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Who We Are

Staff

Rev. Mark E. Fowler, Chief Executive Officer

Rev. Mark Fowler guides Tanenbaum to the fulfillment of its mission to promote justice and build respect for religious difference by transforming individuals and institutions to reduce prejudice, hatred, and violence. As CEO, Rev. Fowler is responsible for all of Tanenbaum’s departments, the design and implementation of all Tanenbaum trainings, and the expansion of Tanenbaum programs nationally and internationally.

Rev. Fowler represents Tanenbaum on the United Nations Multifaith Advisory Council for the UN Interagency Task Force on Religion and Development, the CEO Action for Diversity and Inclusion, the Inclusion Allies Coalition, and Interfaith United NYC.

As architect of Tanenbaum’s Corporate Membership Program, Rev. Fowler has conducted trainings at GSK, Merck, Turner Broadcasting, PwC, The Walt Disney Company, CVS Health, Aetna, Bloomberg, Sodexo, Google, Moody’s, Bank of America, Walmart, and Target, among others. He has also managed the design of Tanenbaum’s Religious Diversity Leadership Summit and the Religious Diversity Symposium, which have brought together senior leaders, DEI practitioners and advocates to strategize on creating religiously inclusive workplaces.

Rev. Fowler led the evaluation of Tanenbaum’s Education program and managed the process and creation of its second editions of the Religions in My Neighborhood and World Olympics curricula.

Rev. Fowler is a sought-after keynote speaker and facilitator in all of Tanenbaum’s core program areas, and has addressed organizations globally on issues of equality in race, gender, sexual orientation and religion. Recently, Rev. Fowler delivered the keynote at the 2020 Diversity Best Practices EmERGe conference, was featured in a fireside chat with Robert Cook, CEO and President at FINRA’s 2020 Virtual Diversity Summit and continued in his role as Navigator at the 2020 unveiling of OUTNext’s latest curriculum “Out of the Closet and into the C-Suite.”

Over the course of Rev. Fowler’s tenure at Tanenbaum, he has presented at the National Council on the Social Studies, National Association of Multicultural Education, Teaching Tolerance, the YMCA of Greater New York, Partnership for Afterschool Education, Asia Society, National School Board Association, the United Nations, the Newseum, the Power of Women Institute, the Return on Inclusion Summit, the OutNEXT Summit, and the Forum on Workplace Inclusion regarding prejudice reduction, conflict resolution, bias and bullying.

Rev. Fowler earned a B.A. in English and Education at Duke University and was trained as a Mediation and Conflict Resolution Specialist with the NYC Department of Education. Rev. Fowler also is a graduate of the One Spirit Interfaith Seminary, is an ordained Interfaith/Interspiritual minister, and is a Dean of second-year students at One Spirit Interfaith Seminary.

Joyce S. Dubensky, Esq., CEO Emerita, Sr. Strategic Advisor

Tanenbaum’s CEO Emerita, Joyce Dubensky, has directed its dramatic expansion, adding new initiatives to each of Tanenbaum’s core programs. As CEO for 18 years, her dynamic leadership transformed Tanenbaum from a well-regarded U.S. institution to an internationally recognized thought leader.

Ms. Dubensky has overseen many firsts, each a new contribution to the burgeoning field of interreligious respect and understanding: the first toolkit for workplace managers on addressing religious diversity at work, the first comprehensive manual on the intersections of religion and health care, and the first book of the compelling life stories of Tanenbaum’s religiously driven Peacemakers in Action.

Internationally in demand, Ms. Dubensky speaks, trains and conducts workshops on all Tanenbaum programs including on managing issues of religion in the workplace, health care and in schools and on religious peacebuilding and its value for diplomats. Ms. Dubensky has presented at the United Nations, the Alliance of Civilizations, the United States Institute of Peace, the Organization of Islamic Cooperation, the Carnegie Council for Ethics in International Affairs, the Council on Foreign Relations, the International Academy of Practical Theology, the Van Leer Jerusalem Institute, the American Academy of Religion, and Harvard University.

As an attorney, Ms. Dubensky served as a National Consultant for the Council of Jewish Federations (now Jewish Federations of North America). She also created the Legal Department at the United Jewish Appeal-Federation of Jewish Philanthropies of New York, where she served as General Counsel for over a decade. Ms. Dubensky began her legal career with the law firm of Botein Hays Sklar and Herzberg, and holds her J.D. from New York University School of Law, and has a Master’s degree in American History from Adelphi University.

Chloe Aldridge, Manager of the Executive Office

Chloe Aldridge is the Manager of the Executive Office at Tanenbaum. She received her MPhil in International Peace Studies (’18) from Trinity College Dublin and her BA in International Relations and Global Studies (’12) with a focus in the MENA region from The University of Texas at Austin. Chloe’s graduate school research centered on the use of mass surveillance by the U.S. government against Muslims and those of MENA heritage. Since 2012, Chloe has interned in various capacities at NGOs in three countries:  The Integration Centre (Ireland), Korean Sharing Movement (South Korea), and Lebanon Support (Lebanon). Most notably, she has contributed to support programs for refugees and asylees in Ireland, to the development of legislation for aid to North Korea following South Korean President Moon’s inauguration, and to Lebanon Support’s Conflict Analysis Mapping project and Civil Society Incubator program.

Julia Arce, Communications Associate

Starting her undergrad at the American University of Paris, Julia transferred to the New School where she received her B.A. in Politics with a focus on global studies. After spending some time in the Middle East, Julia was inspired to write her thesis on the history and present-day experiences of the Syrian and Palestinian refugee crisis in Lebanon, supported by testimonials from her friends and coworkers in South Lebanon. Most recently, Julia was given the opportunity to put her interest in environmental studies into practice working at a clean mobility startup. After interning at Tanenbaum in 2020, Julia is rejoining Tanenbaum as a Communications Associate. Julia enjoys reading, painting, cooking intimate dinners with her friends and family, and growing from the people she continues to meet in life.

Brenna Artinger, Senior Workplace Program Associate

Brenna Artinger attended American University for their BA and graduated in 2020 from the University of Oxford with a Master of Philosophy in Buddhist Studies. Their Master’s thesis focused on the intersection of Buddhism and Queer Theory, specifically the alterity contained in Theravada Buddhist legal texts, and the ways in which textual reorientation can lead to trans* activism. They most recently worked as President with the Alliance for Bhikkhunis, an organization supporting fully-ordained Buddhist nuns, and has worked extensively in the customer service and non-profit spheres. In their free time, Brenna enjoys hiking, reading, and cuddling with their family’s two Saint Bernards.

Lydia Baek, Manager of Institutional Giving

Lydia Baek works in Tanenbaum’s development department. Before joining Tanenbaum, she developed and implemented culturally-specific programs for young Asian Americans on relationship abuse awareness and prevention, healthy relationships and conflict engagement. Lydia has also created genocide awareness projects for high school students in Cambodia to promote dialogue and information about the Khmer Rouge genocide and helped support a coalition of organizations engaged in transitional justice work in South Africa. She earned an MA from the Kroc Institute for International Peace Studies at the University of Notre Dame and a BA from Emory University.

Judith Banki, Senior Advisor, Interreligious Affairs

Judith Banki is one of the pioneers of organized interreligious dialogue and an award-winning author whose articles have appeared in Commonweal, Religious Education, the Journal of Ecumenical Affairs and The American Jewish Year Book. She co-edited the anthology of Rabbi Marc Tanenbaum’s writings and two volumes emerging from conferences at Catholic Theological Union and Cambridge University which she helped coordinate. Awarded an honorary doctorate by Seton Hall University for her work in promoting Jewish-Christian understanding, she also received the “Peace through Dialogue” Interfaith Gold Medallion from the International Council of Christians and Jews.

Nina Boe, Senior Workplace Program Associate

Nina Boe is originally from Seattle with an undergraduate background in Political Science and East European Studies. She also has a Master’s in Public Administration from the University of Washington. Nina served as a student consultant to a nonprofit organization that worked with religious minorities from Syria, helping craft a policy paper based on survey data. She also interned with Sahar Education, crafting an impact report of the organization’s programming in northern Afghanistan. Domestically, she has volunteered with organizations like the International Rescue Committee, Church World Service, and The ONE Campaign. She also served as a board member for the Young Professionals International Network and Kids4Peace. Internationally, Nina volunteered two years in Brazil with the Young Adult Service Corps, working on many communications and community based ecumenical projects. Before coming to Tanenbaum, she served as a Peace Corps Community Development Volunteer in North Macedonia working with Roma nonprofit organizations. She is excited to spend some time stateside and support the mission of Tanenbaum. Outside of work, she enjoys photography, writing, and learning new languages

Daniel del Nido, Senior Education Program Associate

Daniel received his BA in Philosophy and Religion from Swarthmore College in 2010. He completed his Ph.D. in Religious Studies at Columbia University in 2017His dissertation examined how theories of habit and habituation in modern French philosophy could increase scholarly understanding of the lived practice of religious ethics. While completing his doctorate, he served as a Rapporteur for the Columbia University Seminar for Comparative Philosophy, which sought to advance dialogue between Indian, Chinese, and Western philosophical traditions, and as a Preceptor for Columbia University’s Core Curriculum. Daniel continued to work with the Core Curriculum after completing his Ph.D. as the TOMS Core Faculty Fellow in Contemporary Civilization, a course introducing students to fundamental issues in understanding human communities and the values that define them.  

Janie Dumbleton, Assistant Director of Peacebuilding Program

Janie works in the Peacebuilding program. Prior to joining Tanenbaum, Janie was a Ghandi Fellow at the Joan B. Kroc School of Peace Studies at the University of San Diego (USD) where she earned a Masters in Peace and Justice Studies. During her time at USD, she volunteered with the International Rescue Committee and interned with Tanenbaum’s conflict resolution department, leading Tanenbaum’s monitoring and evaluation cycle for that year. Janie’s time in the Jesuit Volunteer Corps and at the University of Georgia studying English and Religion cultivated her passion for conflict resolution and social justice.

Madeline Frankel, Health Care Program Associate

Madeline Frankel works in Tanenbaum’s Health Care program. Madeline is a social worker whose practice is at the intersection of social welfare and health and aging outcomes. She received her MSW, with a specialization in Management and Policy and an emphasis on Health Equity with Aging Populations, from Rutgers University and her BASW from the University of Pittsburgh. Her professional and academic interests focus on examining socio-structural health and aging indicators and advancing culturally competent care. Madeline brings experience from community-based and federal agency settings through field placements at the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services and Repair the World: Pittsburgh.

Wendy Miller Gamer, Education Program Associate

Wendy Miller Gamer is a social worker with a professional interest in anthropogeography and a field of practice focus on community building within and between diverse groups. Wendy’s work in Tanenbaum’s Education department supports inclusive, safe, and diverse spaces and diversity education in formal and informal learning environments. Wendy received a BA from Clark University, followed by an MS in Social Work from Columbia University and an MA in Jewish Professional Leadership from the Jewish Theological Seminary.

Prior to joining Tanenbaum, Wendy directed Religious Diversity Journeys, a program amplifying literacy regarding world religions and cross-cultural dialogue. At the start of the Pandemic Wendy, in partnership with Detroit Public Television, wrote and co-produced an interfaith-exploration documentary series to help extend diversity education beyond the walls of quarantine.

Ask Wendy about her family, her love of healthy smoothies, or the rock collection she has nurtured since childhood.

Élie Khoury, Senior Peacemakers In Action Network Coordinator

Élie works in the Peacebuilding program. Before joining Tanenbaum, he worked in communications at the French Institute: Alliance Française after obtaining his Masters in International Relations from the French Institute of International Relations and Strategy (IRIS’ Sup). His Master’s thesis focused on the geopolitical situation in the South China Sea, and an abridged version of his work was subsequently published by the French think tank IRIS. While conducting research, Élie worked at the U.S. Embassy in Paris and in private geopolitical consulting.

Megan Leverage, Workplace Program Associate

Megan studied at Chaminade University of Honolulu, and graduated with a B.A. in Religious Studies from the University of Dayton. Additionally, she holds an M.A. in Comparative Religion from Western Michigan University and Ph.D. in American Religious History from Florida State University. Her area of interest is Religion and DEI. Previously, Megan worked as a Lecturer in Religion at Northern Arizona University and Central Michigan University. At CMU, Megan taught “Religion, Race and Discrimination in America,” “Religion and Social Issues,” and “Death and Dying.” Currently, she lives in Oregon where she enjoys being outside in nature.

Nicole Margaretten, Communications Manager – Creative Content

Nicole Margaretten received a Master of International Affairs (’13) from Columbia University’s School of International & Public Affairs (SIPA) with a focus on economic and political development, peacebuilding, and international communications. Nicole worked as a consultant for Covenant House International where she developed a residential intake survey for at-risk children. After conducting interviews in Honduras and Nicaragua, she authored a guide for interview best practices with children who may be victims of trafficking. In Bogotá, Colombia, she helped develop community peacebuilding workshops for corporate clients of Tandem Insourcing, SAS, a communications negotiation consulting firm.

Nicole is a visual artist (graphite drawing and oil painting) and statement jewelry designer for her brand La Miré New York. In addition to her Master of International Affairs, she holds a Master of Fine Arts (’05) from Tufts University/the School of the Museum of Fine Arts, and she received her Bachelor of Fine Arts (’02) from Pratt Institute in Brooklyn. Nicole lives with many plants and a vast mineral collection.

Maria McQuade, Assistant Director, Health Care Program

Prior to joining Tanenbaum, Maria worked as a Case Aid Assistant with the International Institute of Buffalo, a refugee resettlement program, and as a Staff Assistant with U.S. Senator Charles E. Schumer’s office. She received her MA in Medical Anthropology from the University at Buffalo and her BA in International Studies, with a concentration in Peace and Conflict Resolution in the Middle East, from American University. Her MA Thesis, titled “Doctors, Doulas, and Self-Determination: Examining Agency During Pregnancy and Childbirth”, focused on parturient patient populations in Buffalo, NY and analyzed the impact of education, socioeconomic status, and care provider options in shaping reproductive decisions and patient experiences. Maria has volunteered extensively in Buffalo, NY and Himachal Pradesh, India working with refugees in health care settings.

Savannah Miller, Media Research Associate

Savannah earned her MA from New York University’s Center for Experimental Humanities and Social Engagement with concentrations in media anthropology, human rights, and representational ethics. Her graduate thesis examined the potential of self-representational media to contest generalizations within mainstream media, while instilling a critical consciousness of the ways those generalizations can influence our imagination of the ‘other’—religiously, politically, racially, culturally, and socially. She holds a B.S. in anthropology with a minor in religion from Florida State University. Building from the belief that knowledge is most powerful when all can contribute, she has translated her academic research into creative projects including interactive websites, social media campaigns, oral history projects, and ethnographic films. She believes deeply in the power of art and collective storytelling to inspire respect, empathy, and curiosity for human differences. Ask her about her cat, her 6 sisters, or her favorite gravy for biscuits.

Anne Rahmouni, Assistant Director of Finance and Operations

Anne Rahmouni is an accounting professional with experience in auditing, financial reporting, and management consulting in the United States and Europe. Her passion for women’s rights prompted her to move from a Big Four Accounting Firm to the nonprofit world. Before joining Tanenbaum, she worked in an early-stage not-for-profit organization advancing women’s rights and gender equality locally and globally. As an Assistant Director of Finance and Operations, Anne is responsible for Tanenbaum’s financial management, operations, HR, and technology. Outside of work, she serves as an advisory board member for the Kota Alliance and enjoys yoga, long walks, and spending time with her family.

Cameron Smith, Assistant Director of Workplace Program

Cameron received his B.A. in Political Science with a Middle East Studies concentration from Drew University. He received his M.S. in Global Affairs with a Peacebuilding concentration from NYU’s Center for Global Affairs. As part of his graduate capstone, Cameron helped produce a documentary on women’s security issues within Haitian internal displacement camps. The project built upon his previous work with refugee populations in the Middle East and his focus on the intersections of religion, culture, and conflict. Cameron joins Tanenbaum after working as a Legal Assistant at a corporate law firm.

Dasha Tanner, Communications Manager – Media and Public Relations

Dasha Tanner received her BA in International Affairs, with a minor in Peace & Conflict studies and a regional focus on the geopolitical Middle East, from the University of San Francisco. Dasha has a published thesis examining art as a medium for resistance; using the Israeli-Palestinian conflict as a case-study, she examined the role art has played and continues to play in the emergence of a cultural intifada within the conflict. Most recently, Dasha was the Social Media Coordinator for Brooklyn Law School, where she was responsible for developing overarching divisional social media strategies, policies and procedures for increased engagement and maintaining brand continuity across platforms. Prior to her time at Brooklyn Law, Dasha worked at Seeds of Peace assisting with all camp related programming; managed a flagship retail boutique in Soho; and interned for the Clinton Foundation as part of their CGI Events team during the 2014 and 2015 Annual Meetings. Outside of work, Dasha spends a lot of time playing with her puppy, reading, writing poetry, imagining better futures and thinking about how to build those futures now.

Nancy Wolfe, Assistant Director of Development

Nancy brings Tanenbaum over 25 years of fund development experience. An accomplished grant writer and relationship builder, Nancy has expanded resources to promote a wide range of social justice issues ranging from workers’ rights, to child care for low income working families, to quality education for young children with special needs. She comes to New York from Pensacola Habitat for Humanity, where her efforts not only expanded the organization’s ability to provide safe, affordable homes for families in the community, but also initiated unique projects to build understanding and acceptance through interfaith collaboratives. Nancy’s development strategy reaches out to a full spectrum of potential contributors, including individuals, corporations, faith communities, foundations, civic organizations, and government funders. Mrs. Wolfe holds a B.A. in Communications from The Pennsylvania State University and Master’s in Public Policy from New England College. She is excited to roll up her sleeves and get to work building greater opportunity for Tanebaum’s powerful mission.

Melinda Zalma, Manager of Programs

Rabbi Melinda Zalma is the Manager of Programs at Tanenbaum Center for Interreligious Understanding. Melinda provides support and direction for all of Tanenbaum’s programs including on content creation, evaluation, expansion, and growth. She has presented on topics of interreligious understanding to Hearst Magazines, Accenture’s Mental Health ERG, and MassMutual TriState’s Diversity and Inclusion Committee. Melinda represents Tanenbaum on Interfaith United NYC and the Muslim Jewish Advisory Council-NY.

Melinda previously served as Program Director at the Jewish Community Relations Council of New York (JCRC-NY). In her work there, she brought together diverse people and organizations to build bridges and strengthen the community. Now at the rank of Commander, she has served as a chaplain in the US Navy Reserve Component for over 20 years. Melinda was ordained from the Jewish Theological Seminary where she also received her Masters in Midrash (stories and interpretations of the Jewish Bible). She obtained her Bachelors of Science in electrical engineering from Northwestern University.