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About Us

Global Covenant Partners is a coalition of religious actors, scholars, activists, and civil society members dedicated to cultural flourishing, regenerative principles and assisting victims of religion-related violence worldwide.

Global Covenant Partners' Team

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Jerry White

GLOBAL COVENANT PARTNERS CHAIR AND CO-FACILITATOR

Jerry White (Co-Facilitator; GCP Chair) is a global humanitarian and human rights advocate recognized for leading high-impact strategic campaigns, three of which led to international treaties: the Landmine Ban Treaty, U.N. Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities; and the Cluster Munitions Ban Treaty. He shares in the 1997 Nobel Prize for Peace awarded to the International Campaign to Ban Landmines. White is a Senior Ashoka Fellow, and Professor of Practice at the University of Virginia, teaching on Religion, Violence, and Strategy.

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Sr. Makrina Finlay

CO-FACILITATOR

Sr. Makrina Finlay is a Benedictine nun in St. Scholastika’s Abbey, in Dinklage, Germany where she assists Yazidis asylum seekers from Iraq and where she works closely with human rights’ groups and international human rights’ lawyers to advocate for Yazidis. She is on the board of the Cardinal von Galen Foundation, and is responsible for the Foundation’s educational programs, which concentrate on the intersection between religion and politics. She is a faculty member of the School of Theology in St. John’s University in Minnesota where she teaches on Early Monastic Lives.

Ahmed Shammo

CO-FACILITATOR AND PROJECT COORDINATOR IN IRAQ

Meet The Team

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Ahmed Shammo studied Agriculture Science at the University of Mosul for three years but was unable to finish his degree after ISIS took over the city. When ISIS attacked Shingal in 2014, he and his family fled to Kurdistan where he began a degree in Engineering at the University of Dohuk. He received his diploma in 2017 and works as a builder.

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Robbie Leigh

DEVELOPMENT ASSOCIATE

Robbie Leigh has over ten years’ experience working in academia, education, and interfaith organizations. In 2019 he founded a cross-sector network of leading UK academics, teachers, and educationalists with the ambition to offer all young people better opportunities to engage their intellect and deepest values. Drawing on his experience in the military and nonprofit sector, Robbie aims to increase religious literacy in society, to mitigate religion-related violence, and to improve the quality of public discourse about religion. He received his Doctorate from the University of Cambridge.

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Jessica Roqueburg has lived and worked in twelve countries as an editor, teacher, and marketing professional. In 2014, she worked for the United Nations Capital Development Fund (UNCDF) to edit the Myanmar Making Access Possible (MAP) Financial Inclusion Roadmap and helped run the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Financial Inclusion Conference in Yangon. In 2018, she co-planned and co-led an education bootcamp for Yazidi children living in refugee camps in Iraqi Kurdistan. Jessica currently lives with her husband in Split, Croatia.

Jessica Roqueburg

DEVELOPMENT ASSOCIATE

CO-FACILITATOR AND PROJECT COORDINATOR IN IRAQ

Ahmed Shammo studied Agriculture Science at the University of Mosul for three years but was unable to finish his degree after ISIS took over the city. When ISIS attacked Shingal in 2014, he and his family fled to Kurdistan where he began a degree in Engineering at the University of Dohuk. He received his diploma in 2017 and works as a builder.

 

Supporters & Friends of Global Covenant Partners

David F. Ford OBE

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David F. Ford OBE is an academic and public theologian, serving as Regius Professor Emeritus of Divinity at the University of Cambridge. Professor Ford was founder of the Cambridge Interfaith Programme. He is a co-founder of the interfaith practice of Scriptural Reasoning. Former Co-Chair Global Covenant Partners, Ford was awarded the Sternberg Foundation Gold Medal for Inter-Faith Relations in 2008, the Coventry International Prize for Peace and Reconciliation in 2012 and an OBE (Honorary Officer of the Order of the British Empire) for services to theological scholarship and interfaith relations.

Georgette Bennett

Georgette Bennett is a sociologist by training who has spent more than 25 years advancing interreligious relations. She founded the Tanenbaum Center for Interreligious Understanding in 1992, and under her leadership it has become the go-to organization for practical, cutting-edge programs that combat religion-based hatred and misunderstanding in schools, workplaces, areas of armed conflict and healthcare settings. In 2013, Dr. Bennett founded the Multifaith Alliance for Syrian Refugees to mobilize support for alleviating the suffering of war victims.

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Chinmay Pandya

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Peter Ochs

Peter Ochs is the Edgar Bronfman Professor of Modern Judaic Studies at the University of Virginia, where he also directs Religious Studies graduate programs in “Scripture, Interpretation, and Practice” – an interdisciplinary approach to the Abrahamic traditions and more. He is co-founder of The Society for Textual Reasoning and The Society for Scriptural Reasoning. His pioneering research in religion, politics, and conflict led to his latest book, Religion without Violence.

Chinmay Pandya serves as Pro Vice Chancellor of Dev Sanskriti Vishwavidyalaya University (DSVV). He is grandson of one of the greatest scholars, seers, philosophers of recent times in India -  Shriram Sharma Acharya (1911-1990), the founder of All World Gayatri Pariwar fraternity, with 100 million members. Following medical studies in India, he trained in the U.K., where he gained Membership of the Royal College of Psychiatrists. In London, he rose through the ranks of the British National Health Service and secured the post of Associate Specialist in Older People Services at the West London Mental Health Trust.

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Aref Ali Nayed

Aref Ali Nayed is a Libyan Islamic scholar and former Libyan Ambassador to the United Arab Emirates. Nayed is founder and director of Kalam Research & Media (KRM), based in TripoliLibya and Dubai. Until the outbreak of the revolution in Libya, he lectured on Islamic theology, logic, and spirituality at the restored Uthman Pasha Madrassa in Tripoli, and supervised graduate students at the Islamic Call College. The Royal Aal al-Bayt Institute for Islamic Thought ranked Dr. Nayed 50th among the top 500 most influential Muslims worldwide.

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William Vendley served as the Secretary General of the World Conference of Religions for Peace (WCRP).  For many years, Dr. Vendley coordinated pioneering interfaith activities of Religions for Peace (RfP) in 90 national and five regional councils. RfP is the world’s largest and most representative multi-religious coalition advancing common action for peace. Dr. Vendley is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations and serves as a senior advisor to a number of governments and philanthropies on matters related to religion and peace worldwide.

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University Partners

Global Covenant Partners is currently conducting research with the assistance of a number of graduate and undergraduate students at the following institutions.

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