NRCAT's Board of Directors - 2012
NRCAT staff page: You can read about NRCAT's Executive Director, Rev. Richard L. Killmer and the rest of NRCAT's staff.
Dr. Tarunjit Singh Butalia
Dr. Tarunjit Singh Butalia is the Secretary General of the World Sikh Council - America Region, a position he also held in 2004-2005. He has also served as a member of the WSC-AR Executive Committee and as Chairperson of its National Interfaith Committee. At the national level,
he is the Moderator of Religions for Peace - USA, member of Board of
Trustees of the North American Interfaith Network, member of Board of
Trustees and Executive Committee of the Council for a Parliament of the
World's Religions, member of Board of Trustees of the National Religious
Coalition Against Torture, and a member of the Board of Scholars and
Practitioners of The Journal of Inter-Religious Dialogue.
In June of 2005, he participated in a “Critical Moment in Intereligious
Dialogue” conference organized by the World Council of Churches in
Geneva, Switzerland. At the conference, Dr. Butalia moderated a session
and discussion on dialogue and action. In January 2006, he helped
organize the first National Gathering of Religious Leaders in Chicago
presented by Religions for Peace – USA, and shared perspectives on the
role of religious leaders in the 21st century.
Dr. Butalia was a member of the Religious Experience Advisory Council of
the Ohio Bicentennial Commission and has co-edited a book titled
‘Religion in Ohio: Profiles of Faith Communities,’ for the 200th
birthday of Ohio.
He is the Secretary of the Sikh Educational and Religious Foundation and
the President of the Interfaith Association of Central Ohio. He has
served as the faculty adviser to The Ohio State University Campus
Interfaith Council and is a member of the Religious Advisory Council of
the Mayor of Columbus, Ohio. Dr. Butalia has served as a Board member
and Secretary of the Columbus based Interfaith Center for Peace and is a
co-convener of Faith Communities Uniting for Peace. Faith Communities
Uniting for Peace received the Inter-religious community award in June
of 2004 from the West Ohio Conference of the United Methodist Church.
In November of 2002, Dr. Butalia’s interfaith efforts were recognized in
a special “Faith in Action” article in the Faith and Values section of
The Columbus Dispatch. In May 2004, he received the inaugural Living
Faith Interfaith Award from the Columbus Metropolitan Area Church
Virginia Classick is a retired Licensed Clinical Social Worker. She
received her BA in theology from Valparaiso University and her MSW from
Washington University, St. Louis. She is a member of the board of
directors of Peace Action West and Progressive Christians Uniting,
a member of the Christian-Muslim Consultative Group of Southern
California, and the Abrahamic Faiths Peacemaking Initiative. She is a
member of the Evangelical Lutheran Church of America, and a General Member of All Saints Episcopal Church in Pasadena, CA, where she serves on the Vestry.
She and her domestic partner of 25 years, Chuck Rossie, live in Woodland Hills, CA.
Dr. Mohamed Elsanousi
Dr. Elsanousi is the Director of Communications and Community Outreach for the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA).
In this capacity, his responsibilities include fostering interfaith
relations, strengthening ISNA’s relationships with the Muslim community
in North America and supervising ISNA’s joint projects with interfaith
organizations and federal government institutions. Dr. Elsanousi also
serves on the board of directors and advisors for several interfaith
organizations, including the Religious Communicators Council, the
Interfaith Broadcasting Commission, The New Evangelical Partnership for the Common Good, and the National Religious Campaign Against Torture.
His publications include "History of the Islamic Society of North America" in Philanthropy in America: A Comprehensive Historical Encyclopedia
(2004); "A Growing Economic Power: Muslims in North America and
Integration and Contribution to Social Justice" in The Journal of Law in
Society (Summer 2008); and "Islamic Perspective on Torture" in Religious Faith, Torture and Our National Soul
(2010). Dr. Elsanousi holds a Bachelor’s degree in Shariah and Law from
the International Islamic University of Islamabad, Pakistan, a Master
of Laws from Indiana University, a graduate diploma in philanthropic
studies from the Indiana University Center on Philanthropy and a Ph.D.
in Law and Society at Indiana University School of Law.
Rev. Dr. George Hunsinger
Linda Gustitus has been a member of River Road Unitarian Universalist Congregation , Bethesda, Maryland, for over 20 years. She was cofounder of the Washington Region Religious Campaign Against Torture
in 2006 and was elected President of the National Religious Campaign
Against Torture in 2007. Ms. Gustitus served in the Senate for 24 years
as an aide to Senator Carl Levin, Democrat from Michigan. For most of
her time in the Senate she was Senator Levin’s Staff Director and Chief
Counsel on his Governmental Affairs Committee subcommittee. The
subcommittees included: Oversight of Government Management; Federal
Services and Nuclear Proliferation; and the Permanent Subcommittee on
Investigations. In 2001, Ms. Gustitus assumed the position of Chief of
Staff to Senator Levin. She retired from the Senate in January 2003.In
June 2008 she was appointed to serve on the newly created bipartisan
Congressional Commission on Wartime Contracting in Iraq and Afghanistan
on which she served for one year. Ms. Gustitus received her Juris
Doctor, cum laude, from Wayne State University Law School,
Detroit, Michigan. She received her Bachelor’s Degree in 1969 from
Oberlin College, Ohio. She has been an Adjunct Professor of Law at the
Washington College of Law, American University, and a lecturer for the
Government Affairs Institute at Georgetown University. She has also
taught as an adjunct professor at George Washington University School of
Public Policy. Prior to working in the Senate, she was a trial attorney
at the U.S. Department of Justice in the Civil Division, and she served
as an assistant state’s attorney in Cook County, Illinois.
She is married, with two children, ages 25 and 29, and permanently resides in Washington, D.C.
George Hunsinger is the Hazel Thompson McCord Professor of Systematic Theology at Princeton Theological Seminary. In January 2006 he founded the National Religious Campaign Against Torture. A former assistant to the Rev. William Sloane Coffin, Jr., he has a long history of anti-war and human rights activism. He is an ordained minister (Presbyterian Church, U.S.A.) and president of the Karl Barth Society of North America. He is the 2010 recipient of the Karl Barth Prize awarded by the Union of Evangelical Churches in Germany.
George holds degrees from Stanford (A.B., cum laude), Harvard Divinity School (B.D. cum laude), and Yale (M.A., Ph.D.). Among his recent books is: Torture Is a Moral Issue: Christians, Jews, Muslims and People of Conscience Speak Out (Wm. B. Eerdmans, 2008). He is married with two children and two grandchildren.
Rabbi Rachel Kahn-Troster
Rabbi Rachel Kahn-Troster is Director of Education and Outreach for Rabbis for Human Rights-North America,
where she mobilizes the Jewish community around the issues of
U.S.-sponsored torture and human trafficking. Ordained in 2008 from the
Jewish Theological Seminary, where she was a student leader and
activist, and a 2001 graduate of Barnard College, her writing has
appeared in various anthologies, Sh’ma, Conservative Judaism, and the
blog The Jew and the Carrot. She lives in Teaneck, New Jersey, with her
husband and daughters.
David A. Leslie
David Leslie is Executive Director of one of the nation’s largest and oldest ecumenical associations in the U.S.A., Ecumenical Ministries of Oregon (EMO).
A statewide association of denominations, congregations and faith-based
community ministries, EMO’s program and organizational focus is
concentrated on interreligious dialogue and education, environmental
stewardship and justice, state and national public policy advocacy on
human rights, church-state and poverty related issues, and the
development of community-based ministries that serve people and
communities in need. Leslie’s professional ecumenical and interfaith
leadership includes Interfaith Ministries for Greater Houston, Ohio
Council of Churches and World Council of Churches, and Habitat for
Leslie is currently the chair of the national Ecumenical Task Force on Immigration convened by the National Council of Churches U.S.A.
and Church World Service and is a member of the National Religious
Campaign Against Torture Board of Directors, Pacific Institute for
Ethics and Social Policy at Pacific University, Northwest Workers’
Justice Project Advisory Board and State of Oregon Ending Homelessness
Advisory Council. Leslie has also served on the NCC Human Genetics
Policy Task Force, NCC Interfaith Relations Commission, Oregon
Department of Human Services Faith and Community-based Advisory Group,
Oregon Senate Interim Committee on Farmworker Issues and the Oregon
Governor’s Global Warming Advisory Group.
In 2009, Leslie received the “Eugene Carson Blake Award for Ecumenism,”
presented by the National Council of Churches and Church World Service.
Dr. Blake, a Presbyterian, was a leading ecumenist who served as
President of the NCC, founder of the Consultation of Church Union and
former General Secretary of the World Council of Churches.
Leslie is a frequent speaker and writer on a wide range of topics
related to peacemaking, interfaith relations, social justice, and
religion and society. He attended the World Parliament of Religions in
Cape Town, South Africa, presented at the Global Congress of Religions
in Montreal, Canada, was a member of the NCC delegation for the
dedication of the first Greek Orthodox Cathedral in Havana, Cuba, in
2004, and was the guest preacher at Washington National Cathedral in
Leslie received his Bachelor of Arts from The University of Texas at
Austin and his Masters of Divinity from Austin Presbyterian Theological
Seminary. He is a lay member in the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), and he
and his wife, Leigh, have three sons.
Rev. Steve Martin
Rev. Steven D. Martin is the Executive Director for The New Evangelical Partnership for the Common Good, a new a faith-based nonprofit offering a renewed Christian public witness for the sake of the Gospel and the common good. He has served United Methodist Churches as pastor for twenty years and is a graduate of Candler School of Theology.
He has produced several films for public television, including “Muslims in Appalachia,” “Islam in America After September 11th,” “Theologians Under Hitler,” “Renewal or Ruin?”, “Hearts Divided: Baptism and the Jews in the Third Reich,” and most recently, “Elisabeth of Berlin.” He has lectured at the prestigious Chautauqua Institute and in churches and seminaries across the US.
In 2007 Rev. Martin was honored at the US Holocaust Memorial Museum for his work with “Theologians Under Hitler.” He has written for the Washington Post, appeared in Newsweek magazine and in USA Today, and has most recently worked to end and investigate US-sponsored torture, and on relief of Haiti's debt in response to the recent earthquake.
He and his wife Jana are proud parents of four children.
Alex earned degrees in philosophy (William & Mary) and cross-cultural training (Lindenwood University). After serving in the Peace Corps (Iran, 1968-69), and a thirty-year career in international education and development, he assumed the duties of Secretary of Orthodox Peace Fellowship-North America.
In addition to serving on NRCAT’s Board, he represents OPF as a member of the following groups: U.S. Committee of the World Council of Churches' Decade to Overcome Violence, Churches for Middle East Peace, Maryland United for Peace and Justice, Consistent Life Network, and the Truth Commission on Conscience in War. He has participated in a number of interfaith activities including: Yes, We Can! Middle East Peace (YesMEP), dialogue under the auspices of the Interfaith Council of Washington, DC, and the Interfaith Institute of Atlanta, as well as the Christian-Muslim Summit (as an Orthodox observer). He was a peace delegate to Iran in 2006.
Alex is married (39 years) to Elaine and lives in Columbia, MD; they have three daughters and five grandchildren.
Rev. Allie Perry
Allie is an ordained United Church of Christ minister, living in New Haven in the shadow of Yale Divinity School, which first brought her to New Haven over 30 years ago. Currently she is a lecturer in Pastoral Care and Psychology at YDS and also a pastoral counselor with the Milford Pastoral Counseling Center.
Allie is the worship coordinator for Shalom United Church of Christ, a wonderful, very small, low-budget, congregation committed to non-violence and peace and justice. Through Reclaiming the Prophetic Voice, a CT-based network, which organized against the war in Iraq starting in 2002 and soon recognized the slippery slope to abusive torture practices, she became involved with NRCAT in its formative stages. In addition to her work with NRCAT, Allie serves on the board of Interfaith Peace Builders and the CT Network to Abolish the Death Penalty. Over the years she has been active in Central America solidarity work and disarmament.
She lives with her spouse, Charlie Pillsbury, and has four young adult step-children, one step-grandchild, and a dog.
Rev. Jill Saxby
As Executive Director of the Maine Council of Churches,
Rev. Saxby directs the work of the Council and serves as the primary
liaison with community groups, local and government officials, the
media, and national organizations with whom the Council works on a wide
range of projects and programs.
A Unitarian Universalist minister and formerly an attorney, Rev. Saxby
also served for three years as Associate Minister of the First
Congregational Church, United Church of Christ, in South Portland,
Maine. Prior to that, she served as Associate Minister for six years at
The First Parish, Unitarian Universalist in Portland and as the first
minister of the Unitarian Universalist Church of Belfast, Maine. She is a
graduate of Bangor Theological Seminary (M.Div., 1995), The Washington
College of Law at the American University (J.D., 1985) and James Madison
College, Michigan State University (B.A., International Relations,
Rev. Saxby is married to Ed Saxby, a former elder law attorney. They
live in Cape Elizabeth, Maine with their daughter Shannon Saxby, a
college student and their granddaughter Eilee.
Russell M. Testa presently serves as the Director of Programs, Policy & Organizing for the Franciscan Action Network, after serving from March 2008 to September 2009 as the organization's founding Executive Director. Russell serves in his present role with FAN as an element of his position as the director of the Office for Justice, Peace and Integrity of Creation, which serves the friars and ministries of the Holy Name Province of the Order of Friars Minor, based primarily on the East Coast of the U.S. The JPIC Office serves the Holy Name Province by helping to improve the quality and quantity of social justice ministries in its various locales. The scope of its work encompasses the entire continuum of social justice ministry, from direct service to education and advocacy. The JPIC Office was founded by Russell in 2000, the same year he founded the Center for Ministry and Public Life at Washington Theological Union. Russell served as the director of both the JPIC Office and the Center until 2006. Russell’s departure from the Center has enabled him to focus solely on the JPIC Office and his work with FAN.
Prior to Russell’s more recent work with the Franciscans, he served in a variety of church ministries including: campus ministry at the University of Kansas, archdiocesan social justice in Chicago, Catholic Relief Services, and a national training program with the Center of Concern. In these ministries, Russell was able to work with a variety of people to help them strategically move their ministries to new levels of quality and effectiveness. Russell studied social ethics at the Catholic Theological Union in Chicago and Economics at the University of Kansas. He is the author of several articles and has a strong background in group facilitation and training.
He is a native of Kansas and presently lives in Wheaton, Maryland with his wife, Megeen, and their dog, Clare.