Board of Advisors
Education and Training
Bekboev Askarbek Abdikadirovic, Ph.D. is a recognized reformer of the higher education system in the Kyrgyz republic. As the first vice-rector of Humanitarian University, he fruitfully supervised over educational process. Under his direct management new curricula of a multilevel education system on 25 directions was developed. In 2005 he was named Rector of I. Arabaev Kyrgyz State University. As Rector he has lead the reorganization and optimization of the university structure and the effective utilization of financial and material resources. Dr. Abdikadirovic is also chairman of the advisory council of the National Academy of Sciences on philosophy, political science, cultural science and art criticism. He earned his Ph.D. from the Institue of philosophy and the right of the National Academy of Sciences at Kyrgyz SSR in 1993.
Kenneth Cushner. Ph.D. is Associate Dean for Student Life and Intercultural Affairs, and Professor of Education in the College and Graduate School of Education, Health and Human Services at Kent State University. He received his doctorate at the University of Hawaii. Dr. Cushner is a frequent contributor to the professional development of educators and other professionals through workshops, writing, consulting, and travel programs. Among his publications, he is co-author of Intercultural Interactions: A Practical Guide, 2/e (Sage Publications, 1996); co-editor of Improving Intercultural Interactions, Vol. 2 (Sage Pub, 1997); editor of International Perspectives on Intercultural Education (Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, 1998), and author of Human Diversity in Action (McGraw-Hill, 1999). He has taught in schools or developed educational programs for teachers and youths on all seven continents, and is current Director of COST—The Consortium for Overseas Student Teaching.
Michael Ellison, Ph.D. is Assistant Professor of Composition and Theory at the MIAM Center for Advanced Studies in Music, Istanbul Technical University. Professor Ellison received his Ph.D. in Composition from the University of California, Santa Barbara in 2003. Major Awards, Performances & Commissions include; Aaron Copland (Copland House) Award, 2006; National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) grant, commission for String Quartet #2; Premiere by the Borromeo String Quartet, Feb. 21, 2002, Santa Barbara, CA; J. William Fulbright Foundation award for research in Classical music of Turkey, 1997-98; Beebe Foundation (New England Conservatory) Award for research & composition, 2000-2001; ARIT (American Institute of Research in Turkey) Grant for research in Turkish Folk Music, 2001; Ojai Festival Foundation Award for Young Composers, 1999.
Ed Greene, Ph.D. is a senior associate with EM GREENE Associates. Dr. Greene has over 30 years of experience in child development, early learning, and children’s media. His experience includes serving in a variety of capacities in governmental and nongovernmental settings, most notably as former director of Global Outreach at Sesame Workshop in New York City, and as an elected member of the governing board of the National Association for the Education of Young Children. He currently serves on the boards or advisory committees of many learning foundations and institutions. Dr. Greene completed his M.A. in Child and Human Development at Pacific Oaks College, and his Ph.D. in Child Development and Early Learning at Indiana State University. In his professional career he has served on numerous college and university faculties.
Khaled Hassouna, Ph.D. is the Associate Director for Middle East and North Africa Initiatives at the Office of International Research, Education and Development at Virginia Tech. An accomplished environmentalist and educator with expertise in agriculture, community development, cross-cultural education and environmental education, Khaled specializes in increasing communication and understanding between diverse groups of people with differing interests. Originally from Egypt, he earned his Ph.D. from Virginia Tech and has experience working with Universities, NGOs, and consultant firms in Egypt and around the world to promote sustainable development of people and their surrounding natural resources.
Susan Grace Magliaro, Ed. D. is the director of the School of Education and associate dean for professional education at Virginia Tech. She received her B.S. from East Stroudburg University in 1977; her M.S. from Iowa State University in 1981; and her Ed.D. from Virginia Tech in 1988.
Lorraine Warren is an expert trainer and facilitator with over twenty years designing, implementing and facilitating management, leadership, diversity, conflict management, sexual harassment and cross-cultural education training programs for educational, corporate and community groups in Africa, Asia and Latin American as well as throughout the USA. Specializing in facilitating the development of a common vision and creating harmonious goals with diverse populations she has achieved exceptional results including successfully bringing together children from Jewish and Arab communities to develop a peace dialogue. She has an MA in Spiritual Psychology, an MA in Student Personnel Services, and a BA in Psychology.
Media and Public Relations
Murli Iyer holds an MBA in International Business from the Rochester Institute of Technology, New York, a Bachelor of Science Degree from India, and an Advanced Russian language degree. As Executive Advisor on Global Affairs, he is responsible for developing SAE International’s strategic alliances with overseas partners and providing support and advice to SAE International President and the Executive Vice President on strategic global issues. He also represents SAE International in the Internal Relations Committee of FISITA. Mr. Iyer has served as a Russian Interpreter with several Indian, Russian, and U. S. governmental agencies. He has worked and consulted for over thirty years with a number of organizations in the areas of international business development, corporate planning, strategic marketing, and cross-cultural negotiation.
Sandy Murray Marketing Director, Building Specialists, Inc., Roanoke, Virginia, Secretary/Treasurer of Clean Valley Council.
Claude Salhani is Editor of the Middle East Times and a contributing editor to United Press International. He specializes in political analysis of the Middle East. Salhani has covered issues ranging from the 1973 Arab-Israeli War, Jordan-Palestinian clashes, the Iran-Iraq War and the Iranian Revolution, to the Czech Velvet Revolution and the downfall of communism. He was a Pulitzer Prize nominee for coverage of the Marine Beirut barracks bombing. In 1998, he published Black September to Desert Storm. He was also a contributing author for The Iraq War (Brasseys). Salhani is fluent in English, French, Italian, and Arabic.
Tayie Abdel Rehem is Founder and Chairman of Soul TV.net and a Broadcast Media Specialist. Mr. Abdel Rehem has a proven track record of over 35 years in producing and creating television programming and independent short films. He has developed and designed children programs to empower young audiences to think globally and act locally. The television programs he creates are stimulating and thought-provoking, and each segment is designed to explore essential life topics which are directly related to the human condition. He won the CK-TV Wingham award for the best design Abelard and Heloise Production for one of his short films. He also has extensive experience doing investigative reporting for various public broadcasts in three languages,– Arabic, German and English. In 1977 he received a Canadian Teaching Certificate from the Ontario Board of Education and in 1982 earned his Masters degree from New York State University
Sr. Marianne Farina, Ph.D. is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Theology and Philosophy at the Dominican School of Philosophy and Theology, Graduate Theological Union. She received her Master of Arts in Pastoral Theology from Santa Clara University and her Ph.D. in Theological Ethics from Boston College. Sister Marianne worked for 11 years in Bangladesh as a teacher, pastoral assistant and school supervisor. With more than 25 years of experience in education and pastoral ministry, Sister Marianne has worked in education and social development projects that promote social justice and interfaith dialogue. Over the last three years, she has traveled in Africa and Indonesia as a delegate and teacher covering topics such as “Religion and Democracy,” “Methods for Cross-Cultural Understanding,” “Interfaith Dialogue,” and “Human Rights.”
Kenneth Honerkamp, Ph.D. is an Associate Professor of Religion: Arabic, Islamic texts, Shar’iah (Islamic Law), and North African Sufism at the University of Georgia. Professor Honerkamp is a graduate of the Al-Qarawiyine University of Morocco. He is also a graduate of the University of Aix-en-Provence, France where he completed his Ph.D. in 1999 after having earned a Master’s degree in religion from the University of Georgia at Athens in 1995. Dr. Honerkamp has brought his years of lecturing to international programs abroad in Morocco to the newly instituted Maymester in Morocco Program. In addition to teaching, he is involved in research in Arabic manuscripts, particularly those found in the less often referred to manuscript collections of Morocco and has published a number of studies on various Islamic texts.
Jack Moline is the rabbi of Agudas Achim Congregation in Alexandria, VA, and also serves as Vice-chair of The Interfaith Alliance, a coalition of leadership from the many and diverse faith communities across this country. Over the years, he has been a valuable advisor to city managers and the Alexandria City Council on many public issues and has participated in numerous civic events and activities, namely activities that focus on education and increase tolerance and understanding of all faiths and peoples. Rabbi Jack Moline has been named and listed as No. 3 on Newsweek’s Top 25 Pulpit Rabbis in America, and 2008 was commended by the Virginia General Assembly in a House Joint Resolution for his longtime service to the Agudas Achim Congregation and the City of Alexandria.
Sulayman Nyang, Ph.D. teaches in the Department of African Studies at Howard University. A scholar of African and Muslim affairs, Nyang, who is a native of the Republic of the Gambia, also served as his homeland’s deputy ambassador to seven Middle Eastern and North African countries from 1975-78. Except for those three years, Nyang has taught at Howard since 1972, serving as chairman of the Department of African Studies from 1986-1993. In 1993, he became senior consultant on the African Voices Project of the Museum of Natural History of the Smithsonian Institution. In 1997, Nyang became the first scholar to be named the Henry Luce Professor for Abrahamic Religions at the University of Hartford and Hartford Seminary. From 1999 to 2002 Professor Nyang served as a principal investigator and co-director of the Muslims in the American Public Square (MAPS). He has written extensively on African, Islamic and Middle Eastern affairs. Nyang, who holds a doctorate in government from the University of Virginia, also serves on the advisory boards of several national African and Muslim organizations and was the first American Muslim president of the Interfaith Conference of Metropolitan Washington, D.C.
Dr. Abubaker Al-Shingieti is currently the Vice President for Islamic Programs at the International Center for Religion and Diplomacy (ICRD). He is also the Regional Director for the International Institute of Islamic Thought (IIIT) coordinating IIIT research work in Europe and North America and President of the American Muslims for Constructive Engagement (AMCE). An expert on Islam, he has been a Research Associate at the Center for Muslim-Christian Understanding at the Georgetown University School of Foreign Service. In addition, he served as editor of Islamic Horizons, a monthly magazine of the Islamic Society of North America and was a founding member of the Society for Islamic Thought and Culture in Khartoum, Sudan. Dr. Shingieti held key government positions in Sudan during the 1990’s. He was the Director of Political Affairs at the Presidency; Secretary General of Sudan’s External Information Council, and diplomat with Ambassador Rank at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. He has a strong commitment to inter-religious reconciliation – through his work at the International Center for Religion and Diplomacy – he helped orchestrate the first ever Inter Religious Council in Sudan that brought together Sudanese Christians and Muslims under one organization that is now playing a much needed role in reconciliation and peace building.
Science, Technology and Medicine
David Lee Systems Operations Manager, Google Inc. Japan
Samir Mehta M.D. – Cardiologist, Researcher, Author, Professor
Dr. Harold Robles, a native of the Netherlands known for his international humanitarian work, has devoted his life to promoting healthcare education and information as a human right. More than twenty-five years ago, with the support of Dr. Albert Schweitzer’s daughter Rhena, Dr. Robles founded the Albert Schweitzer Institute for the Humanities in the state of Connecticut, USA. Dr. Robles dedicated the work of his nonprofit organization to alleviating suffering and injustice in the world, and to creating a more equitable and sustainable future for our planet and its inhabitants. Dr. Robles retired as president of the Schweitzer Institute in 1998 and, in 1999, he co-founded with the support of his best friend Dr. Peter Bittel the Medical Knowledge Institute, a nonprofit organization associated with the World Health Organization and the United Nations and dedicated to the premise that healthcare is a human right, not a privilege. The programs of MKI are designed to improve the quality of healthcare and to promote humanitarian values through education and public health programs.
Non-Governmental and Governmental Organizations
Bill Ryan is the Director of the Center for Civic Education-Indonesia (CCE) a non-profit organization which has been creating student centered, innovative civic education programs for nine years in Indonesia. Ryan, an American professional is the in-country Program Director for many of Legacy’s South East Asia programs.
Sam Rasoul was raised and educated in Southwest Virginia. At 22, he completed a Masters Degree in International Business Administration with distinction from Hawaii Pacific University after his completion of a Bachelors Degree in Business Administration from Roanoke College in Salem, VA. As a small business entrepreneur, Rasoul started several small businesses including a new medical sales and distribution firm in the Roanoke Valley. Searching for a life in public service, Rasoul ran for the United States House of Representatives in Virginia’s Sixth Congressional District in 2008 where he won the Democratic Nomination and mobilized a grassroots movement as never seen before in his district. Rasoul is a board member of Valley Character, which works to improve character development in youth in his local community. Rasoul has a passion for improving the world around him, he now lives with his wife, Layaly, and their three young children in the foothills of the beautiful Blue Ridge Mountains.
Salahadin Tauhidi – International Trade Specialist, U.S. Commercial Service, U.S. Department of Commerce, Office of International Operations (Africa, Near East and South Asia.)