Home » Meet the Team

We're All Interfaith Leaders.

IFYC works with leaders across the campus environment — faculty, staff, administrators, and students. We offer the tools, guidance, opportunities, and networks needed to bring interfaith engagement into their campuses, classrooms, research, and lives. Meet the team below and check out the careers page if you're interested in joining us.

Brian Anderson

Program Manager

Brian Anderson, Program Manager, works with our grantees to support the execution of interfaith campus programs and events. Brian has a B.A. in Religious Studies and Psychology from Butler University, an M.A. in Student Development Administration...

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Brian Anderson, Program Manager, works with our grantees to support the execution of interfaith campus programs and events. Brian has a B.A. in Religious Studies and Psychology from Butler University, an M.A. in Student Development Administration from Seattle University, and an M.A. in Pastoral Studies from Loyola University Chicago. At IFYC, you’ll find him connecting with campus partners to overcome challenges and capitalize on successes with their interfaith initiatives. When not at IFYC, you’ll find Brian being a husband and father and an active "bridge builder" in his local community. As a young Catholic, the spiritual writings of Thomas Merton and Thich Nhat Hanh inspired Brian to social activism and bridge building, and today, Brian sees building relationships across religious difference as critical to interfaith leadership

Tony Banout

Senior Vice President

Raised in an immigrant household in New York, where he was steeped in the Coptic Orthodox Church and absorbed both Roman Catholic and Islamic influences, Tony describes the American experiment of e pluribus unum as his lifelong vocation, which...

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Raised in an immigrant household in New York, where he was steeped in the Coptic Orthodox Church and absorbed both Roman Catholic and Islamic influences, Tony describes the American experiment of e pluribus unum as his lifelong vocation, which he has approached civically, academically, professionally, and artistically. Through publications and presentations, Tony contributes regularly to the national conversation about the role of interfaith cooperation in a religiously diverse democracy, often touching on philanthropy and higher education. He holds a PhD from the University of Chicago, where he studied at the Divinity School and was a Martin Marty Center and Provost fellow. A proud father of three, Tony loves being a dad to Lucas, Nina, and Leo. In his spare time, he enjoys both making and listening to music, and can often be found strumming and fingerpicking a guitar.

Bex Bates

Director of Marketing & Communications

Bex Bates, Director of Marketing and Communications, manages our outreach strategy to new and existing campuses to deepen their engagement with IFYC and widen our reach. Her background has always centered around marketing and communications but...

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Bex Bates, Director of Marketing and Communications, manages our outreach strategy to new and existing campuses to deepen their engagement with IFYC and widen our reach. Her background has always centered around marketing and communications but has spanned several sectors - government, private and non-profit - and countries. She has worked with religiously persecuted communities in the UK, Malaysia and continues this work in Chicago as a volunteer. Her time at IFYC is spent supporting the program teams in communicating with IFYC's various audiences about how we can assist them in their interfaith work, as well as looking at ways we can reach new audiences and campuses. She loves to read, do yoga and paint portraits in her spare time. Bex's main motivation for being part of the interfaith movement is that she has seen the effects of religious intolerance around the world and the potential outcomes of what would happen if we weren't actively doing and encourgaing interfaith work.

Katie Bringman Baxter

Vice President of Program Strategy

Both her religious convictions and her work with diverse student populations motivate Katie to strive for a world in which people of different backgrounds can live, work, and build community together. She oversees IFYC’s higher education...

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Both her religious convictions and her work with diverse student populations motivate Katie to strive for a world in which people of different backgrounds can live, work, and build community together. She oversees IFYC’s higher education program strategy ensuring alignment, integration, and evaluation across the organization’s projects. Along with senior program staff, Katie coordinates relationships with higher education leaders, associations, and funders, enabling IFYC’s partnerships with colleges and universities to turn religious diversity into a positive force in our society. Katie has been published in the Journal of College and Character and Liberal Education, and presents regularly to audiences focused on higher education. Her interest in religion and her professional background in higher education are reflected in her MA in college student personnel from Bowling Green State University and her BA in religion from Wittenberg University. Outside of work, Katie enjoys playing in the park with her two small children and serving in leadership roles at her Lutheran church.

Janett I. Cordovés

Director of Higher Education Partnerships

Janett works with professionals across the country to design and implement innovative learning strategies through digital learning platforms and education technology and is responsible for developing and leading key aspects of strategic...

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Janett works with professionals across the country to design and implement innovative learning strategies through digital learning platforms and education technology and is responsible for developing and leading key aspects of strategic planning initiatives within higher education, including The Institute on Teaching and Learning for Campus-wide Interfaith Excellence in partnership with The Association of American Colleges and Universities. Prior to joining IFYC, Janett worked in academia for over a decade, elevating the importance of engaging worldview identity and creating religious policies. Janett holds an EdD in Ethical Leadership, an MS in Higher Education, and a BA in Applied Mathematics. Her research interests include first-generation college students, #digitalfaith, leadership development, and online pedagogy. Janett serves as the Associate Editor for the Journal of College and Character and is an active member of NASPA, Campus Compact, LeaderShape, and NODA.

Ashley Curtis

Program Assistant

Ashley Curtis, Program Assistant, Student & Alumni Leadership, supports the strategy, development, and implementation of IFYC’s Interfaith Leadership Institutes (ILIs), leadership curriculum, and Alumni interfaith leadership development....

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Ashley Curtis, Program Assistant, Student & Alumni Leadership, supports the strategy, development, and implementation of IFYC’s Interfaith Leadership Institutes (ILIs), leadership curriculum, and Alumni interfaith leadership development. Ashley’s love for leadership began at the University of Minnesota, where she received her B.A. in Professional Strategic and Mass Communications. Ashley continues to pursue her passion for leadership development through her MEd in Higher Education and Student Affairs at Loyola University Chicago. Outside of IFYC, Ashley spends her free time working on research and publications that support student leadership development. When not working on research, you can find Ashley at a cycling studio, running by the lake, and exploring Chicago. 

Cara Doidge Kilgore

Special Events and Evaluation Manager

Cara Doidge Kilgore, Special Events Manager, oversees the logistics and production for IFYC's major events. Her work includes managing the programming and production of IFYC's annual Interfaith Leadership Institutes and higher education...

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Cara Doidge Kilgore, Special Events Manager, oversees the logistics and production for IFYC's major events. Her work includes managing the programming and production of IFYC's annual Interfaith Leadership Institutes and higher education convenings in collaboration with partner organizations. Cara earned a BA in religion from Texas Christian University and a MTS from Vanderbilt Divinity School. Cara's interest in interfaith cooperation began as a teenager visiting houses of worship with her church youth group and grew as she found ways to combine her interest in religion with her passion for service and social justice. Outside of work, she can be found having family dance parties with her kids, spouse, and dog and devouring a good novel. Cara lives with her family in Nashville, Tennessee.

Mary Ellen Giess

Vice President of Strategic Initiatives

Driven by her Unitarian Universalist values and personal experiences in college to build interfaith cooperation, Mary Ellen joined IFYC in 2008. She currently oversees innovative and strategic partnership opportunities for the organization, as...

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Driven by her Unitarian Universalist values and personal experiences in college to build interfaith cooperation, Mary Ellen joined IFYC in 2008. She currently oversees innovative and strategic partnership opportunities for the organization, as well as organizational evaluation, both of which include high-level management of the Interfaith Diversity Experiences and Attitudes Longitudinal Survey (IDEALS) research partnership. Her eleven years at IFYC have also included overseeing strategic engagement of student affairs and religious life professionals, serving as the organization’s executive vice president, and partnering with the Obama administration to create and implement the President’s Interfaith and Community Service Campus Challenge. Having edited Educating About Religious Diversity and Interfaith Engagement: A Handbook for Student Affairs (2019), she has also published articles for the Washington Post, Inside Higher Ed, and the Chronicle of Higher Education, and has presented on panels across the country. After completing her undergraduate work at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Mary Ellen received her Master’s degree in religion and government from Harvard Divinity School. Outside of work, she can be found chasing her husband and three daughters around town and serving on the board of her Unitarian Universalist congregation.

Amber Hacker

Vice President of Operations and Finance

An IFYC leader since 2007, Amber’s commitment to interfaith cooperation is inspired by Jesus’s call to love our neighbors. She currently oversees a wide range of functions within the organization, from accounting, IT, and talent development to...

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An IFYC leader since 2007, Amber’s commitment to interfaith cooperation is inspired by Jesus’s call to love our neighbors. She currently oversees a wide range of functions within the organization, from accounting, IT, and talent development to thought leadership, branding, and messaging. As IFYC’s treasurer, she works closely with the board of directors to ensure the organization’s financial processes are accurate and efficient. Amber’s passion for finance and for applying the best of business practices to nonprofit and mission-driven work has earned her the nickname Budget Hacker at IFYC. She holds an MBA from American University’s Kogod School of Business and was recently featured in an article on personal finance for Woman’s Day magazine. Before stepping into her current role at IFYC, Amber managed a number of the organization’s key programs, including the IFYC Alumni Program, Days of Interfaith Youth Service, Fellows Alliance, Bridge Builders Network, and IFYC conferences. Amber and her husband Jason live in Chicago with their two children.

Carr Harkrader

Director of the Interfaith Leadership Institute

Carr Harkrader, Director of the Interfaith Leadership Institute, oversees online learning and curriculum development for IFYC. In his role, Carr develops digital learning tools for IFYC's networks, including written resources, webinars, and...

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Carr Harkrader, Director of the Interfaith Leadership Institute, oversees online learning and curriculum development for IFYC. In his role, Carr develops digital learning tools for IFYC's networks, including written resources, webinars, and online communities and coordinates curriculum and content for the Interfaith Leadership Institute. Carr earned a BA in political science and history from UNC-Chapel Hill and a M.Ed from the Harvard Graduate School of Education. As an educator, Carr's interest in interfaith cooperation comes directly from his belief that learning together and acting as a community can bring people together across lines of difference.

Becca Hartman-Pickerill

Director of Program Resourcing

Becca Hartman-Pickerill, Director of Program Resourcing, directs internal systems that support an agile program team and organizational evaluation. Becca has a BA in Philosophy and Religion from Northwestern University and an MA in Forced...

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Becca Hartman-Pickerill, Director of Program Resourcing, directs internal systems that support an agile program team and organizational evaluation. Becca has a BA in Philosophy and Religion from Northwestern University and an MA in Forced Migration from the African Centre for Migration and Society in Johannesburg, South Africa. Day to day Becca supports IFYC's team of program managers, resources college and university educators, facilitates interfaith training and leads up IFYC's Campus Interfaith Inventory. Becca relishes living in Roger's Park with great neighbors and running to the beach for fun with her family. Her passion for interfaith leadership is rooted in her American Baptist faith and family traditions, which spurred her to lead interfaith service learning work as an undergraduate.

Megan Hughes Johnson

Campus Strategy Consultant

Megan Johnson, Campus Strategy Consultant, works closely with campus partners to develop and implement sustainable leadership practices for interfaith cooperation. Megan’s undergraduate work in culture and politics at Georgetown University and...

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Megan Johnson, Campus Strategy Consultant, works closely with campus partners to develop and implement sustainable leadership practices for interfaith cooperation. Megan’s undergraduate work in culture and politics at Georgetown University and her graduate work in religion and conflict at the University of Chicago Divinity School sparked her interest in bridge-building and youth activism. Prior to IFYC, Megan worked for five years for Seeds of Peace where she developed leadership programs for young people from conflict zones. When not at IFYC, Megan spends time playing trains with her two kids and exploring new green spaces in Cincinnati. Megan’s commitment to religious pluralism stems from witnessing first-hand the cost of religious division and her experience building connections across lines of difference.

Michael Kendricks

Director of Salesforce and IT

Michael Kendricks, Director of Salesforce and IT, administers Salesforce for IFYC and performs work on other IT projects. Michael graduated from Purdue University with a B.S. in Computer Technology. Prior to IFYC he worked in IT in the...

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Michael Kendricks, Director of Salesforce and IT, administers Salesforce for IFYC and performs work on other IT projects. Michael graduated from Purdue University with a B.S. in Computer Technology. Prior to IFYC he worked in IT in the financial sector. In his current position, he manages IFYC's implementation of Salesforce and partners with IFYC leaders to improve operation and add features. He also performs project management for various IT initiatives at IFYC. In his free time, he enjoys listening to any new music he can find, sports, spending time with family, and engaging in city-focused discussion. Michael believes that IFYC's mission is of key importance to our growing multi-cultural society and higher education is an optimal place to reach and engage with future leaders.

Rob LeLaurin

Program Assistant

Rob LeLaurin, Program Assistant, provides administrative support for the VP of Program Strategy and partners with the program staff for organizational support of logistics and production of IFYC initiatives. Prior to joining IFYC, Rob worked in...

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Rob LeLaurin, Program Assistant, provides administrative support for the VP of Program Strategy and partners with the program staff for organizational support of logistics and production of IFYC initiatives. Prior to joining IFYC, Rob worked in a variety of capacities in churches and faith-based organizations. Rob earned his B.A. in Biblical Studies at Moody Bible Institute, an M.A. in Biblical & Theological Studies from Western Seminary and is currently pursuing an M.A. in Counseling Psychology at North Park University. Outside of work, you might find Rob reading a thought-provoking book, eating amazing food with friends, or traveling the globe with his wife. Rob’s interest in interfaith cooperation comes from his desire to see the flourishing of society through a united pursuit toward the common good and his deep commitment to Christ’s ethic of loving one’s neighbor.

Gabi Lukens

Marketing & Communications Manager

Gabi Lukens, Marketing & Communications Manager, supports the marketing team with digital content strategy, email marketing, and social media. Gabi received her B.S., B.A. in business with an emphasis in marketing from the University of...

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Gabi Lukens, Marketing & Communications Manager, supports the marketing team with digital content strategy, email marketing, and social media. Gabi received her B.S., B.A. in business with an emphasis in marketing from the University of Missouri. Prior to joining IFYC, Gabi worked as a marketing associate at a regional arts council in Kansas City, where she developed a love for working in the nonprofit sphere. Outside of work, Gabi loves fitness, traveling, and exploring all of the neighborhoods and restaurants Chicago has to offer.

Hailey Melville

Drupal Web Developer

Hailey Melville, Drupal Web Developer, supports the marketing team by designing and developing powerful user experiences. A graduate of Northwestern's Medill School of Journalism, Hailey has created websites for a variety of organizations. Most...

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Hailey Melville, Drupal Web Developer, supports the marketing team by designing and developing powerful user experiences. A graduate of Northwestern's Medill School of Journalism, Hailey has created websites for a variety of organizations. Most recently, Hailey was a developer at the Wall Street Journal, working with their digital advertising studio. Before that she led the front-end efforts at Smile Train, a global charity committed to treating cleft lip and palate. In her spare time, Hailey loves to play music with her band, try new restaurants, and play golf. Hailey is originally from Boston, but grew up in Tampa, Florida. She received her undergraduate in psychology from Florida State University.

Hannah Minks

Program Manager

Hannah Minks, Program Manager, develops and trains IFYC curriculum, and shares stories of interfaith leadership. Hannah received her BA in Theology and is currently earning her MA in Religious Studies. She comes to her role having taught...

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Hannah Minks, Program Manager, develops and trains IFYC curriculum, and shares stories of interfaith leadership. Hannah received her BA in Theology and is currently earning her MA in Religious Studies. She comes to her role having taught theology at the high school level for a handful of years, always through the lens of pluralism. Most of her time at IFYC is spent developing curriculum, training students, and communicating with the network. Hannah reads, kickboxes, and DJs in her free time. Her passion for interfaith work is fueled by her Catholic identity. She believes that participating in a vision for how diverse indivudals can co-create a healthy civic space is an inherently spiritual endeavor--one that follows in the footsteps of awe-inspiring figures like Saint Catherine of Siena and Dorothy Day.

Jenan Mohajir

Senior Director of Leadership

Inspired by faith and family to work for change at the intersections of gender, sexuality, race, and religion, Jenan has served in a leadership position at IFYC for thirteen years. She currently directs overall strategy, design, and...

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Inspired by faith and family to work for change at the intersections of gender, sexuality, race, and religion, Jenan has served in a leadership position at IFYC for thirteen years. She currently directs overall strategy, design, and implementation of the organization’s programs focused on alumni and student leaders, including the annual Interfaith Leadership Institute. For over a decade, Jenan has trained hundreds of young people from both religious and secular backgrounds to foster a vision and practice of civically engaged interfaith leadership. Featured on National Public Radio and participating in interfaith conference panels across the country, Jenan holds a BS in elementary education and Islamic studies from DePaul University, and is currently pursuing her MA in religious studies at Chicago Theological Seminary. She also volunteers with Sirat Chicago, a neighborhood space that fosters a healthy community by supporting initiatives centered upon service and worship, education and arts, and family life. Living on the south side of Chicago with her husband and three children, Jenan is an enthusiastic collector of old children’s books.

Shauna Morin

Research Fellow

Shauna Morin is a higher education scholar-practitioner committed to fostering spirituality, meaning-making, and interfaith competencies among college students and young adults. Over the past five years, Shauna has been involved in...

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Shauna Morin is a higher education scholar-practitioner committed to fostering spirituality, meaning-making, and interfaith competencies among college students and young adults. Over the past five years, Shauna has been involved in administering the Interfaith Diversity Experiences and Attitudes Longitudinal Survey (IDEALS), which examines interfaith engagement and worldview diversity in college. Prior professional experiences include community outreach and service-learning, co-curricular campus programming, and undergraduate and graduate-level teaching. Shauna holds a bachelor's degree from the University of Notre Dame, a master's in College Student Affairs from Penn State University, and a Ph.D. in Higher Education from North Carolina State University. Outside of work, she enjoys experimenting with new recipes in the kitchen, exploring local hiking trails, and volunteering at St. Francis of Assisi Catholic Church, her faith community in Raleigh, North Carolina.

Katherine O'Brien

Program Assistant

Katherine O'Brien, Program Assistant, offers administrative assistance that bolsters the ongoing success of IFYC’s interfaith programming. She graduated in May of 2019 with a B.A. in International Studies and a certificate in Religious Studies...

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Katherine O'Brien, Program Assistant, offers administrative assistance that bolsters the ongoing success of IFYC’s interfaith programming. She graduated in May of 2019 with a B.A. in International Studies and a certificate in Religious Studies from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. She spends her time at IFYC supporting colleagues in their analysis and dissemination of interfaith assessment services and resources and in their communication with campus partners interested in furthering interfaith cooperation. She uses her free time to follow current events, participate in various forms of activism, enjoy time with friends and family, and listen to music. Katherine is drawn to interfaith work through her religious belief in the importance of inclusivity and community-building. Her involvement in interfaith work stems from her desire to offer others the radical compassion she believes we all deserve.

Chris Portman

Foundation Relations Manager

Foundation Relations Manager Chris Portman began his career as an attorney but quickly gravitated to the nonprofit world. After teaching legal writing and working in a law library, he spent several years as an at-home dad, then went back to...

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Foundation Relations Manager Chris Portman began his career as an attorney but quickly gravitated to the nonprofit world. After teaching legal writing and working in a law library, he spent several years as an at-home dad, then went back to work as a reference librarian. Most recently, Chris worked in fundraising, communications, and marketing for two independent schools. He has a B.A. in English from Notre Dame, a J.D. from the University of Michigan Law School, an MLS from Rosary College, and also studied with the Committee on Social Thought at the University of Chicago. Chris is an avid college football fan and, having grown up in western New York, remains loyal to Buffalo sports teams despite (or maybe because of) their limited success. He also enjoys cooking and woodworking. A lifelong Catholic, he believes in both large-C Catholic heritage and small-c catholic universality and is drawn to ecumenical and interfaith initiatives as a path toward both learning and peace.

Rev. Paul Brandeis Raushenbush

Senior Advisor for Public Affairs and Innovation

Growing up in an interfaith family instilled in Paul an “interfaith heart,” and he is committed to co-creating a world in which all people, no matter what belief or religious tradition, live with respect and dignity. At IFYC, Paul builds...

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Growing up in an interfaith family instilled in Paul an “interfaith heart,” and he is committed to co-creating a world in which all people, no matter what belief or religious tradition, live with respect and dignity. At IFYC, Paul builds platforms that highlight the hopeful voices working in interfaith engagement in higher education, and also helps national journalists tell the story of interfaith America. Paul works to find ways of incorporating interfaith leadership training into online curricular and co-curricular offerings, and looks at how digital technologies and hybrid learning are changing interfaith leadership. A pioneer in journalism that promotes interfaith voices in the public square, Paul was an editor at Beliefnet.com before founding and leading the religion section at HuffPost, which under his leadership grew to the largest interfaith religion site online. With a bachelor’s degree in religion from Macalester College and a master of divinity from Union Theological Seminary, he has also served as associate dean of religious life at Princeton University, and as a denominational chaplain at Columbia University. He is an ordained American Baptist minister

Carolyn Roncolato

Director of Academic Initiatives

As the Director of Academic Initiatives, Carolyn works with faculty across the country to develop, support, and sustain innovative interfaith studies curriculum. Carolyn has a Ph.D. in Theology, Ethics, and Human Culture from Chicago...

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As the Director of Academic Initiatives, Carolyn works with faculty across the country to develop, support, and sustain innovative interfaith studies curriculum. Carolyn has a Ph.D. in Theology, Ethics, and Human Culture from Chicago Theological Seminary. She has taught and wrote for a number of academic institutions and religious organizations. When not working, Carolyn is hanging out with her husband and son, enjoying the lake, playing in the park, and eating delicious Chicago food.  Carolyn’s Christian faith calls her to work for healing, peace, and justice and she has learned that one of the most powerful ways to do this is to build relationships with, learn from, and work alongside those from different religious and non-religious traditions who share these same values.

Nadia Salam

Controller

Nadia Salam, Controller, oversees accounting and budgeting, tracks revenues and expenses, and prepares financial reports to ensure compliance and transparency. She comes to IFYC with 22 years of accounting experience at various nonprofit...

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Nadia Salam, Controller, oversees accounting and budgeting, tracks revenues and expenses, and prepares financial reports to ensure compliance and transparency. She comes to IFYC with 22 years of accounting experience at various nonprofit organizations. She earned her M.Phil degree in Economics from Quaid-i-Azam University, and she is pursuing her Master’s Degree in Accounting and Financial Management from DeVry University. She lives in Carol Stream with her husband and a son. Interfaith work is Nadia’s personal passion. Being a member of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community, Nadia fully recognizes the importance of religious pluralism, religious freedom and the strength of interfaith knowledge. Nadia is also a cake decorator who enjoys baking and decorating cakes for weddings, birthdays, baby showers, and all occasions.

Noah Silverman

Senior Director of Strategic Partnerships

While living in Jerusalem, Noah grew interested in young adult leadership, interfaith understanding, and conflict resolution. At IFYC, he works with college and university faculty and senior administrators, exploring with them the contours and...

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While living in Jerusalem, Noah grew interested in young adult leadership, interfaith understanding, and conflict resolution. At IFYC, he works with college and university faculty and senior administrators, exploring with them the contours and implications of the academic study of interfaith cooperation, and helping them to think holistically about interfaith cooperation across their campuses. Professionally involved in interfaith work for two decades on three continents, he holds an MA in religious studies from New York University. In addition to his work with IFYC and dozens of colleges and universities, Noah served as the associate director of multifaith education at Auburn Theological Seminary, and has worked for Religions for Peace at the United Nations, the Parliament of the World’s Religions in Barcelona, the Interfaith Encounter Association and the Seeds of Peace Center for Coexistence in Jerusalem, and the Tony Blair Faith Foundation in London. He has written numerous articles and chapters on the methodology of interfaith cooperation and the growing academic field of interfaith studies, and co-edited Interreligious/Interfaith Studies: Defining a New Field. Outside the office, Noah spends time attending the theater, traveling,
and rethinking Jewish communal education.

Teri Simon

Director of Executive Office

Teri Simon, Director of Executive Office, provides administrative support for the Executive Team including Eboo Patel, Founder and President. In this role, she works closely with individual donors, high-level campus and higher education...

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Teri Simon, Director of Executive Office, provides administrative support for the Executive Team including Eboo Patel, Founder and President. In this role, she works closely with individual donors, high-level campus and higher education stakeholders. She also coordinates the general operations of IFYC by managing our office while providing general support for team-wide functions. Teri holds a B.S. in Business Education and prior to joining IFYC, she was at the University of Chicago as an executive assistant to a Nobel Laureate Professor of Economics. In her free time, you might see her biking along the lake shore, exploring the back roads or on a century ride somewhere in the Midwest. Teri is passionate about the IFYC mission as she sees knowledge and understanding of religious pluralism as the path to a peaceful and enriching existence.
 

Silma Suba

Media Manager & Staff Writer

Silma Suba is a journalist and media communications specialist who received her B.S. and M.S. in journalism and a Certificate in Integrated Marketing Communications from Northwestern. Silma was born in Bangladesh, but grew up in Qatar, and at...

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Silma Suba is a journalist and media communications specialist who received her B.S. and M.S. in journalism and a Certificate in Integrated Marketing Communications from Northwestern. Silma was born in Bangladesh, but grew up in Qatar, and at Northwestern's Qatar campus she served as the editor-in-chief of the campus newspaper - the Daily Q. She is fluent in four languages and is as adept at digital platforms and social media as she is in traditional print media. Silma has won prizes for poetry and journalism, most notably, the Best Journalistic Writing award from Northwestern for a story about a portable school for Afghan refugees, published while she was in a journalism residency at the Pulitzer Center in Washington, D.C. Silma has worked as a remote journalist for media outlets like TRT World - Turkey, and strategized media communications for organizations like Mercedes-Benz and mPower Social in Bangladesh. When not at work, Silma likes to spend her time cooking and exploring new bookstores, arcades, restaurants, and museums.

Slavica Sudar

Accounting and Advancement Administrator

Slavica Sudar, Accounting and Advancement Administrator, oversees daily bookkeeping activities of the organization and is also assisting Institutional Advancement Team with donor stewardship and fundraising activities. Slavica has worked in the...

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Slavica Sudar, Accounting and Advancement Administrator, oversees daily bookkeeping activities of the organization and is also assisting Institutional Advancement Team with donor stewardship and fundraising activities. Slavica has worked in the nonprofit sector for six and a half years, focusing on accounting. Slavica graduated from Loyola University Chicago with B.S. in Anthropology and still maintains her love for history and different cultures by traveling and often visiting museums. She strongly believes in the beauty of a multi-cultural society and feels an interfaith cooperation is a key step to achieving it.

Calvin Taylor

Program Manager

As the Academic Initiatives Manager, Calvin manages IFYC’s academic programs, and works with faculty as they incorporate innovative interfaith themes into their pedagogy and curricula. Prior to joining IFYC, Calvin worked in operations and...

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As the Academic Initiatives Manager, Calvin manages IFYC’s academic programs, and works with faculty as they incorporate innovative interfaith themes into their pedagogy and curricula. Prior to joining IFYC, Calvin worked in operations and teacher development at an education agency that hired, trained, and managed teachers for public, charter, and private schools across the country, and as an adjunct professor of religion and African-American studies at public and private institutions. Calvin is a graduate of Trinity International University and Emory University’s Candler School of Theology. Outside of IFYC, you can catch Calvin working closely with community and religious organizations in Chicago and Atlanta, enjoying tennis and basketball, and looking to further his impact at the intersection of education and social entrepreneurship.

Susan Vernon

Director of Foundation Relations

Susan Vernon, Director of Foundation Relations, oversees all aspects of IFYC’s relationships with foundations and their funding. She leads her team in strategic planning, identifying, cultivating and securing funding from foundations to support...

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Susan Vernon, Director of Foundation Relations, oversees all aspects of IFYC’s relationships with foundations and their funding. She leads her team in strategic planning, identifying, cultivating and securing funding from foundations to support all of IFYC’s crucial programs and wonderful teams. Susan holds a BS in social work from the State University of New York – College at Buffalo and MSSW from the University of Wisconsin – Madison. She brings with her years of experience in social service programming and fundraising in the nonprofit sector, plus business skills from her work with major corporations. A former thespian, she enjoys going to plays, movies and dance performances, and music and writing are her creative outlets. Walks in nature and meditation bring her back to Spirit and the wonders of the Universe. Susan strongly believes that pluralism is what makes America great and that interfaith cooperation is the path to peace.

Hannah Willage

Director of Alumni Leadership

Hannah Willage, Director of Alumni Leadership, supports IFYC alumni to use their interfaith skills  in their careers, personal lives, and civic areas they feel passionate about. She worked for 15 years as a community organizer on a variety of...

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Hannah Willage, Director of Alumni Leadership, supports IFYC alumni to use their interfaith skills  in their careers, personal lives, and civic areas they feel passionate about. She worked for 15 years as a community organizer on a variety of issues with Russian-speaking refugees and students experiencing homelessness. Hannah earned her Bachelor’s degree from Knox College majoring in Mathematics and Russian. She supports the Alumni team in keeping track of our more than 1300 alumni and how they are continuing to develop as interfaith leaders in their lives after college. She enjoys playing and reading with her two children, and exploring all of the Chicago neighborhoods. To Hannah, interfaith leadership means being a good listener, being able to take risks, and having a genuine love of people.

Angela Zonderman

Director of Human Resources

Angela Zonderman, Director of Human Resources, supports IFYC and its dedicated staff in all realms of HR. Angela graduated from University of Michigan and has since honed her operations and human resources skills in national and international...

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Angela Zonderman, Director of Human Resources, supports IFYC and its dedicated staff in all realms of HR. Angela graduated from University of Michigan and has since honed her operations and human resources skills in national and international organizations in the US and abroad. She spends most of her time looking for qualified candidates who are passionate about IFYC's mission and supporting the day-to-day needs of IFYC’s current staff. Angela considers herself to be ‘crafty’ and dabbles in photography and knitting. Angela is honored to be contributing to IFYC’s work as she sees the interfaith movement as the foundation for building peace in the world.