Home » Eboo Patel

Author, Speaker, Educator, and Interfaith Leader

Eboo founded Interfaith Youth Core on the idea that religion should be a bridge of cooperation rather than a barrier of division. He is inspired to build this bridge by his identity as an American Muslim navigating a religiously diverse social landscape.

For over 15 years he has worked with governments, social sector organizations, and college and university campuses to help make interfaith cooperation a social norm. Named by U.S. News & World Report as one of America’s Best Leaders of 2009, Eboo served on President Obama’s Inaugural Faith Council and is the author of Acts of Faith, Sacred GroundInterfaith Leadership: A Primer, and Out of Many Faiths: Religious Diversity and the American PromiseHe holds a doctorate in the sociology of religion from Oxford University, where he studied on a Rhodes scholarship.

These days, Eboo spends most of his time on the road, doing what he loves: meeting students, educators, and community leaders to talk about the complex landscape of religious diversity and the power of interfaith cooperation in the 21st century.

In his off time, you’ll find Eboo in Chicago with his wife, Shehnaz, and their two sons. When he’s not teaching his kids about interfaith cooperation, there’s a good chance he’s rooting for Notre Dame and feeding a lifelong coffee addiction. Catch up with him on Twitter and Facebook, and keep exploring to learn more about Eboo and IFYC.

How Do We Build a Country Together?

Interfaith cooperation has played an integral role in the history of American society and continues to be a positive force into the 21st century, shaping the progress of our diverse democracy and helping all of us to build a shared life together.

Through his writing, advocacy, and partnerships with institutions of higher learning, Eboo casts an inspiring vision for the future of American pluralism and the ways positive engagement with diverse identities can make it a reality.

Books by Eboo

Out of Many Faiths

Eboo's latest book, Out of Many Faiths: Religious Diversity and the American Promise, explores today's most important issues surrounding religious diversity in the cultural, political, and economic life of the nation.

Interfaith Leadership: A Primer

A clear, detailed, and practical guide for students and other future leaders seeking to advance interfaith cooperation

Sacred Ground

An examination of pluralism, prejudice, and the promise of America in the years after 9/11

Acts of Faith

Eboo's first major book, the story of an American Muslim and the struggle for the soul of a generation.

More to Explore

Request a Visit

Start a conversation about religious pluralism at your institution or in your community. Eboo regularly visits campuses and other organizations for keynotes and special events. Learn more.


Learn more about Interfaith Youth Core’s work to advance interfaith cooperation on campus and beyond.

Collaborate with Eboo & IFYC

Explore opportunities to partner with IFYC to help your institution create and implement a strategic plan for interfaith cooperation.

Media Requests

Visit our press page for media information and interview requests.

Selected Conversations

Op-eds by, features on, and pieces about Eboo Patel, including recorded videos of relevant speaking engagements.
'Out of Many Faiths,' Eboo Patel Sees a Potluck, Not a Melting Pot Nation
Eboo patel
Review of "Out of Many Faiths: Religious diversity and the american promise"
Publishers Weekly reviews Eboo's latest book, "Out of Many Faiths: Religious Diversity and the American Promise"
Alien-Traitors Unite!
Eboo Patel
Weave Conference
Eboo explores the position of the traitor-alien in diversity work and asks the question of how you build a community that is strong enough to deal with inevitable deep disagreement.
"Building a Diverse Democracy: Interfaith Engagement in Times of Crisis"
Eboo Patel
Amherst College
Eboo visits Amherst College and explains why diversity and pluralism are more important now than ever before.
Models of Interfaith Leadership in an Age of Polarization
eboo patel
panel at harvard university
Eboo Patel speaks on a panel at Harvard University with Diana Eck, Jennifer Peace, and Rabbi Or Rose
In Promoting Campus Diversity, Don't Dismiss Religion
eboo patel
the chronicle of higher education
"In an era riven with interfaith tension and crying out for positive engagement with religious difference, higher education’s approach (or lack thereof) to religious diversity flies in the face of what should be its mission to nurture engaged and educated citizens for a pluralistic world."
Interfaith Leadership in the 21st Century
eboo patel
the university of iowa
"What do we miss when we lack the eyes to see the dimensions of religious diversity in the situations all around us?"
Multiculturalism, Religious Diversity, and Global Learning
eboo patel
the association of american colleges & universities
Eboo discusses the challenge of building healthy, religiously diverse democracies with the Association of American Colleges & Universities.
Bringing Muslims, Evangelicals, and Atheists Together on Campus
eboo patel
the chronicle of higher education
Why conversations on religious diversity should be actively woven into the college experience.
Colleges Should Be Nurturing Interfaith Leaders
eboo patel
the chronicle of higher education
Any college that promises to prepare global citizens has to take religious diversity seriously enough to educate their students to be interfaith leaders.
Technori Keynote
eboo patel
the technori education tech startup showcase
Eboo Patel opens Technori's Education Tech startup showcase by discussing the urgency of interfaith cooperation and why online organizing is so critically important.
An Effort to Foster Tolerance in Religion
eboo patel
the new york times
A look at the founding of Interfaith Youth Core and our ambitious mission to make interfaith cooperation a social norm.