Executive Committee

Ken Kitatani, President

Ken Kitatani currently serves as the president of the Forum 21 Institute. He also is the USA representative of Women In Need International, an NGO that advocates for gender equality and sustainability, and an adviser to the Happiness Alliance that promotes Gross National Happiness (GNH). Ken is an ordained minister of Sukyo Mahikari Centers for Spiritual Development and currently serves as the division chief of the international affairs department of the world headquarters in Japan. Ken graduated from Columbia University with a B.A. in East Asian Studies.

Dr. Kurt Johnson, Director of Life Sciences and Spirituality

Kurt Johnson has worked in professional science and comparative religion for over 40 years and serves on many international committees, particularly at the United Nations. He is on the faculty of One Spirit Interfaith Seminary and is the co-author of the very influential 2013 book on the future of world religions: The Coming Interspiritual Age.  In science, with a PhD in Evolution, Ecology and Comparative Biology he was on the staff of the American Museum of Natural History and is currently associated with the McGuire Center for Biodiversity at the University of Florida. He is a member of The Evolutionary Leaders and has published over 200 scientific articles and seven books. He is founding member of the Contemplative Alliance and President of the Friends of the Institute of Noetic Sciences. At the United Nations he serves on the Executive Committee of the UN NGO Committee on Spirituality, Values and Global Concerns.

Yanni Maniates, Director of Eco-Ministry

Yanni Maniates is currently the event coordinator of The Interspiritual Network; co-editor of The Eco-Activist Newsletter; editor of “Steering Toward the Omega Point: Roundtables 2, 3 and 4: Discussions of Altruism, Evolution, and Spirituality;” and curator of Self-Care to Earth-Care programs. In the 80’s he was the Director of a major organization that hosted many noteworthy international, interfaith, ecumenical conferences. Also, he was the Director of a medium sized publishing company in NYC. As well, has been teaching Meditation, Intuitive Development and Hermetic and Perennial Wisdom teachings for nearly 30 years. The primary focus of his work has been to help people experience the “still, small voice within” or as he prefers to call it: “The Embrace.” He is the author of six books on Meditation and Intuition and three Meditation CDs.

 

Jim MacLellan, Deputy Director

Jim MacLellan is currently Director of Trade Development for the Port of Los Angeles. He is responsible for trade promotion programs including Trade Connect education seminars to assist local businesses entering global markets. Trade Connect was awarded the Presidential E Star Award in 2013 for service to the nation’s exports. Prior to joining the Port in 1992, he worked for more than 20 years in the international shipping business. As Adjunct Professor, from 2008 to 2015, he taught international trade and shipping at the Middlebury Institute of International Studies (formerly Monterey Institute Graduate School of Business Studies). He currently serves as Chair of the Pacific Chapter of the US – Mexico Chamber of Commerce, Chair of the Los Angeles Regional Export Council (MEI) and Board Member of California Manufacturing & Technology Consulting (NIST – MEP).

Dr. Rick Clugston, Director of Sustainable Development Programs

Rick Clugston directs the Sustainability and Global affairs programs at the Center for Earth Ethics, and is the Co-director of the Association of University Leaders for a Sustainable Future. He previously directed Earth Charter USA and the Center for Respect of Life and Environment focusing on ethics, spiritual values and sustainable development. Rick is also a co-founder of the Global Higher Education for Sustainability Partnership, and has worked extensively with United Nations agencies and commissions. Rick has taught and published on human development, strategic planning, educational reform, and most recently on environmental ethics, spirituality and sustainability.

The time has come for people of the world from different backgrounds and beliefs, through open-minded discussion, study and research, to discover the reality of common, universal principles and willingly agree to implement such integrated principles for humankind to live by.