Welcoming Banquet

Tageldin “Taj” Hamad  (Master of Ceremonies)
Mr. Taj Hamad is Secretary General of the World Association of Non-Governmental Organizations (WANGO), having assumed this position in 2001. This post previously had been held by Dr. Wally N’Dow, former United Nations Assistant Secretary General and Secretary General of Habitat II. Prior to becoming WANGO Secretary General, Mr. Hamad served as WANGO’s International Executive Director. Mr. Hamad has also served as Secretary of the Executive Committee of DPI-NGOs at the United Nations, Executive Director of the Interreligious Leadership Seminar, and Executive Director for the Interdenominational Christians for Unity and Social Action.  He also serves as Chair of the Middle East Alliance for World Peace.

Dr. Noel Brown 
Dr. Noel Brown is President of Friends of the United Nations. Previously, he served as Director of the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP), North American Regional Office. Among other positions currently held by Dr. Brown are Chairman of the International Institute for Peace Through Tourism, and Vice Chair of the International Council of the World Association of Non-Governmental Organizations. He is a founding member of the Aspen Global Change Institute and the International Council for Local Environment Issues, is Chairman of the Rene Dubos Center for Human Environments, and serves on the Board of Directors of the Global Rivers Environmental Educational Network, the Climate Institute, the Earth Communications Office, the Rainforest Alliance, Global Education Associates, Trust for the Americas, and other environmental and educational organizations. Dr. Brown holds a B.A. in Political Science and Economics from Seattle University, an M.A. in International Law and Organization from Georgetown University, and a Ph.D. in International Law and Relations from Yale University. He has been a Visiting Professor at both U.S. and foreign universities, and has a number of publications to his credit, including serving as Editor of Ethics and Agenda 21: Moral Implications of a Global Consensus. Among the numerous awards acknowledging Dr. Brown’s service to the environment is his being honored with the 1998 World Academy of Arts and Science for Distinguished Public Service.

Rev. Chung Hwan Kwak
Rev. Dr. Chung Hwan Kwak serves as Chair of WANGO’s International Council. He also holds a number of prominent positions in the worlds of academia and media, as well as in non-profit and religious organizations. In academia, Rev. Kwak serves as Chairman of the Board for the University of Bridgeport (Bridgeport, CT), Chairman of the Board for the World University Federation, and Chairman of the Professors World Peace Academy, an international association of university and college scholars. Previous to these positions, he served as Secretary-General of the Professors World Peace Academy. In the media realm, Rev. Kwak is the former Publisher and President of the daily newspaper Segye Times of Seoul, Korea. He is also former Chairman of the Segye Times daily of New York City, and former Publisher of The New York City Tribune. More recently, he became Chairman of the Board of News World Communications, the parent company that publishes The Washington Times. Rev. Kwak serves as Chairman of the Interreligious and International Federation for World Peace, Chairman of the Citizen's Federation for the Unification of North and South Korea, and Chairman of the Board for both the International Cultural Foundation and for the International Religious Foundation. Since 1978, he has served as President of the Holy Spirit Association for the Unification of World Christianity. Rev. Kwak completed his B.S. in Law from Kyungbuk University and Sangui University in Korea, and his M.A. in Western Philosophy at Kungook University in Korea. He has been widely recognized for his distinguished career and charitable work, receiving a number of Honorary Doctorates from universities in the United States and Asia.

Lorne W. Craner
Mr. Lorne Whitney Craner was sworn in as United States Assistant Secretary of State for Democracy, Human Rights and Labor on June 4, 2001. In this position, he coordinates U.S. foreign policy and programs that support the promotion and protection of human rights and democracy worldwide. Prior to this appointment, Mr. Craner was President of the International Republican Institute (IRI), a position he has held since 1995. As President, Mr. Craner led IRI to new levels of program achievement, fundraising, financial accountability, and news coverage. He joined the IRI, which conducts programs outside the United States to promote democracy, free markets, and the rule of law, in 1993, as Vice President for Programs. From 1992-1993, Mr. Craner was Director of Asian Affairs at the National Security Council. Between 1989 and 1992, he was Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Legislative Affairs. Mr. Craner was Senator John McCain's foreign policy advisor from 1986 to 1989, serving concurrently as the Republican Staffer on the Senate Central America Negotiations Observer Group. He began his Hill career as the foreign policy advisor to Congressman Jim Kolbe. Mr. Craner recieved his Masters degree in National Security  Studies from Georgetown University and a B.A. degree from Reed College.


Tageldin “Taj” Hamad  (Chair)
Mr. Taj Hamad is Secretary General of the World Association of Non-Governmental Organizations (WANGO), having assumed this position in 2001. This post previously had been held by Dr. Wally N’Dow, former United Nations Assistant Secretary General and Secretary General of Habitat II. Prior to becoming WANGO Secretary General, Mr. Hamad served as WANGO’s International Executive Director. Mr. Hamad has also served as Secretary of the Executive Committee of DPI-NGOs at the United Nations, Executive Director of the Interreligious Leadership Seminar, and Executive Director for the Interdenominational Christians for Unity and Social Action.  He also serves as Chair of the Middle East Alliance for World Peace.

William Reuben 
Mr. William Reuben serves as the Coordinator of the NGO and Civil Society Unit at the World Bank and as Senior Civil Society Specialist. As the Coordinator of the NGO/ Civil Society Unit, Dr. Reuben provides advice to managers throughout the Bank on strategies for relating to civil society; institutional guidance, studies, leadership and policy formulation on all aspects of the Bank’s work with civil society; analysis and dissemination of lessons of experience regarding civil society partnerships, including training programs, leadership on specific Bank-wide path-breaking civil society initiatives; specialist support to regional units for specific innovative activities (such as civil society involvement in the preparation of the Bank’s Country Assistance Strategies); coordination with other development support agencies on civil society matters; and a focal point for external parties. The Unit also supports Civil Society specialists in field offices and other staff who work significantly on civil society issues.  Dr. Reuban has managed and coordinated regional networks for Latin American NGOs for the last twenty-three years and is founder of the NGO networks Asociación Latinoamericana de Organizaciones de Promoción (ALOP), Fondo Latinoamericano de Desarrollo (FOLADE), Concertación Centroamericana, and Centro de Capacitación y Promoción  para la Democracia (CECADE). He has also been a professor of Social Development and Economic Anthropology at the University of Costa Rica.  Mr. Reuben has served as a consultant on rural development, micro-finance and civil society issues to international organizations such as the Food and Agriculture Organization, InterAmerican Development Bank (IDB), Instituto Interamericano de Cooperación para la Agricultura, Pan American Health Organization and the International Fund for Agricultural Development. He holds a Ph.D. in Social Sciences, a Master's degree in Development Studies, and a B.A. in Social Anthropology.

H.E. Oscar Arias Sanchez
Dr. Oscar Arias, former president of Costa Rica and the 1987 Nobel Peace Laureate, holds international stature as a spokesperson for the Third World. Championing such issues as human development, democracy, and demilitarization, he has traveled the globe spreading a message of peace and applying the lessons garnered from the Central American Peace Process to topics of current global debate. Dr Arias studied Law and Economics at the University of Costa Rica, and he received a doctoral degree in Political Science from the University of Essex, England. After serving as Professor of Political Science at the University of Costa Rica, Dr. Arias was appointed Costa Rican Minister of Planning and Economic Policy. He won a seat in Congress in 1978 and was elected Secretary-General of the National Liberation Party in 1981. In 1986, Oscar Arias was elected president of Costa Rica. Dr. Arias assumed office at a time of great regional discord. The fall of the Somoza dictatorship in 1979 and the introduction of the Sandinista regime in Nicaragua had already been a source of contention in Central America, and the ideological confrontation of the superpowers threatened to broaden this conflict in both scope and definition. Such an environment heightened the state of civil war that had by then claimed more than one hundred thousand lives in Guatemala, aggravated internal unrest in El Salvador and Nicaragua, as well as border tensions between Nicaragua and its neighboring states: Honduras and Costa Rica. In the face of these threats, Arias intensified his efforts to promote peace, which began even before assuming the presidency, when Arias traveled throughout Central and South America to personally invite the Latin American heads of state to visit Costa Rica for his presidential inauguration. On the day he took office, the presidents of nine Latin American countries met in San José. In this meeting Arias called for a continental alliance for the defense of democracy and liberty. He affirmed that all Central Americans were entitled to the same liberties and social and economic guarantees of democracy, that each nation had the right to select, through free and fair elections, the type of government that could best meet the needs and interests of its people, and that neither armies nor totalitarian regimes were entitled to make this decision. At that moment Costa Rica, led by Oscar Arias, assumed an active role in the search for democracy and peace for the countries of the region.

Mei Cobb 
Ms. Mei Cobb serves as Senior Vice President of The Points of Light Foundation.  Founded in 1990 by former U.S. President George Bush, who serves as Honorary Chairman, the Points of Light Foundation is a national, nonpartisan, nonprofit organization that promotes volunteerism, and is considered by many to be the nation’s leading advocate for and authority on volunteering. The Foundation was created in an effort to tap the creative energy of the people and its organizations to connect communities and individuals. As Senior Vice President, Ms. Cobb is in charge of Infrastructure Development & Delivery Systems, with responsibility for all aspects of the development and partnership with the Volunteer Center National Network. The National Network is comprised of nearly 500 Volunteer Centers that work to connect people with opportunities to serve, build the capacity for effective local volunteering, promote volunteering, and participate in strategic initiatives to mobilize volunteers to meet local community needs. Ms. Cobb’s portfolio also includes the Foundation’s work in Corporate Volunteer Development, Youth, Adult and Family Volunteering, National and Community Service, National Days of Service, and International Volunteering. Ms. Cobb is a strong advocate for the leadership role Volunteer Centers play to help resolve serious social problems in local communities across the nation and throughout the world. She has designed and conducted trainings on Volunteer Center development in Brazil, Canada, England, Hong Kong, Hungary, Japan, the Netherlands, Poland, Romania, Russia, Singapore, South Africa, and Taiwan. Prior to her arrival at the Foundation in 1992, Ms. Cobb led the Volunteer Center in San Diego, California. Ms. Cobb received her undergraduate degree from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and pursued her graduate and doctoral work in Urban Affairs and Urban Social Institutions at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee.


Dr. Neil A. Salonen   (Chair)
Dr. Salonen is President of the University of Bridgeport, Connecticut. The University of Bridgeport, which celebrates its 75th anniversary in 2002, is a graduate and undergraduate doctoral intensive institution of higher learning, and has been recognized by US News and World Report as having a higher percentage of international students than any other national American university. From 1995 to 1999, President Salonen was Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the University. Dr. Salonen has a distinguished record of accomplishment in managing non-profit organizations. He headed the International Cultural Foundation since l973, a group that has organized and promoted international conferences focusing on academic, scientific and cultural exchanges. As ICF President, he has traveled widely, organizing conferences from Moscow to Beijing - on virtually every continent - all with the aim of promoting international and intercultural cooperation. His work gave him the opportunity to interact with many world leaders, including the top leaders of the Peoples Republic of China, the Republic of the Philippines, the Republic of Korea, and the Republic of Uganda, to name just a few.  He also had the pleasure of working with Nobel prizewinners Sir John Eccles and Professor Eugene Wigner. He served as political advisor to a delegation of American gymnastic coaches during their exchange visit hosted by the Chinese Olympic Committee in l989. He also helped oversee the worldwide establishment of the Professors World Peace Academy (PWPA) in 132 different countries. He currently serves on International Council of WANGO. Dr. Salonen graduated in Political Science from the University of the State of New York. He received a Doctor of Literature, honoris causa, from Han Seo University in Seoul, Korea.

Ruth Wedgewood 
Ms. Ruth Wedgewood has been a distinguished professor of International Law at Yale Law School since 1986 and is currently Director of the Program on International Law and Organizations at the School of Advanced International Studies at Johns Hopkins University.  On September 9, Ms. Wedgwood was also elected to the United Nations Human Rights Committee, the implementation body for the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. This covenant is considered by many scholars and international lawyers to be one of the most important international human rights treaties now in existence. Ms. Wedgwood also is a senior fellow and director of the project on international organizations and law at the Council on Foreign Relations and has served on more than a dozen prestigious committees and boards, including the Hart-Rudman Commission on Security in the 21st Century, the Secretary of State’s Advisory Committee on International Law, and the board of directors of the Lawyers Committee for Human Rights. She has been an independent expert for the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia and a member of the advisory group to the Special Representative of the Secretary General of the United Nations for children and armed conflict. Earlier in her career, she served as an assistant U.S. attorney in the Southern District of New York and clerked for Supreme Court Justice Harry Blackmun. She has written and edited several monographs on international law, including After Dayton: Lessons of the Bosnian Peace Process (1999) and American National Interest and the United Nations (1996). She has appeared as a commentator on all major television networks, including CNN and BBC. Ms. Wedwood holds an A. B. from Harvard University and a J.D. from Yale University..

Dr. Shireen T. Hunter
Dr. Shireen Hunter is the Director of the Islam Program at the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS). For four decades, the Center for Strategic and International Studies, with a staff of 190 researchers and support staff, has been dedicated to providing world leaders with strategic insights on — and policy solutions to — current and emerging global issues. Dr. Hunter previously served as Director of the Mediterranean Studies program with the Centre for European Studies in Brussels (1994-1998), Deputy Director of the Middle East Program at CSIS (1983-1993), as a guest scholar at the Brookings Institution, and Research Fellow at the Harvard Center for International Affairs.  Dr. Hunter is the author of many books, including The Future of Islam and the West: Clash of Civilizations or Peaceful Coexistence?, Central Asia Since Independence, The Transcaucasus in Transition: Nation-Building and Conflict, Iran and the World, and the Politics of Revivalism, as well as numerous chapters in edited volumes. Her articles have appeared in leading journals, and she is a frequent guest commentator on television shows.  Dr. Hunter holds a Ph.D. in political science from the Institut Universitaire des Hautes Etudes Internationales in Geneva and an M.A. from the London School of Economics and Political Science.

Ambassador Shirin Tahir-Kheli
Ambassador Shirin Tahir-Kheli serves as Director and Research Professor of the South Asia Program at Johns Hopkins University Foreign Policy Institute, School of Advanced International Studies in Washington, D.C. Prior to her current assignment, she served as Senior Fellow at the Foreign Policy Research Institute. She was Head of the United States Delegation to the United Nations Commission on Human Rights session in 2001. She was appointed by President George W. Bush to the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom for a two-year term ending in May 2003.  Ambassador Tahir-Kheli also had been appointed Alternate United States Representative to the United Nations for Special Political Affairs (1990-93), a post that carries the rank of Ambassador. She served as Director of Near East and South Asian Affairs (1986-89) and Director of Political Military Affairs (1984-86) for the National Security Council of The White House, and was a member of the Policy Planning Staff in the office of the Secretary of State during 1982-84.  Ambassador Tahir-Kheli has also served as a Fellow at the Center of International Studies at Princeton University, and is a member of the Advisory Board of Princeton University’s Institute for the Trans-regional Study of Contemporary Middle East North Africa and Central Asia.  Ambassador Tahir-Kheli is working on a historic effort linking up experts and policy makers from India and Pakistan for consideration of joint projects in energy and the environment. She chairs the BALUSA group, comprising senior Indian and Pakistani members working toward lowered tensions and a more productive relationship between their countries and she is co-chair of a project on “Water and Security in South Asia.”  Ambassador Tahir-Kheli is the author of numerous monographs and articles, including: India, Pakistan and the United States: Breaking with the Past, published by the Council on Foreign Relations, (1997) and The United States and Pakistan: The Evolution of An Influence Relationship (Praeger, 1982). She has a Ph. D. in International Relations from the University of Pennsylvania and a B.A. from Ohio Wesleyan University. She is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations and the International Institute for Strategic Studies. 

Concurrent Session 3A: “NGOS AND HUMAN RIGHTS”

Dr. Claude E. Welch   (Chair)
Dr. Claude Welch is Director of the Human Rights Center of the State University of New York at Buffalo, as well as Director of the University’s Program on International and Comparative Legal Studies and is Distinguished Service Professor of Political Science.  He is the author of NGOs and Human Rights: Promise and Performance (University of Pennsylvania Press 2000), as well as Protecting Human Rights in Africa: Role and Strategies of Non-governmental Organizations (University of Pennsylvania Press 1995). Other major books include Asian Perspectives on Human Rights, No Farewell to Arms? Military Disengagement from Politics in Africa and Latin America, Human Rights and Development in Africa, Anatomy of Rebellion, Civilian Control of the Military, Military Role and Rule, Revolution and Political Change, Soldier and State in Africa, Political Modernization, and Dream of Unity: PanAfricanism and Political Unification in West Africa. Dr. Welch has published chapters in more than 35 other books, and over 40 articles in academic journals.  Dr. Welch has also served as at SUNY as Dean of the Division of Undergraduate Education, Associate Vice President for Academic Affairs, Chair of Political Science, Chair of the President's Board on Appointments, Promotions and Tenure, and Chair of the Faculty Senate (twice). He is a fellow of the African Studies Association and of the InterUniversity Seminar on Armed Forces and Society, and has been a consultant to the National Academy of Sciences, USAID and UNESCO. He also was first President of the SUNY African Studies Faculty Association, now called the New York African Studies Association. Dr. Welch received his undergraduate degree in Government at Harvard College in 1961, graduating magna cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa, and he completed his doctoral degree at Oxford University in 1964.

Alexandra Arriaga
Ms. Alexandra Arriaga serves as Director of Government Relations for Amnesty International USA.  In this capacity, Ms. Arriaga is a chief liaison representing Amnesty International’s human rights concerns to U.S. and foreign government officials. Ms. Arriaga advocates on human rights issues both in the United States and overseas, works with the organization’s members to enhance their ability to influence U.S. policy on human rights, serves as a spokesperson for the organization, and oversees and coordinates all Amnesty International interaction with the U.S. government. Ms. Arriaga comes to Amnesty International USA from the Inter-American Dialogue, a non-profit organization that focuses on policy toward Latin America. There she served as a Senior Fellow and Director of Legislative Affairs.  Her focus was on the promotion of human rights, good governance, and labor rights in the context of trade negotiations in the Western Hemisphere. Ms. Arriaga served as Special Assistant to President William J. Clinton and as Chief of Staff to the Special Envoy for the Americas at the White House from 1999 through January 2001. In that role, Ms. Arriaga coordinated and advised on policy related to the Americas. Priority issues included economic integration, promotion of democratic and judicial reforms, human rights, and women's issues. She also served as chief strategist on congressional issues and liaison to labor groups, industrial sectors, and foreign embassies. Ms. Arriaga was appointed in 1995 as Special Coordinator for External Affairs and later as Senior Advisor for the Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights and Labor at the Department of State. She served as Executive Director of Secretary Albright's Advisory Committee on Religious Freedom Abroad, U.S. Delegate to the United Nations Commission on Human Rights, and Chair of the Bureau’s Working Group on Women's Human Rights. She also helped formulate programs to promote model business principles, participated in efforts to fund democratic initiatives, and served as liaison for public observers to the post-Dayton elections in Bosnia. From 1987 to 1995, Ms. Arriaga was Director of the bipartisan, 220-member Congressional Human Rights Caucus in the U.S. House of Representatives. The Caucus focused congressional attention on human rights in over 100 countries and worked to address issues such as genocide, torture, arbitrary arrests, trafficking in women and children, indigenous rights, treatment of minorities, and the plight of political prisoners and prisoners of conscience. Ms. Arriaga is recipient of several awards, including the United Nations Association's Human Rights Community Award; the Aurora Foundation's Ginetta Sagan Human Rights Stipend; the Minority Business & Professionals Network Award for Outstanding Leadership, Service and Achievement; and the U.S. Department of State's Superior Honor Award. Ms. Arriaga performed with St. Mark's Dance Company on tour in the Soviet Union in 1991 and was a scholarship recipient and dancer with the Joffrey Ballet in New York in 1981 and 1982. Ms. Arriaga is a graduate of the University of Virginia.

Paul Marshall
Paul Marshall is Senior Fellow and Coordinator for the Survey of Religious Freedom of Freedom House. He is the General Editor of Religious Freedom in the World: A Global Report on Freedom and Persecution (2000), modeled on Freedom House’s state-of-the-art surveys on democracy and press freedom.  Marshall is also the author of a best-selling survey of religious persecution worldwide titled Their Blood Cries Out (1997), and is the author or editor of 21 other books and booklets including Islam at the Crossroads (2002), The Talibanization of Nigeria (2002), God and the Constitution (2002), Massacre at the Millennium (2001), Egypt’s Endangered Christians (1999), Just Politics (1998), and Heaven is not My Home (1998). He is in frequent demand for media appearances, including interviews on ABC Evening News, CBS Evening News, CNN, PBS, Fox News, the BBC, Australian Broadcasting Corporation, Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, South African Broadcasting Corporation, and so forth. He has lectured at the U.S. State Department, the Helsinki Commission, I.N.S. Asylum Bureaus, the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, Beijing, and the Sudan People’s Liberation Army. He has also lectured in numerous other countries of Europe, Asia, Africa, the Middle East and the Americas.  His work has been the subject of articles in numerous newspapers and magazines.


Dr. Frederick A. Swarts  (Chair)
Dr. Frederick Swarts is WANGO’s Assistant Secretary General for Administration and Finance.  He is also President and Senior Research Scientist for Aquatic Ecology with the Waterland Research Institute for Water and Land Resources, a non-profit, inter-disciplinary, research, education, and conservation organization primarily active in the Paraguay River Basin in Brazil, Bolivia and Paraguay. Dr. Swarts has served as Secretary General of the World Conference on Preservation and Sustainable Development in the Pantanal (2000), and Secretary General of the International Conference on Agriculture and the Environment in the Paraguay River Basin (2001).  A Phi Beta Kappa graduate of Bucknell University, with a B.S. in Biology, Dr. Swarts received his M.S. in Zoology from Pennsylvania State University. He completed his doctoral studies at Columbia University Teacher’s College and the Graduate School of the Union Institute, graduating with a Ph.D. in Biology and Education. Dr. Swarts has published widely in the fields of aquatic ecology, education, and environmental biology. His environmental research endeavors include an extensive field study of brook trout in streams affected by acid-mine drainage in Pennsylvania and an exceptional tolerance of some tropical blackwater fish to low pH. Dr. Swarts is the editor of The Pantanal: Understanding and Preserving the World’s Largest Wetland (Paragon House Publishers), the most comprehensive, English-language text on this region. He serves and has served on the board of directors of several non-profit organizations.

Gary Gardner
Gary Gardner is the Director of Research at the Worldwatch Institute, a non-profit research organization devoted to the analysis of global environmental and resource issues. Mr. Gardner's research focuses on a wide range of issues, including agricultural resource degradation, materials use, global malnutrition, and the dynamics of social change. Since joining the Institute in 1994, he has authored several Worldwatch Papers and various chapters in the Institute’s acclaimed State of the World annual publication, and he coauthored Beyond Malthus: Nineteen  Dimensions of the Population Challenge.  Mr. Gardner also does radio, television, and print interviews with worldwide media outlets including the BBC, CNN, and the Voice of America, in English and Spanish. Before joining the Institute, Mr. Gardner was project manager of the Soviet Nonproliferation Project, a research and training program run by the Monterey Institute of International Studies in California. There he authored Nuclear Nonproliferation: A Primer, which is also published in Spanish and Russian. Mr. Gardner has also developed training materials for the World Bank and for the Millennium Institute in Arlington, VA. Mr. Gardner holds Master's degrees in Politics from Brandeis University, and in Public Administration from the Monterey Institute of International Studies, and a Bachelor's degree from Santa Clara University.

Megan Epler Wood
Megan Epler Wood is the Founder and President of The International Ecotourism Society (TIES), which was established in 1990. She has worked with individuals, companies, governments, and NGOs worldwide to shape an organization that defines ecotourism as a tool to conserve the environment and sustain the well-being of local people. She has acted as spokesperson, lecturer and instructor of training workshops for governments, NGOs, and the private sector in Sri Lanka, Trinidad, Tahiti, Samoa, Fiji, Costa Rica, Ecuador, Peru, Brazil, Belize, Australia, Canada, and Kenya. She also taught Ecotourism Planning and Management for The George Washington University (GWU) in the U.S. from 1995-2000.  In 2002, Epler Wood’s book Ecotourism: Principles, Practices, and Policies for Sustainability was published by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP). She is overseeing a global consultation process for the United Nations’ International Year of Ecotourism with funds from the Ford Foundation to ascertain the status of ecotourism development and develop a set of action recommendations for six regions of the world. And she is managing the establishment of a new national tourism fee generation program in partnership with local organizations for the marine protected areas of Belize. Epler Wood worked for World Wildlife Fund-U.S. from 1982-1986 and produced wildlife documentaries between 1986-1991 with clients including National Audubon Society and National Geographic. She has a Masters of Science in Wildlife Biology from Iowa State University and received a joint Fulbright Scholarship with her husband in Colombia in 1987.

Dr. Mary Evelyn Tucker
Dr. Mary Evelyn Tucker is an Associate Professor of Religion at Bucknell University in Lewisburg, Pennsylvania, where she teaches courses in world religions, Asian religions, and religion and ecology. She received her Ph.D. from Columbia University in the history of religions, specializing in Confucianism in Japan. She has published Moral and Spiritual Cultivation in Japanese Neo-Confucianism (SUNY, 1989). She co-edited Worldviews and Ecology (Orbis, 1994), Buddhism and Ecology (Harvard, 1997), and Confucianism and Ecology (Harvard, 1998).  She and her husband, John Grim, have directed a series of ten conferences on World Religions and Ecology at the Harvard University Center for the Study of World Religions from 1996-1998.  They are the series editors for the volumes that are being published from the conference. They are also editors of a book series on Ecology and Justice (Orbis Press).  She has been a committee member of the Environmental Sabbath program at the United Nations Environment Programme since 1986 and is Vice President of the American Teilhard Association. She is Chair of Board of Directors for the Center for Respect of Life and Environment. 

Dr. Donald B. Conroy
Dr. Conroy serves as President of the North American Conference on Religion and Ecology (NACRE), a non-profit educational and eco-action organization that he established in 1989. NACRE is involved in communicating a new vision of collaboration between environmentalists and religious leaders, and in developing a network among ecologists, economists and ecumenists to promote this new vision. NACRE initiated a program for involving the religious community in Earth Day and the Decade of the Environment (the 1990s), and has participated in the delivery of 71 sustainable low cost-homes in various locations around the world. Dr. Conroy also heads up the administration of the International Consortium on Religion and Ecology (I-CORE), a network of organizations working on ethical and development projects resulting from Agenda 21 and various U.S. national programs. Previous to these positions, Dr. Conroy worked on sustainable and regenerative methods of agriculture with the Rodale Research Institute in the mid-1980s, examining the spiritual dimensions of the regeneration paradigm as a model for socio-cultural change and its relation to the individual, the family and the wider community. Dr. Conroy has also served as founding director of the National Institute for the Family, and as an ethical advisor to the World Bank’s Environmental Division. Since the mid-1980s, Dr. Conroy has collaborated with other leaders concerning the involvement of religious community in the environmental movement.  In July 1999, Dr. Conroy negotiated and signed a strategic partnership agreement with the Earth Day 2000 Network that is based on a decade or more of environmental leadership. He received his doctorate from the University of Pittsburgh, and ahs taught at several universities, including the Notre Dame University and the University of Seattle.


Dr. Vishwanath Karad (Chair)
Dr. Vishwanath D. Karad is Founding Executive President and Managing Trustee of the Maharashtra Academy of Engineering and Educational Research (MAEER), as well as Founder and Director-General of the Maharashtra Institute of Technology (MIT) in Pune, India. MAEER was founded in 1983, with the goal to become a “Center of Excellence in the field of education and research.” It now encompasses 24 institutes, colleges and schools in the fields of engineering, management, pharmacy, medicine, and general education, including the Maharashtra Academy of Engineering, MIT, MIT Women Engineering College, MIT School of Management,  Maharashtra Academy of Naval Education, Maharashtra Institute of Medical Sciences and Research, and Maharashtra Institute of Pharmacy. MIT was also established in 1983, and was among the first private, engineering colleges in the Maharashtra, and since remains as the most important flagship institution of MAEER, offering undergraduate engineering studies in nine disciplines and post-graduate studies in three disciplines. Dr. Karad further serves as Founding President and Director General of the World Peace Center of MAEER’s MIT and is the UNESCO Chair Holder for Human Rights, Democracy and Peace.  The activities of the World Peace Center include environmental and educational projects, peace studies, human rights, and the promotion of human values. 

Dr. Richard G. Wilkins
Richard C. Wilkins, J.D., is a Professor of Law at the J. Reuben Clark Law School and Managing Director of The World Family Policy Center at Brigham Young University, Provo, Utah. The World Family Policy Center was established by the David M. Kennedy Center for International Studies and the J. Reuben Clark School of Law, in partnership with the School of Family Life at Brigham Young University, to provide world-wide democratic input and effectively educate the United Nations on pro-family and other value-based issues. The World Family Policy Center, which is one of the main conveners of the World Congress of Families, facilitates international democratic debate by serving as an exchange point for the discussion and evaluation of emerging international legal norms and as active participants in the debate, adoption, and implementation of UN norms. Dr Wilkins has written numerous articles on constitutional issues and conducts an annual survey of U.S. Supreme Court voting trends published by the Hastings Constitutional Law Quarterly.  He is a former Assistant to the Solicitor General, United States Department of Justice. 

Dr. Seriah L. Rein
Dr. Seriah Rein is Chairman of the Council on the American Family. She works closely with the Bush Administration in an advisory capacity concerning implementation of policies that ensure parents’ primacy role in the rearing and education of their own children. Since 1998, Dr. Rein has also served on both the Advisory Council on Adolescent Pregnancy, being appointed by the New Jersey Senate President, and on the Governor’s AIDS Advisory Council, being appointed by Governor Whitman. Dr. Rein co-founded Samaritans AIDES, a faith-based outreach to families and individuals struggling with AIDS.  Dr. Rein has previously served as State Director of Concerned Women for America of New Jersey, the largest women’s organization in the United States.  In her capacity as this NGOs official representative at the United Nations Fourth World Conference on Women in Beijing, she served as Special Assistant to the organization’s national president, Dr. Beverly LaHaye.  Dr. Rein has also served as Chairman for the R.S.V.P. (Restoring Social Virtue and Purity) campaign in New Jersey.  Dr. Rein received her doctorate in Chiropractic at the Chiropractic Institute of New York. 


Environmental Issues, NGO Networks, and Relief Services 
Dr. Kathy Winnings  (Chair)
Dr. Kathy Winnings is Vice President of the Board and former Executive Director of the International Relief Friendship Foundation (IRFF), a non-profit agency working to eliminate poverty, malnutrition, and disease. IRFF seeks to accomplish these goals by creating and sponsoring development projects that stimulate an exchange of knowledge, skills, and service between developed and developing countries. Since its founding in 1975, IRFF has provided humanitarian aid in the form of food, medical supplies, school supplies and clothing to people hit by catastrophe around the world, as a result of wars, natural disasters, and famine. IRFF has also focused on long-term development projects in the areas of health care and nutrition, literacy, and vocational and agricultural education.  The IRFF networks and cooperates with other NGOs and agencies that provide some level of humanitarian aid and assistance worldwide. Dr. Winnings also serves as President of Educare, an educational consulting firm and teaching training service.  She is the author of Building Character through Service Learning
Educational Issues and Health Care 
Robin Graham  (Chair)
Robin Graham is Executive Director of Global Team Together, which consults on philanthropic strategies for business, and the relationship between business and international NGOs.  He is also co-founder and Program Director for Global Peacemakers, an international service-learning program for visionary new leaders. Mr. Graham received a B.A. Honors in Economics from Nottingham University, England and an M.Sc. in International Public Service Management from New York University. He also has 20 years experience in managing a family business, an art company. 

Social, Political, and Economic Development
Ian Hall  (Chair)
Ian Hall is President of The Bloomsbury International Society, which promotes human harmony using the alembic of the arts, education, travel and sport. The first black person to take an Honors Degree in Music at the University of Oxford, he is an organist, singer, composer, human rights activist, orator, broadcaster and freelance journalist. In 1982, he was appointed Special Consultant to the United Nations’ Center Against Apartheid. In recognition of his musical gifts, in 1996 and 1997 respectively, he was invited to become an Honorary Professor of the University of Sierra Leone and the University of Ghana. Active nationally and internationally as a cultural politician, he has earned the personal support and appreciation of the Royal Family and Heads of State.

Peace and Conflict Resolution 
Dr. Gordon L. Anderson  (Chair)
Dr. Gordon Anderson is Secretary General of Professors World Peace Academy, publisher of the International Journal on World Peace, and Executive Director of Paragon House Publishers. The Professors World Peace Academy (PWPA), which is an interdisciplinary and intercultural network of scholars with chapters in over 100 countries, supports the academic community in the quest for peace, social stability, and prosperity. The PWPA organizes conferences (more than 400 to date), publishes books, and the International Journal of World Peace. Dr Anderson has published, authored or edited numerous books and articles related to peace, religion and society, including Morality and Religion in Liberal Democratic Societies and The Family in Global Transition.  Dr. Anderson earned his Ph.D. in Philosophy of Religion from the Claremont Graduate School.

Women, Youth, Elderly, and Disadvantaged 
Alexa Fish Ward   (Chair)
Ms. Alexa Ward serves as President of the Women’s Federation for World Peace USA and vice president of the Women’s Federation for World Peace International (WFWP). Since 1992, WFWP has been empowering women to create peace at home and in communities, cultures, and the world. Granted NGO general consultative status with the Economic and Social Council of the United Nations (ECOSOC) in 1997, WFWP facilitates partnerships among women.  A graduate of Georgetown University, Ms. Ward served as executive director of the Eleanor Roosevelt Center at Val-Kill in New York.  In that position, she was administrator of a regional project entitled “Enhancing Racial Harmony.” Ms. Ward has been active in public life, serving on the board of directors of the American Red Cross and as a candidate for the New York State Assembly. She is a member of the family of Hamilton Fish, one of the oldest political families in the United States.


Dr. Noel Brown (Master of Ceremonies)
Dr. Noel Brown is President of Friends of the United Nations. Previously, he served as Director of the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP), North American Regional Office. Among other positions currently held by Dr. Brown are Chairman of the International Institute for Peace Through Tourism, and Vice Chair of the International Council of the World Association of Non-Governmental Organizations. He is a founding member of the Aspen Global Change Institute and the International Council for Local Environment Issues, is Chairman of the Rene Dubos Center for Human Environments, and serves on the Board of Directors of the Global Rivers Environmental Educational Network, the Climate Institute, the Earth Communications Office, the Rainforest Alliance, Global Education Associates, Trust for the Americas, and other environmental and educational organizations. Dr. Brown holds a B.A. in Political Science and Economics from Seattle University, an M.A. in International Law and Organization from Georgetown University, and a Ph.D. in International Law and Relations from Yale University. He has been a Visiting Professor at both U.S. and foreign universities, and has a number of publications to his credit, including serving as Editor of Ethics and Agenda 21: Moral Implications of a Global Consensus. Among the numerous awards acknowledging Dr. Brown’s service to the environment is his being honored with the 1998 World Academy of Arts and Science for Distinguished Public Service.

Information on Awardees is provided in the Awards Program.


Human Rights   
Dr. Thomas J. Ward   (Chair)
Dr. Thomas Ward is Vice President for International Programs and Dean of the International College of the University of Bridgeport.  Prior to this, he served as Assistant to the Provost and as a Visiting Professor of International Studies.  Dr. Ward assisted Dr. Stoyan Ganev, 47th President of the United Nations General Assembly, in creating the University’s New England Center for International and Regional Studies. Dr. Ward has also served as the Human Rights Commissioner in Dutchess County, New York. Dr. Ward began his career in International Banking. He worked as an International Representative for Equibank, and later for the Bank of America. He did his doctoral studies at the Catholic Institute of Paris and at De La Salle University in the Philippines. Dr. Ward has been a guest lecturer on comparative political systems at institutions of higher learning in Latin America and Asia.
Environmental Affairs  
Dr. David W. Randle (Chair)
Dr. David Randle is President and Executive Director of the WHALE Center (Wellness, Health and Lifestyle Education), a Council for Health and Human Service Ministries agency.  He is a leading authority on the linkage between spiritual disciplines and environmental issues, and on advancing faith communities as partners in addressing environmental challenges. As the first ordained environmental minister in the United States, he coordinated a national campaign to preserve water, wildlife, and wilderness areas, served as program development coordinator for John Denver’s Windstar Foundation, and helped lead a team of 150 persons at the Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro. Rev. Dr. Randle works with local and national church and community groups to provide leadership training for integrity of creation, justice, and peace issues. He currently serves as Environmental Justice Coordinator for the United Methodist Rocky Mountain Conference and has provided major input for the environmental program of the United Religions Initiative Global Summits. Rev. Dr. Randle holds a Master of Divinity degree from the Iliff School of Theology, and a doctorate in Spiritual Disciplines, Wellness and Environmental Concerns form the University of Northern Colorado. Recently, Dr. Randle chaired the Chaplain committee for the Salt Lake Olympic Committee.

Families and Youth  
John Gehring  (Chair)
John Gehring serves as International Director of Religious Youth Service (RYS). Initiated in 1985, RYS promotes the twin ideals of inter-religious harmony and public service. Youth leaders of various faiths and nationalities come together for social service projects to serve a needy community. As they offer their time, labor, sweat and tears to help others, they develop deep friendships that transcend their religious and cultural differences. Serving as the International Director since 1993, John Gehring has help organize service projects in over 40 nations, and he has worked in areas on the edge of conflict in Sri Lanka, Belfast, Uganda, Croatia, and in India during times of riots..  He is also the Executive Director of the International Relief and Friendship Foundation (IRFF), which has active chapters in 80 nations, and is a Board member of Service for Peace. During the last decade, Mr. Gehring has taught leadership seminars in Asia, Europe, Africa, and in North and South America. He has authored practical texts titled Service Learning: Building Citizens’ Character and Implementing the Interfaith Ideal. Mr. Gehring has served as Advisor to the Youth Federation for World Peace and the International Culture and Education Program of the Newark School System.

Conflict Resolution, Peace and Security 
Dr. Frank Kaufmann   (Chair)
Dr. Frank Kaufmann is the Executive Director of the World Peace Institute and the Inter-Religious Federation for World Peace. He also serves as advisor to several interfaith and religious freedom organizations, including Religion-Crisis Task Force and the International Coalition for Religious Freedom. His involvement in interfaith work and peace issues for over 20 years has taken him to more than 60 countries, at times in dangerous circumstances. Dr. Kaufman has consulted with national governments during the Gulf War and the Ayodhya Mosque controversy, and has involved his organizations in negotiation and relief work in such places as Bosnian refugee camps, the Eritrea-Ethiopia border conflict, Kashmir and the Middle East. Dr. Kaufman is the author of Foundations of Modern Church History, and editor of several works on religion and peace, including: Religion and Peace in the Middle East, Christianity in the Americas: Ecumenical Essays, and the scholarly journal, Dialogue and Alliance.

Development Issues (Poverty, Health, Education, Trade) 
Antonio Betancourt  (Chair)
Mr. Antonio L. Betancourt is President of the World Institute for Development and Peace; Executive Director of the Summit Council for World Peace; and Executive Director of the Association for the Unity of Latin America (AULA). The World Institute is an advocacy educational organization that serves to empower individuals through the democratization of access to money and credit worldwide in order to address more effectively the problems of poverty. As Executive Director of these organizations, Mr. Betancourt is responsible to organize and coordinate forums and programs for former heads of state, prime ministers, and renowned dignitaries from the Far East, Middle East and Islamic world, China, the C.I.S., Europe, Latin America and North America. Mr. Betancourt has helped arrange for the Summit Council to conduct a historic meeting between 31 former heads of state and government and President Mikhail Gorbachev in the Kremlin. For AULA, he arranged meetings with Pope John Paul II in the Vatican, H. M. Juan Carlos de Borbon, King of Spain and with Mother Teresa of Calcutta. With the Summit Council, Mr. Betancourt has been instrumental in several major breakthroughs in the work for world peace and resolution of conflict by facilitating dialogue with the DPRK (North Korea) and the United States, and he helped introduce CNN and BBC to North Korea. He has facilitated dialogue within the Middle East, as part of efforts from similar individuals and groups that led to actual serious peace negotiations between Palestinians and the state of Israel.  Previously, Mr. Betancourt served as Executive Vice President of the International Security Council in Washington, DC and Executive Editor of Global Affairs quarterly journal. While an officer of the ISC, he helped arrange the first dialogue between legislators from the People's Republic of China and Taiwan in Tokyo in June 1989. Mr. Betancourt is also Chairman and President of the Young Gruppe, a financial and trade company with associated offices in Washington, Chicago, Paris, Montevideo, Seoul, Tokyo, and London. Mr. Betancourt has appeared on national and international television and radio programs, including those of CNN and Univision. 

Media (Editor’s Roundtable)  

Michael Marshall (Chair) 
Michael Marshall serves as Executive Director, World Media Association (WMA). The World Media Association is an international forum for media professionals and opinion leaders dedicated to advancing the highest standards of journalistic ethics, promotion of press freedom in places where it does not exist, and encourages the responsible use of that freedom where it does. Since its founding in 1978, the WMA has conducted fact-finding tours to numerous hotspots around the world, as well as 19 major World Media Conferences and numerous symposia which have examined the media’s role in the larger context of society. 

John O’Sullivan
John O’Sullivan is Editor-in-Chief of United Press International (UPI), an international news service that has been pioneering many areas of worldwide news coverage and distribution since formed in 1907 by E.W. Scripps. Among many firsts, UPI, which now has its own international bureaus, was the first North American news agency to serve newspapers around the globe, the first service to emphasize the by-line of the reporter writing the dispatch, introduced big-name interviews, developed the feature story as an important part of the daily news report, was the first news service to supply news to broadcasters, started the first sports wire, and was the first wire service to offer pictures to go along with its stories. John O’Sullivan also serves as Editor-at-Large of National Review. His previous posts have included Special Adviser to Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, Editorial Consultant to Hollinger International, Associate Editor of the London Times, Assistant Editor of the London Daily Telegraph, and Editor of Policy Review.  Mr. O'Sullivan was educated at London University where he received a B.A.  (Hons.) and a Diploma of Social Studies. He is the Founder and Co-Chairman of the New Atlantic Initiative, an international bipartisan effort dedicated to reinvigorating and expanding the Atlantic Community of democracies.  The NAI was formally launched at the Congress of Prague in May 1996.  Mr. O'Sullivan has published articles in numerous journals. He is on the Executive Advisory Board of the Margaret Thatcher Foundation, the Advisory Council of the Social Affairs Unit London, and the Honorary Board of the Civic Institute in Prague. He was made a Commander of the British Empire (C.B.E.) in the 1991 New Year's Honors List. 

Ambassador Phillip V. Sanchez  
Ambassador Phillip Sanchez holds various high-level positions in media, academia and business, and has served in key diplomatic and government posts.  He is Publisher of the hemispheric, Spanish-language newspaper, Tiempos del Mundo, Vice President of The Washington Times, publisher of Noticias del Mundo, and former Chairman of the Board of Nostalgia Television. Ambassador Sanchez also serves as Chairman of the Board of National Hispanic University (San Jose, CA), as a trustee of the University of Bridgeport (CT), and as President of the Educational Foundation of the Americas (Mexico City. In 1971, President Nixon appointed him to be Assistant Director of the Office of Economic Opportunity (OEO). Later, his appointment as National Director of OEO (War on Poverty) made him the highest-ranking Hispanic appointee in the history of the United States government. He was appointed U.S. Ambassador to Colombia in 1973 and to Honduras in 1976. Amb. Sanchez has been recognized with numerous honorary doctorates and awards, including being chosen “Man of the Year” in 1975 by the American Association of Colleges and Universities, and being elected to the prestigious Congressional Awards Board.

Melissa Hopkins  
Ms. Melissa Hopkins is President of The Hopkins Group, a communications company she formed in Northern Virginia. Prior to starting her own company, Melissa served as vice president of media relations for JAB & Associates. She has spent several years working with a variety of corporate, non-profit and political clients to help each client articulate their message and earn media coverage to expand audience awareness of their cause. Before JAB, Melissa managed the media relations office for The Washington Times newspaper. Attributes of Times' stories more than tripled under her tenure. Melissa's entertainment experience includes serving as a casting assistant to LA-based casting director Mali Finn on the feature films, "Batman Forever" and "True Lies." As a professional actress in Los Angeles, Melissa also worked on television, commercials, and the stage. Her credits include roles for the NBC television shows "Sisters" and "Days of Our Lives." 


Workshop 1: Fundraising and Getting Grants

Theresa Rudacille
Ms. Theresa Rudacille serves as the Director of Development for the Empowerment Resource Network, and is a fund-raising consultant, trainer, and special event coordinator for nonprofit organizations. In 1999, Ms. Rudacille authored Raising Resources: A More-Than-Fundraising Handbook. The Office of Faith-Based Initiatives in the White House is currently using that publication as a training resource. Ms. Rudacille has more than ten years of experience working with nonprofit organizations and has written innumerable successful proposals and has solicited numerous major gifts, the highest single gift for $1 million. Theresa has also coordinated several successful conferences, seminars and events
for audiences ranging from three to three thousand. Ms. Rudacille holds a Certificate in Nonprofit Management from Duke University and is a member of the Association of Fundraising Professionals. She is a 1986 graduate of the United State Military Academy at West Point, and served more than six years as a nuclear missile officer in the US Army Ordnance Corps. She is married to Major Bryan L. Rudacille. 
Workshop 2: Strategic Management of NGOs

Dr. Margaret E. Hayes
Dr. Margaret Hayes is President and Principal Consultant of MEH Associates, a consulting firm to non-profit and faith based organizations.  She is a consultant to the New Jersey Governor’s Faith-Based Initiative and serves as a member of the New Jersey Faith-Based Initiative. Dr. Hayes is a former Dean of College Development at Bergen Community College in New Jersey. She has also served as Executive Director of Jobs for Youth, a non-profit agency serving underemployed youth in New York City, and recently served as Vice President of Professional Services at the First Occupational Center of New Jersey.   She also has held the post of  Director of Admissions at Borough of Manhattan Community College at The City University of New York (CUNY), and Associate Director of Black Studies at Jersey City State College. As a community activist, Dr. Hayes is the founder and past president of the New Jersey Coalition of 100 Black Women and a member of the Board of Directors of the New York Chapter. Dr. Hayes received a State Department scholarship to study “The Concepts of Mental Health,” in Nigeria, Liberia, and Senegal. In 1988, he was selected by the Anti-Defamation League, along with 9 other women, to travel on a mission to Israel during the “Intifada” or uprising in that country. The women met with a variety of Israeli and Pakistanian women leaders and statespersons to discuss the impact of the war on women and their families. Dr. Hayes serves on numerous civic and professional organizations and is a member of the boards of Liberty State Park Development Corporation and the New Jersey Regional Plan Association, and is past president of Christian Women’s Alliance. She holds a Ph.D. in Counseling Psychology from Columbia University. 

Workshop 3: Media Relations

James Weidman
James Weidman is Director of Public Relations for The Heritage Foundation, a large and influential public policy research organization.  Mr. Weidman previously served as Deputy Director of Regional Media Communications for the National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB), a Washington-based advocacy group that represents small businesses. During his 16 years at NFIB, Weidman handled public relations for the NFIB Education Foundation and also worked as Manager of Media Relations and Manager of State Media Relations.  Before working at NFIB, Weidman was a project director at the National Public Research Institute, a non-profit research organization based in Alexandria, Va. There, he developed and evaluated public information and education programs for federal and state agencies. Weidman holds a master’s degree in English from the College of William & Mary in Williamsburg, Virginia

Workshop 4: Networking Skills

Karen M. Woods
Karen M. Woods is the Executive Director for The Empowerment Network (TEN), a national focus research and information hub that assists grassroots leaders and state legislators with their efforts to empower family and community renewal. She is a certified Empowerment Resource Network (ERN) trainer for Raising Resources, a technical assistance seminar for organizations to learn to effectively establish and sustain innovative programming. Reflecting the commitment of The Empowerment Network to asset building strategies for the poor, Ms. Woods has served as a peer reviewer for federal Individual Development Account grants, she serves as advisor to a state legislator key to Michigan’s Individual Development Account Partnership legislation and program development, and she is currently facilitating a local development of IDAs within the Hispanic community. Previously, Ms. Woods served as a member of the Working Group on Human Needs and Faith-Based and Community Initiatives. The Working Group’s intensive discussions spanned seven months and included in-depth debates regarding the appropriate working relationships of faith-based organizations and publicly funded programs.  Mrs. Woods is also a member of the recently convened Working Group II, an advisory group to the Rockefeller Institute and the State University of New York regarding definition and implementation of evaluation standards for faith-based programming. Ms. Woods is a board member and chairs the public affairs committee of the Muskegon Community Health Project, the developer of Access Health, the National Three Share Model that provides health care access to uninsured working persons. She is a board member for New Focus, National, an organization that teaches churches to use financial literacy skills building as outreach ministry and as preparation for participation in housing initiatives and Individual Development Accounts.  She also is an advisory board member to the Detroit-based Christian Business Network, International, the organization leading Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick’s economic initiatives of his recently established Faith-Based and Nonprofit Initiatives Office. Ms. Woods holds a B.A. in Speech Communication (Oklahoma State University) and M.A. in Speech Communication Education and Organizational Communication (Purdue University).