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Religious Advisory Board
Doug Hostetter, 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. He is 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. Doug Hostetter is also a Sociologist who has taught at Northwestern University in Evanston, IL and Goshen College in Goshen, IN. Doug has published widely on the issues of war, peace and nonviolence.
Imam Shamsi Ali
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. He is also Chairman of Masjid Al-Hikmah Astoria, Queens and has been Chairman of the Muslim Day Parade since 1998. He is 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, he taught in Saudi Arabia at the Islamic Education Foundation. Since the September 11 attacks, Ali has been actively building bridges between Muslim communities and American society. Ali also represented the Muslim community in discussions on religion and sustainable development at the White House in 2006. Well known in the interfaith community, Ali has lectured to churches, synagogues, the New York City Police Department, schools and other groups. 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. Recently took part in the Transatlantic Dialogue in Frankfurt, Germany. He has appeared on many 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 and other publications. 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 Reverend 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. He spent the last two years as the World Council of Churches Representative in Jerusalem and as the Associate Executive Secretary of the Jerusalem Ecumenical Center. Prior to that, Chris was a senior denominational leader in the United Church of Canada for 14 years including serving as General Secretary of the Division of World Outreach and as Executive Minister and Ecumenical officer of the Justice, Global and Ecumenical Relations Unit. He was a Professor of Ministry and Theology at the Latin American Biblical Seminary in Costa Rica. His ministry has been devoted to human rights, peace, justice and interfaith cooperation. In the context of the World Alliance of Reformed Churches and the Peace for Life movement, he has been contributing to the ongoing ecumenical theological debate concerning global economic injustice.
Bhakti Charu Swami
Bhakti Charu Swami, a religious leader of the International Society for Krishna Consciousness, was born in Bengal in 1945. He is an initiated disciple of SrilaPrabhupada and has translated SrilaPrabhupada's literary works in Bengali. He has also produced a television series on Srilarabhupada's life entitled "AbhayCharan" in conjunction with the Indian National Television network. He has served as a member of ISKCON's Governing Body Commission since 1989, while simultaneously acting as ISKCON's Minister of Culture. Bhakti Charu Swami joined ISKCON in 1976. During his first meeting with SrilaPrabhupada, he was instructed to translate Prabhupada's books into Bengali. Soon afterwards, SrilaPrabhupada awarded him first and second initiations simultaneously, and appointed him as his secretary for Indian affairs. Three months later, Bhakti Charu Swami became a member of the Governing Body Commission, the Minister of Culture and an initiating spiritual master. He has gained respect throughout the movement for his scholarship and Vaisnava qualities.