Conference Speakers

Speakers on 29th July, Friday
Joshua DuBois
Joshua DuBois is Special Assistant to President Obama and Executive Director of the White House Office of Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships. In this capacity, Joshua helps to direct the Obama Administration’s engagement of faith ... with the Obama campaign, Joshua was a legislative aide to then-Senator Obama. He also spent time working for Representatives Rush Holt (D-NJ) and Charles Rangel (D-NY).Joshua was also an Associate Pastor at a small church in Cambridge, Massachusetts. He received a Masters in Public Affairs from Princeton University’s Woodrow Wilson School and a Bachelor’s degree from Boston University. Joshua was raised in Nashville, Tennessee.
Anju Bhargava
Anju Bhargava is a Strategic Business Transformation and Risk Management senior professional and management consultant with over two decades of experience consulting/working for major companies globally. She has provided thought leadership in the public and private sectors, published papers and received many awards. Her distinctive research based approach leverages best practices from many spheres – education, government, civic, faith based, and corporate.  She started the first professional networking forum in New York, South Asian in Corporate America. She was the only Indian-American to serve in the Community Builder Fellowship, President Clinton’s White House initiative. She is a member of President Obama’s Inaugural Council on Faith Based and Neighborhood Partnerships, founder of Hindu American Seva Charities, President of Asian Indian Women in America, and Trustee of Council for a Parliament of the World’s Religions.
Senator Harris Wofford
Harris Llewellyn Wofford served as a Democratic U.S. Senator from Pennsylvania from 1991 to 1995 and as the fifth president of Bryn Mawr College, and is a noted advocate of national service and volunteering.He began his public service career as an attorney for the United States Commission on Civil Rights, serving from 1954 to 1958. In 1959, he became a law professor at University of Notre Dame. He was an early supporter of the Civil Rights movement in the south in the late 1950s and became a friend and unofficial advisor to Martin Luther King, Jr.After his time in the Senate, Wofford served as chief executive officer of the Corporation for National and Community Service (the federal agency that runs AmeriCorps and other domestic volunteer programs), from 1995 to 2001. Since his retirement, he has taught at the University of Maryland, College Park and served on the boards of several charities and service organizations including America's Promise, Youth Service America, and the Points of Light Foundation.
Lt.Col. Ravi Chaudhary
"Ravi Chaudhary is the Commander, USAF 317th Recruiting Squadron, Maryland. As an AF pilot and engineer, he has completed a variety deployed flying and staff assignments in the Global War on Terror. He most recently served at the Pentagon as Chief of Strategy and Integration, and was responsible for preparing the Secretary of the Air Force and Chief of Staff for weekly strategy engagements with SECDEF, and key Congressional Testimony as a Speechwriter. He has completed a variety of deployed flying and staff assignments, and commanded a C-17 detachment and Personnel Recovery operations in Iraq and the Afghanistan AOR; He has served in two operational C-17 squadrons, two flight test squadrons, AMC’s operational test squadron and several engineering systems groups. He has a B.S. in Aeronautical Engineering from the USAF Academy and and M.S. in Industrial Engineeering as a Graduate Fellow with NASA. He is also an Associate Fellow of the American Institute of Aeronautics, and a certified DOD Level III Acquisition Officer. Chaudhary is a Senior Pilot with over 3000 hours (700 combat), and also has experience as a Flight Test Engineer in numerous Fighter, Trainer and Airlift Aircraft."
Kyati Desai
Khyati Desai grew up Baton Rouge, LA and after graduating from LSU with her BA in Sociology, she moved to Arlington, VA to serve with AmeriCorps. She served as an AmeriCorps VISTA for two years at two different organizations in the Washington, DC area. In her first position at Youth Venture, she served for the purpose of recruiting and supporting youth social entrepreneurs in the Mid-Atlantic region.  Currently, as part of the Mobilization & Impact department at HandsOn Network, she manages the Neighboring, MLK Day of Service, and EITC programs. Outside of her formal position, she volunteers on a regular basis, sharing yoga with homeless populations and K-2 children.
Rev. Brenda Girton-Mitchell
President Barack Obama named the Rev. Brenda Girton-Mitchell director of the Department's Center for Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships on Dec. 13, 2010.  A native of Indianapolis and the first in her family to go to college, Girton-Mitchell earned her bachelor's degree in elementary education in 1970 from Ball State University in Muncie, Ind., In 1994, Girton-Mitchell was named associate executive officer for the National Council of Negro Women in Washington, where she worked closely with the council's president, Dorothy Height, to serve its nearly 4 million members.  In 2000, Girton-Mitchell was named associate general secretary for justice and advocacy and director of the Washington office for the National Council of Churches of Christ in the USA. In the midst of working full-time for the council, she earned her master's of divinity degree and was ordained on June 12, 2004, as a minister for the Metropolitan Baptist Church of Washington, D.C., where she continues to serve as a minister for stewardship and missions.
Chander, Vineet

Vineet Chander is the Coordinator for Hindu Life at Princeton University, a Religious Life Leader at the Lawrenceville School, and Adjunct Professor at Farleigh Dickinson University. An attorney and communications consultant, he previously served as the North American Communications Director for the International Society for Krishna Consciousness (ISKCON). His areas of specialty include the Bhakti movement, models of pastoral counseling, and the Hindu-American diaspora community. His writing has appeared in publications ranging from the Journal of Vaishnava Studies to the Geroge Washington University International Law Review, and he has also served as a regular columnist for Vineet lives in New Jersey with his wife and daughter.
Sonali Tatapudy

Sonali is arising senior at Harvard College, where she is studying Neurobiology, with a minor in Global Heath and Health Policy. She has served as a member ofHarvard Dharma, the Hindu Students’ Organization for the past three years, as aFreshman Representative, Discussion Chair, and Co-President. She has also been an editor of and contributing author to Swadharma (, an online journal dedicated to the issues confrontingHindu youth in America. Beyondher activities in Hinduism, Sonali was also the President of the HarvardCollege Interfaith Council, where she collaborated on an Interfaith Conference with undergraduates, graduate students, and members of the Harvard Chaplains to organize a  day of inspiring talks and small group discussionson the role of faith in their lives. Sonali is also involved in service at theHarvard Square Homeless Shelter, and volunteers her time as the co-director ofa peer counselor group as well.
Chaudhary, Uma
Uma Raju Chaudhary is a Speech-Language Pathologist (SLP) in the Fairfax County Public Schools, Virginia. She specializes in the area of Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) and has provided support to families of autistic children for the last 15 years. Mrs. Chaudhary has carried licenses to practice SLP in four different states, and has provided advocacy and consults for families affected by ASD in school districts in Eastern and Southern regions of the U.S. As an Air Force Spouse, Uma has been an advocate for military families, and in 2008 assisted with the production of the PBS Special for military families called “Talk Listen and Connect,” hosted by Cuba Gooding Junior. Uma was born in Ohio and graduated from The Ohio State University in 1992, and received her Masters from Our Lady of the Lake University in San Antonio, Texas in 1995.
Shekar Narasimhan
Shekar Narasimhan is Managing Partner at Beekman Advisors which provides strategic advisory and investment banking services to real estate and financial services companies and CEO of Beekman Helix India Partners, an Indian real estate merchant bank. Shekar is formerly Managing Director of the Prudential Mortgage Capital Company, one of the nation's leading providers of commercial mortgage financing. Immediately prior to Shekar's time at Prudential, he was Chairman & CEO of the WMF Group, a publicly traded, commercial mortgage financial services company which was acquired by Prudential in 2000. Shekar served on several national and local boards of housing and related organizations and is a Fellow at the Joint Center for Housing Studies at Harvard University. He has served several terms on the Mortgage Bankers Association of America (MBA) Board of Directors, was the first Chair of the MBA's Commercial/Multifamily Board of Governors. He has received the MBA’s highest honor in 1999, the Fannie Mae Lifetime Achievement Award in 2003 and the Dean H.J. Zoffer Distinguished Service Medal from the University of Pittsburgh in 2010. He holds a BS in Chemical Engineering from the Indian Institute of Technology, New Delhi, India and an MBA from the Katz Graduate School of Business, University of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. He has earned the designation of Certified Mortgage Banker (CMB).
Rev. Mark Farr
Mark is President & CEO of The Faith & Politics Institute. The Institute advances reflective leadership among members of Congress and congressional staff to bridge the divides that arise in a thriving democracy. Until March 2011, Mark was Senior Faith Director of The Points of Light Institute, the organization founded by former 41st president George H. W. Bush. Points of Light is a prominent charitable organization that seeks non-partisan, cross-cutting, collaborative, joint civic engagement. Mark oversaw all its interfaith efforts, including National Faith Day at the National Points of Light Conference, which is the largest conference of its kind in the world; and also led regular faith trainings, seminars, individual reflection sessions and materials development around the United States.Mark is an ordained Anglican priest. His last parish ministry was the parish of Wimbledon in England. He is also a qualified systemic psychotherapist with a former practice in London where he also tutored in Systemic Psychotherapy.Prior to his work at Points of Light, Mark was Senior National Faith Director at America’s Promise, General Colin Powell’s legacy foundation; also Founder and Co-Director of The Institute for Faith & Service; and prior to that worked at Sojourners Magazine.Mark has served as Board Vice-Chair of Service for Peace, and Senior Partner and Board member of Interfaith Works; is a former past President of the Institute for Progressive Christianity, and Chair of the Gulf Care Consortium, a coalition of faith groups working after the New Orleans oil spill. Mark is also a keen painter and in England was chair of the Wimbledon Arts Festival.Mark lives in Silver Spring, MD, is married to Laura. They have two daughters, Sadie and Sienna.
Hyepin Im

Ms. Hyepin Im is a U.S. Presidential Appointee on the Board of the Corporation for National and Community Service. She is the President and Founder of Korean Churches for Community Development (KCCD), a national nonprofit involved in empowering churches to leverage their resource by building capacity, leadership, and partnerships in economic development and serving as a bridge between the Korean/Asian American community and the greater community at large. Since its inception in 200, KCCD has had over 200 partners ranging from the White House to Fortune 500 companies in implementing many successful initiatives including educating over 7000 homebuyers and assisting homeowners receive over $1.4 million in downpayment, saving over $83 millions in assets from foreclosure, partnering with both FDIC and Freddie Mac in developing Korean curriculum in financial literacy and homeownership, implementing a historic $5 million U.S. Department of Labor workforce development program, and hosting joint conferences with the White House and the U.S. Department of HUD to mobilize the 4000 Korean American churches for economic development. Ms. Im is a frequent speaker who has been on CNN, Los Angeles Times, Washington Post, and NPR, and at numerous conferences including the White House, U.S. Department of Labor, Christian Community Development Association, and Federal Home Loan Bank of San Francisco.  She serves on the US Army Advisory Board, member of the Pacific Council on International Policy –the Western Partner for the Council on Foreign Relations, and LA County Supervisor’s Empowerment Congress.Her previous work includes venture capitalist for Renaissance Capital Partners, Sponsorship Manager for California Science Center, and Senior Auditor at Ernst & Young. She has a B.S. from U.C. Berkeley, M.B.A. from USC, and MDIV at Wesley Theological Seminary with Summa Cum Laude.

Dolly Oberoi
Ms. Dolly Oberoi is the founding CEO of C² Technologies, Inc, established in 1989, with 300 employees in 26 locations in the United States. She has been instrumental in C² Technologies rapid growth and in positioning it as the fastest-growing company in the Washington, DC, area, as well as in establishing what many industry analysts recognize as the leading provider of enterprise-wide strategic solutions for federal, defense and corporate clients. She is responsible for the company’s overall business strategy, and spends her time in business development, client relations, strategic partnerships, and spearheading funding initiatives. Ms. Oberoi serves on several academic and corporate boards. She serves as a trustee on George Mason University’s board. Ms. Oberoi is frequently quoted in newspapers and magazines, and is also featured on major television networks. She is the recipient of several international awards including the “Women Who Mean Business,” and “Pride of India” awards. Under Ms. Oberoi’s leadership, the company won Govcon’s prestigious “Contractor of the Year” award. Ms. Oberoi holds a Master’s degree from Harvard University, Cambridge, and a Master’s degree from the Delhi School of Economics, Delhi University, Delhi, India.
Hemant Wadhwani

Hemant Wadhwani started his career working at Diversified Investment Advisors building financial applications for the pension industry. During the first internet boom in 2000, he co-founded Translation City and has since been working in the language translation/international business services field servicing Fortune 500 companies, NGOs, and government agencies. Hemant is also a community development specialist having served as an advisor and board member at the NJ Asian American Health and Human Services Association, Real Medicine Foundation, India Youth Climate Network, the Sindhi Association of New Jersey, Save Latin America, Newark's Sumei Arts Center, Harlem/South Bronx Youthbuild mentorship programs, Healthy Harlem Soup Kitchen Project, and the United South Asian Donor Registry. He has also been appointed to a number of commissions and advisory committees by the Governor and state legislature of New Jersey. Most recently, Hemant recently launched the Hanuman Capital Initiative to bridge the funding gap related to both global development and local urban economic development needs. Hemant has a B.A. in Economics from Manhattanville College and an M.S. in Management with a specialization in International Business from New Jersey Institute of Technology.
Shaun Donovan
On January 26, 2009, Shaun Donovan was sworn in as the 15th United States Secretary for Housing and Urban Development. He has devoted his career to ensuring access to safe, decent, and affordable housing and he will continue that effort in the Obama Administration. Secretary Donovan believes that America's homes are the foundation for family, safe neighborhoods, good schools, and solid businesses. He has a strong commitment to make quality housing possible for every American. Secretary Donovan previously served as Commissioner of the New York City Department of Housing Preservation and Development (HPD). He created and implemented HPD's New Housing Marketplace Plan to build and preserve 165,000 affordable homes,
Dr. Anand Parekh
Anand K. Parekh, M.D., M.P.H., is the Deputy Assistant Secretary for Health (Science and Medicine) at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). In this capacity, he provides oversight, direction and coordination of activities pertaining to (1) a range of emerging public health and science issues; (2) the continuum of medical research – including clinical science and health services research; and (3) issues requiring expert medical analysis and advice, particularly those concerning policy, planning, formulation, and presentation of public health issues affecting the Department.
Niki Shah
Niki Shah was born and raised in Mumbai, India until he was ten years old. He received a B.A. in Journalism and Mass Media and Economics from and M.S. in Global Affairs and minor in International Business from Rutgers University. His foreign policy experience includes working at the United Nations and volunteering for the UN Volunteers Program and the UN Global Compact Group based out of New York. Most recently, he worked on Capitol Hill and his background and research interests are focused on U.S. foreign policy in Middle East, South Asia and Africa. Niki serves on the boards of other South Asian organizations where he focuses on addressing both domestic policy and foreign policy issues to advance development and foster inter-cultural communication and understanding.

Acacia Salatti

Marissa Duswalt

Upendra Chivikula

Serves in the New Jersey General Assembly since 2002, where he represents the 17th Legislative District.In 2001, Chivukula became the first Indian-American elected to the New Jersey General Assembly and the fourth Indian-American in the United States to be elected to state office.Chivukula has been the Assembly's Deputy Speaker since 2007. He serves in the Assembly on the Telecommunications and Utilities Committee (as Chair) and the Appropriations Committee. Assemblyman Chivukula previously served on the Franklin Township Council, joining in 1997, and serving as its Mayor in 2000 and its Deputy Mayor in 1998.[2] In Franklin Township, he has also served on the Franklin Township Community Foundation, Finance Oversight Committee, Traffic Management Committee, Fire Prevention Board, Emergency Life Support Delivery, Integrated Communications Committee, Emergency Management, Franklin Township Planning Board, Economic Development Committee, Community / Senior Center Steering Committee and the Bicentennial Celebration Committee. Chivukula has served on the Somerset County Affordable Housing Board of Trustees and the Middlesex County Cultural and Historic Commission. He was appointed by then Governor of New Jersey James Florio to be a Public Member of the New Jersey State Board of Social Work Examiners, where he served from 1994 to 1997.He was a Member of Delegation to the Democratic National Convention in 1996, 2000, and 2008, and was an alternate delegate in 2004. Chivukula was one of New Jersey's presidential electors casting the state's Electoral College votes after the 2004 presidential election.[5] New Jersey's electors cast their ballots on December 13, 2004 in the State House Annex in Trenton, where all 15 votes were cast for the Democratic Party candidate John Kerry.Chivukula received a B.E.E. from Guindy Engineering College (now part of Anna University) in Electrical Engineering and an M.E.E. degree from City College of New York in Electrical Engineering.[2] He was born in Nellore, India, and currently resides in Somerset. Chivukula has sponsored a bill to allow illegal immigrants to pay in-state college tuition rates.

Pamela Wye-Hunsinger, Chair

Naveen Mehrotra
Dr. Naveen Mehrotra is a pediatrician in private practice and a volunteer faculty member in the Department of Pediatrics at the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey – Robert Wood Johnson Medical School. Practicing in Central New Jersey with one of the highest concentrations of South Asians, Dr. Mehrotra is dedicated to improving the health of South Asians, particularly those who have recently immigrated.Dr. Mehrotra helped create the South Asian Total Health Initiative (SATHI), an innovative, first-of-its-kind university based program at the University of Medicine and Dentistry on New Jersey, to conduct health research, education, and outreach focused on South Asians.
Rabbi David Saperstein
Designated in Newsweek’s 2009 list as the most influential rabbi in the country and described in a Washington Post profile as "the quintessential religious lobbyist on Capitol Hill," Rabbi David Saperstein represents the national Reform Jewish Movement to Congress and the Administration as the Director of the Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism. The Center not only advocates on a broad range of social justice issues but provides extensive legislative and programmatic materials to synagogues nationwide, and coordinates social action education programs that train nearly 3,000 Jewish adults, youth, rabbinic and lay leaders each year. During his more than three-decade tenure, Rabbi Saperstein has headed several national religious coalitions and serves on the boards of numerous national organizations, including the NAACP, People For the American Way, Coalition on the Environment and Jewish Life and the World Bank’s World Faith Development Dialogue.
Dahlia Mogahed
Dalia Mogahed is a Senior Analyst and Executive Director of the newly established Abu Dhabi Gallup Center as well as the Gallup Center for Muslim Studies. Mogahed leads the analysis of unprecedented surveys of Muslims worldwide, including in the U.S. and Europe. With John L. Esposito, she coauthored the groundbreaking book Who Speaks for Islam? What a Billion Muslims Really Think. In 2009, President Barack Obama appointed Mogahed to the White House Advisory Council on Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships, making her the first Muslim-American woman to hold a position of this seniority. Arabian Business magazine recognized her as among the most influential Arab woman in the world, and The Royal Islamic Strategic Studies Centre included Mogahed in their list of the 500 most influential Muslims. Ashoka named Mogahed the Arab World’s Social Entrepreneur of the Year in 2010.
Rema Venkatsubban
Rema Venkatsubban has a B.Sc in Chemistry with a minor in French, Physics and Math with English Literature course work. She has built communities, living in France and US to raise her family with those from over 26 nationalities. Is an activist volunteer in the temple, interfaith and diverse communities in Wichita. KS.Rema is HASC's AmeriCorps Vista vlunteer.
Rev. Sam Muyskens
Sam Muyskens, an ordained United Methodist Minister, has had a life-long passion for the furtherance of interfaith understanding. He has creatively pursued this challenge as a high school music teacher, a Minister of Music in Arizona, Illinois, and South Dakota and a South Dakota State Penitentiary Chaplain. In 1979 he accepted the senior pastor position at West Heights United Methodist Church, in Wichita, Kansas. During his thirteen years as pastor he helped found the North American Interfaith Network (NAIN). In 1992, and for the following seventeen years he served as Executive Director of Inter- Faith Ministries – Wichita, Kansas, growing that organization into one that became a model of service to the Wichita metropolitan area.
Thomas Laird Jones

"After serving as vice president and founding managing director of Habitat for Humanity International’s Washington office from1991 to 2005, Tom Jones was named Habitat’s ambassador-at-large in the office of the CEO in 2005. He continues to serve in that capacity as a member of Habitat’s senior leadership team. As ambassador-at-large, Jones represents Habitat for Humanity and its CEO in meetings with, and presentations to, individuals and groups. He offers particular insight into Habitat’s history as well as its interfaith and advocacy initiatives. As the staff leader for Habitat’s interfaith exploration, he guides efforts to bring together religious faiths whose theologies call members to care for the poor, with decent housing as a core issue in overcoming poverty.
Dr. Ved Chaudhary
Dr. Ved Chaudhary recently retired as an Assistant Commissioner for the Office of Management and Budget in the Department of Environmental Protection in New Jersey. Dr. Chaudhary has been instrumental in bringing diversity awareness at all management in DEP and received “Award of Excellence” by the Diversity Journal in 2008. Dr. Chaudhary has served as Vice-Chair of the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights’ NJ Advisory Committee and a Member of the Governor’s Ethnic Advisory Council in NJ. He is a fellow of “Leadership New Jersey” and co-founder/President of the Association for the Advancement of Asian Americans (4A), and the Asian American “80/20 Initiative” for Equality and Justice. He is elected to serve on the National Board of 80/20 Initiative. Dr. Chaudhary has served as a Member of the Board of Trustees of Rutgers University, NJ and President of Educators Society for the Heritage of India. He is currently serving as General Secretary of Hindu Collective Initiative of North America and on the boards of World Hindi Foundation and Monmouth Center for World Religions and Ethical Thought. He is a co-founder of Hindu American Seva Charities.
Zeenat Rehman

Zeenat Rahman is the Deputy Director of the Center for Faith Based and Neighborhood Initiatives at USAID. She was previously the Director of Policy at the Interfaith Youth Core where she worked closely with the White House and various federal agencies including the US State Department, USAID, and the Corporation on National and Community Service to advance programs related to youth, religious identity, interreligious engagement and interfaith service. Zeenat is a regular contributor to the Chicago Tribune, and has appeared in the Washington Post, National Public Radio, and CNN speaking on issues related to Muslim identity, civic engagement, and international affairs. She is a term member of the Council on Foreign Relations and completed her Master's Degree at the University of Chicago’s Center for Middle East Studies in June 2006. Her thesis work was focused on Muslim youth and the territorializing of Muslim religious institutions in America. 
Reshma Saujani

Dr. Kumud Sane
Dr. Kumud Sane is board certified Pediatrician and Pediatric Endocrinologist. She retired from Pediatric Endocrine Department, University of Minnesota recently. She is one of the Founder of Hindu Society of Minnesota which was established in 1978. She has served in various capacities in the organization. At present she is the Chair of Executive Council of Trustee Board. She has worked hard to unite all Hindus and Jains in Minneapolis and St. Paul to build Beautiful, Grand Temple with twenty-one shrines. The Temple was inaugurated in July of 2006. The Hindu Society of Minnesota is involved in educational, cultural, charity and interfaith activities along with religious services. Dr. Kumud Sane joined Hindu American Seva Charities in July of 2010 at the request of founder Ms. Anju Bhargava. She volunteered as a VISTA to work with refugees and underserved population in the Twin cities. She has participated in feeding homeless at the Sharing and caring Hands and House of Charity in Minneapolis area. She is very much involved with caring for Bhutanese Refugees in Minneapolis and St. Paul in State of Minnesota. She participates regularly in Interfaith education and dialogs.
Mangala Sharma

"Mangala Sharma is originally from Bhutan. She became refugee due to political problems in Bhutan in 1992 and lived and work for eight years Bhutanese Refugee camps in eastern Nepal. Mangala Sharma played a crucial role in refugee camp management, she was the founder of the Bhutanese Refugees Aiding for the Victims of Violence ( BRAVVE). BRAVVE provided skills development programs and social services in the camps. Mangala received numerous International Awards for initiating and working with refugees. At present, Mangala lives in Roseville, MN and continues to help Bhutanese refugees get organsied in their home homes.Mangala Sharma will share her story as a refugee and talk about the history that led her and her community become refugees. Mangala will highlight the problems that Bhutanese refugees face in their new Country and will share some of the successful stories."
Sweta Chawla

Dr. Sweta Chawla, an assistant professor of pharmacy practice at Long Island University in Brooklyn, NY since 2002. She was born in Bombay, India; came to the U.S. at the age of two. She attended the Philadelphia College of Pharmacy and Science, where she earned a B.S. in pharmacy and a Pharm.D. After graduation, she completed a one-year community pharmacy residency at Banks Apothecary in Philadelphia where she had affiliations with USP, Albert Einstein Medical Center and Temple University Hospital. In addition, she completed an M.S. in pharmaceutical marketing at the College and has received board certification as a diabetes educator. Dr. Chawla is also very involved in community service and has participated in several health education events in the NY metropolitan area and has travelled to both Haiti and Pakistan on Humanitarian Missions and has received the Diaspora Recognition of Honor for Relief Effort in Haiti. She has served on the board for Housing Works Aids Advocacy Organization/Haiti Clinic and currently serves on The Life Bridge USA/Sindh Pakistan Advisory Board.
Dr. Siva Subramaniam

Dr. Siva Subramanian is board certified in Pediatrics and Neonatal-Perinatal Medicine. He is currently Professor of Pediatrics & Obstetrics and Gynecology, and Chief of Neonatology in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit at Georgetown University Hospital. An award winning teacher, he teaches at Georgetown University Medical Center about Pediatrics, Neonatology, Bioethics, Religious Traditions in Health Care, and Complimentary & Alternative Medicine.  He is the Founder Chairman of Sri Siva Vishnu Temple (1976), Founder Co-Chair of the Association of Hindu Jain Temples of Metropolitan Washington DC (1990), and Founder Member of the Council on Hindu Temples of USA (1984). He helped to unite the temples in Metropolitan Washington D.C. and guided the group to join the Interfaith Conference (IFC).  In 2006 he received the IFC "Inter Faith Bridge Builder Award" given by the Vatican Ambassador and Dr. Deepak Chopra and is one of the first Board of Directors of Upakar
Dr Uma Mysorekar
Dr. Uma Mysorekar practices obstetrics and gynecology in New York City. She has been involved in helping the handicapped through Heart and Hand for the Handicapped since 1976 and served as its president in 1978-79. She pioneered fundraising for Aid to the Disabled, Orphaned and Poor (ADOP) under the auspices of the Hindu Temple Society of North America. She has contributed substantially toward the construction of a hostel for poor working women in Bangalore, India. As president of the Hindu Temple Society of North America, Dr. Mysorekar has initiated programs to bring the community together, including spiritual, educational, and cultural activities. She has initiated interfaith meetings and spoken at numerous functions to increase public understanding of Hinduism. She has received several awards over the years for her contributions and community service.
Shashikant Sane
"Shashikant M. Sane, M.D. was one of the handfuls of physicians invited to be the Founding physicians of the Minneapolis Children’s Hospital in 1972. He was the first Pediatric Radiologist in the region and served as the Chairman & Medical Director of Radiology Department for 25 years. He also served as the Chairman & Medical Director of Radiology of the Gillette Children’s Specialty Care in St. Paul for twenty years till his retirement in 2007.Dr. Sane is a Board Certified Radiologist with special Qualifications in Pediatric Radiology granted by The American Board of Radiology. He has been a Fellow of the Academy of Pediatrics for 38 years and was the Radiology Section Chair from 1996 to 2000. He has been a founding member of the Society of Chairs of Radiology at the Children’s Hospitals in North America and served as its President from 1996 to1998. He & his wife Kumud have been two of the 6 founders of the first Hindu Temple in Minnesota in 1978.  He has been actively involved in the interfaith dialogue locally and nationally over the past fifteen years.
Dr. Nangali Srinivasa
"Dr NS Srinivasa is a Trustee, Past Chairman BOD (2007) and presently the Joint Secretary of BOD at SV Temple in Pittsburgh. He has served on various committees in the temple for the past 15 years. He is an active member if Pittsburgh Interfaith Initiative, He has participated in several national level conferences of Council of Hindu Temples. Dr Srinivasa coordinates a teen interfaith initiative called Building Bridges in Pittsburgh.He has lectured on various topics related to Hindu Faith. Dr Srinivasa is a board certified Kidney specialist and is the Medical Director, FMS Dialysis services, Murrysville, PA."
Joshua Stanton
Joshua Stanton is Founding co-Editor of the Journal of Inter-Religious Dialogue atAuburn Theological Seminary and co-Director of Religious Freedom USA, which works to ensure that freedom of religion is as protected in practice as it is in writ. He is also aSchusterman Rabbinical Fellow and Weiner Education Fellow at the Hebrew Union College – Jewish Institute of Religion in New York City. He was most recently made a Religious Leadership Fellow at the Council for a Parliament of the World's Religions. An alumnus of Amherst College, Josh graduated magna cum laude with degrees in history, economics, and Spanish as well as a certificate in Practical French Language from Université Marc Bloch in Strasbourg, France. Josh has been the recipient of numerous leadership awards, including the Bridge-Builders Leadership Award from the Interfaith Youth Core, the Associates of Jewish Homes and Services for the Aging’s Annette W. and Herbert H. Lichterman Outstanding Programming Award, the Volunteer Hero Award of the Jewish Federation of Greater Washington, the W. MacLean Johnson Fellowship for Action, and the Hyman P. Moldover Scholarship for Jewish Communal Service. Josh serves on the Board of Directors of WorldFaith and Education as Transformation, as well as the Editorial Advisory Board of CrossCurrents Magazine. Prior to entering rabbinical school, Josh served as an Assistant to the Director of the European Youth Campaign at the Council of Europe and co-Founded Lessons of a Lifetime, a program that improves intergenerational relations through the recording of ethical wills.

Speakers on July 30th, Saturday
Phil Goldberg
Philip Goldberg is a spiritual counselor, meditation teacher and ordained Interfaith Minister. The author or coauthor of 19 books, he lectures and leads workshops throughout the country. A novelist and screenwriter as well, he lives in Los Angeles, where he founded Spiritual Wellness and Healing Associates (SWAHA). He is Director of Outreach for and blogs regularly on the Huffington Post and
Kusumita Pederson
Dr. Kusumita P. Pedersen is Professor of Religious Studies at St. Francis College in New York. She received her Ph.D. in Buddhist Studies from Columbia University. She was previously Executive Director of the Project on Religion and Human Rights; Joint Secretary for Religious Affairs of the Global Forum of Spiritual and Parliamentary Leaders on Human Survival; and Executive Director of the Temple of Understanding. She is currently Co-Chair of the Interfaith Center of New York.
Rev. Eric.C. Shafer
The Rev. Eric C. Shafer is Senior Vice President of Odyssey Networks in New York City. Odyssey Networks is the largest mutli-faith media coalition in North America and exists to "builid bridges of understanding for people of faith through media." Odyssey produces video for the web, mobile, and television. The Hindu Ameican Seva Charities joined Odyssey in 2010. Shafer is an ordained minister of the Lutheran Church and heads up Odyssey's relations with faith groups, fund-raising and human resources.
Kumar Barve
"Delegate Barve, Majority Leader of the Maryland House of Delegates, was first elected in 1990. He represents a district with a population of roughly 110,000 that is in central Montgomery County, Maryland. For 12 years, Delegate Barve was assigned to the House Committee on Economic Matters, which had jurisdiction over HMO and health insurance reform, business regulation, consumer protection, and state economic development strategy. He served as the first Chairman of the Science & Technology Sub-Committee. Prior to becoming Majority Leader, Del. Barve was elected Chairman of the Montgomery County Delegation. In this capacity, Delegate Barve was the legislative leader of the largest county in the state of Maryland. Delegate Barve was a co-sponsor and primary architect in 1993 of Maryland's landmark reform of health insurance. He was the prime sponsor of Maryland's 1995 law that allows HMO patients to use physicians outside of their HMO network. Appointed chairman of the Technology Subcommittee in 1996, Barve established himself as a leader in technology policy for our state. He was the sponsor of the Technology Development Corporation (TEDCO) and Maryland’s technology tuition assistance program. In 2000, Barve was the prime architect of the landmark “e-commerce” Uniform Computer Information Transactions Act (UCITA). With its passage, Maryland became the first state in the nation to place this important consumer and business protection statute in effect. Legislative Awards (partial list):• 1995, 1996, 2000 and 2005 Legislator of the Year Award -- Montgomery County Maryland Medical Society, making him an unprecedented four-time awardee. • Technology Leadership Award (2003) – University of Maryland Biotechnology Institute • 1996 ""Honor Roll"" of legislators awarded by the Maryland Association of Non-profit Organizations Delegate Barve, 52-years-old, is the chief financial officer of an environmental company in Rockville, Maryland. He is married to Maureen Quinn, a member of the Worker’s Compensation Commission. He graduated from Georgetown University in 1980 with a Bachelors Degree in Accounting."
Asim Mishra
Asim Mishra serves as Deputy Chief of Staff at the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS). Asim plays a leadership role on broad policy issues, key Administration and agency relationships, and a variety of other matters. Most recently, Asim served as Director of the Urban Health Initiative at the University of Chicago Medical Center, where he directed a key institutional initiative to improve health outcomes through strategic partnerships and lead several Medical Center departments and community partners to implement community-based models of practice. Prior to that, Asim served as the Director of Community Affairs at the Medical Center, where he directed the operations for South Side Healthcare Collaborative, a partnership of 19 community health centers and the Emergency Department. While there, he also spearheaded the development of external volunteer programs to connect the medical center staff, faculty and students to the neighboring Southside community. Previously, Asim was a Community Education Manager at the American Red Cross of Greater Chicago and an AmeriCorps member at Public Allies in Chicago.
Usha Raj
Usha Raj is the newly appointed first Hindu Chaplin of Duke University, North Carolina. An award winning performing /visual artist, she has been sharing her Hindu stories, art, and exquisitely crafted puppets in the schools, museums, and community events across North Carolina. For nearly two decades she has been an ambassador for the Hindu tradition showcasing her rich culture and spirituality through the arts. She has an M.S.W. degree from the Univ. of Maryland at Baltimore that has served her well in bringing her community together. He designed and created fund-raising opportunities in the community, thus bringing awareness to varied global and social concerns. Through these creative endeavours and education she continues to bridge cultures and unite humanity through the ART.
Mythili Bachu
"Mythili Bachu is the current Chairperson of Sri Siva Vishnu Temple (SSVT) located in the Washington DC area and is one of the largest temples in the western hemisphere. Mythili has served in the Board of Trustees for the last five years and has held the positions of Vice Chairperson and President of Operations. She has been involved with the temple for the last 25 years as a volunteer. Mythili is the Vice President for the Association of Hindu Jain Temples of Metropolitan Washington (UHJT) a non-profit, joint partnership of Hindu and Jain temples in the MD-DC-VA area. The organization goal is to enrich, promote and raise awareness of the Hindu and Jain cultural identity and heritage in America and all over the world. Mythili is the President and CEO of MGA Pension Consultants, Inc. She has an MBA in Business Finance and is a member of ASPPA and NIPA, organizations dedicated to pension industry. She is actively involved in several of the committees in these organizations. Mythili is married and has one son studying in the Air Force Academy who is getting ready to serve the country."
Capt. Pratima Darm
New Delhi-born Pratima Dharm, who immigrated to the United States months before the 9/11 attacks, has created history by being named the Pentagon’s first Hindu chaplain.
Ranjana Bhargava
"Ranjana Bhargava MA.MS.LPC With her energy, exuberance, and passion to serve Ranjana has brought human service into many areas and for diverse groups. Driven to represent those that need that extra resource or that experience she has focused on mental health, comprehensive social services and a vision of caring. In Chicago, for forty or more years she has cultivated professional and institutional networks to bring humanitarian and well being drives in public, non-profits and policy sectors. Through services and programs Ranjana carefully works for the underserved, neediest with a selfless joy. Her work as founder and executive director of Apna Ghar, the first shelter for battered Asian Women in US is pioneering. She has worked with reentry and settlement of prison women and brought meaningful representation for all those who have been victimized by violence and lack of access. Currently she brings teaching vegetarian Indian cooking and healthy living in the culinary, public and private sectors. She also works with seniors in health centers and clinics to access better health care and living.The Hindu Seva Conference for her is recognizing and bringing the power of selfless services that can be extended by so many and in numerable ways. "
Dr.Sree Sreenath

Paul Monteiro
Darron Paul Monteiro is a lawyer and former Senate staffer, appointed by the White House, under the Obama administration, to serve as the Associate Director in the White House Office of Public Engagement and Intergovernmental Affairs. Monteiro attended St. Bernadette's Roman Catholic School. He received a degree in history from the University of Maryland and his J.D. from the Howard University School of Law in Washington, D.C. Beginning in the October Term 1999 he served as an aide to Dale Bosley, Marshal of the Supreme Court of the United States and later worked in the Washington office of O'Melveny & Myers. He also served as a Marshall-Brennan Fellow and taught middle school students constitutional law at a charter school in the city.  In his role as religious liaison, Monteiro leads White House outreach to religious communities and faith traditions nationwide. He regularly meets with representatives from various organizations and denominations, whose concerns he passes on to the appropriate office or agency. His office has made engagement with groups not traditionally involved in White House outreach a priority. A milestone was reached in 2009 when the administration commemorated the birth of Guru Nanak Dev Ji, founder of Sikhism, for the first time ever and hosted a community celebration at the White House for the occasion. Monteiro also plays a leading role in the White House Mentorship Program, a year-long mentoring initiative for young men in the metropolitan Washington, D.C. area.
Abhishek Raman
Abhishek Raman is the International Partnerships Associate at Interfaith Youth Core (IFYC) where he coordinates the organization’s recently launched Interfaith Leaders for Social Action (ILSA) Program in India. He joined IFYC in 2009, serving initially as the Student Leadership Associate, coordinating the Fellows Alliance Program, IFYC’s flagship interfaith leadership program for U.S. college students. Abhishek graduated from Clark University in Worcester, MA with a double-major in Government and Sociology where he wrote his senior thesis on religious nationalism and the politics of identity formation in India. He later worked at the Pluralism Project at Harvard University on the Case Study Initiative and the World Religions in Greater Boston web resource portal. Abhishek’s passionate commitment for youth activism, social justice, and interfaith cooperation is highlighted through his involvement in student government, South Asian Students Association, and the Difficult Dialogues Initiative. You can follow him on Twitter: Abhishek_Raman
Nela Navarro
Nela Navarro is the Associate Director and Director of Education at the Center for the Study of Genocide,Conflict Resolution and Human Rights at Rutgers University- Newark. She has taught at Columbia University and the Shanghai International Studies University, and serves as educational advisor to the Documentation Center of Cambodia and curriculum and professional advisor for the Center for Applied Linguistics. She is an experienced language, culture and human rights educator. She has trained teachers and developed curricula for publishers and nongovernmental organizations worldwide. In addition to teaching and research, she is a consultant for educational publishers, educational ministries and institutions both in the USA and abroad on issues related to curriculum development, teacher development, teaching and technology, cross cultural training and international education.
Shirin Shokouhi
"Sherry (Shirin) Shokouhi is a Licensed Mental Health Counselor as well as a Credentialed Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Counselor, with a Masters degree in Clinical Psychology. Her counseling experience includes helping a wide range of clients including children, adolescents, adults, couples, and families in a variety of challenging situations. She has worked as a clinician at non-profit organizations and public schools providing mental health services to the less advantaged Asian immigrant population in NYC, with a particular focus on working with Afghan women and children. She is bilingual in English and Farsi/Dari. "
Paul Thornton
"Paul Thornton has worked at St. Benedict’s Preparatory School for over thirty-five years. Since 1974-75, he has been the Director of Development with overall responsibility for fund-raising and public relations. He has been involved with the school’s renewal efforts since 1973, when he was the first non-monk to join the school’s faculty as the school re-opened after being closed during 1972-73. During his tenure at St. Benedict’s Prep, he has also taught English part-time and assisted with college counseling. Paul graduated from St. Benedict’s, and went on to earn a degree in English Literature cum laude at Harvard in 1967, and a Master’s in English at Rutgers in 1975. He has been active with fellow development officers in the New Jersey Association of Independent Schools. He currently serves on the Advisory Board of St. Vincent Academy and on the Advisory Board of Trustees of Benedictine Academy. He is active as an interviewer on the Schools and Scholarship Committee of the Harvard Club of New Jersey."
Dr. Sudhir Prabhu

Dr. Prabhu is a Board certified Allergist in private practice in Jacksonville, Florida. An ardent student of Vedanta, he is a founding member of the Hindu Society of Northeast Florida, and the Jacksonville Ganesh Temple. He serves as the Joint Secretary of HCINA (Hindu Collective Initiative of North America). A Past President of the Florida Allergy and Asthma Society, Dr. Prabhu is actively involved in various charitable causes in the larger community. He has served and continues to serve on the regional Boards of several non-profits such as the American Red Cross, American Lung Association, and Sulzbacher Center for the homeless and others. He served as the SE Regional director on the AAPI Governing Body and treasurer of AAPI PAC. He is currently the Vice Chair of the Board of the Ekal Foundation USA, a non-profit dedicated to primary and health education in remote villages of India. In January 2011, he founded STARS Forum (Skills Training Advancement for Rural Societies) in India, an all India collaborative body to promote vocational training in rural and tribal communities.
Radhika Prabhu

Pratibha Shah

Pratibha Shah holds a Post Graduate degree in Ayurveda, the ancient holistic Indian system of Medicine. She was working as Chief Medical Officer, at CGHS (Central Govt. Health Scheme), New Delhi, India, before moving to US in 2004. She has been practicing Ayurveda for more than 20 yrs and conducts and speaks at Ayurvedic events all year round. Presently, she is on the Board of several leading Ayurvedic organizations in USA and is working towards promotion, propagation as well as integration of Ayurveda with mainstream medicine, globally. With the aim of providing a wider platform for benefits from Ayurvedic principles of healing, she has recently completed Masters in Public Health, International Health, from Boston University School of Public Health.
Rukmani Walker

Dr. Suman Vardan

Swami Dayaamitra
Swami Dayamrita Chaitanya is the General Manager and the spiritual head of the MA Centers and Embracing The World, non-profit organizations based in North America, focused on spreading Mata Amritanandamayi’s (Amma’s) teachings on love and compassion in the west. He manages the day-to-day activities for the MA Centers and is responsible for the activities of Embracing The World in U.S., Canada and Latin America. Swami Dayamrita has given a number of talks at a variety of universities and he travels with Amma all over the world. Swami Dayamrita was initially a documentary filmmaker when he met Amma in 1983. His initial intention was to expose her as a fake miracle healer. When Swami witnessed Amma licking the wounds of a leper, his life was completely transformed. He had never seen such compassion and love in another fellow human being. He then decided to dedicate his life to Amma and spend his life in her service. Amma sent Swami Dayamrita to the west in 1994. He was ordained as a monk in 1995. He specialized in Physics for his undergraduate degree and holds a masters degree in Film Technology from the Film and Television Institute of India.
Dipka Bhambani
"Dipka is a media strategist for Hill & Knowlton’s Washington, DC office on the energy team. Dipka was a journalist for more than a decade. Most recently, she was a columnist for The Daily Caller and AOL/Huffington Post, an on-air and print reporter for energyNow, formerly Clean Skies News, and WJLA-ABC7 Clean Skies Sunday in Washington. She was invited to study at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology for its summer energy program in 2009 and 2010. . In 2010, she launched a blog, Energy Check, to highlight a unique perspective on U.S. and international energy issues. Dipka is as active affiliate of the White House Faith-based Council, and an active member of The National Press Club. Outside of her work in journalism, Dipka is a certified language specialist for the federal government. Dipka graduated from the University of South Carolina with a bachelor's degree in journalism and a minor in Spanish with a certificate of Spanish culture and history from the University of Santiago de Compostela in Santiago, Spain. "
Victoria Finlay
Victoria Finlay is the Communications Director of the Alliance of Religions and Conservation (ARC).  In September 2011 she is helping run a conference in Bhutan on Compassion and the Environment, to help the Buddhist community create a strategic environmental plan. She is also a journalist, author and broadcaster, and has been engaged by ARC since 2004 to bring some of the extraordinary stories of people, projects and places to a wider audience. ARC has engaged with a huge range of projects, from setting up sub-Saharan Muslim and Christian networks, to translating Mongolian treatises about sacred land, to promoting English churchyards as protected eco-systems, to working with Shinto on their forests, to helping religions and secular environmentalists create powerful and lasting partnerships with each other. More information is on our website
Rev. Fletcher Harper
"Fletcher Harper, an Episcopal priest, is Executive Director of GreenFaith, an interfaith environmental coalition based in New Jersey. An award-winning spiritual writer and nationally-recognized preacher on the environment, he has developed a range of innovative programs to make GreenFaith a leader in the fast-growing religious- environmental movement. A graduate of Princeton University and Union Theological Seminary, Harper served as a parish priest for ten years and in leadership positions in the Episcopal Church prior to joining GreenFaith. . Founded in 1992, GreenFaith is a leading interfaith coalition for the environment. GreenFaith inspires, educates and mobilizes people of diverse religious backgrounds as environmental leaders. Through religious-environmental education programs, by greening the operation of religious institutions and the homes of their members, and through legislative advocacy and values-based environmental activism, GreenFaith helps religious institutions and people of all faiths put their belief into action for the earth. "
Dr. Pankaj Jain
"Pankaj is the author of Dharma and Ecology of Hindu Communities: Sustenance and Sustainability (May 2011) and has also published articles in journals such as Religious Studies Review, Worldviews, Religion Compass, Journal of Vaishnava Studies, Union Seminary Quarterly Review, and the Journal of Visual Anthropology.   He serves as a research affiliate with Harvard University’s Pluralism Project, as scholar-in-residence with GreenFaith, as a board member of the AAR's Society for Hindu Christian Studies, and as a board member of the Executive Advisory Council of Hindu American Seva Charities. He holds a Ph.D. from the University of Iowa and an M.A. from Columbia University (both in Religious Studies). In his “previous life” he had also earned a B.S. in Computer Science from India and had worked as a software engineer in India and in New Jersey. Pankaj is an active member of several academic and community organizations, is fluent in several Indian languages, and has published poems in Hindi. He was born in Rajasthan and had also stayed in Ahmedabad, Mumbai, Hyderabad, and Karnatak. "
Gopal-Lila Patel
Gopal Patel is the Project Manager for the Bhumi Project – an international Hindu response to the environmental challenges facing the planet, including climate change. The Bhumi Project works with Hindu groups, temples and communities in all parts of the world. The Project is facilitated by the Oxford Centre for Hindu Studies, in partnership with the Alliance to Religions and Conservation, and backing from the United Nations Development Programme. Current initiatives within the Project that Gopal oversees include the greening of Hindu temples, the production of a book of Hindu thoughts on the environment, and an international Hindu student campaign to raise awareness of environmental concerns. Gopal is also an Assistant Chaplain at Imperial College, London, and has worked with student faith groups for the past 8 years.
Aruna Rao

Aruna Rao is currently an Associate Director at NAMI NEW JERSEY (NationalAlliance on Mental Illness of New Jersey). Aruna leads NAMI NJ's educational and communications efforts in support of the mission to improve the lives of those affected by mental illness. She has been instrumental in developing NAMI NJ's outreach programs for immigrants affected by mental illness in New Jersey, with innovative programs reaching out to South Asian, Chinese, and Latino immigrants, as well as other efforts to outreach African Americans.  She received the 200 Leadership Award from the NJ Asian American Association for Human Services, and the program she founded, SAMHAJ, received the 2002 Multicultural
Outreach Award from NAMI National. She is a member of the NAMI Diversity & Inclusion Workgroup and the national Cultural & Linguistic Competence Network. She makes frequent presentations to community and provider groups, and educators on mental health and cultural competence issues.