Board and Global Compassion Council


On February 28, 2008 acclaimed scholar and bestselling author Karen Armstrong received the TED Prize and made a wish—to help create, launch, and propagate a Charter for Compassion. After much work and the contribution of thousands of people. the Charter was unveiled to the world on November 12, 2009.

Our organization, Charter for Compassion (CFC), was inspired and created by Karen Armstrong and the Council of Conscience in 2009, and inherits a confluence of contributions made by, the Compassionate Action Network, the Fetzer Institute, and many others. Charter for Compassion provides an umbrella for people to engage in collaborative partnerships worldwide. Our mission is to bring to life the principles articulated in the Charter for Compassion through concrete, practical action in a myriad of sectors.

Aware that our world is deeply troubled and polarized and committed to make the world a better place, we work to establish and sustain cultures of compassion locally and globally through diverse initiatives—education, cities, business, religious and spiritual communities, and the arts. We supply resources, information and communication platforms to help create and support compassionate communities, institutions, and networks of all types that are dedicated to becoming compassionate presences in the world. Through a vibrant Charter for Compassion Partner Network we welcome and communicate the sharing of information, stories and experiences that touch the work of compassion.

The Charter for Compassion is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, EIN# 46-3554077

Board of Trustees - Executive Committee


From left to right: Cristina Gonzalez, chair; Laura Burgis, vice-chair; Gard Jameson, treasurer; Yaffa Maritz, secretary; Charles Barker, internal affiars.

The Global Compassion Council is the advisory body for the Charter for Compassion. Recruited from around the world, the Council is a confluence of leaders of the movement in the realms of government, business, education, philanthropy, religion & spirituality, health care, the environment, peace, and social justice. The chair of the Council is Cristina Gonzalez.  The governing Board of Directors is drawn from the members of the Council.  The Board consists of the following members: Cristina Gonzalez, chair; Laura Burgis, vice chair; Gard Jameson, treasurer; Yaffa Maritz, secretary; Charles Barker, internal affairs; and the following members: Ann Helmke, Karin Jironet, Lynne Reeder, Maha Alusi, Moses Machipisa, Mussie Hailu, and Rozan Anwar.

Karen Armstrong and Joan Brown Campbell are ex-officio members of the Board.

Global Compassion Council Members

  • Karen Armstrong, 2008 TED Prize winner, creator of the Charter for Compassion, renowned author on religion, history, compassion.

  • Joan Brown Campbell, president of the Council. Campbell is a noted religious leader and peace and social justice activist, former general secretary of the US, National Council of Churches.

  • Amy Hofland, Executive Director of the Crow Museum of Asian Art of the University of Texas at Dallas

  • Amy Novogratz, former director of the TED Prize, television and web producer, co-founder of Social Policy Action Network.

  • Anil Sachdev, Indian business leader and founder of the School for Inspired Leadership in Gurgaon, India.

  • Anil Singh-Morales, religious scholar, business executive, and co-founder of Seattle’s Compassionate Action Network.

  • Ann Helmke, Faith Liasion for the City oo San Antonio and Founder of the all-volunteer lead San Antonio peaceCENTER
  • Anne Tillery, managing partner at Pyramids Communications, and lead strategist on conservation, health and healthcare, education, human service, and arts and culture projects.

  • Arun Wakhlu, Founder Director and Chief Mentor of Pragati Leadership Institute, Pune, India, and Chairman of Pragati Foundation

  • Rabbi Awraham Soetendorp, human rights advocate, writer, environmental activist and champion of civil society worldwide; leader in global, humanitarian, and interfaith organizations and initiatives.

  • Charles Barker, chair, founder and president of Compassionate Dallas/Fort Worth

  • Chandra Muzaffar, internationally known Malaysian advocate for human rights, President of the International Movement for a Just World (JUST)

  • Christopher Kukk, social entrepreneur, author, speaker & marketing consultant

  • Cristina Gonzalez, secretary, poet, founder of EZER, and director of Encuentro Mundial de Valores, an international Human Values Conference

  • Cynthia Figge, business innovator and leader in movement for corporate social responsibility, co-founder of

  • Darshita Gillies, born into the lowest social class (“untouchables”) of a poor non-English speaking conservative Hindu family, had a career as an international banker before founding a chapter of Conscious Capitalism in the UK.

  • Diana Eck, award-winning religion author, professor at Harvard Divinity School, director of the Pluralism Project, chair of Interfaith Relations Commission of the National Council of Churches.

  • Elizabeth Rider, Director of Academic Programs at the Institute for Professionalism and Ethical Practice, Boston Children’s Hospital/ Harvard Medical School.

  • Gard Jameson, treasurer, interim vice chair, author, professor, founder of Children’s Advocacy Alliance and Interfaith Council of Southern Nevada

  • Haidar Bagir, Indonesian publisher and educator, president director of Indonesian publisher Mizan Group, professor at Islamic College for Advanced Studies (ICAS) London in Jakarta.

  • Howard Behar, former president of Starbucks International, author of It’s Not about the Coffee.

  • Dr. James Doty, Clinical Professor in the Department of Neurosurgery at Stanford University, founder of Stanford’s Center for Compassion and Empathy Research and Education.

  • Janja Bec, Serbian peace and humanitarian activist and socialogist focused on war crimes and genocide.

  • Jean Zaru, Palestinian Quaker, founding member of Sabeel, an ecumenical Palestinian Liberation Theology Center in Jerusalem; helped establish Friends International Center in Ramallah.

  • Jeff Vander Clute, evolutionary leader consultant to technology startups, nonprofits at the leading edge of social transformation, and global communities of practice.

  • Reverend Jennifer Bailey, Founder and Executive Director of Faith Matters Network

  • Jon Ramerentrepreneur, civic leader, inventor, and musician.
  • Karin Jironet - Author, a Jungian psychoanalyst, with a PhD in Theology. She is co-founder of InClaritas, an international foundation for modern governance.

  • Kevin Tuerff, social entrepreneur, author, and speaker

  • Laura BurgisFounder and President of The Human Values Center™; Trustee, Saybrook University; Advisor, Mulmanchago School for N. Korean Refugees; Board member, Charter for Compassion

  • Lynne Reeder, Director of Australia21, trained as a meditation teacher with Deepak Chopra, currently researching in compassion and empathy within policy making settings.
  • Lynne Twist, global citizen, teacher, author of The Soul of Money, co-founder of the Pachamama Alliance, empowering indigenous people of the Amazon rainforest to preserve lands and culture.

  • Magdalena Whoolery, citizen activist and organizer, founder of the Botho Compassion Movement in Bostwana.
  • Maha Alusi, founder of several companies, mentor and business coach, author of the book "Moments of Happiness."
  • Michael Wolfe, Muslim American poet, author, Executive Producer of Unity Productions Foundation; author of The Hadj, and One Thousand Roads to Mecca.
  • Moses Machipisa, youth leader, Ubuntu United Nations Ambassador, Harvard Kennedy Executive School Alumni and was selected as one of the top three innovations in democracy at the World Forum for Democracy of 2016
  • Muhammad Babar, Physician who practices internal medicine and geriatric medicine. He is a local interfaith and peace advocate who strives to bring people together by breaking down human-made barriers.
  • Mussie Hailu, peace ambassador and teacher from Addis Adaba; international advocate and activist for creating a culture of peace, interfaith harmony & cooperation
  • Rev. Dr Ofelia Ortega Suárez, minister of Presbyterian-Reformed Church in Cuba, elected member of the Cuban National Assembly, leader in World Council of Churches.

  • Owsley Brown, philanthropist, filmmaker, and activist on behalf of interfaith partnerships and the compassion movement.

  • Peter Storey, former president of the Methodist Church of Southern Africa, past president of the South African Council of Churches, and Methodist Bishop of Johannesburg/Soweto.

  • Chief Phil Lane, Jr., enrolled member of the Yankton Dakota and Chickasaw First Nations, leader in human and community development, Chair of the Four Worlds International Institute (FWII).

  • Robi Damelin, leader and spokesperson for the Parent’s Circle in Palestine/Israel, a peace-making organization composed of parents who have lost their children in the conflict.

  • Robin Youngson, physician and anaesthetic specialist in New Zealand, internationally renowned for his leadership promoting compassion in healthcare.

  • Roshi Joan Halifax, Buddhist teacher, Zen priest, anthropologist, and pioneer in the field of end-of-life care; Founder, Abbot, and Head Teacher of Upaya Institute and Zen Center in Santa Fe.

  • Rozan Anwar, People Strategist – Sociopreneur – Lecturer, Founder of Daya Lima group of companies specializing in HR and Leadership Development, with the passion to building better Indonesia and the world with kindness

  • Stephen Trzeciakphysician scientist, Chief of Medicine at Cooper University Health Care, and Professor and Chair of Medicine at Cooper Medical School of Rowan University in Camden, New Jersey. 

  • Tori McClure, president of Spalding University in Louisville, the first university to sign the Charter for Compassion; first woman to row a boat, alone, and without assistance, across the Atlantic.

  • Vinciane Rycroft, Director and Co-Founder at Mind with Heart in London, United Kingdom; main organizer behind the international conference Empathy and Compassion in Society Conference.

  • Will Poole, Social Technologist and angel investor, co-founder and Managing Partner of Unitus Seed Fund, former corporate vice president of the Unlimited Potential Group at Microsoft Corp.

  • Yaffa Maritz, Co-Founder of Listening Mothers, using reflective and mindful techniques to increase enhance parenting; founder and director of the Community of Mindful Parents.

  • Zeid Abdul-Hadi, Co-Founder, Vice-Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of an investment and development company in Amman – Jordan; founder of Charter for Compassion Jordan.
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