Keynote Speakers

Dr. Douglas Johnston

President and Founder of the International Center for Religion and Diplomacy

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Douglas M. Johnston is president and founder of the International Center for Religion & Diplomacy.
A distinguished graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy, Dr. Johnston holds a Ph.D. in Political Science from Harvard University and has served in senior positions in both the public and private sectors.  Among his government assignments, he was Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Navy; Director of Policy Planning and Management in the Office of the Secretary of Defense; and planning officer with the President’s Office of Emergency Preparedness.  He has taught courses in international security at Harvard and was the founding director of the university’s Executive Program in National and International Security.  Dr. Johnston is a Captain in the Naval Reserve and, at the age of 27, was the youngest officer in the navy to qualify for command of a nuclear submarine.

Prior to his current position, Dr. Johnston served as Executive Vice President and COO of the Washington-based Center for Strategic and International Studies.  In addition to his managerial duties, he chaired the Center’s Preventive Diplomacy Program and its Maritime Studies program.  His publications include Religion, the Missing Dimension of Statecraft (1994); Foreign Policy into the 21st Century:  the U.S. Leadership Challenge (1996); Faith-based Diplomacy:  Trumping Realpolitik (2003);Religion, Terror, and Error: U.S. Foreign Policy and the Challenge of Spiritual Engagement (2011 Book of the Year Award); and Religion and Foreign Affairs: Essential Readings (2012).

Dr. Johnston’s hands-on experience in the political/military arena coupled with his work in preventive diplomacy, has guided the work of ICRD since its inception.  In 2007, he received the Founding Spirit Award from The Washington Times at its 25th anniversary celebration and in 2008 was identified in a leading Christian journal as “The Father of Faith-based Diplomacy.”  More recently, he was recipient of the 2011 International Trustbuilder Award from Initiatives of Change International.  In addition to other non-profit involvements, he is a Visiting Sr. Fellow at the Wheatley Institution of Brigham Young University.

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Dr. Eboo Patel

President and Founder of Interfaith Youth Core

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Eboo Patel is the president and founder of Interfaith Youth Core (IFYC), a Chicago based organization building the interfaith movement on college campuses. He is the author of the book Acts of Faith: The Story of an American Muslim, the Struggle for the Soul of a Generation (which won the Louisville Grawemeyer Award in Religion) and  Sacred Ground: Pluralism, Prejudice, and the Promise of America. He is also a regular contributor to the Washington Post, USA Today, Huffington Post, NPR, and CNN. He served on President Obama’s inaugural Advisory Council of the White House Office of Faith-based and Neighborhood Partnerships.  He serves on the Religious Advisory Committee of the Council on Foreign Relations, the National Committee of the Aga Khan Foundation USA, and the National Board of the YMCA. He was chosen by Harvard’s Kennedy School Review as one of five future policy leaders to watch and named by US News & World Report as one of America’s Best Leaders of 2009.

He was recently awarded the Guru Nanak Interfaith Prize, an award given to an individual to enhance awareness of the crucial role of religious dialogue in the pursuit of peace.  He holds a doctorate in the sociology of religion from Oxford University, where he studied on a Rhodes scholarship. He and his wife, Shehnaz Mansuri, have two sons.

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