Dialogue Institute at Temple University announces new Executive Director, Howard A. Cohen

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Source: dialogueinstitute.org

PHILADELPHIA, PA —The Board of Directors of the Dialogue Institute, based at Temple University, announces the appointment of Howard A. Cohen as its new Executive Director, effective June 1, 2017.

Mr. Cohen had served the Dialogue Institute (DI) Board as treasurer since 2013, after previously serving as a consultant.

“We are delighted to have Howard in this new role as we anticipate continued growth and increased relevance as an organization, in a global context marked so often by violence and discrimination across religious, cultural and ideological difference,” said Board chair Majid Alsayegh. “Boosted by major grants from the U.S. Department of State and an international foundation, we look forward to exploring new opportunities in a variety of different settings, including meeting the needs of the international business community.”

Mr. Cohen is an experienced executive with an extensive background in the private, public and nonprofit sectors. In addition to managing companies in the United States and Great Britain, he has held senior policy and executive positions in federal and state government and nonprofit enterprises, and he has taught management and law at the university level - including the University of Pennsylvania and Temple University - for more than 30 years.

“The Dialogue Institute and its peer-reviewed Journal of Ecumenical Studies have much to offer, applying the intellectual efforts of the university to segments of our society where dialogue is needed now more than at any time since the 1940s,” said Cohen. “We have the leadership and expertise to make a greater impact, and it will be my task to help us do that. I look forward to working with our Board, staff and stakeholders in this critical work.”

Currently, Mr. Cohen has an active management consulting and public policy practice and teaches courses in business ethics as an adjunct professor at Temple University’s Fox School of Business and Management. He received his M.B.A. in International Business and Transportation from George Washington University and both a J.D. and B.A. (political science and economics) from Rutgers University.

Rebecca Mays, who had been serving as the DI’s Executive Director since 2012, has shifted to a new role as Director of Education to focus more specifically on program development while also working to complete her Ph.D dissertation from Temple’s Department of Religion. Ms. Mays brings professional publishing expertise and strong teaching experience as a Quaker educator to her role. She has taught internationally and served on the Christian and Interfaith committee of the Friends General Conference, and has represented Quaker interest in interfaith work at the 1998 Assembly of the World Council of Churches. She presently serves as a representative on the administrative group of the Philadelphia Religious Leaders’ Council.

Prior to coming to Temple in 2008, she served as the director of a Master's program in English and Publishing at Rosemont College. She holds a B.A. in English from Earlham College and an M.A. in Folklore and Folklife from the University of Pennsylvania. She completed her M.A. in Religious Studies at Temple as a graduate fellow and intern at the DI prior to joining the staff. In addition to staff changes, the DI also announces the addition of two new Board members: Ann Schroeder and Dr. John Esposito.

Ms. Schroeder is the founder and chief executive officer of GlobalSource Partners, Inc. The company, founded in 1994 as LatinSource, later merged into GlobalSource Partners, Inc. to service the growing needs for investment analysis across emerging markets globally; the company currently provides coverage on 24 developing countries. Ms. Schroeder assumes responsibilities as the new Board treasurer.

Dr. Esposito is Professor of Religion and International Affairs and of Islamic Studies at Georgetown University and founding director of the Alwaleed Center for Muslim-Christian Understanding in the Walsh School of Foreign Service. Previously, he was Loyola Professor of Middle East Studies at the College of the Holy Cross. _________________________________________________________________________________

The Dialogue Institute, founded in 1978, teaches religious, civic, and academic leaders around the world the skills of respectful dialogue and critical thinking, empowering them to build and sustain transformative relationships across lines of religion and culture. It provides resources and creates networks for intra- and interreligious scholarship and action that value difference and foster human dignity. More info at dialogueinstitute.org.