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. Learn more about our team here.

Durraiz Alvi

Web/Multimedia Designer

As IFYC's Web/Multimedia Designer, Durraiz Alvi is responsible for the creation, maintenance and strategic development of our website/web presence. Previously based out of New York City, Durraiz has spent most of his life developing websites...

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As IFYC's Web/Multimedia Designer, Durraiz Alvi is responsible for the creation, maintenance and strategic development of our website/web presence. Previously based out of New York City, Durraiz has spent most of his life developing websites and web-based content. He aims to use his knowledge and experience to help IFYC become the center of interfaith knowledge and progression across the nation. In his spare time Durraiz is a fiction writer and enjoyes kickboxing and gaming.

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

Senior Vice President of Interfaith Youth Core, Tony is a national expert in one of the most pressing issues of our time: building a thriving democracy out of deep difference on fundamental religious and philosophical grounds. He describes the...

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Senior Vice President of Interfaith Youth Core, Tony is a national expert in one of the most pressing issues of our time: building a thriving democracy out of deep difference on fundamental religious and philosophical grounds. He describes the American experiment of e pluribus unum as his lifelong vocation, which he has approached civically, academically, and in his professional work. Tony has written widely for academic and public consumption and is a frequent public speaker and moderator. He holds a doctorate in Religious Ethics from the Divinity School at the University of Chicago, where he was Martin Marty Center and Provost fellow. A dyed-in-the-wool New Yorker, he was raised in an immigrant household steeped in the Coptic Orthodox church and absorbed both Roman Catholic and Islamic influences. 

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

Katie Bringman Baxter, Vice President of Program Strategy, oversees IFYC’s higher education program area, ensuring alignment, integration, and evaluation across projects. She coordinates relationships with higher education leaders, associations...

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Katie Bringman Baxter, Vice President of Program Strategy, oversees IFYC’s higher education program area, ensuring alignment, integration, and evaluation across projects. She coordinates relationships with higher education leaders, associations, and funders in the service of advancing IFYC’s mission. Katie has been published in the Journal of College and Character and Liberal Education and presents regularly to higher education audiences. Her interest in religion and higher education are rooted in an M.A. in College Student Personnel from BGSU, a B.A. in Religion from Wittenberg University, and professional experience in university settings. Beyond IFYC, Katie enjoys visiting local parks and ice cream shops with her family and serving in leadership roles at her Lutheran church. Her experience helping students learn from those who are different and her own religious convictions motivate Katie to work for a world where people of different backgrounds can live, work, and build community together.

Janett I. Cordovés

Program Manager

Janett I. Cordovés, Program Manager, equips and empowers campus professional staff and faculty to be interfaith leaders. Prior to joining the IFYC team, Janett worked in higher education for over a decade, elevating the importance of engaging...

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Janett I. Cordovés, Program Manager, equips and empowers campus professional staff and faculty to be interfaith leaders. Prior to joining the IFYC team, Janett worked in higher education for over a decade, elevating the importance of engaging worldview identity and creating religious and spiritual accommodations and policies to support students' holistic development and retention and success efforts. Janett has a bachelor's in applied mathematics, a master's in higher education, and a doctorate in ethical leadership. Her research interests include first-generation, #digitalfaith, leadership development, and spirituality. In her spare time, Janett travels to spend time with family and friends, volunteers with Beyond Younger and the Food Pantry, Catholic Charities, and at her place of worship City Church Chicago.

Ben Correia-Harker

Director of Assessment & Research

Ben Correia-Harker, Research and Assessment Consultant, manages a range of intiatives for the Interfaith Diversity Experiences & Attitudes Longitudinal Survey (IDEALS) project and advises on assessment efforts related to interfaith...

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Ben Correia-Harker, Research and Assessment Consultant, manages a range of intiatives for the Interfaith Diversity Experiences & Attitudes Longitudinal Survey (IDEALS) project and advises on assessment efforts related to interfaith initiatives. Ben has a B.A. in Religious Studies from the College of Idaho, an M.S.Ed. in Student Affairs Administration from Indiana University, and a Ph.D. in Higher Education from Loyola University Chicago. He continues to conduct research on college student leadership development and teaches courses on assessment and quantitative literacy. Having held various professional roles in student affairs, Ben's interest in interfaith cooperation is fueled by a commitment to fostering student leadership development, creating inclusive communities, and addressing society's most complex problems.

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

Senior Director of Strategic Partnerships at Interfaith Youth Core

As Senior Director of Strategic Partnerships, Mary Ellen Giess manages innovative and collaborative program opportunities as well as IFYC's organizational evaluation efforts. Mary Ellen has served a variety of programmatic and strategic roles...

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As Senior Director of Strategic Partnerships, Mary Ellen Giess manages innovative and collaborative program opportunities as well as IFYC's organizational evaluation efforts. Mary Ellen has served a variety of programmatic and strategic roles at IFYC during her tenure, including overseeing IFYC's research partnership IDEALS, shepharding IFYC's program partnership with the Obama White House, and co-editing Educating about Religious Diversity: A Handbook for Student Affairs. Mary Ellen joined IFYC in 2008 after completing her Master’s in religion and government at Harvard Divinity School. Mary Ellen earned her undergraduate degree at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and it was her personal on-campus experiences that inspire her to build interfaith cooperation in higher education. Outside work, Mary Ellen can be found serving on her Unitarian Universalist church board and navigating the agony and the ecstacy of parenting three daughters.

Amber Hacker

Vice President for Operations and Communications

Amber Jean Hacker, Vice President for Operations and Communications, oversees projects ranging from accounting, IT, and talent development to IFYC thought leadership, branding, and messaging. A leader on the IFYC team since 2007, Amber...

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Amber Jean Hacker, Vice President for Operations and Communications, oversees projects ranging from accounting, IT, and talent development to IFYC thought leadership, branding, and messaging. A leader on the IFYC team since 2007, Amber stewarded a variety of key programs prior to stepping into her current role, including the IFYC Alumni program, Days of Interfaith Youth Service, Fellows Alliance, Bridge-builders Network, and IFYC’s conferences. Amber also serves as Treasurer, working closely with the Board of Directors to ensure accurate and efficient financial processes. Outside of IFYC, Amber is pursuing her MBA to explore ways to apply best practices in business to nonprofit work, and maintains a passion for productivity tips. Amber and her husband Jason live with their three-year-old son Erik in Chicago. Amber’s commitment to interfaith cooperation is inspired by Jesus’ call to love to our neighbor.

Carr Harkrader

Program Manager

Carr Harkrader, Program Manager, 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...

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Carr Harkrader, Program Manager, 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 Associate

Gabi Lukens, Marketing and Communications Associate, 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 and Communications Associate, 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.

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

Jenan Mohajir, Senior Director of Leadership, oversees the overall strategy, development and implementation of the Interfaith Leadership Institutes (ILIs). Jenan received her B.S. from DePaul University in elementary education and Islamic...

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Jenan Mohajir, Senior Director of Leadership, oversees the overall strategy, development and implementation of the Interfaith Leadership Institutes (ILIs). Jenan received her B.S. from DePaul University in elementary education and Islamic studies. Over the last decade, she has led skills-based trainings on interfaith service and cooperation here in the United States and around the world. Jenan spends her time designing IFYC’s interfaith leadership curriculum and managing the ‘look and feel’ of the ILIs, spearheading what has become a truly holistic interfaith leadership experience at the institutes. In her personal life, Jenan also serves on the steering committee for the Hyde Park Muslim Family Circle, which fosters the social and spiritual growth of Muslim families and individuals within the robust cultural setting of Hyde Park, Chicago. On weekends, Jenan enjoys spending time with her family and playing 'chef' with her rambunctious toddler. Jenan is a committed Muslim, and is deeply inspired by the Quran and teachings of the Prophet Muhammad to build a world where we can live together in equal dignity and mutual harmony.

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

Paul is Senior Advisor for Public Affairs and Innovation; promoting a narrative of positive pluralism in America, while researching and developing cutting edge interfaith leadership. For over 20 years, Paul has been a pioneer in journalism that...

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Paul is Senior Advisor for Public Affairs and Innovation; promoting a narrative of positive pluralism in America, while researching and developing cutting edge interfaith leadership. For over 20 years, Paul has been a pioneer in journalism that promotes interfaith voices in the public square, first as an editor at Beliefnet.com, then founding the religion section at HuffPost, that he grew to the largest interfaith religion site online. He has also worked in the field as Associate Dean of Religious Life at Princeton and Denominational Chaplain at Columbia University. Paul studied religion at Macalester College and received his MDiv at Union Theological Seminary. He is an ordained American Baptist minister. Growing up in an interfaith family, Paul describes himself as having an ‘interfaith heart’ and is committed to co-creating a world in which all people, no matter what belief or religious tradition, live with respect and dignity.

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.

Rebecca Russo

Director of Campus Engagement

Rebecca Russo, Director of Campus Engagement, partners with campuses to implement sustainable interfaith initiatives. Rebecca has professional experience in organizational development and student leadership training, including on-campus work at...

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Rebecca Russo, Director of Campus Engagement, partners with campuses to implement sustainable interfaith initiatives. Rebecca has professional experience in organizational development and student leadership training, including on-campus work at Hillel. Rebecca holds a B.A. in Middle East Studies from Brown University and an MBA from Northwestern University's Kellogg School of Management. At IFYC, Rebecca supports campus partners to facilitate impactful change, leads interfaith strategic planning processes and trainings, and engages administrators in prioritizing interfaith cooperation. Outside of work, Rebecca loves singing, traveling, hiking, and cooking with her family. Rebecca's interfaith experiences living in Morocco and Jerusalem inspired her to see religious and nonreligious identity as a basis for common understanding and action.

Nadia Salam

Accounting Manager

Nadia Salam, Accounting Manager, 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...

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Nadia Salam, Accounting Manager, 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

Noah Silverman, Senior Director of Strategic Partnerships, works to build and strengthen IFYC’s partnerships with higher education institutions and networks, as well as oversees our core content and theoretical grounding. He holds an MA in...

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Noah Silverman, Senior Director of Strategic Partnerships, works to build and strengthen IFYC’s partnerships with higher education institutions and networks, as well as oversees our core content and theoretical grounding. He holds an MA in religious studies from New York University and has been involved in interfaith work for over fifteen years on three continents. When not on the road presenting on IFYC theory to higher education audiences, Noah oversees IFYC’s academic initiatives and works to ensure programmatic consistency across the organization. He has written numerous articles and chapters on the methodology of interfaith cooperation and the growing academic field of interfaith studies. A native south-side Chicagoan, Noah discovered his calling to interfaith leadership while engaging in conflict resolut

Teri Simon

Executive Assistant / Office Manager

Teri Simon, Executive Assistant/Office Manager, 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, Executive Assistant/Office Manager, 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

Advancement Communications Manager

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.

Alexandra Sullivan

Program Assistant

Alexandra Sullivan, Program Assistant, works to support IFYC’s faculty network as well as assisting on different grant projects. Alex’s academic career has been focused on religious studies; they hold a B.A. in Religious Studies and Social...

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Alexandra Sullivan, Program Assistant, works to support IFYC’s faculty network as well as assisting on different grant projects. Alex’s academic career has been focused on religious studies; they hold a B.A. in Religious Studies and Social Sciences from Stetson University and a M.A. from New York University in Interdisciplinary Studies. In their free time they love to read, crochet, and listen to music, as well as to travel and experience different places. Alex was introduced to the interfaith movement as a teen after reading Yann Martel’s Life of Pi and began interfaith work as an undergrad while working with cultural student organizations, remaining in that field at NYU as a fellow with the Global Spiritual Life center on campus. For them, interfaith work is centered on a combination of appreciative knowledge of others and their own dedication to minority communities across the globe.

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

Alumni Relations Manager

Hannah Willage, Alumni Relations Manager, 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...

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Hannah Willage, Alumni Relations Manager, 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.