Board of Directors

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Scott Alexander

Scott Alexander is Associate Professor of Islam at the Catholic Theological Union in Chicago and Chair of the Department of Intercultural Studies and Ministry and director of the school’s Catholic-Muslim Studies Program, where he is working to expand outreach to similar programs in Nigeria, the Middle East, and Southeast Asia. He is a regular consultant on Catholic-Muslim relations for the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops and for Centro Internazionale di Studi e Ricerche Oasis at the Marcianum in Venice, Italy, and he sits on the editorial board of the Journal of Islamic Law and Culture. Scott holds a Ph.D. in the history of religions, with a concentration in Islamic studies, from Columbia University and has taught there as well as at Indiana University, Fordham, and Princeton University. He is co-editor of A Dictionary of Christian-Muslim Relations (Cambridge University Press, anticipated 2011), and in March of 2007, Scott was one of five U.S. scholars to be awarded an Association of Theological Schools Lilly Faculty Fellowship in support of his research and writing.

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Matthew Dean

Matthew Dean, Program Director for Harran Productions Foundation, has been an intercommunity arts liaison and performer for over a decade. A University of Chicago alumnus, he contributed to cultural impact statements for Argonne National Laboratory and the Museums in the Park Commission, and was a founding member of Golosa Russian Choir. Dean manages the Schola Antiqua of Chicago Foundation, dedicated to the preservation, performance, and education of early music, and is an artist-in-residence at Rockefeller Memorial Chapel, soloing in works ranging from Handel’s Messiah to Sven-David Sandström’s Wachet Auf (2009). He supports the university’s development initiatives as Associate Director of Organization Research, with a special focus on arts and humanities, and has been committed to bringing new musical commissions, integrated creative arts programs, and visual art installations to campus. Matt has been honored to work with Shakeela Hassan and Harran Productions Foundation since 2006.

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Shakeela Hassan

photo © Audra Melton

Shakeela Z. Hassan MD, founder of Harran Productions Foundation, is a University of Chicago Professor Emeritus of Anesthesiology and Critical Care. She has made a life long commitment to promoting peaceful coexistence and understanding among different faith communities. In 1999, Hassan left her work and position at the University of Chicago hospitals and turned to documentary films as a catalyst for unity and interfaith understanding. Her grassroots fundraising effort for the PBS documentary, “Muhammad: Legacy of a Prophet,” made possible its national PBS Broadcast in 2002. She was co-executive producer of “Ties That Bind,” which aired on WTTW in 2004. She is active in Chicago’s Islamic Foundation and serves on the boards of International Human Rights Law Institute, Catholic Theological Union, Chicago Theological Seminary, Lutheran School of Theology, and Lake Institute of Faith and Giving of the Indiana University Institute of Philanthropy, Hands of Peace, amongst others.

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Zia Hassan

Zia Hassan is Professor of Management Science and Dean Emeritus at Stuart School of Business, Illinois Institute of Technology, where he teaches business policy and quality management. His research focuses on effective organizations and on strategic and quality issues in organizations and has been presented in numerous publications and at professional meetings. He has performed research on the design of quality systems that was funded by the Office of Naval Research, and he has published more than 30 papers. He has served as a consultant to numerous American and international businesses and is a fellow of the American Society for Quality. He serves as Chairman Board of Trustees Islamic Foundation and Financial Officer of Harran Production Foundation. With his wife Shakeela Hassan, he has partnered a strong commitment for education, conflict resolution, consensus and community building for a respectful coexistence.

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Lenore Mass

Lenore Mass is a cello instructor and member of the Symphony of Oak Park & River Forest (since 1995). Her volunteer work includes:

  • First Vice Chair, Central District Council, Union for Reform Judaism
  • North American Board member, Union for Reform Judaism
  • National Board, Association of Reform Zionists of America
  • Executive Committee, North American Council, World Union for Progressive Judaism
  • International Assembly member, World Union for Progressive Judaism
  • Board Member, Olin Sang Ruby Union Institute Camp
  • Past President, KAM Isaiah Israel Congregation

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Michael Zedek

Rabbi Michael R. Zedek is Senior Rabbi at Emanuel Congregation in Chicago. Previously he was the chief executive officer of the Jewish Federation of Cincinnati (JFC). During his tenure, the Federation received national awards for innovative fundraising and programming. Prior to his service at the JFC, Rabbi Zedek was the senior Rabbi of Temple B'nai Jehudah in Kansas City, Missouri where he served for many years. A dedicated community activist, scholar and teacher, he received numerous awards including a Fulbright-Hays Grant. He was also named a National Conference of Christian and Jews community honoree. He has been a key adviser, program participant as shofar blower, and panelist for several Sounds of Faith events.

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