Curricula Vitae of the Panelists and Moderators

as of 15 February 2016

Mohamed Ashmawey
Former Chief Executive Officer, Islamic Relief Worldwide, UK

Mohamed Ashmawey joined Islamic Relief Worldwide (IRW) as CEO in early 2012 and leads the Islamic Relief family in over 40 countries around the world. Whilst addressing ongoing crises he is transforming Islamic Relief into an impact-led and rights-based development INGO that helps people lift themselves out of poverty. His many years of corporate management expertise in process re-engineering and organisational restructuring is helping to change the way that IRW works across the world. Mohamed Ashmawey was formerly CEO of Islamic Relief USA and has held senior roles in the corporate sector including as a Vice-Chairman and Country-Head for Electronic Data Systems where his clients included ABN Amro and General Motors. He has served on the boards of bodies including the Islamic Society of North America, and he received his PhD in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Maryland in 1988 where he continued as a visiting professor. Mohamed Ashmawey is married with four children.

J. Mark Brinkmoeller
Director, Center of Faith-based & Community Initiatives, U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), USA

J. Mark Brinkmoeller leads a dynamic team to engage faith-based organizations and communities groups, along with their leadership, to further the mission of USAID.  In this role, J. Mark Brinkmoeller works to provide a bridge for faith-based and community groups to connect with USAID’s mission, catalyze new opportunities for collaboration, and help to eliminate barriers to partner with USAID on a range of global development issues.

Prior to joining USAID in February 2012, J. Mark Brinkmoeller served as senior external engagement advisor at ONE, managing relationships with faith-motivated artists and partnerships related to ONE’s Living Proof Project.  During his time at Bread for the World, J. Mark Brinkmoeller directed the Church Relations Department which included managing the department team, raising significant financial support and organizing for advocacy and other support from over 30 denominations, para-church organizations and local congregations for poor and hungry people in the U.S. and around the world.

Ingolf Dietrich
Director, Commissioner for the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development,Germany

Ingolf Dietrich is the Commissioner for the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. He is responsible for the position of the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development in the national and international processes on the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.
Until the end of October 2015, he headed the special unit responsible for the Sustainable Development Goals of the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development. The adoption of the 2030 Agenda at the summit in late September 2015 was the successful conclusion of a negotiating process that had taken several years. On 1 November 2015, Ingolf Dietrich was asked to become the Commissioner of the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development for the Agenda in order to direct the implementation of this global pact for better opportunities and better lives.
Before he became head of the special unit, Ingolf Dietrich headed the Directorate for climate, poverty reduction, sectoral policies and Latin America. He was responsible for sector policy guidelines for the Ministry’s development policy and for its involvement in numerous global initiatives and programs. Before that, he was head of the Southern Africa Division for five years.
Ingolf Dietrich studied agricultural science at Munich Technical University and Berlin Technical University. He holds a doctorate in agricultural economics from Munich Technical University.

Rev. Cornelia Füllkrug-Weitzel
President, Bread for the World, Germany

Following her studies in Protestant Theology and Political Science, Rev. Cornelia Füllkrug-Weitzel worked as Research associate at the Free University of Berlin, as a Human Rights Consultant for the Protestant Church in Germany and afterwards as Deputy Director of the Berlin Mission. In 2000, she took over as Director Bread for the World and Diakonie Katastrophenhilfe within the Social Service Agency (Diakonisches Werk) of the Protestant Church in Germany, located in Stuttgart. Since September 2012, she is now President of Bread for the World and President of Diakonie Katastrophenhilfe within the Protestant Agency for Diakonia and Development, located in Berlin, whose Executive Board she is chairing since May 2014.

Ha Vinh Tho
Programme Director, Gross National Happiness Centre Bhutan, Bhutan

Ha Vinh Tho is Programme Director at the Gross National Happiness Centre in Bhutan. He is also the founder and chairman of Eurasia Foundation, a humanitarian NGO developing educational programmes for children and youth living with disabilities, as well as ecological projects in Vietnam. Previously, he served as Head of training, learning and development at the International Committee of the Red Cross. He is a Buddhist teacher the Tradition of Vietnamese Zen Buddhism ordained by Zen Master Thich Nhat Hanh. Ha Vinh Tho has been a professor in several universities in Europe and Vietnam, he has published several books and many articles on topics including education, engaged spirituality, intercultural dialogue, adult education and humanitarian action. Ha Vinh Tho holds a Ph.D. in Psychology and Education.

H.E. Mussie Hailu
Special Envoy of the Economic, Social and Cultural Council of the African Union, Regional Director of the United Religions Initiative (URI) for Africa, Ethiopia

H.E. Ambassador Mussie Hailu is an activist on a culture of peace, inter-religions, inter-cultural harmony, environmental protection, human dignity and mutual co-existence who is working at national, regional and international level in promoting peace, reconciliation, interfaith harmony, disarmament, world citizenship, building right human relationship, constructive dialogue and building bridges for international cooperation and promoting the teaching of Golden Rule which says “Treat others the way you want to be treated” as a guiding principle to enhance respect and human right.
He pioneered positive initiatives in Africa including an interfaith movement in his own country in Ethiopia and in many other African countries and also the Council of Former African Heads of States and Governments for Environmental Protection and Climate Change in Africa. His initiative includes a "Declaration for Peace" distributed worldwide during the 50th anniversary of the United Nations. After the 1994 genocide in Rwanda he worked with the National and Unity Commission of Rwanda on the issue of peace and reconciliation in Rwanda.

Asma Jahangir
Advocate, Supreme Court Bar Association, Pakistan

Asma Jahangir is the elected President of the Supreme Court Bar Association of Pakistan in 2011 and was twice elected as Chairperson of the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan. Asma Jahangir is also a Director of the AGHS Legal Aid Cell, which provides free legal assistance to the needy and was instrumental in the formation of the Punjab Women Lawyers Association in 1980 and the Women Action Forum in 1985.
She was placed under house arrest and later imprisoned for participating in the movement to restore political and fundamental rights under the military regime in 1983.
She has received honorary Doctor of Law degrees from the University of St. Gallen, Switzerland, Queen’s University, Canada and Amherst College, USA. She has been the recipient of a number of international and national awards, among them the Ramon Magsaysay Award in 1995.
In 1998, Asma Jahangir was appointed United Nations Special Rapporteur on Extrajudicial, Summary or arbitrary execution of the Commission on Human Rights and in 2004 she was appointed United Nations Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Religion or Belief of the Council of Human Rights.Moreover, she has defended cases of discrimination against religious minorities, women and children.

Andreas Jung
Member of the German Bundestag, Chairman of the Parliamentary Advisory Council on Sustainable Development, Germany

Andreas Jung (*1975) is a German lawyer and member of the CDU. In 2005, Andreas Jung was directly elected Member of the German Bundestag in the constituency of Constance. He was re-elected in 2009 and 2013. Currently, he is a Member of the Committee on Economics and Energy, Chairman of the Parliamentary Advisory Council on Sustainable Development as well as special representative for climate protection of the CDU/CSU parliamentary group.

Azza Karam
Senior Advisor, Culture, United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), Coordinator, UN Inter-Agency Task Force on Religion and Development, USA

Azza Karam serves as a Senior Advisor on Culture and Social Development, at the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA). In this capacity, Azza Karam is a Lead Facilitator for the United Nations Strategic Learning Exchanges on Religion, development and humanitarian issues. She represents UNFPA as Coordinator/Chair of the United Nations Inter-Agency Task Force on Engaging Faith-Based Organizations for Development; and coordinates engagement with members of a Global Interfaith Network for Population and Development with over 500 faith-based organizations. 
She served as the Senior Policy Advisor in the Regional Bureau for Arab States at the United Nations Development Program (UNDP). With the support of the Ford Foundation, she founded the first Global Women of Faith Network during her tenure at Religions for Peace, while also advising on interfaith development work in Muslim-majority countries. During this time, she served also as President of the Committee of Religious NGOs at the United Nations.
She was an international consultant to several developmental programmes with UNDP and the OECD as well as a number of NGO initiatives between the European Union and the Arab and Central Asian regions.
She taught at a number of universities, and has published widely on international political dynamics, including democratization, human rights, gender, and religion and development.

Tawakkol Karman
Nobel Peace Prize laureate (2011), Yemen

Tawakkol Karman was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 2011 in recognition of her work in non-violent struggle for the expression rights, safety of women and for women’s rights to full participation in peace-building work in Yemen. Upon being awarded the prize, Tawakkol Karman became the first Yemeni, the first Arab woman, and the second Muslim woman to win a Nobel Peace Prize, as well as the youngest Nobel Peace laureate to date, at the age of 32.
Tawakkol Karman is a mother of three as well as a human rights activist, journalist, politician, founder and president of Women Journalists without Chains organization. She is a General Coordinator of the peaceful Youth Revolution Council and she is a member of the advisory board for the Transparency International organisation and for several international human rights NGOs. Tawakkol Karman has entered into many dialogues and written several articles, calling for the abandonment of extremism, violence and terrorism, for dialogues between religions, sects and for co-existence between the peoples, cultures and civilizations. For her engagement, she has been awarded several prizes and titles such as a member of the High-Level Panel of Eminent Persons on the Post 2015 Development and one of the most revolutionary 16 women in the history identified by the American Time Magazine.

Renier Koegelenberg
Executive Secretary, National Religious Association for Social Development (NRASD), Director, EFSA Ecumenical Institute, South Africa

Renier Koegelenberg has been directly involved in research on the role that churches and different religious communities (inter-faith) play in facilitating community development over 25 years. As a result of this Renier Koegelenberg has contributed to the development and the presentation of practical courses for community leaders, the formation of viable structures and networks that supports community empowerment through partnerships as well as negotiations between civil society, community based and faith based projects and international funding agencies. He also coordinates negotiations between civil society, religious communities and different levels of government – both with regard to policy formation and the funding of community development projects.

 

Karin Kortmann
Director of the Berlin Representation, Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH, Germany

Karin Kortmann is the director of the Berlin Representation of the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH. In 2005, she was appointed as Parliamentary State Secretary at the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ). Prior to this position, she served as the German Governor in regional development banks (African, Asian, Inter-American and Caribbean). She was also a member of the German Bundestag from 1998 until 2009 for the electoral district Düsseldorf.
Karin Kortmann holds various honorary posts. She is the vice-president of the Central Committee of German Catholics (ZdK) as well as a member of the board of trustees of the Katholische Friedensstiftung.

 

Rev. Jack Mamven
Youth Pastor, Pentecostal Fellowship of Nigeria (PFN), Nigeria

Rev. Jack Mamven works as a youth pastor of the Pentecostal Fellowship of Nigeria (PFN) in Jos, Nigeria. He is a graduate of the Springfield Bible Training Centre in Jos and was ordained as a reverend by the Evangel Ministers Fellowship, USA in 2013. Rev. Jack Mamven is also the director of the Advanced Logos International School of Ministry in Jos which is a school of ministry committed to training youth pastors. He engages in peace and reconciliation of Christians and Muslims and has worked with different youth organisations in Nigeria on the need to embrace peace irrespective of religious differences for sustainable development. Rev. Jack Mamven was born in 1982 in Kaduna, a northern central city of Nigeria.

Katherine Marshall
Professor for Religion, Development and Conflict Resolution, Georgetown University, Executive Director, World Faith Development Dialogue (WFDD), USA

Katherine Marshall has worked for over four decades on international development. A senior fellow at Georgetown’s Berkley Center for Religion, Peace and World Affairs and Professor of the Practice of Development, Religion, and Conflict in the School of Foreign Service, she is the executive director of the World Faiths Development Dialogue (WFDD), a non-governmental organization that works to bridge gulfs that separate the worlds of development and religion. She spent a large part of her career at the World Bank, in many leadership assignments focused on Africa, Latin America, and East Asia. She has published several books and many articles, most recently Global Institutions of Religion: Ancient Movers, Modern Shakers, (Routledge 2013) and Women, Religion, and Peacebuilding: Illuminating the Unseen (US Institute of Peace, 2015).

Aiman A. Mazyek
CEO, Central Council of Muslims in Germany, Germany

Aiman A. Mazyek joined the Assembly of the Central Council of Muslims in Germany in 1994 and was elected as CEO in 2010. Prior to his current position, he engaged as a spokesman and honorary secretary general at Central Council of Muslims in Germany. Aiman A. Mazyek is also the co-founder and vice chair of the board of the organisation Green Helmets e.V. In 1996/1997, he established the website islam.de, which today is one of the largest and best-known German internet portals. Until 2010, Aiman A. Mazyek served as its editor and director. Currently, he works as a freelance journalist and media consultant. For several years, Aiman A. Mazyek was a member of the delegation for the international Conference on Islam hosted by the Egyptian government. He is a recipient of the Wolfgang Fichtner Prize for Tolerance and a member of various forums, such as the Forum Against Racism and the Islam Forum Germany. Aiman A. Mazyek was born in 1969 in Aachen and completed his studies in Arabic in Cairo, philosophy, economics and politics sciences in Aachen and a number of Islamic studies taught by recognized scientists and theologians.

Martina Metz
Head of Division, Human rights, freedom of religion, gender equality, culture and development, inclusion of persons with disabilities, Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development, Germany

Martina Metz is Head of the Division "Human rights, freedom of religion, gender equality, culture and development, and inclusion of persons with disabilities" in the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development.  Martina Metz is economist and has extensive experience in development policy. She joined the Ministry in 1990 and was responsible for several thematic and institutional areas as health and education, development effectiveness and quality standards, cooperation with civil society, with World Bank and regional development banks. Before that she worked with the United Nations in New York and for Germany's technical cooperation agency.

 

Gerd Müller
Federal Minister for Economic Cooperation and Development, Germany

Gerd Müller has been German Federal Minister for Economic Cooperation and Development since December 2013. He served from 2005 to 2013 as Parliamentary State Secretary to the Federal Ministry of Food, Agriculture and Consumer Protection, responsible, among things, for international relations, development projects and world food affairs.
Since 1994 he has been a Member of the German Bundestag, representing the constituency of Oberallgäu/Kempten/Lindau, and since 2005 a member of the EU, Foreign Affairs and Defence Committees of the German Bundestag, spokesman of the group of parliamentarians from the CSU in the German Bundestag for foreign affairs, European policy and development policy. In 1989, Gerd Müller became a member of the European Parliament and served as the Parliamentary Secretary of the CDU/CSU group. He was born in 1955 in the Allgäu region of Bavaria and completed a master’s degree in Business Education.

Ulrich Nitschke
Head of the Sector Programme Values, Religion and Development, Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH, Germany

Ulrich Nitschke was the Head of Programme for the Local Governance and Civil Society Development Program (LGP) and Future for Palestine (FfP) at GIZ in Palestine and the Chairperson of the GIZ‘s Sector Network Governance for the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region. Before working in the Palestinian territories, Ulrich Nitschke was the Head of the Program for Decentralization and Communal Development (PDDC) in Benin for GTZ. Between 2001 and 2008, Ulrich Nitschke held several managerial positions at InWEnt GmbH in Germany, in the field of Municipal Developement (Eine-Welt), Cooperation with Countries from the South, as well as Capacity-Building and Political Development Education.
Prior to this, Ulrich Nitschke worked 10 years in several development organizations in Germany and abroad, including Agenda Transfer GmbH, Welthaus Aachen e.V. and Eine-Welt-Forum, Misereor/Aachen and Weltkirchenrat/Genf.
Ulrich Nitschke holds a license in Theology and Philosophy and a Master’s degree in Political Science, Economics, Sociology and Development.

Ana Evelyn Perla Cartagena
Member of the Central American Youth Pastoral Institute SEJUVE, El Salvador

Ana Evelyn Perla Cartagena is a member of SEJUVE, the Central American Institute of Youth Pastoral which is part of the Latin American Network of Centers and Institutes of Youth Pastoral (REDLACIPJ). She also engages as a volunteer in the catholic non-profit institution Renew International Central America. Both organisations promote educational processes of life and faith for youth pastorals to help them find the sense of life in communion with God, social commitment, environment and economy. Moreover, Ana Evelyn Perla Cartagena is an assistant professor at the Universidad Centroamerciana “José Simeón Cañas” (UCA), a Jesuit University in El Salvador. She is also a member of the youth pastoral team of the Archdioceses of San Salvador and led the youth pastoral team of the St. John Paul II Vicariate.

Eric G. Postel
Associate Administrator, U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), USA

Eric G. Postel was confirmed by the U.S. Senate in March 2011 as Assistant Administrator for the Bureau of Economic Growth, Education and Environment. Since May 2015, he has also served concurrently as Associate Administrator. Eric G. Postel brings to the position more than 25 years of private sector experience working in emerging markets.
Eric G. Postel is the founder of Pangaea Partners, an investment banking and consulting firm focused on emerging markets. Its accomplishments include helping six African countries create or improve their stock markets, providing credit and treasury courses to more than 30,000 bankers in developing countries, modernizing more than 20 former Soviet banks, and advising on the creation of the Slovak Export-Import Bank.
Throughout 2006-7, Eric G. Postel served as a Senate-appointed commissioner of the U.S. Helping to Enhance the Livelihood of People around the Globe (HELP) Commission. His bipartisan work contributed to the development of a wide-ranging set of recommendations to Congress and the president for the reform of U.S. foreign assistance programmes. Previously, Eric G. Postel worked as a vice president at Citibank Tokyo, where he arranged financing for borrowers on four continents.
Eric G. Postel has a BA from Wesleyan University and an MBA from Stanford University. Between Wesleyan and Stanford, he served as a United States Naval Officer.

Claudia Roth
Vice-President of the German Bundestag, Germany

Claudia Roth was born in Ulm in 1955. She studied Theatre Studies at LMU Munich, worked as a dramaturge at several German theatres, and managed the rock band “Ton Steine Scherben”. In 1985, she became spokeswoman of the first parliamentary Green group in the German Bundestag. Four years later, she was elected to the European Parliament where, starting in 1994, she chaired her political group. In 1998, she was elected to the German Bundestag. From 2001 to 2013, she additionally acted as chairwoman of her party, Bündnis 90/Die Grünen. Between March 2003 and October 2004, she acted as Commissioner for Human Rights Policy and Humanitarian Aid at the Federal Foreign Office. In 2013, she was elected Vice President of the German Bundestag – a position she has held until today. Her political activities have always focused on human and civil rights, climate change, culture, and fighting racism.

Isabel Schayani (Moderator)
Editor of Chief, WDRforyou, Germany

Isabel Schayani is the editor in chief of WDRforyou, an online-platform for refugees run in four languages. Until September 2015 she was correspondent at the New York bureau of ARD German Television.
Isabel Schayani studied international law, modern history and Oriental studies at the University of Bonn, Germany, with a focus in Islamic law. She worked as a journalist for the German national newspapers Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, Süddeutsche Zeitung and Die Tageszeitung. After being a TV reporter and editor for the ARD morning program, Germany’s largest national broadcaster, she developed and hosted Cosmo TV, a TV program for immigrants. From 2005 until 2014, Isabel Schayani was a reporter and one of the executive producers for the investigative television program Monitor. Before moving to New York, she contributed as a commentator to Tagesthemen, a nightly news program on the ARD network. Isabel Schayani received various awards such a as the Deutscher Sozialpreis 2014 and the Hartmannbund Film Prize. She has been active in refugee resettlement and has worked with teenagers in community service projects. She published a book about Iran and the origins of the Baha’i religion together with Christoph Bürgel.

Abp. Sebastian Francis Shaw OFM
Archbishop of Lahore, Pakistan

Abp. Sebastian Francis Shaw was born in Padri-Jo-Goth, Sindh Pakistan in 1957. He received his religious training under the Order of Friars Minor and at the Christ the Kings Seminary in Karachi and was ordained a priest in Lahore, Pakistan in December 1991. Before joining the Franciscans Abp. Sebastian Francis Shaw was a teacher. He was rector of the Juniorate and Postulancy of Darul Naim in Lahore from 1991 until 1995, taught at St Mary's Minor Seminary, Lahore and has also been Provincial of the Order of Friars Minor in Pakistan.
Abp. Sebastian Francis Shaw holds a Master of Science degree in Guidance and Counselling from De La Salle University in Manila. In February 2009 Pope Benedict XVI appointed him Auxiliary Bishop of Lahore. Abp. Sebastian Francis Shaw was consecrated as Bishop at Sacred Heart Cathedral, Lahore, in April 2009. In October 2013 Pope Francis appointed him as a member of the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue and in November 2013 Pope Francis appointed him Archbishop of Lahore.

Thomas Silberhorn
Parliamentary State Secretary to the Federal Minister for Economic Cooperation and Development, Germany

Thomas Silberhorn was appointed Parliamentary State Secretary to the Federal Minister for Economic Cooperation and Development in February 2014. Prior to this appointment, he was Deputy Chairman of the CDU/CSU parliamentary group in the German Parliament (Bundestag). The focus of his work is on core development issues for the future: human rights and good governance, education, health, poverty reduction, water supply and sanitation, energy and resources. Thomas Silberhorn also concerns himself with globalisation and trade issues and the new agenda for the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.
Thomas Silberhorn was born on 12 November 1968 in Kemmern, Germany; he is married with two children. He has been a Member of the German Bundestag since 2002, representing the constituency of Bamberg-Forchheim. At the parliamentary elections in 2013, he won 52.2 per cent of the vote in his constituency.

Suneet Singh
CEO, DataWind Inc., Member of the Board, EcoSikh, Canada

Suneet Singh is Chief Executive Officer of DataWind Inc. The innovative products and technologies created through these ventures have received numerous awards and accolades, including recognition by the Guinness Book of Records. DataWind has received worldwide attention, as the Company executes its vision to empower the next 4 billion people and bridge the digital divide with its low cost Atablets and smartphones bundled with free-internet-access. On November 28th, 2012, DataWind’s Aakash2 tablet computer was launched at the United Nations by the Secretary General, Ban Ki Moon. Suneet Singh has been recognized by Forbes magazine in its 2012 Impact 15 list as a “classroom revolutionary” using innovative technologies to reinvent education globally. Suneet Singh regularly speaks about social innovation and entrepreneurship at various forums internationally. In 2014, he delivered the prestigious Mercier Lecture. In addition to speaking at numerous universities, Suneet Singh has also given a TED lecture and spoken at many symposiums, including the Internet Freedom Conference in Stockholm. In 2015, he participated in the 2. International German Forum Dialogue Partners of the German Chancellor. Suneet Singh is board member of the EcoSikh, a religious NGO focused on environmental sustainability. He graduated in 1990 with a Bachelors of Applied Science in Engineering from the University of Toronto.

Rabbi Awraham Soetendorp
President, Jacob Soetendorp Institute for Human Values, Netherlands

Rabbi Awraham Soetendorp is founder and president of the Jacob Soetendorp Institute for Human Values. Born in 1943 in Amsterdam, he was saved by a righteous couple and survived as a “hidden child”. Besides playing an instrumental role in the reestablishment of Jewish communities in the Netherlands, Rabbi Awraham Soetendorp was also active in the movement to free Soviet Jewry and was a member of the World Council for Soviet Jewry. He is the rabbi emeritus of the Beth Jehuda congregation in The Hague and former president of the European region of the World Union for Progressive Judaism. Rabbi Awraham Soetendorp is a founding member of Green Cross International and founder and chair of the Day of Respect Foundation, as well as the Hope for Children Fund which promotes universal education for children. He serves as an Earth Charter Commissioner and a Millennium Development Ambassador. Rabbi Awraham Soetendorp is a founding member of the Islam and the West dialogue group, formerly C100, of the World Economic Forum and co-president of GIWA, the Global Interfaith Wash Alliance. In 1994, Rabbi Awraham Soetendorp was honoured by Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands with the Royal Distinction as an Officer of the House of Orange.
He received the Peacebuilders Award from The Alliance for International Conflict Prevention and Resolution in 2005, the “Peace Through Dialogue” Interfaith Gold Medallion from the International Council of Christian and Jews in 2007, and the James Parks Morton Interfaith Award from the Interfaith Center of New York in 2008.

Monsignore Pirmin Spiegel
Director General, MISEREOR, Germany

Monsignore Pirmin Spiegel studied philosophy and theology at the Sankt Georgen Graduate School in Frankfurt. Until 1990 he was employed as chaplain and parish administrator in Kaiserslautern. Afterwards he worked as a priest in Lima Campos in Brazil until 2000. He was then granted leave to train lay missionaries in Maranhão. From 2004 to 2010 he served as parish priest in Blieskastel-Lautzkirchen. In the summer of 2010 he returned to Brazil once again to train and support lay missionaries in various countries in Latin America. Since April 2012 he has been Director General and Chair of the Board of Directors of MISEREOR, the German Catholic Bishops’ Organisation for Development Cooperation in Aachen.

Rev. Adam Russel Taylor
Lead, Faith Initiative, World Bank Group, USA

Rev. Adam Russell Taylor currently leads the Faith Initiative at the World Bank Group, which strengthens engagement and partnership building between the Bank and faith organisations and religious communities. Rev. Adam Russel Taylor previously served as the Vice President; Advocacy at World Vision US. Rev. Adam Russel Taylor served as a White House Fellow in the White House Office of Cabinet Affairs and Public Engagement. He was formerly the Senior Political Director at Sojourners. He also co-founded and served as the Executive Director of Global Justice. Rev. Adam Russel Taylor is a graduate of Emory University, the Harvard University Kennedy School of Government, and the Samuel DeWitt Proctor School of Theology. Rev. Adam Russel Taylor is the author of Mobilizing Hope and is ordained in the American Baptist Church.

Klaus Töpfer
Former Executive Director, United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), Former Environment Minister, Germany

©Schultzendorff

Klaus Töpfer is the former CEO of the Institute for Advanced Sustainability Studies (IASS) in Potsdam, having previously served as Executive Director of the UN Environment Programme (UNEP) in Nairobi, and as Under Secretary General of the United Nations.
In the national political field, he held the positions of German Federal Minister for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety (1987 to 1994) and of Federal Minister for Regional Planning, Civil Engineering and Urban Development (1994 to 1998). He was also a member of the Bundestag.
Klaus Töpfer’s current engagement includes serving as Vice President of the German World Hunger Organization, as senator of the Helmholtz Association for Earth and Environment, and in 2011 he co-chaired the Ethics Commission on Safe Energy Supply.
Klaus Töpfer holds a doctorate degree from the Central Institute for Regional Planning at Mainz University, and has received numerous honors and awards including the Order of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany in 1990 and the German Sustainability Award in 2008.

Rev. Olav Fykse Tveit
General Secretary, World Council of Churches (WCC)

Rev. Olav Fykse Tveit is an ordained pastor in the Church of Norway. Rev. Olav Fykse Tveit served as general secretary of the Church of Norway Council of Ecumenical and International Relations (2002-2009) before his election as WCC general secretary in 2009.
Rev. Olav Fykse Tveit holds a doctorate in theology, and his theological research has centred on mutual accountability as a historical and theological element in the ecumenical movement. His latest published book, Christian Solidarity in the Cross of Christ, explores the relevance of the cross to authentic ecumenical Christian witness today.

He Yun
Manager of the China Programme, Alliance of Religions and Conservation (ARC)

He Yun is a Daoist and the manager of the China Programme for the Alliance of Religions and Conservation. She is a political scientist and has worked with the Daoist community on designing and executing several Daoist environmental pro-grammes for the past five years. She is currently working on her PhD in Tsinghua University Beijing and was a Fulbright scholar to the United States in 2012–2013.