, US Congress, Tokyo, New Delhi, and Buenos Aires. He is a founder of the Global Forum on Anti-Semitism. Rabbi Cooper has worked extensively with Arab leaders in the Gulf States and witnessed the historic UAE/Bahrain/Israel Abraham Accords ceremony at the White House.

In 2020, Rabbi Cooper co-authored with Rev. Johnnie Moore, The Next Jihad, based on their interviews with scores of Christian survivors of deadly Islamist terrorist attacks in Nigeria.

He is a recipient of Yeshiva University’s Bernard Revel Community Service Leadership Memorial Award, a recipient of an honorary doctorate from Yeshiva University and the Orthodox Union’s National Leadership Award. His op-eds appear in major US and Israeli outlets, in Asia and in the Arab News and Al-ArabiyaNewsweek/Daily Beast lists Rabbi Cooper and Rabbi Hier as No. 8 among the 50 Most Influential Rabbis in the US.

Rabbi Abraham Cooper

Associate Dean and Director of Global Social Action for the Simon Wiesenthal Center

Omer Kanat was born in Ghulja city in East Turkestan and current Chairman of the Executive Committee of the World Uyghur Congress. He helped found UHRP in 2003, as well as the World Uyghur Youth Congress, where he served for two terms as President from 1996 to 2000.  He helped found and has served as the Vice-President of the World Uyghur Congress since 2006, prior to taking up the position of Director of UHRP in 2017, Mr. Kanat simultaneously served as the International Outreach Coordinator for the World Uyghur Congress, Director of the International Uyghur and Human Rights and Democracy Foundation (IUHRDF) and Vice-President of the Uyghur-American Association. From 1999 to 2009 Mr. Kanat was the Senior Editor of Radio Free Asia’s Uyghur Service, where he covered the War in Afghanistan and Iraq, edited Uyghur-language news, conducted exclusive interviews with prominent figures in Inner Asia, including his holiness the Dalai Lama, and reported on breaking news from around the world.  In addition, he served as the Editor and later Senior Editor of Radio Free Europe/ Radio Liberty’s Tajik Service. Mr. Kanat is fluent in English, German, Uyghur, Turkish, Persian, Tajik, Dari, Uzbek, and is functionally proficient in the Kyrgyz and Kazakh languages.

Omer Kanat

Chairman of the Executive Committee of the World Uyghur Congress

Thomas Farr serves as President of the Religious Freedom Institute, a non-profit that works to advance religious freedom for everyone, both as a source of individual human dignity and flourishing, and as a source of political stability, economic development, and international security.

A leading authority on international religious freedom, Dr. Farr served for 28 years in the U.S. Army and the U.S. Foreign Service. In 1999 he became the first director of the State Department’s Office of International Religious Freedom. He subsequently directed the Witherspoon Institute’s International Religious Freedom (IRF) Task Force, was a member of the Chicago World Affairs Council’s Task Force on Religion and U.S. Foreign Policy, taught at the National Defense University, and served on the Secretary of State’s IRF working group.

From 2008 – 2018 Dr. Farr was Associate Professor of the Practice of Religion and World Affairs at Georgetown University’s Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service. He also directed the Religious Freedom Project at Georgetown’s Berkley Center.

A PhD in History from the University of North Carolina, Farr is a senior fellow at the Institute for Studies of Religion at Baylor University. He serves as a consultant to the U.S. Catholic Bishops Conference, and as a member of the advisory councils for the Human Rights Program at Catholic University, the international division of Alliance Defending Freedom, the Alexander Hamilton Society, and the National Museum of American Religion.

His many published works include World of Faith and Freedom: Why International Religious Liberty is Vital to American National Security (Oxford University Press, 2008),  a book that has shaped U.S. religious freedom legislation and foreign policy.

Tom Farr

President of the Religious Freedom Institute

Jeff King grew up in an atheist/agnostic home in Washington, DC. At age 23, after reading the Bible on his own for 10 years, he came to Christ through the faithful witness of believers he met as he walked from one bar to the next.

Jeff refers to himself as a radical pagan who became a radical for Christ.

Jeff graduated from the University of Maryland with a degree in Finance and took up work in corporate and mortgage banking.

In 1992, the Lord led Jeff to join the staff of Campus Crusade for Christ International and work with Co-Mission, a coalition of ministries and churches whose goal was to reach Russia after the breakup of the Soviet Union. He helped Co-Mission recruit thousands of believers for short-term mission trips and/or one-year stints as missionaries, working with Russian teachers. The ministry trained more than 40,000 teachers to teach Christian Morals and Ethics, a curriculum specifically designed for Co-Mission. Many of these teachers still use the curriculum today.

Jeff helped found Campus Crusade’s Macedonia Project in 1997 and served until 2002 as Director of Marketing and Promotion. The ministry trained U.S. Christians to spread the gospel to unreached people groups around the world.

The Lord used a dream in the fall of 2002 to call Jeff to the mission and work of ICC.

Jeff has traveled to approximately 50 nations around the globe. His inspiring stories and incredible life experiences, combined with his passion for the persecuted, make him an energetic and compelling speaker.

Jeff King

President of International Christian Concern

Michal Cotler-Wunsh was Member of Israel’s 23rd Knesset. She served as Chair of the Special Committee on Drug and Alcohol Use; Chair of the Subcommittee on Israel-Diaspora Relations; and as a member of the Foreign Affairs and Security, Law, Children’s Rights, Women’s Rights, and Immigration and Integration Committees. Michal was appointed as a first time Liaison to the Issue of the ICC, as co-chair of the Canada-Israel interparliamentary friendship group and as member of several other inter-Parliamentary friendship and working groups.

Recognizing the imperative for engagement, Cotler-Wunsh held hearings in Knesset on identifying and removing hurdles to immigration to Israel (Aliya) and to relations with diaspora communities; led hearings regarding the imperative and challenges of combating antisemitism and was a founding member of the Interparliamentary Bi-Partisan Task Force to Combat Online Antisemitism, alongside legislators from the US, Canada, Australian and the UK.

Based on accumulated experience and expertise, Michal is a sought-after public speaker to diverse audiences in Israel and abroad. She serves as senior public policy & strategy advisor on issues of internal Israeli resiliency, Israel-diaspora relations and challenges to Israel’s legitimacy, identifying, exposing and combatting double standards and antisemitism.

Michal heads the NefeshBNefesh Institute for Aliya Policy & Strategy; is JFNA consultant functioning as a ‘scholar in residence’; and advises various organizations and initiatives.

Michal was born in Israel and grew up in Canada. She received her LL.B. from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and her LL.M. from McGill University in Montreal, Canada. She is a PhD candidate in the Human Rights under Pressure – Ethics, Law and Politics program at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and the Freie Universität of Berlin, researching freedom of speech on University campuses and tracking the effects of (attempted) regulation of rights.

Based on her background and commitment to human rights, to a Jewish and democratic Israel and to the Jewish people, Michal was and remains a legal advisor to the Goldin family, dedicated to the return of deceased Israeli soldiers Hadar Goldin and Oron Shaul, as well as Israeli civilians Avera Mengistu and Hisham a-Sayed through the reaffirmation of international law and utilization of the language of rights, as a case study for the imperative for equal and consistent application of foundational principles that trustees of international law and human rights are mandated to uphold, promote and protect.

Michal Cotler-Wunsh

Former Member of the Knesset

Azra Jafari is an Afghan politician and author. She was appointed as the first female mayor in Afghanistan by President Hamid Karzai in December 2008. She became the mayor of Nili, a town in Daykundi Province of Afghanistan. She belongs to the Hazara ethnic group.

Azra Jafari was editor-in-chief of Afghan social and cultural magazine Farhang in 1998. Later, she established an elementary school for Afghan refugees in Iran while she was working as Officer in Charge in Refugees’ Cultural Center. In 2001, Jafari joined Emergency Loya Jirga in Kabul. In December 2008, she was appointed as the first and only female mayor in Afghanistan. She was appointed as the mayor of Nili town

Jafari has been involved in the writing of two books since returning to Afghanistan. She contributed to The Making of the New Constitution of Afghanistan, which is about the political system and processes in Afghanistan and was published in 2003. She wrote I am a Working Woman, which talks about employment law and the rights of Afghan women in the labour market, and was published in 2008.

Azra Jafari has been awarded the Meeto Memorial Award at the Pakistan National Council of the Arts for her work and commitment to social development.

Azra Jafari

Former Mayor of Nili

Elizabeth Lane Miller is a women’s persecution specialist at Open Doors, a ministry serving persecuted Christians. She cowrites the annual Gender-Specific Religious Persecution Analysis report and codevelops materials to strengthen Christian communities in the face of these pressures.

Elizabeth Lane Miller

Women’s Persecution Specialist at Open Doors

Rev. Vijayesh Lal serves as the General Secretary of the Evangelical Fellowship of India (EFI). He has been deeply involved in training, socio economic development, advocacy, and research initiatives in and outside India. He is presently the Editor of a monthly magazine AIM published by EFI publication Trust in India. He has been writing for various journals.

Reverand Vijavesh Lal

General Secretary of the Evangelical Fellowship of India

Allison works at the intersection of religion and society in an effort to better understand the ways we include or exclude on the basis of religious difference, and to radically expand inclusion. She believes this means tackling religious polarization, religious bigotry, and reckoning with our own personal and social failures.

Allison served the program as consultant and advisor from 2017-2019, including as editor of Pluralism in Peril: Challenges to an American Ideal, before coming on as Assistant Director in 2019. She began her career in the non-profit sector at the El-Hibri Foundation after earning her doctorate in Church History from The Catholic University of America in 2015. She also holds a B.A. in History from the University of North Florida and an M.Phil. in Church History from the University of Cambridge.

Her current research interests include understanding faith-inspired nonprofits, religious literacy, and religion and philanthropy. She has authored But What if They PreachThe Multiplier Effect, and has work forthcoming in The Foundation Review as well as a book with Oxford University Press.

Her doctoral research on the history of Christianity focused on societal boundaries, rhetoric, and justification of coercion in the social body. She will no doubt get excessively excited if you ask her about it. She has a broad range of experience in academic and administrative settings, including academic expertise in teaching, researching and editing, and administrative expertise in managing grants, major events and operations, and developing database systems. She sings joyfully and bakes for friends.

Dr. Allison K. Ralph

Associate Director of the Religion & Society Program at the Aspen Institute

Growing up as a Baptist pastor’s kid in a small town in East Texas, Bob got the chance to learn the Bible at a young age. He developed strong theological opinions, but didn’t know how to live it outside the church. He knew how to debate his faith, but didn’t know how to love.

After marrying his high school sweetheart Niki, Bob, who initially felt that he was going to be a global missionary, felt a calling to plant Northwood Church in Keller (Dallas/Fort Worth), Texas. During the early days in his church ministry, two questions radically impacted his life: ‘When will Jesus be enough?’ & ‘What if the church were the missionary?’.

Drawing inspiration from early church history and the emerging church in the developing world, Bob envisioned a new way of engaging the local church to achieve common goals. He calls for building a church culture rather than a church program. Glocal (Local + Global) churches that make disciples who, transformed by the Holy Spirit, are infiltrating today’s culture on a global and local scale. He believes that instead of just paying a few people to do the mission work for your church, your entire church needs to be mobilized to use their job and skills to live on mission both in your city and around the world.

As he began to build friendships around the world, he realized he had so much to learn! He is conservative in theology but realized the problem is not what he believed or what Jesus said; it is how we live that out. His theology didn’t change; his methodology did. Faith in the public square is where theological conviction doesn’t put you in opposition with other people.

Ever since, Bob has been a trailblazer in the peacemaking and international religious freedom arenas. He is frequently called upon by the U.S. Department of State, United Nations, U.S. Islamic World Forum, World Economic Forum, ambassadors, international royal families, diplomats, policy leaders, and others for his groundbreaking work in this field. He seeks to build and execute a model whereby multi-faith and church planting combine to create flourishing cities. Bob has had the honor of engaging in bridge-building efforts in Saudi Arabia, Vietnam, Israel, Pakistan, India, Afghanistan, Indonesia, Egypt, West Bank, Iraq, Kuwait, Iran, Mexico, Brazil, Australia, and others.

Bob Roberts, Jr. is the founder of GlocalNet, a non-profit dedicated to mobilizing the church for transformation in the public square, founder and chairman of Glocal Ventures Inc (GVI) and co-founder of Multi-Faith Neighbors Network (MFNN), a multifaith organization committed to creating international religious freedom through intentional cross-cultural relationships. He is also currently the Senior Global Pastor at Northwood Church and host of the Bold Love podcast.

Bob has contributed or been featured on the World Economic Forum, Fox Business Channel, Washington Post, New York Times, Huckabee Show, Religious News Service, C-Span, Templeton Religions Trust, El-Hibri, Christianity Today, Outreach Magazine and more.

Bob is a graduate of Fuller Theological Seminary (Doctorate of Ministry), Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary (Masters of Divinity), and Baylor University (BA). He and his wife Niki have two children and three grandchildren.

Bob Roberts Jr.

Co-Founder of Multi-Faith Neighbors Network

Imam Mohamed Magid

Co-Founder Multi-Faith Neighbors Network

Nadine Maenza is a noted speaker, writer, and policy expert with more than two decades of experience as an advocate for working families and a champion for international religious freedom.

Nadine is the President of Patriot Voices, where she provides her expertise to shape the organization’s special emphasis on public policies that support working families. Drawing on her extensive network and coalition-building experiences, she has helped build unique coalitions on issues such as paid family leave, health care, tax reform, and international religious freedom.

Since June 2021, Nadine has served as the Chair of the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom, having been re-appointed by the White House in May of 2020 to a second two-year term. She served as Vice Chair in 2019. She has represented USCIRF in delegations to Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Myanmar, Bahrain, Indonesia, Iraq, Azerbaijan, Thailand, Taiwan, and Uzbekistan. She has traveled in her own personal capacity to better understand religious freedom conditions in Egypt, Iraq, Jordan, and Bangladesh as well as recently spending a month in northeast Syria. She is most honored to have met with persecuted communities of various faiths from around the world.

She currently serves on the Board of Directors for the Institute for Global Engagement, the Sinjar Academy, and the Freedom Research Foundation. Previously, she was Chairman of Hardwired Global, an organization working to stop religious oppression around the world. Nadine has advised several major organizations on faith engagement, policy development, and strategic partnerships through The Clapham Group including The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, The College Board, and The Anne E. Casey Foundation.

She has served as a senior advisor to presidential and Senate campaigns. She has decades of experience in fundraising and coalition building, having worked with presidential and Senate super PACs, served as the finance director for the Pennsylvania Republican Party, and as a consultant to the Republican National Committee. She worked on Capitol Hill in both the House of Representatives and the Senate.

Nadine’s writings on various policy topics have been published in numerous publications domestically and internationally. She is a graduate of Pennsylvania State University. She is married with three children living outside of Philadelphia in Chester County, Pennsylvania.

Nadine Maenza

Former Chair of USCIRF

Brett Scharffs is the Rex E. Lee Chair and Professor of Law at Brigham Young University’s J. Reuben Clark Law School, and Director of the International Center for Law and Religion Studies. His teaching and scholarly interests include law and religion, legal reasoning and rhetoric, philosophy of law, and legislation and regulation.

 

Professor Scharffs is a graduate of Georgetown University, where he received a BSBA in international business and an MA in philosophy. He was a Rhodes Scholar at Oxford University, where he earned a BPhil in philosophy. He received his JD from Yale Law School, where he was Senior Editor of the Yale Law Journal.

 

Professor Scharffs was a law clerk on the U.S. Court of Appeals, D.C. Circuit, and worked as a legal assistant at the Iran-U.S. Claims Tribunal in The Hague. Before teaching at BYU, he worked as an attorney for the New York law firm, Sullivan & Cromwell. He has previously taught at Yale University and the George Washington University Law School. For the past ten years he has been a visiting Professor at Central European University in Budapest, and for the past seven years he has helped organize a Certificate Training Program on Religion and the Rule of Law in Beijing in partnership with Peking University Law School’s Center for Administrative and Constitutional Law. He also co-organizes similar programs in Vietnam and Myanmar. He has also been working to develop a masters-level course on Shari’a and Human Rights with two universities in Indonesia. He has been a visiting professor at the University of Adelaide School of Law in Australia (2012) and Doshisha University in Kyoto, Japan (2015).

 

In his eighteen year academic career, Professor Scharffs has written more than 100 articles and book chapters, and has made over 300 scholarly presentations in 30 countries. His articles include The Role of Humility in Exercising Practical Wisdom (U.C. Davis Law Review), Adjudication and the Problems of Incommensurability (William and Mary Law Review), Law as Craft (Vanderbilt Law Review), and The Character of Legal Reasoning (Washington and Lee Law Review). He is currently finishing work on a book about legal reasoning and rhetoric.

 

His field-creating casebook, LAW AND RELIGION: NATIONAL, INTERNATIONAL AND COMPARATIVE PERSPECTIVES, published by Aspen Press / Wolters Kluer (co-authored with his BYU Law School colleague W. Cole Durham, Jr.), has been translated into Chinese and Vietnamese, and translations are underway into Arabic, Burmese, Indonesian and Turkish. Second editions of the English and Chinese versions are scheduled in 2016.

He has served as Chair of the Law and Religion Section of the Association of American Law Schools, and is immediate past Chair of the Law and Interpretation Section of the AALS. He is on the editorial board of the Oxford Journal of Law and Religion and the Advisory Board of the Research Unit for the Study of Society, Law and Religion at the University of Adelaide.

 

He is married to Deirdre Mason Crane Scharffs, and has three children, Elliot, Sophelia, and Ella. He enjoys golf, skiing, and mountain biking with family and friends.

Brett Scharffs

The Rex E. Lee Chair and Professor of Law; Director, International Center for Law and Religion Studies

Justin Baldoni is an actor, director, producer, speaker, and entrepreneur who is focused creating impactful media and entertainment.

After creating and directing the award-winning documentary series, My Last Days, Baldoni made his feature film directorial debut this year with FIVE FEET APART. He also produced the film which went on to crush box office predictions and has grossed over $80 million worldwide. Baldoni will next direct CLOUDS for Warner Bros.

On the acting front, Baldoni is best known for playing “Rafael” on The CW’s award-winning phenomenon, Jane the Virgin. The fifth and final season is currently airing.

As an entrepreneur, Baldoni co-founded Wayfarer Entertainment-a cause-driven media studio focused on creating content that highlights inspiration, unity, and the power of human connection. Through this platform, he created the dinner conversation series, Man Enough, which dives into traditional masculinity while focusing on topics like body image, relationships, and fatherhood. He has spoken about his own journey with masculinity in a viral TED talk as well as across college campuses in America.

Baldoni founded and is a chairman of The Wayfarer Foundation, a non-profit organization that puts on one of Los Angeles’ largest volunteer events-The Carnival of Love-which provides connection, services, and resources to people who are experiencing homelessness in LA’s Skid Row community and will expand nationally in 2020.

Baldoni currently lives in Los Angeles with his wife and two children.

Justin Baldoni

Actor

Naomi Kikoler is the director of the Simon-Skjodt Center for the Prevention of Genocide. As the Center’s deputy director she led Center’s policy engagement with the United States government and work on Bearing Witness countries, including undertaking the documentation of the commission of genocide by ISIS. Previously she developed and implemented the Global Centre for the Responsibility to Protect’s work on populations at risk and efforts to advance R2P globally and led the Centre’s advocacy, including targeting the United Nations Security Council. Prior to joining the Global Centre for the Responsibility to Protect in 2008, she worked on national security and refugee law and policy for Amnesty International Canada. She has also worked for the UN Office of the Special Advisor on the Prevention of Genocide, the Office of the Prosecutor at the UN International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda, and the Brookings-Bern Project on Internal Displacement at the Brookings Institution, and she worked as an election monitor in Kenya with the Carter Center. She has been an adjunct professor at the New School University and is the author of numerous publications, including the US Holocaust Memorial Museum’s 2015 report, Our Generation is Gone: The Islamic States Targeting of Minorities in Ninewa, the 2013 Nexus Fund series on the emerging powers and mass atrocity prevention, and the 2011 report Risk Factors and Legal Norms Associated with Genocide Prevention for the UN Office on the Prevention of Genocide and the Jacob Blaustein Institute. She is a graduate of McGill University’s Faculty of Law, Oxford University, where her masters thesis was on the Rwandan genocide, and the University of Toronto. She is a board member of the Canadian Centre for the Responsibility to Protect, the Free Yezidi Foundation, is a Fellow at the Montreal Institute for Genocide and Human Rights Studies, and was called to the Bar of Upper Canada.

Naomi Kikoler

Director of the Simon-Skjodt Center for the Prevention of Genocide

Ruiting Ren, the member of The Early Rain Reformed House Church.

Ren Ruiting

Survivor of Persecution

 Minister João Lucas Quental Novaes de Almeida is the current director of the Department of Human Rights and Citizenship in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Brazil. As a career diplomat for almost thirty years, he has served in several posts, including the Permanent Missions of Brazil to the United Nations in New York and Geneva. Minister João Lucas graduated in Economics and obtained master’s degrees in International Relations from the Catholic University of Rio de Janeiro and from the London School of Economics (LSE). 

Minister João Lucas Quental Novaes de Almeida

Director of the Department of Human Rights and Citizenship in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Brazil

Tehmina Arora is a lawyer practicing in the area of constitutional law and human rights with a special emphasis on minority rights and religious freedom. Based in New Delhi, India, Arora also serves as legal consultant for Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF) International. She is also the General Secretary of the Christian Legal Association in India. She has written over 30 articles on human rights-related issues and has published in leading national daily newspapers and magazines. Ms. Ahora is frequently called upon to address groups at seminars across the country on the rights of religious minorities in India. She has worked briefly at the Supreme Court of India before joining the Christian Legal Association.

Tehmina Arora

Legal Consultant ADF India

Father Patrick Desbois, president of Yahad-In Unum, has devoted his life to confronting anti-Semitism and furthering Catholic-Jewish understanding. His research has greatly expanded the scope of understanding concerning the Holocaust in Eastern Europe. His book, The Holocaust by Bullets, documents those findings.

Father Desbois is the director of the Episcopal Committee for Relations with Judaism, serves as a consultant to the Vatican, and was a personal aide to the late Archbishop of Paris, Cardinal Jean-Marie Lustiger. He was awarded the Medal of Valor by the Simon Wiesenthal Center, the Humanitarian Award of the U.S. Holocaust Museum, and honorary doctorates from Hebrew University, and Bar Ilan University in Israel, amongst other honors.

Father Patrick Desbois

French Roman Catholic priest, former head of the Commission for Relations with Judaism of the French Bishops’ Conference and consultant to the Vatican

Morton A. Klein is National President of the Zionist Organization of America (ZOA), the oldest pro-Israel group in the U.S., founded in 1897. He is a member of the National Council of AIPAC. Mr. Klein is widely regarded as one of the leading Jewish activists in the United States.

The US Department of State has awarded Klein a “Certificate of Appreciation” “in recognition of outstanding contributions to national and international affairs,” after he delivered a major address there. He is a member of the International Board of Governors of the College of Judea and Samaria in Ariel, Israel.

He is an economist who served in the Nixon, Ford, and Carter Administrations. He has served as a biostatistician at UCLA School of Public Health and the Linus Pauling Institute of Science and Medicine in Palo Alto, California. He has been a lecturer in mathematics and statistics at Temple University.

His successful campaigns against anti-Israel bias in leading textbooks, travel guides, universities, churches, and the media, as well as his work on Capitol Hill, were the subject of 30 feature stories both here and in Israel. His scientific research on nutrition and heart disease was cited by Discover Magazine as one of the Top 50 Scientific Studies of 1992. He has been invited to testify before the US Congress, Including the US House International Relations Committee, and the Israeli Knesset.

He traveled to Germany and persuaded the publishers of Baedeker’s, the world’s leading travel guide, to correct the many anti-Israel errors in its guides to Israel and Jerusalem. He launched a campaign to correct dozens of anti-Israel errors in D.C. Heath’s “The Enduring Vision,” the most widely used American high school and college history textbook.

More than 300 of his articles and letters have been published in newspapers, magazines, and scientific journals around the world. Klein has appeared on TV and radio. Lines from his speeches appear in the respected volume entitled “Great Jewish Quotations,” He is on the speaker’s bureau of UJC, and Israel Bonds.

Mort Klein

National President of the Zionist Organization of America

Mary Beth Long is the founder and chief executive officer of Metis Solutions, recognized on the 2014 Inc. 500 list as the 201st fastest-growing private company and the 12th top government service company in America. She consults for several Fortune 50 companies and specializes in the African and Middle Eastern markets. Long was the first woman to be confirmed by the U.S. Senate as Assistant Secretary of Defense in the Office of the Secretary of Defense (2007–2009), specifically as Assistant Secretary of Defense for International Security Affairs. A four-star civilian equivalent, Long also served as the first female Chair of NATO’s High Level Group responsible for nuclear policy. In addition to her senior role when it comes to the Middle East, Europe and Africa, she served as the Principal Secretary of Defense for the Western Hemisphere, Asia and Southeast Asia; the Deputy Secretary of Defense for Counter-Narcoterrorism; and representative to the Helsinki Commission.

She adds to her defense credentials more than a decade of Central Intelligence Agency operational experience as an officer assigned abroad. Long currently serves as an advisor to the Supreme Allied Commander of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization as a subject matter expert and on the international advisory committee for the Minister of Defense of Colombia. She has advised several presidential candidates. Long has appeared on Fox News, BBC and NPR on Middle East issues and the intelligence community. She is a licensed lawyer, and from 1999 until 2004 was an associate specializing in civil litigation matters at Williams & Connolly LLP, one of the nation’s most prestigious law firms.

Long travels regularly to the Middle East, Europe, Latin America and Afghanistan and has offices in Abu Dhabi and Kabul. She is an honors graduate of Pennsylvania State University, magna cum laude, and received her JD from Washington and Lee University School of Law.

Mary Beth Long

Former United States Assistant Secretary of Defense for International Security Affairs

Farahnaz Ispahani is a Public Policy Fellow at the Wilson Center in Washington, DC and the author of the book Purifying The Land of The Pure: The History of Pakistan’s Religious Minorities (Oxford University Press, 2017)In 2015, she was a Reagan-Fascell Scholar at the National Endowment for Democracy, in Washington, DC. And a Policy Scholar at the Woodrow Wilson Center from 2013-2014.

A Pakistani politician, Ispahani served as a Member of Parliament and Media Advisor to the President of Pakistan from 2008-2012. She returned to Pakistan with Former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto in 2007 after opposing the Musharraf dictatorship in the preceding years. In Parliament she focused on the issues of terrorism, human rights, gender based violence, minority rights and US-Pakistan relations. The most notable pieces of legislation enacted with her active support include those relating to Women’s Harassment in the Workplace and Acid Crimes and Control, which made disfiguring of women by throwing acid at them a major crime. She was also a member of the Women’s caucus in the 13th National Assembly. The caucus, which straddled political divides, was instrumental in introducing more legislation on women’s issues than has ever been done before during a single parliamentary term.

Ms. Ispahani spent the formative years of her career as a print and television journalist. Her last journalistic position was as Executive Producer and Managing Editor of Voice of America’s Urdu TV. She has also worked at ABC News, CNN and MSNBC.

She has contributed opinion pieces to the Wall Street Journal, Foreign Policy,    The National Review, The Hindu, India, The News, Pakistan and The Huffington Post.

Ms Ispahani has spoken at many forums in the US and abroad including the Aspen Ideas Festival, The Brussels Forum, The Aspen Congressional Program, The Chautauqua Institute, The University of Pennsylvania, Wellesley College, Jamia Millia University, Delhi.

Farahnaz Ispahani

Former Member of the National Assembly of Pakistan

Mindy has covered wars and victims of conflict in Afghanistan, Syria, Iraq, Sudan and the Balkans. She recounts some of her experiences in a 2016 award-winning book, They Say We Are Infidels.

She is a former senior editor at World Magazine, and her work appears in The Wall Street Journal and other publications. The New York Times calls her “one of the bravest and best foreign correspondents in the country.”

Her news roundup, Globe Trot, is read by thousands each week and available on Substack. Mindy has taught journalism courses in Uganda, India, Hungary, and the United States.

She is a mother of four and grandmother of three, and resides with her husband Nat Belz in Asheville, N.C.

Mindy Belz

Journalist

Carlos Enrique Luna Arango, popularly known as Cash Luna, is a Guatemalan televangelist and faith healer who is the founder and pastor of the Casa de Dios, one of the largest megachurches in Latin America.

 

Cash Luna

Founder and Pastor of the Casa de Dios

Michael P. Farris is president and CEO of Alliance Defending Freedom. As the second CEO of ADF, he brings to the role a diverse background as an effective litigator, educator, public advocate, and communicator, and is widely recognized for his successful work on both the national and international stage.

Farris was founding president of both the Home School Legal Defense Association (1983) and Patrick Henry College (2000) and continues to serve as chairman of the board of HSLDA and chancellor emeritus of PHC.

Farris has specialized in constitutional appellate litigation. In that capacity, he has argued before the appellate courts of 13 states, eight federal circuit courts of appeal, and the U.S. Supreme Court, where in 2018 he successfully argued NIFLA v. Becerra, resulting in a free speech victory for California’s pro-life pregnancy centers.

Farris has testified many times before both the House and Senate. He was an executive committee member of the Coalition for the Free Exercise of Religion that successfully lobbied Congress for the passage of the Religious Freedom Restoration Act of 1993. He also has substantial experience in international religious freedom advocacy.

Farris is the author of over 15 books, as well as law review and other scholarly and popular articles. He and his wife, Vickie, have 10 children and many grandchildren.

Michael Farris

President and CEO of Alliance Defending Freedom

When he was two years old, Arjia Rinpoche was recognized as the incarnation of the father of Lama Tsong Khapa, the great thirteenth-century Buddhist reformer, and, as such, became the Abbot of Kumbum Monastery located in eastern Tibet.

From age twelve to fourteen when the Chinese policies slightly eased, Rinpoche studied at Tashilhunpo Monastery in Shigatse, the monastery of the Panchen Lama. From age fourteen to twenty-seven during the Cultural Revolution, the political situation got much worse again, and he had to work in the fields at hard labor with other lamas and monks.

In 1979 he was reinstated as Abbot of Kumbum Monastery and advanced in the governmental hierarchy. In 1998, he was about to become leader of the Chinese National Buddhist Association. In a crisis of conscience, he escaped from Beijing to Guatemala and, with the help of the Dalai Lama sought asylum in the United States.

Rinpoche settled in Mill Valley, California where he established the Tibetan Center for Compassion and Wisdom. In 2005, His Holiness the Dalai Lama asked him to become the director of the Tibetan Mongolian Buddhist Cultural Center in Bloomington, Indiana. He moved to Bloomington in February 2006 where he has renovated the center and continues to promote Buddh

Arjia Rinpoche

Tibetan Buddhist Leader

Sharon Eubank has been the first counselor in the Relief Society General Presidency of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS Church) since April 2017 and is also the director of Latter-day Saints Charity. 

Upon graduating from BYU, Eubank accepted a position teaching English in Suzuka, Japan. After returning to the United States, she moved to Washington, D.C., where she worked for four years as a legislative aid to U.S. senators Alan Simpson and Jake Garn. Following her work in Washington, Eubank returned to Utah to start a business. She and her business partner sold educational toys and games for seven years before selling the business in 1998.

From 2009 to 2012, Eubank served on the Relief Society General Board, while Julie B. Beck was president. She has served as first counselor to Jean B. Bingham in the Relief Society General Presidency since April 2017. In 2017 she traveled to Uganda with Beck at the invitation of UNICEF. In 2020 she addressed the G20 Interfaith Forum hosted by Saudi Arabia, discussing disaster response, food supply chains, and involving faith communities in emergency preparation and response efforts. In 2020, Eubank joined a CROP hunger walk for the Church World Service to walk in solidarity against hunger.

Sharon Eubank

Director of Latter-day Saint Charities

Kevin Roberts, Ph.D., was named president of The Heritage Foundation in October 2021. He succeeded former Heritage President Kay C. James as the seventh president in the organization’s 49-year history.

Roberts previously served as the chief executive officer of the Texas Public Policy Foundation (TPPF), an Austin-based nonprofit, nonpartisan research institute and the largest state think tank in the nation. Under Roberts’ leadership, TPPF more than doubled in size. He also expanded the Texas think tank’s influence nationwide, opening an office in Washington, D.C., so that TPPF research might better inform federal policy debates.

As president of The Heritage Foundation, Roberts will continue to lead policy research efforts on many of the issues he championed at TPPF, including education, health care, border security, election integrity, and more, and his leadership will also be critical in pushing back on the radical, socialist agenda being advanced by the left at all levels of government. At a time when so many bad ideas are coming out of Washington, his experience advancing sound policy at the state and national levels will be vital.

Kevin Roberts

President of The Heritage Foundation

Stephen J. Yates is an American political advisor and government official who last served as the president of Radio Free Asia. He previously served as the deputy national security adviser to the Vice President to Dick Cheney from 2001 to 2005 and chairman of the Idaho Republican Party from 2014 to 2017. He is the CEO of consulting firm, DC International Advisory and has been in that position since 2006.

From 2005 to 2006, Yates served has a lobbyist and vice president of the global affairs practice for Barbour Griffith & Rogers, whose clients included; Taiwan, The Indonesian National Shipowners’ Association, Moneygram International, Lebanon’s National Dialogue Party, The Republic of India British Nuclear Fuels, Plc. (via a contract with Sutherland Asbill & Brennan).

Yates is the founder and CEO at DC International Advisory since 2006, a consulting firm advises on managing international political risk and business opportunity. He is also a professor of the practice with the International Business Program at Boise State University. Currently, he is a distinguished Fellow at the Hamilton Foundation.

Yates serves as a senior fellow and chair of the China Policy Initiative at America First Policy Institute as of 2022.

Steve Yates

Senior Fellow and Chair, China Policy Initiative

Yasonna Hamonangan Laoly is the current Minister of Law and Human Rights in Indonesia. He was a member of the North Sumaregional legislature from 1999 to 2003, and of the People’s Consultative Assembly from 2004 to 2014. He is the first ethnic Nias to hold a cabinet position. He is one of the leaders in the central executive board of the Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle.

Yasonna Laoly Hamonangan’s political career increased rapidly when President Joko Widodo appointed him Minister of Justice and human rights of Republic of Indonesia. Laoly’s experience of many years as an academic in the field of law at a time of lawyers, as well as the experience of being a member of Commission III of the DPR/MPR-RI (2005-2009), making it easy to adapt to his new position.

 

Yasonna Laoly

Minister of Law and Human Rights in Indonesia

Gregory John Mansour is an American Maronite prelate, who has served as the eparch (bishop) of the Maronite Eparchy of Saint Maron of Brooklyn, a diocese based in Brooklyn, New York, covering the Maronite Church in the eastern United States since 2004.

On 10 January 2004 Mansour was appointed to the office of the Eparchy of Brooklyn succeeding Bishop Stephen Youssef Doueihi who retired., being ordained eparch on March 2, 2004, by Maronite Patriarch of Antioch, Cardinal Nasrallah Boutros Sfeir, ruler of the Maronite Church and his co-consecrators were Roland Aboujaoudé, titular bishop of Arca in Phoenicia of the Maronites and Stephen Youssef Doueihi, emeritus bishop of the Eparchy of Brooklyn. On April 27, 2004, Mansour was installed as eparch of Brooklyn.[1]

Bishop Mansour was appointed chairman of Catholic Relief Services’ board of directors on 22 November 2016, succeeding Archbishop of Oklahoma City Paul S. Coakley in the position. Mansour had previously travelled to Lebanon and Jordan to review CRS efforts to help refugees of the Syrian Civil War, as well as El Salvador and Egypt on behalf of CRS.

Bishop Gregory Mansour

Bishop of Saint Maron of Brooklyn

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