Margot Badran is a historian and gender studies specialist focusing on the Middle East and Islamic world. She is a senior fellow at the Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal Center for Muslim-Christian Understanding, Georgetown University and a senior scholar at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars. She has held the Reza Khatib and Georgianna Clifford Khatib Visiting Chair in Comparative Religion at St. Joseph’s College, Brooklyn, and was the Edith Kreeger Wolf Distinguished Visiting Professor in the Religion Department at Northwestern University. Among her many books are: Feminism in Islam: Secular and Religious Convergences; Feminists, Islam, and Nation: Gender and the Making of Modern Egypt; Gender and Islam in Africa, editor; Opening the Gates: An Anthology of Arab Feminist Writing, co-editor. The author of numerous articles, she has two book chapters forthcoming: “Political Islam and Gender,” John Esposito and Emad Shahin, eds. Oxford Handbook of Islam and Politics, and “Gendering the Secular and the Religious in Modern Egypt: Woman, Family, and Nation,” Linell Cady and Tracy Fessenden, eds., Gendering the Divide: Religion, the Secular and the Politics of Sexuality. She is presently working on a book on religious and secular discourses, and politics of gender and culture in the Egyptian revolution.
Rev. Richard Cizik is President of the New Evangelical Partnership for the Common Good and has been a leader in bringing evangelicals, scholars, and policymakers together in the search for common ground on national and international challenges, including civil liberties, economic justice, and national security. He graduated with a B.A., cum laude, Political Science, Whitworth University (1973); Master of Divinity, Denver Seminary (1979); M.A., Public Affairs, The George Washington University School of Public & International Affairs (1985). He was named in 2008 to the “TIME 100” for his work with Nobel Laureate Eric Chivian in bringing scientists and evangelicals together on environmental challenges. His comments on NPR's Fresh Air program that year in support of civil unions, climate change, and family planning to reduce abortions led to his dismissal from the National Association of Evangelicals, where he had served for twenty-eight years in governmental affairs, including the last ten years as Vice President. Since then, he has led the movement of “New Evangelicals” toward a public strategy of healing, not division; love not anger; a broad not narrow agenda; and faith not subordinated to political ideology. Chalice Press released in August, 2012, A New Evangelical Manifesto, with chapters by its leaders. The Casablanca Institute, co-chaired by Rev. Cizik and dedicated to inter-faith understanding, was named in 2013 by Global Go To Think Tank Rankings as 1 of 10 "Best New Think Tanks."
John J. DeGioia is the 48th President of Georgetown University. Under his leadership, the University has completed a $1-billion capital campaign; launched the largest expansion of campus facilities in the institution’s history; significantly increased student financial aid; and strengthened endowments for faculty research. He has placed special emphasis on sustaining and strengthening Georgetown's Catholic and Jesuit identity and its responsibility to serve as a voice and an instrument for justice. DeGioia has helped to expand and deepen Georgetown’s engagement with the global community, supporting initiatives on a range of issues from interreligious dialogue to global health to emerging economies. He has also enhanced Georgetown's relationship with the many political, cultural, corporate, and economic resources of Washington, D.C., and he is a strong supporter of Georgetown's social justice initiatives that seek to improve opportunities for Washington's underserved neighborhoods. He also teaches as a Professorial Lecturer in the Department of Philosophy. Beyond the Georgetown hilltop, DeGioia is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations and serves as Chair of the Board of Directors of the Forum for the Future of Higher Education, and the Consortium on Financing Higher Education. He is a member of the Board of Trustees for the Carnegie Corporation of New York and the Consortium of Universities of the Washington Metro Area; the Board of Directors for the Association of Jesuit Colleges and Universities; the Board of Governors of the John Carroll Society; the Executive Committee of the Council on Competitiveness; and is a Commissioner on the Knight Commission on Intercollegiate Athletics. He also serves on the World Economic Forum’s Global Agenda Council on Values and Global University Leadership Forum. DeGioia was honored as a Brave Thinker 2012 by The Atlantic, and as Washingtonian of the Year 2008 by Washingtonian magazine.
Farid Esack is a South African Muslim theologian who cut his teeth in the South African struggle for liberation. He studied in Pakistan (where he completed the Darsi Nizami), the UK, and Germany and is the author of Qur’an, Liberation and Pluralism, On Being a Muslim, and An Introduction to the Qur’an, and (with Sarah Chiddy) co-editor of Islam and AIDS: Between Scorn, Pity and Justice. He has published extensively on Islam and Gender, Liberation Theology, Interfaith Relations, and Qur'anic Hermeneutics. Professor Esack has served on the South African Commission for Gender Equality and has taught at the University of Western Cape, the University of Hamburg, the College of William & Mary, Union Theological Seminary (NY), and Xavier University in Cincinnati. After a two-year stint as the Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal Professor of Contemporary Islam at Harvard University, Esack now serves as a Professor in the Study of Islam at the University of Johannesburg and head of its Department of Religion Studies.
John L. Esposito is University Professor, Professor of Religion and International Affairs and of Islamic Studies and Founding Director of the Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal Center for Muslim-Christian Understanding at the Walsh School of Foreign Service, Georgetown University. Esposito specializes in Islam, political Islam from North Africa to Southeast Asia, and Religion and International Affairs. He is Series Editor of The Oxford Library of Islamic Studies, Editor-in-Chief of the six-volume The Oxford Encyclopedia of the Islamic World, The Oxford Encyclopedia of the Modern Islamic World, The Oxford History of Islam (a Book-of-the-Month Club selection), The Oxford Dictionary of Islam, The Islamic World: Past and Present, and Oxford Islamic Studies Online. His more than 45 books include Islamophobia and the Challenge of Pluralism in the 21st Century, The Future of Islam, Who Speaks for Islam? What a Billion Muslims Really Think (with Dalia Mogahed), and Unholy War: Terror in the Name of Islam (a Washington Post and Boston Globe best seller). His writings have been translated into more than 35 languages. A former President of the Middle East Studies Association of North America and of the American Council for the Study of Islamic Societies, Vice Chair of the Center for the Study of Islam and Democracy, and member of the World Economic Forum’s Council of 100 Leaders, he is currently President of the American Academy of Religion, a member of the E. C. European Network of Experts on De-Radicalisation and an ambassador for the UN Alliance of Civilizations. Esposito is recipient of the American Academy of Religion’s Martin E. Marty Award for the Public Understanding of Religion, Pakistan’s Quaid-i-Azzam Award for Outstanding Contributions in Islamic Studies, and the School of Foreign Service - Georgetown University Award for Outstanding Teaching.
Mohammad H. Fadel is Associate Professor at the University of Toronto Faculty of Law, which he joined in January 2006. Professor Fadel wrote his Ph.D. dissertation on legal process in medieval Islamic law while at the University of Chicago. He was admitted to the Bar of New York in 2000 and practiced law with the firm of Sullivan & Cromwell LLP in New York, New York, where he worked on a wide variety of corporate finance transactions and securities-related regulatory investigations. Professor Fadel also served as a law clerk to the Honorable Paul V. Niemeyer of the United States Court of Appeals for the 4th Circuit and the Honorable Anthony A. Alaimo of the United States District Court for the Southern District of Georgia. Professor Fadel has published numerous articles in Islamic legal history and Islam and liberalism.
Thomas F. Farr is a Visiting Associate Professor at Georgetown University's School of Foreign Service, and the director of the Religious Freedom Project at Georgetown's Berkley Center. Dr. Farr has served in the U.S. Army and Foreign Service, and has taught at the U.S. Military Academy and the U.S. Air Force Academy. He was the first director of the State Department's Office of International Religious Freedom, and has published widely on the subject of religious freedom and its implications. He has testified before the U.S. Congress, trained American diplomats, consulted with foreign governments, served on the Secretary of State’s Working Group on Religious Freedom, and directed the Witherspoon Task Force on Religious Liberty. He was a member of the Chicago World Affairs Council Task Force on Religion and U.S. Foreign Policy. Farr has spoken to many audiences here and abroad. His work has appeared in many edited volumes, law journals, and popular outlets, such as the Weekly Standard, the National Review, the New York Times, the Washington Post, America, and First Things. His book, World of Faith and Freedom: Why International Religious Liberty is Vital to American National Security, was published by Oxford University Press.
Merve Kavakci-Islam is a Lecturer of International Relations at George Washington University and Howard University. She was elected to the Turkish Parliament, the Grand National Assembly of Turkey in 1999. However, she was prevented from serving her term by the secularists because she wears a headscarf. Kavakci-Islam’s political party was closed down and her Turkish citizenship was revoked, banning her from politics for a period of five years. She took her case to the European Court of Human Rights and won in 2007. A widely recognized international public figure, she has addressed the British Parliament House of Lords, the United Nations Commission on Human Rights, the US Congress Helsinki Commission, and the Inter-Parliamentary Union. She has lectured at a myriad of American, European, and Canadian universities including Harvard, Yale, Cornell, Cambridge, Berlin, Milan, Insburg, and Ottawa universities. Kavakci-Islam holds a Ph.D. in Political Science from Howard University, an M.P.A from Harvard University, and a B.S. in Software Engineering from University of Texas at Dallas. Prior to that she attended the Medical School of Ankara University but was not permitted to continue due to the headscarf ban. Kavakci-Islam is a consultant for the US Congress on the Muslim world and a columnist for the Turkish daily Yeni Akit. She sits on the Editorial Board of Mediterranean Quarterly. She is the author of Headscarf Politics in Turkey: A Postcolonial Reading and five other books, some of which are translated into Arabic and Persian. She is recognized as one of the 500 Most Influential Muslims in the World.
David Law is Professor of Law and Professor of Political Science at Washington University in St. Louis and Visiting Professor at Georgetown University Law Center. His expertise is in law and political science, comparative constitutional law, and comparative judicial politics, with a research emphasis on the identification, explanation, and prediction of global patterns in constitutional law. Born and raised in Canada, he holds a Ph.D. in political science from Stanford, a B.C.L. in European and Comparative Law from the University of Oxford, and a J.D. from Harvard Law School. He was simultaneously on the faculty of the University of San Diego law school and the University of California, San Diego political science department and has served as a visiting professor at the National Taiwan University College of Law, Seoul National University School of Law, and Keio University Faculty of Law in Tokyo, and a visiting scholar at the NYU School of Law. His research has been supported by grants from the Council on Foreign Relations, the National Science Foundation, and a Fulbright Scholarship and has been translated into Chinese, Japanese, and Romanian. His scholarship on constitutional globalization and the declining influence of the U.S. Constitution has been featured in a variety of domestic and international media, and his book on the Japanese Supreme Court will be published in Japanese by Gendaijinbunsha in May of this year.
Cardinal Theodore E. McCarrick was ordained a priest of the Archdiocese of New York in 1958. Early in his ministry he was assigned to Puerto Rico, where in 1965 he was named President of the Catholic University of Puerto Rico. Returning to New York for pastoral ministry, he was appointed Auxiliary Bishop and Vicar of Harlem in 1977. Named as first Bishop of Metuchen in 1981, he subsequently served as Archbishop of Newark and then in 2000 was transferred to Washington. He was created a Cardinal by Blessed John Paul II in 2001. His retirement was accepted in 2006. In 2011 he served as a Distinguished Senior Scholar at the Library of Congress. All his life he has been involved in social ministry.
Radwan A. Masmoudi is the Founder and President of the Center for the Study of Islam & Democracy (CSID), a Washington-based non-profit think tank dedicated to promoting dialogue about democracy in the Muslim world. He is also the Editor of the Center’s quarterly publication, Muslim Democrat. He has written and published several articles and papers on the topics of democracy, diversity, human rights, and tolerance in Islam. He is active with local Muslim organizations, and was elected as member of the Board of Directors of the Muslim Community Center in Silver Spring, Maryland. He is a member of the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA), the Tunisian Scientific Society (TSS), and a member of the board of the American Council for the Study of Islamic Societies (ACSIS) and the International Forum for Islamic Dialogue (IFID). In April 2012, he was elected as a member of the Steering Committee of the World Movement for Democracy. Masmoudi has organized twelve Annual Conferences of CSID, which brings together more than 250 scholars of Islam from all over the world. He appears regularly on radio and TV shows, including Voice of America, FoxNews, CNN, CBS, CNBC, NPR, Al-Jazeera, Algerian TV, al-Mustakillah TV, Press TV, Tunisia TV, etc. He has participated and organized over 100 seminars, conferences, and workshops about democracy, freedom, and human rights in Islam, and speaks often at major public policy think tanks such as the Brookings Institute, the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, and the Cato Institute.
Dalia Mogahed speaks and writes on Arab and Muslim issues. She is the former Executive Director of and Senior Analyst for the Gallup Center for Muslim Studies. Mogahed led the analysis of surveys of Muslims worldwide, including in the U.S. and Europe. With John L. Esposito, she co-authored the groundbreaking book Who Speaks for Islam? What a Billion Muslims Really Think. President Barack Obama appointed Mogahed to the President’s Advisory Council on Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships in 2009, making her the first Muslim-American woman to hold a position of this seniority. In this role, Mogahed joined other American leaders in offering recommendations to the U.S. President on how faith-based organizations can best work with the government to solve society’s toughest challenges. Mogahed is a member of the World Economic Forum’s Global Agenda Council on the Arab World, serves on the boards of Freedom House and Soliya, and is a nonresident senior public policy scholar at Issam Fares Institute for Public Policy and International Affairs at the American University of Beirut. Arabian Business magazine recognized her as one of the most influential Arab women in the world and the World Economic Forum named her a Young Global Leader.
Kathleen Moore teaches in the religious studies department at the University of California Santa Barbara on questions of law and religion and on Islam in America. Before joining the UCSB faculty in 2002, she taught at the University of Connecticut. Her recent publications include a book titled The Unfamiliar Abode: Islamic Law in the United States and Britain (2010), a book co-authored with Yvonne Haddad and Jane Smith on Muslim Women in America (2006, 2011), and a book that will appear in an expanded and revised edition later this year, titled Al-Mughtaribun: American Law and the Transformation of Muslim Life. Her current research is on diasporic Islamic feminism and the law.
Nancy Okail is the director of Freedom House’s Egypt program. She has over 12 years of experience in the promotion of development and democracy in the MENA region. She previously worked for the World Bank, UNDP, and Egypt’s Ministry of International Cooperation. Okail holds a Ph.D. in power relations of foreign aid from the University of Sussex. She is one of dozens of activists being prosecuted by the Egyptian authorities as part of a crackdown on independent civil society groups in the country.
Mohamed Okda is an entrepreneur and business consultant. After 20 years away, Okda returned to Egypt following the January 25th, 2011 revolution to help rebuild and shape the future of the country. There he has started an education business and become a founding member of Egypt’s Al-Watan Party as well as a member of its high committee. He has campaigned for civil rights in Egypt and is active in the fields of politics, human rights, free speech, and entrepreneurship. Okda has taught at Lewis University in Illinois and holds an M.B.A. from the University of Chicago Booth School of Business, as well as an LL.B. He is fluent in three languages.
Abdulaziz Sachedina is Professor and IIIT Chair in Islamic Studies at George Mason University in Fairfax, Virginia. Dr. Sachedina, who has studied in India, Iraq, Iran, and Canada, obtained his Ph.D. from the University of Toronto. He has been conducting research and writing in the field of Islamic Law, Ethics, and Theology (Sunni and Shiite) for more than two decades. In the last ten years he has concentrated on social and political ethics, including Interfaith and Intrafaith Relations, Islamic Biomedical Ethics, and Islam and Human Rights. Dr. Sachedina’s publications include: Islamic Messianism (State University of New York, 1980); Human Rights and the Conflicts of Culture, co-authored (University of South Carolina, 1988); The Just Ruler in Shiite Islam (Oxford University Press, 1988); The Prolegomena to the Qur’an (Oxford University Press, 1998); The Islamic Roots of Democratic Pluralism (Oxford University Press, 2002); Islamic Biomedical Ethics: Theory and Application (Oxford University Press, February 2009); Islam and the Challenge of Human Rights (Oxford University Press, September 2009); in addition to numerous articles in academic journals. He is an American citizen born in Tanzania.
Chris Seiple is the president of the Institute for Global Engagement, a research, education, and diplomatic institution that builds sustainable religious freedom worldwide through local partnerships. A graduate of Stanford and the Naval Postgraduate School, he received his Ph.D. from the Fletcher School for Law & Diplomacy. Dr. Seiple is also the founder of The Review of Faith & International Affairs, a member of the Council on Foreign Relations, and a member of the International Institute for Strategic Studies. Seiple is the co-editor of the Routledge Handbook on Religion & Security (Routledge, 2012). He is a member of the Federal Advisory Committee to the U.S. Secretary of State's "Strategic Dialogue with Civil Society," and serves as senior advisor to the Dialogue's working group on "Religion & Foreign Policy." Seiple also is the Vice-Chair for the World Economic Forum's inaugural Global Agenda Council on the Role of Faith. A former Marine infantry officer, he speaks regularly at the U.S. Foreign Service Institute, U.S. military schools, and within the intelligence community regarding national security, social-cultural-religious engagement, and the interdependence of religion and realpolitik. At the request of the U.S. Army Chaplaincy, he designed and implemented the Chaplaincy's first training program for social-cultural-religious strategy and engagement (2010-2012).
Emad Shahin is Professor of Public Policy at the School of Global Affairs and Public Policy (GAPP), the American University in Cairo (AUC). His areas of interests include comparative politics, public policies, Islamic law and politics, and democracy and political reform in Islamic societies. Before joining the AUC faculty, Shahin was the Henry R. Luce Associate Professor of Religion, Conflict and Peacebuilding at the University of Notre Dame’s Kroc Institute for International Peace Studies (2009-2012). He was Associate Professor of Political Science at the American University in Cairo (1998-2006), Visiting Associate Professor in the Department of Government at Harvard University (2006-2009), and Visiting Scholar in the Islamic Legal Studies Program at Harvard Law School (2006-2007). Shahin holds a Ph.D. (1989) from the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies, M.A. (1983) and B.A. (1980) from the American University in Cairo. His publications include Political Ascent: Contemporary Islamic Movements in North Africa, co-editorship of Struggling over Democracy in the Middle East and North Africa, and co-authorship of Islam and Democracy, published in Arabic. He is the editor-in-chief of The Oxford Encyclopedia of Islam and Politics and co-editor with John L. Esposito of The Oxford Handbook of Islam and Politics. Shahin has made frequent contributions to major media outlets, such as CNN, BBC, New York Times, Washington Post, The Atlantic, Foreign Policy, and Al-Jazeera, among others.
Tamara Sonn is the Wm. R. Kenan Distinguished Professor of Humanities in the Department of Religious Studies at the College of William & Mary. Her books include Interpreting Islam: Bandali Jawzi's Islamic Intellectual History (Oxford, 1996; winner of Choice Book of the Year award); Comparing Religions through Law: Judaism and Islam (with J. Neusner; Routledge 1999; named "One of the Best Books of the 1990s" by the Journal of Law and Religion); Islam: A Brief History (Wiley-Blackwell, 2010, an expanded and updated edition of A Brief History of Islam, Blackwell, 2004); and The Sage Handbook of Islamic Studies (2010). Her most recent book is The Religion Toolkit: A Complete Guide to Religious Studies (with J. Morreall; Wiley-Blackwell, 2011). She has contributed chapters and articles to numerous books, journals, and encyclopedias; and her works have been translated into Arabic, Bengali, and Portuguese. She has lectured in North America, Europe, the Middle East, South Asia, and Africa. Her research has been supported by the American Council of Learned Societies and Fulbright, among others. She served as senior editor of the Oxford Dictionary of Islam (2003), and associate editor of Oxford's encyclopedia The Islamic World Past and Present (2004). She is an editor of Oxford Islamic Studies Online, and of Oxford's Encyclopedia of the Islamic World (2009). Sonn is also editor-in-chief of Oxford Bibliographies Online--Islamic Studies, and co-editor-in-chief of Wiley-Blackwell's online journal of Religious Studies Religion Compass.