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Mr. Tageldin I. Hamad
Secretary General, UPF International Mr. Taj Hamad is the Vice President of the Global Peace Council of UPF. He also serves as Secretary General of the World Association of Non-Governmental Organizations (WANGO). Mr. Hamad has also served as Secretary of the Executive Committee of DPI-NGOs at the United Nations.
Mr. Lawrence Bloom
Deputy Chairman, Hanwang Organization, United KingdomLawrence Bloom is the former Chairman of the UN Environmental Programme, Green Economy Initiative, Green Cities, Buildings and Transport Council. He was also appointed the first Chairman of the World Economic Forum at Davos, Global Agenda Council on Urban Management. He is Vice Chair of Climate Prosperity Strategies, which is an initiative of Global Urban Development created to demonstrate the economic benefits of creating a sustainable society.
Rt. Hon. Upendra Yadav
Former Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Affairs Minister, NepalThe Honorable Yadav is the Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Affairs Minister of Nepal. He is of Indian ethnic origin and has been championing the cause of the Hindi language. He calls for Hindi to be recognized as an official language in Nepal as it is spoken by half of the country's 30 million people. Honorable Yadav is chairman of the Madhesi Janadhikar Forum (MJF), a political party in Nepal that has its electoral base primarily in the plains (Terai) of Nepal.
Gen. Charan Kullavanijaya
President, The Council of Buddhist Organizations, ThailandGeneral Charan is the former secretary-general of the National Security Council and chairman of the National Defence Alumni Think Tank of Thailand. He was formerly vice president and a member of the National Legislative Assembly, vice chair of the Prime Minister’s advisory committee on Public Policy Implementation, and former member of the advisory committee on defense policy for the Ministry of Defense. The General graduated from the National Defense College of Thailand, the Command and General Staff College of the US Army, and the General Staff College of the Royal Thai Army.
Topic: Towards an Era of Interfaith Cooperation and Peace
Hon. Ran Cohen
Former Minister of Industry and Trade, IsraelHon. Cohen was born in Baghdad, Iraq and immigrated to Israel. He served in the Israeli Military as a colonel in the paratroop artillery. He studied at Tel Aviv University and holds a BA in Economics and Philosophy. He was a member of the Knesset (parliament) on the State Control Committee, the Committee on Rights of the Child, and Lobby for the Handicapped, to name just a few. He also served as Deputy Minister of Housing and Construction, and Minister of Industry and Trade.
Topic: Toward an Era of Interfaith Cooperation and Peace
Hon. Marion Pedersen
Former Member, Parliament of the Kingdom of DenmarkThe Honorable Marion Pedersen served until recently as the Chair of the Foreign Affairs Committee of the Danish Parliament. She is a member of the Centre Group’s executive committee and has also served on the Nordic Council, which has held numerous seminars on the potential role of all the Nordic nations as peacemakers and resolvers of conflicts.
Topic: Challenges and Opportunities Posed by Europe's Muslim Population
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Dr. Michael Balcomb
Director of Communications, UPF InternationalDr. Balcomb is the Communications Director and an Assistant Secretary General of the Universal Peace Federation. He is responsible for the UPF’s publications, video and websites. He has been active in volunteer and community service for more than 35 years in the United States and Great Britain, and has organized youth programs in Europe, Russia, Korea and Israel. Before coming to the Universal Peace Federation he served as the United States Executive Director for Service for Peace.
Mrs. Amala McLackland
Secretary General, UPF-AsiaMrs. McLackland is the Secretary General of UPF-Asia. Born in Germany, Mrs. McLackland first studied psychology in Marburg, Germany, then took a Yoga teacher's training course in Varanasi, India and studied Buddhism at the University of Kelaniya, Sri Lanka. She has been living in Asia since 1974 and has worked for many of the affiliate organizations of UPF since then, promoting the education of youth, humanitarian service, and interreligious harmony.
Dr. Robert S. Kittel and Mr. Anthony S. Chaopaknam
UPF-Asia Dr. Robert S. Kittel is the Director of Peace Education, UPF-Asia. He is also International Education Advisor for UPF with a specialty in adolescent character education and family-values based HIV/AIDS prevention. Over the past 32 years Dr. Kittel has been living and working in South Asia and currently resides in Kathmandu, Nepal with his wife and 2 daughters.
Anthony Siriroj Chaopaknam is Chairman of the St. Theresa Foundation and Senior Advisor of Planning and Strategy at the St. Theresa International College in Bangkok. The President of the Catholic Association of Thailand, Mr. Siriroj served as Deputy Governor, National Housing Authority of Thailand. He earned his Master's Degree at Mahidol University in Environment Technologies Management and his undergraduate degree at Thammasat University in law and journalism.
Mr. Masayoshi Kajikuri and Mr. Takahiro Ninomiya
UPF-Japan Masyoshi Kajikuri graduated from the Theological Faculty of the Sun Moon University, South Korea. He currently serves as an executive director of the International Highway Foundation, vice chair of the Association of Ambassadors for Peace-Japan, and chairman of Pure Love Alliance-Japan. He is actively involved in the nationwide campaign for security in Japan and Asia, offering lectures at "the Prefectural Forums to Safeguard Asia and Japan."
Takahiro Ninomiya is one of the best known strategic and policy experts in Japan. He graduated from the Japanese Defense Academy and served as a fighter pilot, retiring from military service with the rank of Major-General. Later he served as advisor to the Japanese Diet, and in 1999 became the Executive Director of the Japan Forum for Strategic Studies, serving as acting President of that organization from 2006 until his retirement in 2009.
Mr. Mark Brann and Robert Vandemeulebroucke
UPF-Europe Mr. Brann is a practicing lawyer in the United Kingdom and has served for many years as the European lawyer for the UPF and its founder, Rev. Moon. Previously he served as director for Special Projects for The Washington Times and also as director for Europe, Middle East and Africa operations for the United Press International. Mr. Brann is a regular contributor to many international media organizations.
H.E. Robert Roger Vandemeulebroucke served in the Belgian Foreign Ministry for almost 40 years, and was most recently Ambassador to Kuwait, Bahrain and Qatar before retiring in 2008 with the title of Honorary Ambassador. A noted archaeologist, he holds a Ph.D. from the University of Ghent and Ankara University for his research into the ancient Middle Eastern Hittite civilization. Presentation: UPF-Europe Donates Medical Supplies for North Korean Children's Hospital
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Cheong Bok Goong Interfaith Sanctuary
Dr. Thomas G. Walsh
President, Universal Peace Federation Dr. Walsh is the President of the Universal Peace Federation. With academic training in the field of Religious Ethics, he received his Doctorate in Philosophy from Vanderbilt University. He has been a teacher, author and editor, with specialization in areas of theology, character ethics, social theory, and religious studies. He serves on the board of several non-profit organizations that work to promote international understanding and peace.
His Holiness Dolpo Buddha Tulku Ranak Rimchen
Dolpopa Foundation, Nepal and Taiwan Recognized by many Buddhists as the reborn Avatari Lama, he received special training by Lama gurus of the Yatser Monastery from the age of six years. He established the DOLPOPA Foundation in Taiwan for social service and promoted programs for the development of education, health and tourism in Nepal. Among the many projects of his followers is the Snowland Ranag School in Kathmandu, Nepal, where some two hundred children from the hills and mountainous regions are getting a free education with food and lodging facilities.
Ven. Yong Hwa Na
Supreme Patriarch, Im-Je Order of Korea Buddhism The Im-je order of Korean Buddhism traces its roots back to the 14th century monk Jinul who struggled to reverse the spiritual decline and secularization of Buddhism in Korea by founding a community of disciplined, pure-minded practitioners deep in the mountains. Ven. Na is the current patriarch of this order of tightly disciplined monks and has been a frequent participant in UPF interfaith ceremonies at the Cheon Bok Goong.
Rev. Lo-Lowengo Botembe
Pastor, Afrikanische-Okumenische-Kirche, Berlin, Germany Pastor Botembe emigrated from Léopoldville (today Kinshasa, the capital of the Democratic Republic of Congo) to Germany in early 1962. In 1988 he founded the first charismatic African-based church in Berlin, the African Ecumenical Church. which was officially recognized in 1991. In 2006, the church received the Federal Cross of Merit from the German government for engagement against racism, anti-Islamism and anti-Semitism.
Archbishop Emmanuel Milingo
Patriarch of Southern Africa Archbishop Milingo, born in Zambia, was consecrated by Pope Paul VI as Bishop of the Archdiocese of Lusaka. In 2001, he received a marriage blessing from Rev. Sun Myung Moon. In July 2006, he established Married Priests Now, an advocacy organization to promote the acceptance of married priests in the Roman Catholic Church. He founded the Zambia Helpers' Society and the Daughters of the Redeemer. In August 2010, Milingo was named Patriarch for Southern Africa of the Ecumenical Catholic Apostolic Church of Peace.
Dr. Kung Wei Chin
President of the Confucius Association in Taiwan Dr. Kung Wei-Chin – Dr. Kung is a 78th generation descendant of Confucius. Presently he is President of the Taiwan Kong Zi (Confucius) Association; and Associate Professor of the General Education Center at Saint John's University in Taiwan. He earned his Ph.D. in philosophy from the Chinese Culture University in Taiwan and received an honorary doctorate degree in literature from the Ministry of Education.
Amb. Krishna and Mrs. Geetha Rajan
Executive Vice-Chairman and Trustees, UPF-India Ambassador Rajan is a former member of the Indian Foreign Service. He has served in numerous diplomatic assignments, including as Ambassador to France, the United States, the United Kingdom, Zambia, Algeria and Nepal. Krishna Rajan has also held senior positions in the Indian Government, including as Secretary and Advisor to the Minister. He is currently the convener of a New Delhi based think tank, the IILM India Forum, and the President of the Association of Indian Diplomats.
Gita Rajan was born in Chennai, India and holds a Masters Degree in Economics. During her husband Ambassador K.V. Rajan’s career, Gita Rajan has been a constant pillar of support. Mrs. Rajan has been active in women and children’s welfare projects, especially working to improve the livelihood of disabled children. She is a well known artist and painter and a leader in the arts. Currently, she is a trustee and advisor of the Universal Peace Federation in India.
Dr. Hamdi Mohammed Murad
Co-Founder, Jordan Interfaith Coexistence Center, Amman, Jordan Professor Murad is Professor at the Al-Barqa University in Jordan, and director of the Board of the Interfaith Co-Existence Research Center, Jordan. He served for a time as the regular preacher for Friday prayers at the Royal Mosque in Amman, and has also been a valued member of the Presiding Council of the Universal Peace Federation.
Dr. Witsarut Lohwithee
Advisor and Representative, Sheikul Islam Office of Thailand Dr. Witsarut Lohwithee – Dr. Lohwithee is Director of the Islamic Studies Program, Faculty of Liberal Arts, Rangsit University, Thailand. He serves as Vice President of the Muslim Mass Media Association (Thailand), Vice President for the Islamic Affairs Commission of Bangkok Metropolis, and Advisory Committee member for the Sheikhul Islam Office in Thailand. Dr. Lohwithee did his doctor of education studies on Professional Development at Victoria University in Australia.
Mr. Rony Wulf Smolar
Former Vice-President of European Jewish Congress, Helsinki, Finland Mr. Rony Smolar is Councillor and former Vice-President of the European Jewish Congress. Mr. Smolar is a Finnish Jewish journalist, author and entrepreneur. He worked for 22 years (1980 to 2002), as a journalist in the Middle East region. He served in many Finnish media, including, Turku Messages and Broadcasting, and as a correspondent. He is also the author of Uncle Stiller: Valpo and the Gestapo (2003). He served as the chairman of the Helsinki Jewish community in Finland.
Dr. Abraham Shalom Haim
Council of the Sephardic and Oriental Community, Spain Dr. Haim is the former Chairman of Education, Culture and Heritage Committee of the Council of Sephardi and Oriental Communities in Jerusalem. An authority on the Sephardi diaspora and European Jewry, Dr. Haim is a member of the World Sephardi Federation in Israel, and its representative to the Zionist Congress, the Zionist Council and the Jewish Agency Assembly. He graduated from Hebrew University and Tel Aviv University and has lectured on the history of the Jewish people at Tel Aviv University.
Ven. Yoshihiko Kaminaga
Chief Priest, Hitachikoku Tenmangu Shrine, Japan Ven. Yoshihiko Kaminaga – Ven. Kaminaga has been the Chief Priest at the Hitachinokuni Tenmangu Shrine since 2006 and a Board Member of the Association of Shinto Shrines in Ibaraki Prefecture. Ven. Kaminaga graduated from the Kogakuin University and Kokugakuin University, and was employed by Ikegami Tsushinki Co., Ltd., and later by Toshiba Corporation.
Mr. Harbhajan Singh
Chair, Bexley/Greenwich Multifaith Forums, United Kingdom Mr. Singh, before retirement in 2002, worked in secondary school education, ending as Deputy Head. He served as local councillor in Bexley from 1978-94, chair of the Sikh temple in Belvedere, Bexley, and chair of Bexley Council for Racial Equality in the United Kingdom. In 1977, he was co-founder of the Anglo-Asian African-Caribbean Friendship & Cultural Association, and still serves as secretary. He has been the chair of Bexley Multi-Faith Forum, and in 2010 became Chair of Greenwich Multi-Faith Forum.
Introducing the Universal Peace Federation
Mrs. Geetha Rajan
Trustee, UPF-India Geetha Rajan was born in Chennai, India and holds a Masters Degree in Economics. Throughout the career of her husband, Ambassador K.V. Rajan, Geetha Rajan has been a constant pillar of support. Mrs. Rajan has been active in women and children’s welfare projects, especially working to improve the livelihood of disabled children. She is a well known artist and painter and a leader in the arts. Currently, she is a trustee and advisor of the Universal Peace Federation in India.
Ambassador Sam Hanna Zakhem
Former United States Ambassador to Bahrain Amb. Zakhem served as the US Ambassador to Bahrain, on the Peace Corps Presidential Advisory Council, the American Bicentennial Ethnic Committee, the Small Business Administration in Colorado, and as Honorary Chaplain in the US Navy. Dr. Zakhem served in the Colorado State Senate and in the House of Representatives. Currently, he serves as Vice-President for Middle East Operations of MedLink International, Inc., a company which provides technology for health information.
Rev. Hyung Jin Moon
International Chairman, Universal Peace Federation Rev. Moon was born in New York and is the seventh and youngest son of Reverend and Mrs. Moon. He received his BA from Harvard and an MA from Harvard Divinity School. He serves as the international president of the Family Federation for World Peace and has been designated by his father as the person who will carry on his religious work. He and his wife, Yeon Ah Lee, live in Seoul, Korea and have five children.
Professor Kastriot Tusha
Tirana Art Academy, Albania Professor Kastriot Tusha of the Tirana Art Academy, Albania. Professor Tusha is an Albanian tenor known for his versatile and strong voice, possessing a ringing and dramatic tone throughout its range. He has made hundreds of opera performances, music albums, and concert recordings throughout his career as an operatic tenor. In 2006 he performed at the opening celebrations for the Cheon Jeong Goong Peace Palace in Korea.
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Dr. Antonio Betancourt
Director, UPF Office of Peace and Security, Washington DC, United StatesDr. Betancourt has worked extensively in the fields of international affairs, interreligious dialogue, and international conflict resolution for more than 35 years. He served as General Director of UPF’s Middle East Peace Initiative (MEPI), which brought over 10,000 Ambassadors for Peace from around the world for interfaith peace-building in Israel, the Occupied Territories, and Jordan. Dr. Betancourt has made 17 visits to North Korea and met Kim Il Sung and Kim Jong Il several times each
Hon. Dr. Aslambek Akhmedovich Aslakhanov
Vice President, Council of the Federation on International Affairs, RussiaSenator Aslakhanov is the State Duma deputy from Chechnya. The Senator has a distinguished career in the Russian legislature on issues of legality, criminal law, and war crimes. A doctor of law, Senator Aslakhanov graduated from the Kharkov State Pedagogical Institute, the Kharkov Catering Institute, and the USSR Interior Ministry Academy. A retired General of the Ministry of Internal Affairs, he serves as adviser to Russian President Vladimir Putin on the North Caucasus region.
Topic: The Growing Political and Economic Role of Russia and the Pacific Rim Nations
Dr. Alexandre Mansourov
U.S.-Korea Institute, Johns Hopkins University, United StatesDr. Mansourov is a Visiting Scholar at the U.S.-Korea institute at SAIS, Johns Hopkins University in Washington, DC, member of U.S. National Committee on North Korea, and Senior Associate of the Nautilus Institute. He is a specialist in Northeast Asian security, politics, and economics, focusing primarily on the Korean Peninsula. Dr. Mansourov worked as Professor of Security Studies at the Asia-Pacific Center for Security Studies from 2001 to 2007.
Topic: Historical Lessons and Future Prospects for Stability and Security on the Korean Peninsula
Hon. Ragchaa Badamdamdin
Former member of the Mongolian Parliament
Hon. Badamdamdin served as the Chairman and CEO of MonAtom, Mongolia’s state-owned company on nuclear energy and uranium development. A former member of the Great State Hural (Mongolian parliament), he was chairman of its Budget Standing Committee. Also, he chaired the Mongolia-North Korea Parliamentary Group. Hon. Badamdamdin is a pioneer in the relations between Mongolia and North Korea and has visited North Korea many times, including on official delegations. A graduate of the Mongolia State University, he taught at the State University of Agriculture. Topic: The Current Situation of North Korea and Mongolia's View
Dr. Soo Min Kim
Professor of International Relations, Sun Moon University, Korea
Dr. Kim is professor and chair of the Department of Northeast Asian Studies at Sun Moon University in Asan, Korea. Former President of the Society of World Peace and Unification in Korea, he studied at Dongguk University in Korea, and received his Ph.D. in Political Science from the University of Hawaii. Dr. Kim also serves as Dean of the College of International Peace Studies at Sun Moon University in Korea and has published numerous books and articles dealing with North Korea. Topic: North Korea after Kim Jong-il
Prof. Toshio Miyatsuka
Professor of Asian Studies, Yamanashi Gakuin University, Japan Professor Miyatsuka graduated from the Takasaki City University of Economics. He completed his Ph.D. at the Economics Department of Dangun University in South Korea. In 1992, he became Assistant Professor, Faculty of Commerce at the Yamanashi Gakuin University. Since 1995, he has been engaged in the Faculty of Management Information, first as Assistant Professor, then as Professor. He has extensive publications on North Korea introducing its lifestyles and school textbooks.
Topic: Some Truths about North Korea and Recent Relations with Japan
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Rev. Jim Gavin
Secretary General, UPF-USA Mr. Gavin is the Secretary-General of UPF in the United States. Mr. Gavin leads UPF outreach on Capitol Hill and across the USA in the fight for religious freedom for the Unification Church and other new religions in Japan, USA, and around the world. Mr. Gavin served as co-chair of the American Family Coalition, a national leadership alliance promoting family and community renewal through educational and faith-based initiatives.
Dr. Joyce Marie Davis
President, World Affairs Council of Harrisburg, USA Ms. Davis is founder and President of the World Affairs Council of Harrisburg, PA, a member of the World Affairs Councils of America. An award-winning journalist and internationally acclaimed author who has lived and worked around the globe, she is a former foreign correspondent and foreign editor for National Public Radio and Knight Ridder Newspapers. Former Associate Director of Broadcasting for Radio Free Europe / Radio Liberty in Prague, Czech Republic, Ms. Davis specializes in foreign affairs and the media, and has written extensively on terrorism, national security, and Islam.
Topic: Freedom of Speech Is Key to Peace
H.E. Rahim Alievich Huseynov
Prime Minister of Azerbaijan (1992-1993) Dr. Huseynov served as the third Prime Minister of Azerbaijan and as the Deputy Minister of Economics. He is the chairman of various organizations including the Union of Scientists and Engineers of Azerbaijin, and the World International Union of Scientists and Engineers. Currently, he is the President of the National Peace Council for the Universal Peace Federation in Azerbaijan. Dr. Huseynov studied metallurgy engineering at the Moscow Institute of Steel and Alloys.
Topic: Peace and Security in the South Caucasus
Ambassador Cindy L. Courville
Professor, National Intelligence University, United States Ambassador Courville was the first United States Ambassador to the African Union. Previously, she served as Director for African Affairs at the National Security Council and was also a Senior Intelligence Officer in the Office of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. She also served with the US Department of State and the Office of the Secretary of Defense.
Prof. Mahendra Prasad Lama
Founding Vice-Chancellor, Sikkim University, India Dr. Lama is the first Vice Chancellor of the Central University of Sikkim in India. He served as Professor of South Asian Economies and the Chairman of the Centre for South, Central, South East Asia and South West Pacific Studies, School of International Studies, Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi. He also served as the Chief Economic Adviser to the Chief Minister of Sikkim with a Cabinet Minister rank. Prof. Lama is presently a Member of the National Security Advisory Board.
Dr. Halil Ozcan
Member of Parliament, National Assembly of Turkey Dr. Özcan is a Member of Parliament, the Grand National Assembly. He serves on the National Defense Committee; and is Chairman of the Turkey-Saudi Arabia Friendship Group. Dr. Ozcan is assistant professor at the Department of East Languages of the Faculty of Sciences and Literature of Harran University. He received his Ph.D. from Atatürk University and did undergraduate studies at Harran University and King Saud University in Saudi Arabia.
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Mr. Jacques Marion
Secretary General, UPF-Eurasia Born in Cameroon, Africa, Mr. Marion is a French citizen. He pursued education in economics at the University of Lyon, France, and in Casablanca, Morocco. Since the early 1980s he has been working with various educational projects of the Unification Movement in Africa, Russia, and China. He currently serves as a Vice President of the International Educational Foundation and as the UPF Secretary General for the Eurasia Region, based in Moscow.
Mr. Thomas P. McDevitt
President, The Washington Times, USA Tom McDevitt became president of The Washington Times in 2007 just prior to the company’s 25th anniversary. Previously, he worked for the Times as the Marketing Director for its National Weekly. From 2005 to 2007, he worked for the Points of Light Foundation founded by President George H. W. Bush as senior vice president. He was a candidate for the Virginia House of Delegates in 1993. He practices Tai Chi in order to remain calm and golf to remain humble.
Mrs. Kathryn Cameron Porter
President, Leadership Council for Human Rights, Washington DC, USA Ms. Porter served as Special Assistant to the US Secretary for Fossil Energy and Special Assistant to the Secretary for International Affairs, the Special Assistant for Global Environment to the Secretary of Energy United States Department of Energy. She is the Founder and President of the Leadership Council for Human Rights and the Human Rights Alliance. Her education is in Economics, Applied Anthropology and Archaeology at the University of Michigan, Northwestern University and American University.
Dr. Agustin Armando Jarquin Anaya
National Assembly of Nicaragua Dr. Agustín Armando Jarquín Anaya is a Christian Democrat member of the National Assembly of Nicaragua. He is a civil engineer by profession, with particular interest in infrastructure development and public service projects. He has advocated for the rights of immigrants and the disabled, and has also worked to promote the better integration of the societies of Central America. He is married, with four sons and seven daughters.
Hon. Tsukasa Akimoto
Former Parliamentary Vice-Minister of Defence, Japan Mr. Akimoto holds degrees in Economics from Daito Bunka University. He served as a public secretary for a member of the House of Representatives, and in 2004 he was elected as a member of the House of Councilors from the Liberal Democratic Party. Between 2007 and 2009, he served as a Parliamentary Vice-Minister of Defense. Currently, he teaches political science at the Tokyo University of Social Welfare. He also serves as board member of the Japan Korea Cultural Association