Speaker Details

William Vendley

Secretary General of Religions for Peace International. He coordinates the activities and projects of Religions for Peace’s 70 national and five regional councils. Religions for Peace is the world’s largest and most representative multi-religious coalition advancing common action for peace by working to stop war, eliminate extreme poverty and protect the earth. Dr. Vendley is a pioneer in employing religious cooperation to help resolve conflict. He facilitated the establishment of the Inter-religious Council of Bosnia-Herzegovina in the immediate aftermath of the civil war, which resulted in the commitment of its religious leaders to re-build a single, multi-ethnic Bosnia. He established the Inter-religious Council of Sierra Leone in the midst of a ten-year civil war, advanced successful multi-religious mediations between the rebels and the government and was requested to assist in the formal peace talks in Lome, Togo. He has led multi-religious efforts to prevent conflicts, mediate among warring parties and heal societies in the aftermath of violence in Ethiopia, Eritrea, Liberia, Indonesia, Sri Lanka, Iraq and other countries. He is actively working in the Middle East with religious leaders in Israel, Palestine and neighboring states to advance peace. Dr. Vendley is an advisor to President Obama through his service on the Multi-religious Cooperation and International Affairs Task Force of the White House Faith Based Council. He lectures frequently in academic, governmental and other forums. He is a theologian and has served as a professor and dean in graduate schools of theology. Born and raised in Indiana, he earned his BA from Purdue University (1971) and was the recipient of its Distinguished Alumni for Science Award in 2005. He has an MA from the Maryknoll School of Theology (1976) and a Ph.D. from Fordham University (1984). Dr. Vendley is married to Mrs. Yasuko Vendley, and they reside in New York City.

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