Board of Advisors
Ambassador Akbar Ahmed is the Ibn Khaldun Chair of Islamic Studies and professor of International Relations at American University in Washington, D.C. From 1999 to 2000, Dr. Ahmed was the Pakistani High Commissioner (Ambassador) to the United Kingdom. He has also held many other senior positions in Pakistan. His many award-winning books include Discovering Islam: Making Sense of Muslim History and Society, Postmodernism and Islam: Predicament and Promise, Islam Today: A Short Introduction to the Muslim World, Jinnah Quartet, Journey into Islam, and, most recently, Journey into America: The Challenge of Islam.
Zainab Al-Suwaij is the co-founder and Executive Director of the American Islamic Congress (AIC), a non-profit established after 9/11 to build interfaith understanding. A native of Iraq, Ms. Al-Suwaij participated in the failed 1991 uprising against Saddam Hussein – an experience she recounted in a memoir published by The New Republic – then fled to the United States. She leads interfaith and tolerance programs for mosques, churches, synagogues, colleges and high schools. She works with the Anti-Defamation League and serves on Connecticut’s Hate Crimes Advisory Board. A board member of George Mason University’s Center for World Religions, Diplomacy, and Conflict Resolution, she has been named an Ambassador for Peace by the Inter-religious Federation for World Peace. Ms. Suwaij has recently also worked in Iraq to strengthen women’s rights and help rebuild the Iraqi education system. She has been active in the Iraqi Women’s Educational Institute, which has trained female civil society activists in principles of democracy and civic leadership.
Carl G. (Glenn) Ayers, Colonel (retired served for 25 years in the United States Army. From 2003-2005, he was a military Assistant to the Secretary, and Deputy Secretary of Defense with responsibility for planning and executing vital aspects of sensitive, national level defense and diplomatic missions. As Chief of Psychological Operations Division of the Joint Staff from 2006-2009, he developed policy for Psychological operations and coordinated and helped executed multi-media informational campaigns during humanitarian assistance, deterrence, combat and post-conflict operations. From 2001-2003 as a Psychological Operations Battalion Commander, he deployed forces to peace enforcement and combat operations in Kosovo, Philippines, Afghanistan, and Iraq. In the mid 1990s, he has also developed, trained and executed, with numerous non-governmental organizations, a land mine awareness campaign in Cambodia. He has a M.S. degree from the National Defense University in National Security Strategy, a M.S. in International Relations from Troy State University, and a B.A. in Anthropology from Wake Forest University.
Dr. Joseph Duffey served as the last Director of the U.S. Information Agency before its transfer into the State Department in 1999. He previously served as president of American University in Washington, D.C., and President and Chancellor of the University of Massachusetts at Amherst. Dr. Duffey was Assistant Secretary of State for Education and Cultural Affairs and Chairman of the National Endowment for the Humanities under presidents Jimmy Carter and Ronald Reagan. He served as a member of the faculty at Yale University, as a fellow of the JFK School of Government at Harvard University, and as a U.S. delegate to the General Conferences of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO). He has been a member of the Council on Foreign Relations since 1979 and has published widely on themes relating to higher education and social and economic issues. He currently serves as a member of University Council of the University of Liverpool.
Ali Jalali is Distinguished Professor, Near East South Asia Center for Strategic Studies, and Distinguished Visiting Fellow in the Institute for National Strategic Studies at the National Defense University. He was Interior Minister of Afghanistan from 2003-2005. A published writer in three languages (English, Pashto, Dari/Farsi), he is the author of numerous books and articles on political, military and security issues in Afghanistan, Iran, and Central Asia, including topics related to Islamic movements in the Region. He is also an Institute of World Politics alumnus.
Alan Charles Kors, the Henry Charles Lea Professor of European History at University of Pennsylvania, has published several books and many articles on early-modern French intellectual history, and was editor-in-chief of the Encyclopedia of the Enlightenment (4 volumes, Oxford University Press, 2002). He served for six years, after confirmation by the U.S. Senate, on the National Council for the Humanities, and he has received fellowships from the American Council for Learned Societies, the Smith-Richardson Foundation, and the Davis Center for Historical Studies at Princeton University. In 2005, at the White House, he received the National Humanities Medal for “his study of European intellectual thought and his dedication to the study of the humanities. A widely respected teacher, he is the champion of academic freedom.” He has served on the Board of Governors of The Historical Society and on the Executive Committee of the American Society for Eighteenth-Century Studies. In 2008, he was awarded the Bradley Prize.
Joseph A. Morris is a partner in the law firm of Morris & De La Rosa, with offices in Chicago and London. He maintains an active practice conducting trials and appeals, particularly in the areas of constitutional, business, and international law. He also advises and represents clients in applications of Islamic law (Shari’a) in Western legal systems. He has held a number of high-level positions during the Reagan administration, including: Assistant Attorney General of the U.S. in the Office of Liaison Services, the Justice Department’s bureau responsible for international and intergovernmental justice affairs; Chief of Staff and General Counsel of the United States Information Agency; and U.S. Delegate to the United Nations Commission on Human Rights (Geneva, Switzerland).. He is also President of The Lincoln Legal Foundation, a Chicago-based public interest law center, and has served on the Advisory Board of B’nai B’rith International.
Michael Novak is the George Frederick Jewett Scholar in Religion, Philosophy, and Public Policy at the American Enterprise Institution in Washington, DC. A philosopher, theologian, and author, Dr. Novak is the 1994 recipient of the Templeton Prize for Progress in Religion. He has been an emissary to the United Nations Human Rights Commission and to the Conference on Security and Cooperation in Europe. He has written twenty-seven books on the philosophy and theology of culture, especially the essential elements of a free society, including No One Sees God, Washington’s God, the Universal Hunger for Liberty, and – his latest - No One Sees God: The Dark Night of Atheists and Believers.
His Imperial Highness Prince Ermias Sahle-Selassie Haile Selassie, President of the Crown Council of Ethiopia, has been actively involved in the development and institutionalization of democratic principles and market economic philosophies in Africa, particularly in the Horn of Africa. Born in Addis Ababa, he lived in Ethiopia for a considerable part of his early life before continuing his studies in England. He earned a BA in social studies, with an emphasis on economics, at the University of California in Santa Barbara, from 1978 to 1981, and continued his education at the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy between 1983 and 1985. Prince Ermias is currently a Senior Fellow at the International Strategic Studies Association (ISSA), and is a recipient of ISSA’s Silver Star Award for Outstanding Contributions to Strategic Progress.